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Revelation 12 : The woman and the big red snake

v1 A great surprise appeared in *heaven. I saw a woman who was wearing the sun like clothes. The moon was under her feet and a *crown of 12 stars was on her head. v2 She was going to have a baby. And she screamed because the pain hurt her very much.

v3 Then another surprise appeared in *heaven. It was a very big red animal like a snake. It had 7 heads and 10 *horns, and there was a *crown on each head. v4 His tail drew a third of the stars out of the sky and threw them down on the earth. Then the big snake stood in front of the woman who was giving birth to the baby. He was waiting to eat her child as soon as it was born. v5 She gave birth to a son, who will rule all the countries with an iron stick. But someone quickly took her child up to God and to his *throne. v6 The woman ran away to a country place where nobody lives. God had prepared that place for her. He will feed her and keep her safe there for 1260 days.

v7 And there was a war in *heaven. Michael and his *angels fought against the big snake. And the big snake and his *angels fought back.

Verse 7 The 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 9:13 and 12:1.)

v8 But the big snake and his army did not win. They lost their place in *heaven. v9 Michael and his *angels threw the big snake out of *heaven. They threw him, and all his army of *angels, down to the earth. The name of that snake has always been the *Devil or *Satan. He always says what is not true. So, he causes the whole world to believe what is wrong. v10 Then I heard someone in *heaven say loudly:

‘Now God has caused his people to be safe and free!

God has shown his authority and power as King.

And his Christ has shown his authority.

They have thrown the *Devil out of *heaven!

The *Devil was the one who spoke against Christ’s servants.

  And they are like our brothers and sisters.

He continued to say bad things to God about them,

  he continued all day and all night.

v11 But our brothers and sisters beat him.

  Because the *Lamb died and his blood came out.

They beat the *Devil because they spoke what is true.

They were ready to die.

  They refused to stop saying what God has done for them.

v12 So be happy, everyone who lives in *heaven!

But you who live on the earth and the sea will have bad trouble.

The *Devil has come down to you now,

  and he is very angry.

He knows that he has only a short time.’

v13 The big snake saw that they had thrown him down to the earth. So, he ran after the woman who had given birth to the baby boy. He wanted to cause trouble for her. v14 The woman received two *wings, like the *wings of a very big bird called an eagle. Then she could fly to her country place where she would be safe from the big snake. God will feed her and keep her safe there for a time, times and half a time.

Verse 14 ‘A time, times (that is, 2 times) and half a time’ may mean 3˝ times, or 3˝ years. This is the same as 1260 days (see verse 6, and 11:3). It is also the same as 42 months (see 11:2 and 13:5). (See also Daniel 12:7.)

v15 Then the big snake sent water out of his mouth like a river. He was behind the woman. He wanted the water to carry her away. v16 But the ground was a help to the woman, so a big hole opened in the ground. Then the river that had come from the big snake’s mouth went down into the hole. v17 The big snake was very angry with the woman. So he went away to fight a war against her other children and grandchildren. They are all the people who obey God’s rules. They are the people who go on believing Jesus.

Verses 1-6 and 13-17 The ‘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.

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