The woman and the great red snake
1 A very wonderful thing then appeared in the sky. I saw a woman who was wearing the sun like her clothes. The moon was under her feet. A crown of 12 stars was on her head. 2 She was pregnant. She screamed with pain as she tried to give birth to her baby.
3 Then another wonderful thing appeared in the sky. It was a very big red dragon. It had seven heads and ten horns. There was a crown on each head. 4 Its tail beat away a third of the stars from the sky. It threw them down on the earth. Then the dragon stood in front of the woman who would soon give birth to her baby. He was waiting there to eat her child as soon as he was born. 5 The woman gave birth to a son. He was a man who would rule all the nations of the world with strong authority. Then someone quickly took her child away. He went up to God and to his throne. 6 The woman ran away into the wilderness. God had prepared a special place to keep her safe there for 1,260 days.
7 Then a war started in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. The dragon and his army of angels fought against Michael and his angels. 8 But the dragon and his army were not strong enough to win the battle. They no longer had a place for themselves in heaven. 9 Michael and his angels threw the great dragon out of heaven. The dragon is called the Devil or Satan. He is the snake who has been there since long ago. He tells lies to deceive the whole world. They threw him down to the earth, together with all his angels. 10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven that said:
12:7The Bible tells us that the angel Michael is a powerful angel. He is a leader of God's angels. See Jude 1:9 and Daniel 10:13, 21; 12:1.
‘Now God has saved his people from Satan's power!
God has shown his great power as King.
His Messiah has authority to rule.
Satan said bad things against our people.
He never stopped telling our God that our brothers and sisters are guilty.
But now God has thrown him out of heaven.
11 Our brothers and sisters fought against him and they won.
They could do this because of the death of the Lamb as a sacrifice.
They continued to speak God's true message.
They were also ready to die as God's servants.
That is why they were able to win against Satan.
12 So be happy, everyone who lives in heaven!
But terrible trouble will happen to the earth and the sea.
The Devil has come down to you now and he is very angry.
He knows that he has only a short time to hurt people.’
13 The dragon realized that they had thrown him down to the earth. So he chased after the woman who had given birth to the baby boy. He wanted to catch her. 14 But the woman received the two wings of a very big eagle. Then she could fly to the place in the wilderness that God had prepared for her. In that place God would keep her safe from the big snake. God would take care of her there for a time, times and half a time.
15 Then the dragon poured lots of water out of his mouth like a river. He wanted the river of water to carry the woman away. 16 But a big hole opened in the ground. The river that poured from the dragon's mouth went down into the hole. That helped the woman to escape. 17 As a result, the dragon was very angry with the woman. So he went away to fight a war against her other descendants. Those are the people who obey God's commands. They continue to trust Jesus and to speak his message.
12:17The ‘woman’ is like a picture of God's people. In verses 1-5, perhaps she is Israel's people and the boy that is born is Jesus. In verses 6 and 13-17, she is like all the Christians on the earth. The Devil is the enemy of all Christians.
18 After that, the dragon stood on the shore of the sea.