Excursus 10 - The woman in heaven.



The conventional lines of interpretation.

A new unconventional interpretation.


The conventional lines of interpretation.

The text.

A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman.

Rev 12,1 A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; 12,2 and she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth.

12,3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. 12,4 And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child.

12,5 And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne. 12,6 Then the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God, so that there she would be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days. Rev 12, 1- 6;


The Catholic and/or Catholic Orthodox view.

The "woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars" is interpreted as Mary, the "Queen of Heaven", "Queen of grace", and "Mother of God" in the Roman Catholic Church and the Christian Orthodox Churches and has to be venerated and worshiped, especially by the Catholics on account of several dogmas relating to this, as "substitute mediator" in addition to Christ.

And in this connection it has to be got straight clearly that this idol figure does not have anything in common with the mother of the Lord - indeed, absolutely nothing. We have in the Scriptures the statement of the Lord:

No one comes to the Father but through Me.

Jn 14,6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. Jn 14, 6;


Therefore we know that there is no other way to God than through Jesus Christ and his sacrifice on the cross for our sins. And the Lord tells us also,

You shall worship the LORD your God, and serve Him only.

Mt 4,10 Then Jesus said to him, "Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and serve Him only.’" Mt 4,10;


In the Catholic Church, however, Mary has been worshiped as the "Holy Virgin" since the year 431 A.D. In order to veil the distinctions between Jesus Christ and this Catholic idol for the people of the church gradually, in 1854 the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary who is free of the original sin was adopted as a dogma. This means that Mary had been conceived by her mother, Ann, without original sin and is the attempt of an apery of the divine birth of Jesus Christ.

This invention of the Catholic Church does not have any foundation in the entire Bible. Least of all Mary, the mother of the Lord, has demanded that herself. She says of herself,

And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.

Lk 1,46 And Mary said: "My soul exalts the Lord, 1,47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. 1,48 "For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave; For behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed. 1,49 "For the Mighty One has done great things for me; And holy is His name. 1,50 "And His mercy is upon generation after generation toward those who fear Him. Lk 1,46-50;


With that she admitted that she herself needs a Savior and Redeemer, namely her son, our Lord, and therefore was born in sin just as all of us.

And when the Catholic Church again and again quotes Rev 12,1-2 as proof of the fact that Mary was conceived by her mother, Ann, immaculately and without original sin and ascended into heaven, and maintains that Mary is meant by this "woman", one has to read the subsequent verse, too, where it says, "and she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth".

However, as Gen 3,16 tells us, "To the woman He said, "I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children!" the pains at the birth of a child are a consequence of the original sin. If now this "woman" in Rev 12,1-2 should be Mary, she consequently cannot be without original sin, for otherwise she would not have any pains during the birth of her child. But if one insists on the assertion that Mary was born without original sin, the woman from Rev 12,1-2 cannot be Mary on the other hand.

(See also Discourse 52: “Can the actions of Mary avert the prophecies of the Bibl for the end-time?”)


In the theology of the more recent time the "woman" from Rev 12 is also often interpreted as "God's wisdom", the "sophia" (sophia = Greek: wisdom). But what sense would it make if the wisdom of God was persecuted by Satan and had to hide from the Devil in the desert – just to show only a few consequences of this view. In a similar way as in the interpretation as the "Virgin Mary" also here a partial statement (sect/sector = Latin: section) of this text is inadmissibly interpreted isolated from the context.

The Protestant and/or evangelical view.

In the Protestant Churches and in most of the free-church denominations the "congregation of Jesus Christ", the "congregation of all times", and the "worldwide Christian congregation" is seen in the text from Rev 12,1-2. As justification it is over and over again put forward that it was the congregation which – in the spiritual sense - gave birth to the "male child" (Rev 12,5), that is to say Jesus Christ.

It seems, however, that here the chronological order – no matter if spiritual or not spiritual – is plainly and simply reversed. It was not the congregation which gave birth to Jesus Christ, but it was Jesus Christ who brought with the Apostles the congregation into the world.

Due to the rash and wrong reference to the "woman" from Rev 12,1-2 as the origin of the congregation, we obviously fail to see that we find quite a concrete hint at the congregation of Christ and its symbols in the Scriptures. In Rev 1,12-13 John sees the Son of Man, that is to say Jesus Christ, standing in the middle of seven golden lampstands and holding seven stars in his right hand.

