12:3 a great red dragon. This figure is identified as Satan, the devil, in v. 9. The image of a dragon depicts Satan in his monstrous power and hideous enmity against God. Satan has constantly opposed the plans of God and has been repeatedly defeated in the great acts of God’s saving power (Gen. 3:1, 15; Ps. 74:13, 14; Is. 27:1; 51:9, 10; Ezek. 29:3; Luke 10:18; 11:14–23; John 12:31; Col. 2:15). He rises against the Messiah (vv. 4, 5) and His servants (v. 17) but will finally be consigned to everlasting punishment (20:10).