target of his murderous attack and vengeance.
Chapter 12 stands out as a wonderful chapter. Let me reproduce the summarized review of Walter Scot on this: “The last verse of the previous chapter intimates that Israel comes of the prophetic scene, but not as viewed on earth, although actually there. The “sign” is in heaven, the first instance of the word in the Apocalypse (12:1). The woman is not the church but Israel. The church is the Bride of the Lamb (Rev.19:7). Israel is the mother of the Lord according to the flesh (Rom.9:5). The Male Son-a singular expression is - Christ, so called as he alone is the sum of human excellence, and by birth steps into the rights and dignities of Psalm 2. Who but He could shepherd the nations with a rod of iron.? Others through grace are associated with Him in the exercise of universal dominion (Rev.2:26,27). But the Male-Son (The Man-Child is the Lord Jesus Christ and none other) can only refer to One, the embodiment of all masculine virtue.
The woman is represented as the possessor of all supreme earthly authority-the Sun. The pale and silvery moon, the queen of the night is under her feet. She is royal in rank too, for on her head reposes, a crown in which is gathered up in grand display the fullness in earthly administration of all lesser powers-twelve stars. This is Israel as God sees her; not what she is now, nor even what she has been, but it is “great sign of what awaits her in Millennial times.
Another sign is then seen in “the Heaven.” A dragon, great, for he is the unseen yet mighty leader of the hosts of evil in the heavens and on earth; red because of his murderous character, delighting in bloodshed; with seven heads crowned with of eminent persons in the western part of the empire.
The dragon is Satan — the former denoting his character, the latter the personal opponent of Christ and adversary of the saints — who is witnessed confronting with murderous purpose the woman in order to destroy her seed. He is baffled, for the Son is caught up to God. The life and even death of the Lord, rich as these are in fundamental truth and teaching, are passed over in silence. The ascension follows the birth, all between being regarded as a parenthesis.
Then the woman flees into the wilderness, and we meet with another and yet more lengthened parenthesis. Between the ascension of the Man-Child and the woman’s flight, yet future, the history of Christianity comes in. The great point to lay hold of is the connection between Christ and Israel, not Christ and the Church, hence the two omitted parenthetic periods: (1) between the birth and ascension; (2) between the ascension and the flight.
Then follows the interesting account of the war in Heaven, introduced here to show why the woman had to flee. Satan and his angels are for ever cast down from Heaven, which fact, along with the knowledge that his career on earth is of brief duration, rouses his anger against the mother; previously his rage was directed against the Child. The means he employs to accomplish her ruin are in the providential ordering of God rendered ineffectual. Both the Son and the woman escape his vengeance. But individual God-fearing Jews become the objects of his murderous hate.
So closes this wonderful chapter, in which are grouped perhaps the greatest events related in this marvellous book. It is a chapter second to none in its range of subjects, and goes further back in its historical grasp than any other portion of the book. Who but God could have furnished such a connected grouping of events?”