The seven golden lampstands and the seven stars.

Rev 1,12 Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands; 1,13 and in the middle of the lampstands I saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash. 1,14 His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire. 1,15 His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. 1,16 In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength. Rev 1,12-16;


This symbolism of the seven golden lampstands and the seven stars in the hand of the Son of Man is then explained in Rev 1,20:

The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

Rev 1,20 "As for the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches. Rev 1,20;


So, it is the seven stars in the right hand of the Lord and the seven golden lampstands, which represent the congregation of Jesus Christ and with that the entire Christian world and not the "crown of twelve stars" on the head of the "woman" from Rev 12,1-2.

(See also Discourse 15: “Who is the ‘bride of the Lamb’?”)

A new, unconventional interpretation.

A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet.

But who exactly is now this "woman" from Rev 12,1-2? When we - according to the well-proven method of serious exegesis - proceed from the assumption that Scriptures can only be interpreted by Scriptures again, we must set in with those statements, which are unambiguously confirmed by the Scriptures. In our case this is the son who was born by the woman in Rev 12,5.

She gave birth to a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron.

Rev 12,5 And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne. Rev 12, 5;


The son, who "is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron" is a reference to Ps 2,6-9:

You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware.

Ps 2,6 "But as for Me, I have installed My King Upon Zion, My holy mountain." 2,7 "I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. 2,8 ‘Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, And the very ends of the earth as Your possession. 2,9 ‘You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware.’" Ps 2, 6-9;;


The fact that this promise in the psalms is now to be related to the Lord Jesus, will not be doubted by anyone and so we can interpret the male child from Rev 12,5 as Jesus Christ, the Son of God, on account of the uniform message of the text. As already mentioned above, the woman who gave birth to him can therefore not be the congregation, since we as the congregation are successors and spiritual descendants of the Lord and not his predecessors.

But when we read the first chapter of Matthew, it is not difficult to make out the descent of the Lord. It is, of course, the people of Israel, and therefore also the woman in heaven is to be identified as the people of Israel. A further confirmation of this view is the crown of twelve stars on her head.

A woman and on her head a crown of twelve stars.

Rev 12,1 A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; 12,2 and she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth. Rev 12, 1- 2;


These twelve stars stand for the twelve tribes of Israel. This woman "is with child, and cries out, being in labor and in pain to give birth". Consequently, also here only the (spiritual) birth of the Son of God can be meant.

The "labor" of the woman, that is to say of the people of Israel, becomes understandable, when one bears in mind - on the basis of the Gospels - how unwelcome this Jesus of Nazareth was with the religious as well as with the political leaders of the Israel of that time.

In connection with the woman we are interested in the following two verses above all in the statements in the second part of verse 4:

The dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child.

Rev 12,3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. 12,4 And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child. Rev 12, 3- 4;


The dragon stands here before the woman so that he might devour her child when it is born. This, too, is once more a hint at the birth of the Lord and the murder of the children by Herod in Bethlehem (Mt 2,13-18). The serpent has tried from the very beginning to eliminate the one who will crush its head once.

He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.

Gen 3,15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel." Gen 3,15;


We have already looked at the following verse, Rev 12,5, above because of its statement about the child "who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron" and have interpreted it as a hint at the Lord. But also the second part of this verse refers to the Lord who was caught up to the Father in heaven after his death.

And her child was caught up to God and to His throne.

Rev 12,5 And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne. Rev 12, 5;


And in verse Rev 12,6 it is now said of the woman that she fled into the wilderness.

Then the woman fled into the wilderness.

Rev 12,6 Then the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God, so that there she would be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days. Rev 12, 6;


We have now above identified the woman as the people of Israel and the son as our Lord Jesus Christ and consequently, we have to ask ourselves in this connection, what now happened to the woman, that is to say to the people of Israel, after the son had been caught up into heaven, in order to find an explanation for the symbol of the "wilderness".

However, it does not need any profound explanations in order to realize that in all probability the dispersion of the people of Israel from the year 70 A.D. on, that is to say after the destruction of the temple by Titus, is meant here by the flight into the "wilderness".

