Day 85~ Rev 10-12
These have got to be the three most confusing chapters of the book! It really seems like John is seeing visions that jump back and forth in time (which is very hard for me since I am in a chronological state of mind).
Chapter 12 in particular seems like the vision of the woman giving birth to a male child would be referring to Israel giving birth to Jesus 2000 years ago. Indeed, many scholars feel that is exactly what the vision means. Yet, I did some digging and found what other scholars think about this section and what it represents (and it seems to go with a chronologic sequence of events).
First we need to understand that John used images and symbols that the first readers would be familiar with. For example, the readers understood that the woman clothed with the sun, moon and stars symbolized a glorious triumphal entity that would be greater than the light of the sun, etc. (The sun, and standing on the moon was not a new symbol for them. These were common enough that they were even printed on some ancient coins.) John’s entity, according to Coffman’s Commentary, is the radiant glory of God’s church (from a heavenly perspective). The church includes the “true Israel of both the Old and New Testament- including Christians” (children of the woman).
The Old Testament used similar imagery to John’s when it portrays the righteous remnant (that would be the woman) laboring & giving birth to a child, symbolizing the future restoration of God’s people. Isaiah 66:7-10 & Mic.5:3. So, the first readers were familiar with this imagery and would understand that this is a looking forward to restoration.
If the first readers were familiar with this symbolism and they knew Christ had already come and is now sitting at the right hand of God:
Heb 1:3 & 8:1
..then they would read this as the church waiting (laboring) for Jesus’ second coming. (Oh! That’s a different way to look at it!)
This kind’a makes sense to me in the chronological sort of way. Especially when the text goes on to say that after the battle, the “accuser..has been hurled down.”(12:10). We know that hasn’t happened yet! Satan is still in front of God to this day bringing accusations before Him. That is why each person needs Jesus to intercede for them (Rom 8:34).
Anyway, I thought I would throw out a different way to interpret this section so you have something new to chew on today!