For all Israelites – and not only for them – a definite event is connected with the "wilderness". Namely their forty-year migration through the wilderness because of the impenitence of the people (Num 14,33). They had to stay that long in the wilderness then, until also the very last one of this impenitent generation had died. Only then their God permitted them to enter the Promised Land. Also the scribe of the Epistle to the Hebrews alludes to this in his argumentation.

For forty years I was angry with this generation.

Hbr 3,7 Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, "Today if you hear His voice, 3,8 Do not harden your hearts as when they provoked Me, as in the day of trial in the wilderness, 3,9 where your fathers tried Me by testing Me, and saw My works for forty years. 3,10 "Therefore I was angry with this generation, and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart, and they did not know My ways’; 3,11 as I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’" Heb 3, 7-11;


So it was at that time a punitive measure and as it seems also the dispersion of the Diaspora in the "wilderness" after the death of the Lord was a punishment for the people of Israel, because they had rejected their Messiah and with that their God.

In this connection it must be said that the expression "Diaspora" is strictly speaking not quite fitting, for this describes for the Jews only the migrations in the course of the centuries. But what is meant here, is the "galut", that is to say the expulsion of the Jews from their homeland by force. And here the Israelite history knows five altogether: the Babylonian, the Medo-Persian, the Greek, and the Roman galut. This last galut, the Roman one, began with the destruction of the second temple by Titus in the year 70 and lasted up to 1948, when the Israelites could return to their land again.

However, as it says now in Rev 12,6, Israel should be "nourished" at its place in the wilderness of the Diaspora, that is to say it should be preserved in its existence. And indeed, Israel did not cease to exist as a strain although it had been dispersed for almost two thousand years – in contrast to a good many other peoples of that time. Also the Lord Jesus has prophesied this already to his Disciples:

This generation will not pass away until all these things take place.

Mt 24,34 "Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Mt 24,34;


With the flight of the woman into the "wilderness", that is to say the dispersion of Israel all over the world, we would be now within the framework of this partial vision of the Revelation in the time of the Diaspora.

The war in heaven.

However, with Rev 12,7 a new period starts and therefore the question arises here for the first time if this passage in Rev 12,7-9 has to do with a parallelism, which occurs very frequently in the Hebrew literature in general and also in the Bible (Psalms) and according to which the following text is only a repetition of the preceding text from Rev 12,4a in other words (synonymous parallelism) or if this describes a new, independent event (see also the table below).

And there was war in heaven.

Rev 12,7 And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, 12,8 and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. 12,9 And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. Rev 12, 7- 9;


The suspicion that this could be a parallelism, is based on two events: the fall of the stars/angels upon the earth in Rev 12,4a and 12,7-9 and the flight of the woman into the wilderness in Rev 12,6 and 12,14-16.

As far as the "fall of the stars" is concerned, one could argue that the dragon is to be seen as the causer of the war in heaven in Rev 12,7-9 and that he is therefore here in Rev 12,4a anticipated as the one who swept away a third of the "stars of heaven" with his tail and threw them to the earth – that is to say according to Rev 12,7-9 those angels who wage war with him against Michael and his angels – with the throw of the stars to the earth symbolizing the defeat in this war.

As for the flight of the woman, the situation is in both cases – Rev 12,6 and Rev 12,14-16 – that she goes into the wilderness. The fact that she one time "flees" and the other time "flies" could be regarded as a different description of the same event. Also the differing indication of the time – 1260 days and three and a half times – could be classified as insignificant on account of the fact that after all the time amounts in both cases to three and a half years. In order to get also a better optical grasp here, chapter Rev 12 is subsequently represented with the proper assignments:


The woman, the male child and the dragon.


Rev 12,1 A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars;
12,2 and she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth.
12,3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems.


















12,4a And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth.


12,7 And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon.
12,8 and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven.
12,9 And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.








12,4b And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child.
12,5 And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne.








12,10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, "Now the salvation, and the power,and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night.
12,11 "And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.
12,12 "For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.
12,13 And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child.




12,6 Then the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God, so that there she would be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.









12,14 But the two wings of the great eagle were  given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.
12,15 And the serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood.
12,16 But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and drank up the river which the dragon poured out of his mouth.







12,17 So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. Rev 12, 1-17;



In the table above those texts which could prove to be a parallelism are compared to each other and doubly enframed. According to that the contents of Rev 12,4a and Rev 12,7-9 would have to be seen as different descriptions of one and the same event. The same would apply to the statements from Rev 12,6 and Rev 12,14-16.

However, when we now class the texts at the top and at the bottom of this table in the sense of a parallelism under a single event each time that is identical with regard to time and contents, the inevitable consequence of this is that also the two texts in the middle, that is to say Rev 12,4b-5 and Rev 12,10-13 have to show such a connection with regard to time and contents.

And this is now where the difficulties start. The one text (Rev 12,4b) talks of the fact that after the war in heaven the dragon (Rev 12,4a) stood before the woman who was about to give birth. The other text says that the dragon after this war in heaven (this time Rev 12,7-9), persecuted the woman who had, however, already given birth to the child in this case.

In this connection one has the impression, anyway, that Rev 12,10-13 do not fit together with Rev 12,4b-5 neither with regard to time nor with regard to contents. Although we have to assign this first part of Rev 12 to the time of Jesus unmistakably, on account of the statements concerning the birth of the son and his ascension to God, the second part (Rev 12,7-17) rather seems to take place in the last days.

So, the statement of the loud voice from Rev 12,10, "Now … the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come …" is a consistent continuation, as far as contents is concerned, of the statement contained in Rev 11,15, 14 verses before, where the loud voices there say, "The kingdom of the world has become of our Lord and of His Christ …". And here we are, as far as time is concerned, already at the seventh and last trumpet – that is to say in the middle of the last days.

The "brethren", who are mentioned in verse 10, are also referred to in verse 11. And also here one gets the impression that the martyrs of the last days are meant by that, on account of the hints at the blood of the Lamb, at the word of their testimony, and at the fact that they did not love their lives even when faced with death.

The only verse which seems to unite the two parts of this prophecy – Rev 12,1-6 on the one hand and Rev 12,7-17 on the other hand – as far as time is concerned, is verse 13, where once again reference is made to the woman who gave birth to the child. But also this designation of the woman in this verse as the one "who gave birth to the male child" rather seems to be a merely identifying description ("the woman who gave birth to the child at that time") than that an immediately preceding event of birth would be meant by that.

Finally, also the consequence, namely that in the case of an interpretation as parallelism the war in heaven must have taken place before the birth of the Lord (Rev 12,4-5), is not confirmed by the Scriptures (see below).

On the basis of this analysis it can now be excluded most probably that the events from Rev 12,4a – the throwing to the earth of a third of the stars by the dragon – and Rev 12,7-9 – the throwing down to the earth of the dragon and his angels by Michael and his angels – are identical events with regard to time and contents.

But with that also the thesis of parallelism cannot be upheld any longer and subsequently also the two "evacuations" of the woman into the wilderness in Rev 12,6 and Rev 12,14-16 are to be regarded as two separate events.

Under this new point of view the differences in the text which were already mentioned above shall be pointed out here once again:

The dragon:

-  In Rev 12,4 it is the dragon, who throws the stars of heaven to the earth with his tail.

-  In Rev 12,9 it is Michael and his angels, who throw the dragon and his angels down to the earth.


The woman:

-  In Rev 12,6 it is said of the woman that she fled into the wilderness, where she had a place prepared by God. There she would be nourished for 1260 days.

-  In Rev 12,14 she was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she could fly to her place, where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time, far from the presence of the serpent.


Let us now have a closer look at these deviations in the text in order to find further hints at the differences of these events.

Although the term "stars of heaven" is used in the Scriptures either for the actual stars (the sun, the moon, and the stars of heaven) or as an expression for an innumerable quantity ("Israel is multiplied like the stars of heaven"), in this case it seems to be a synonym for the angels. We also have a parallel passage to that from Dan 8:

It caused some of the host and some of the stars to fall to the earth, and it trampled them down.

Dan 8,9 Out of one of them came forth a rather small horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Beautiful Land. 8,10 It grew up to the host of heaven and caused some of the host and some of the stars to fall to the earth, and it trampled them down. 8,11 It even magnified itself to be equal with the Commander of the host; and it removed the regular sacrifice from Him, and the place of His sanctuary was thrown down. Dan 8, 9-11;


Here, there is talk about the "small horn", which came up out of one of the four horns (Seleucus) of the Greek Diadochi empires, that is to say out of Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who can be regarded as the precursor of the Antichrist and who got his power by Satan in a similar way as the Antichrist.

And obviously also Antiochus had the authority to throw some of the stars of heaven down to the earth and to even trample them down. But as it is clear from the context, these hosts of heaven were certainly no adherents of Satan, but on the contrary his adversaries.

And this casts now again a new light on the text from Rev 12,4a, "his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth". Bearing in mind Dan 8,10 this would mean that the dragon threw here stars – that is to say angels – of Michael from heaven down to the earth. But with that exactly the contrary of that what happens at the war in heaven, in Rev 12,7-9, where the dragon himself and his angels are defeated and thrown from heaven down to the earth, would have happened here.

So, this event in Rev 12,4a does not only seem to be not identical with Rev 12,7-9, but it seems to be on the contrary even one of the causes for the final war in heaven. First Satan had thrown the third part of the angels from heaven down to the earth and only then Michael and the remaining angels started the fight and executed the Judgment of God.

And with that also the problem of the chronological order of Rev 12,4-9 is solved:

-  First the dragon throws a third of the angels from heaven down to the earth (in a fight?)

-  Then he places himself in front of the woman in order to devour her child, but does not succeed in it

-  The woman gives birth to the male child, who is caught up to God and His throne

-  The woman flees into the wilderness for 1260 days where she has a place prepared by God

Michael and his angels fight in heaven against the dragon and his angels

-  The dragon loses the fight in heaven and is thrown down to the earth with his angels


So, this would be a plausible argumentation, from which it can be concluded that Rev 12,4a and 12,7-9 are two events which are completely separated from each other. But as we now refused to accept the thesis of parallelism, we inevitably also have to find an explanation for the difference between Rev 12,6 and 12,14-16.

If we take a closer look at Rev 12,13-17, it is indeed strange that all of a sudden there is talk about the woman here again.

And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman.

Rev 12,13 And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child. 12,14 But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time, far from the presence of the serpent. Rev 12,13-14;


We found out above in Rev 12,6 that the woman escaped into the wilderness and was unreachable for the dragon. If we now compare the formulation and the contents of the two texts, it seems, however, that also here two different events are described. While in Rev 12,6 it simply says "the woman fled into the wilderness", Rev 12,14 formulates, "But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place". These are not only two different formulations, the statement from Rev 12,14 that the woman "flew to her place" in the wilderness, insinuates that this "place" already existed and was also known to her – namely from Rev 12,6 - and that the woman now, when the dragon persecutes her again, returns again to that place in the wilderness.

And finally the indications for the time during which the woman is nourished in the wilderness. In Rev 12,6 it is "one thousand two hundred and sixty days", in Rev 12,14 "a time and times and half a time". Although this is in the final analysis the period of three and a half years, it can be inferred from the parallel passages in the Revelation that with these different designations also different periods of time are meant: So, the 1260 days are there, for instance, the time of the two witnesses, the three and a half times, however, the time of the Antichrist.

(See also Table 16: “The week of seven years.”)

The fact that the three and a half times of the woman in the wilderness correspond with the time of the antichristian reign (Dan 7,25; 12,7), is, by the way, also put forward by some advocates of the view that this woman represents the congregation, as a confirmation of the fact that the congregation will be taken to a "place of salvage" in this time and will be saved from the persecutions. But this interpretation does not bear closer scrutiny. As we can gather from the eschatological discourses of the Lord in Lk 21,34-36 and Mt 24,24-25; 40-41, even at the end of this time of tribulation there will still be some "elect" persons among the people of the world – and they will not be isolated at a "place of salvage".

(See also Table 05: “Synopsis of the Lord’s eschatological discourses.”)

Therefore, from today's point of view no absolute assignment of these indications of time that are to be found with the woman in heaven (Rev 12,6 and 14) to the statements to the same effect in the Revelation and with Daniel can be made - at least for the 1260 days. There is, however, one thing that we can derive very well from it, namely the realization that Rev 12,6 and 14 are two events which are separated from each other as far as time is concerned with a similar, but in no way identical course of action.

So, the dragon persecutes the woman again. And as the woman had already fled into the wilderness according to Rev 12,6, the question arises, therefore, when the woman had returned. If now the interpretation at issue, namely the one of the woman as the people of Israel is correct, this would have had to happen when Israel returned again from the "wilderness" of the Diaspora into its land. But that event would take us to the year 1948 and the foundation of a state in Israel.

In order to escape the new persecution by the dragon, the woman is now once again sent back "to her place in the wilderness". The premise that the Scriptural quotation has to be fulfilled (in innumerable texts), which is speaking of the gathering of the Israelites "from the four corners of the earth" (Isa 11,12) in the last days, just implies that the people of Israel of today that has returned to its land, has to go through a further – the last – dispersion in the last days in order to be able to be again gathered - this time by God.

By the way, this view of things also conforms with the approach which sees the repatriation of Israel since the year 1948 as an action that was arranged and managed by men – namely by Theodor Herzl and his Zionists – and not the gathering of God’s people in the last days which was promised by Him. So far, from 1948 to today, not a single one of the prophesied preconditions which are in connection therewith, such as the return of Israel to its God, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the people of Israel, the hint that the Israelites will weepingly look for their God at this event, the end of wars, and many other things more, have been fulfilled. All of this will not happen before the last days, at the beginning of the Millennium.

Among many other passages we find this special connection, namely that Israel will be in the "wilderness" (and not yet in its land), when God gives it back its "vineyards", also documented in detail with the prophet Hosea.

I will allure her, bring her into the wilderness and speak kindly to her.

Hos 2,14 Therefore, behold, I will allure her, bring her into the wilderness and speak kindly to her. 2,15 Then I will give her her vineyards from there, And the valley of Achor as a door of hope. And she will sing there as in the days of her youth, As in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt. 2,16 "It will come about in that day," declares the LORD, "That you will call Me “Ishi” – my husband - and will no longer call Me Baali. 2,17 "For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, So that they will be mentioned by their names no more.

2,18 "In that day I will also make a covenant for them With the beasts of the field, The birds of the sky And the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish the bow, the sword and war from the land, And will make them lie down in safety. 2,19 "I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, In loving kindness and in compassion, 2,20 And I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. Then you will know the LORD.

2,21 "It will come about in that day that I will respond," declares the LORD. "I will respond to the heavens, and they will respond to the earth, 2,22 And the earth will respond to the grain, to the new wine and to the oil, And they will respond to Jezreel. 2,23 "I will sow her for Myself in the land. I will also have compassion on her who had not obtained compassion, And I will say to those who were not My people, ‘You are My people!’ And they will say, ‘You are my God!’" Hos 2,14-23;


Also here there is talk about a "woman", also she is led into the wilderness by God and also here the people of God from Israel is meant which will call its God "My husband" and which the Lord wants to get engaged to for all eternity (Hos 2,16.18.21). And we see in the context that here this "woman", that is to say the people of God from Israel, is not only promised the engagement with her God, but also the Kingdom of Peace of its Messiah with all the well-known blessings, such as the remission of sins, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, fertility, peace, and life in the presence of God on earth.

(See also Chapter 10: “The Millennium.”)

Another argument, which speaks for the thesis of the new dispersion, is the fact that the "two wings of the great eagle" are mentioned in Rev 12,14. This alludes to the fact that Israel will be led by God at the last dispersion.

But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman.

Rev 12,14 But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time, far from the presence of the serpent. Rev 12,14;


This text obviously refers to Ex 19,3-4.23,20, where the Lord describes the sheltered flight of Israel from Egypt with these words.

How I bore you on eagles’ wings, and brought you to Myself.

Ex 19,3 Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him from the mountain, saying, "Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob and tell the sons of Israel: 19,4 ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings, and brought you to Myself. Ex 19, 3- 4;

I am going to send an angel before you to bring you into the place which I have prepared.

Ex 23,20 "Behold, I am going to send an angel before you to guard you along the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared. Ex 23,20;


Also at that time Israel was led by God into the wilderness "on eagles' wings" and one can very well conclude from that that Israel will have to flee once again also this last time, however – similarly as in those days in Egypt – under the protection of its God. This view is also supported by the next two verses Rev 12,15-16.

And the serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman.

Rev 12,15 And the serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood. 12,16 But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and drank up the river which the dragon poured out of his mouth. Rev 12,15-16;


Here it is the serpent who tries to sweep away the woman, the people of Israel, by a torrent of water. In those days, at the flight from Egypt, it was the sea, which obstructed the Israelites and impeded their flight. But God made the sea part and prepared a street for His people so that they could go through it dry-shod. And also in Rev 12,16 we perceive the protection of the Lord over His people of Israel when it says there, "But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and drank up the river which the dragon poured out of his mouth".

The fall of Satan – an event at the time of Jesus?

On the basis of the analysis above the text from Rev 12,7-17 could be assigned to the last days as far as time and contents are concerned without any problems now, unless there were quite unambiguous statements of the Lord that at least the war in heaven, that is to say Rev 12,7-9, must have taken place during his lifetime.

During this war Satan is thrown from heaven down to the earth and we have several hints of the Lord at this fall of Satan from heaven in the Gospels. In Jn 12,31 the Lord says, "Now (…) the ruler of this world will be cast out".

Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out.

Jn 12,28 "Father, glorify Your name." Then a voice came out of heaven: "I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again." 12,29 So the crowd of people who stood by and heard it were saying that it had thundered; others were saying, "An angel has spoken to Him." 12,30 Jesus answered and said, "This voice has not come for My sake, but for your sakes. 12,31 "Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. Jn 12,28-31;


This means that that war in heaven between Michael and his angels and Satan and his angels took place at the time when the Lord Jesus was on earth. This is also confirmed by the statement of the Lord "the ruler of the world is coming" in Jn 14,30:

I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming.

Jn 14,28 "You heard that I said to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 14,29 "Now I have told you before it happens, so that when it happens, you may believe. 14,30 "I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me; 14,31 but so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded Me. Get up, let us go from here. Jn 14,28-31;


We then get another confirmation in Jn 16,11 and Lk 10,18, where the Lord talks of this event already in the perfect: The ruler of this world has been judged!

He will convict the world concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.

Jn 16,7 "But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. 16,8 "And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; 16,9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; 16,10 and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; 16,11 and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. Jn 16, 7-11;

I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning.

Lk 10,17 The seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name." 10,18 And He said to them, "I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning. Lk 10,17-18;


The text in Rev 12,10-11 contains now two important hints: First we realize in the statement, "Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come" that only now, after this war in heaven, the kingdom of God in heaven (but not yet on earth!) could be materialized in its full extent. Up to this time Satan and his angels have obviously always prevented that the will of God would be done in heaven without any restriction. We also perceive the proof in the Scriptures of the fact that from this time on heaven is free from satanic powers which could conflict with the will of God, in the prayer that the Lord taught us to pray.

Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.

Mt 6,9 "Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 6,10 ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Mt 6, 9-10;


This "as it is in heaven" presupposes that there the will of God is already done without any restriction and the request "on earth" gives evidence of the fact that this is not yet the case on earth.

Now, all these passages from the Bible prove quite unambiguously that the fall of Satan and with that the war in heaven were events at the time of Jesus. But with that assumption we have a problem in the interpretation of Rev 12,7-17 in so far as we then have there quite an abrupt leap in time from the time of Jesus to the last days.

But even if – or just because - the remainder of the text from Rev 12,7-17 is in all likelihood to be assigned to the last days, none of the two possibilities should be excluded, but they must be left as they are side by side until an explanation is possibly found one day.

The rest of her children.

While in the further analysis we can interpret the "water" that the dragon pours out after the woman as crowds of Gentiles and persecutors of the "woman", the symbol of the "earth", which often stands in the Scriptures for the religiously – not necessarily Christian! – motivated mankind (see also Rev 13: the first beast from the sea and the second beast from the earth), cannot be explained really satisfactorily for the time being in this connection.

So the dragon went off to make war with the rest of her children.

Rev 12,15 And the serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood. 12,16 But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and drank up the river which the dragon poured out of his mouth. 12,17 So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. Rev 12,15-17;


In verse Rev 12,17 we learn, however, that these persecutions now, after the flight of the "woman", shift to the "rest of her children". So, this "rest of her children" must have something in common with this "woman". First of all, they belong to the same seed and therefore, they must have the same descent as she. But then it also says that they keep the Commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. And although it does not find expression in that clearness here, we can very well proceed from the assumption that these attributes also apply to the "woman" – since she is of the same seed. Therefore, also the "woman" must have shown the same behavior as this "rest of her children", she must have kept the Commandments of God and must have held to the testimony of Jesus. And we find the metaphor "testimony of Jesus" also explained somewhat later, in Rev 19,10:

The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

Rev 19,10 Then I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, "Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." Rev 19,10;


So, those who hold the "testimony of Jesus", hold the spirit of prophecy, they are - according to that - prophets. Therefore, this "rest of her children" and also the "woman" herself are to be seen as prophets. As we have interpreted the woman here as the people of Israel and as the Israelites as a whole are certainly not to be seen as prophets, there is actually only one interpretation suggesting itself: It is the spirit of the prophets – also and especially of the Old Covenant – which lives on in the people of Israel, but which cannot make itself felt due to the impenitence of the Israelites.

Therefore, also this "rest of her children" in Rev 12,17 have to be interpreted as prophets and therefore it is also interesting that the Greek word, which stands here for the "rest" also means and especially means "remainder", "remains", but also "future". And seen from that point of view the statement "the rest of her children", which could rather mean "all the others" as it stands here, has a somewhat different background. It is not "all the others", but some few, namely the remaining rest (in the future), against which the dragon will fight here.

And also here the context from the preceding 11th and the subsequent 13th chapter gives us an explanation. In Rev 11,3 it is said of the two witnesses of God,

My two witnesses will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days.

Rev 11,3 "And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth." Rev 11, 3;


So, they will prophesy and are, therefore, prophets. This is, by the way, also confirmed in Rev 11,10:

These two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.

Rev 11,10 And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and celebrate; and they will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth. Rev 11,10;


As prophets they are now also "children" of the woman. Verse Rev 11,7 also tells us then that the beast from the abyss will fight with them and overcome and kill them:

The beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them.

Rev 11,7 When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them. Rev 11, 7;


In Rev 13,1 we then find this beast, as the dragon makes it ascend out of the abyss of the sea.

Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea.

Rev1 3,1 And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore. Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names. Rev 13, 1;


And it is this beast, which gets all its authority and power, and even its throne from Satan and personifies with that the dragon itself, that finally will fight with the two witnesses, the prophets, and the saints of God and will overcome and kill them.

It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them.

Rev 13,7 It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him. Rev 13, 7;


With the death of these two prophets now even the last children of the woman are eliminated and the beast, the Antichrist, can put up and expand his sway without any hindrance.

But as we know from the Scriptures, this reign of his will be only of a short duration. After approximately three and a half years the return of the Lord will put an end to this toil. In a new fight – this time on the earth, in Israel – the Antichrist and with him also the dragon and Satan will be defeated. Whereas the Antichrist will be immediately thrown into the lake of fire with his false prophet, Satan will for the time being be imprisoned in the abyss for a thousand years.

(See also Chapter 07: “The Battle of Armageddon.”)

But then the woman will return to Israel. God will gather his people from all corners of the world and they will come to their land weeping, and the Holy Spirit will be poured out over them. And then also this spirit of the prophets will be aroused in them again, and on that day all those prophecies will come true, which could not be fulfilled in 1948, because time had not come for them yet.

This "gathering 1948" took place without the will of God and is comparable with the situation of the people of Israel in the wilderness in those days, when they did not want to wait for the return of Moses from Mount Sinai (Ex 32,1-9) and made themselves a golden calf and worshiped this as their God. Also in those days they had delayed the goal of the entry into the Promised Land that was so close at hand by forty years due to their own fault. And also in those days the situation was as it is quoted from the Psalms by the writer of the Epistle to the Israelites (Hebrews) – which they, unfortunately, have not read yet up to this day: They should not – yet – come to the peace of their God.

They always go astray in their heart, and they did not know My ways.

Hbr 3,10 "Therefore I was angry with this generation, and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart, and they did not know My ways’; 3,11 as I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter in My rest.’" Heb 3,10-11;