New English Translation
The Woman, the Child, and the Dragon
12 Then[a] a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and with the moon under her feet, and on her head was a crown of twelve stars.[b] 2 She[c] was pregnant and was screaming in labor pains, struggling[d] to give birth. 3 Then[e] another sign appeared in heaven: a huge red dragon that had seven heads and ten horns, and on its heads were seven diadem crowns.[f] 4 Now[g] the dragon’s[h] tail swept away a third of the stars in heaven and hurled them to the earth. Then[i] the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child as soon as it was born. 5 So[j] the woman gave birth to a son, a male child,[k] who is going to rule[l] over all the nations[m] with an iron rod.[n] Her[o] child was suddenly caught up to God and to his throne, 6 and she[p] fled into the wilderness[q] where a place had been prepared for her[r] by God, so she could be taken care of[s] for 1,260 days.
War in Heaven
7 Then[t] war broke out in heaven: Michael[u] and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8 But[v] the dragon was not strong enough to prevail,[w] so there was no longer any place left[x] in heaven for him and his angels.[y] 9 So[z] that huge dragon—the ancient serpent, the one called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world—was thrown down to the earth, and his angels along with him. 10 Then[aa] I heard a loud voice in heaven saying,
“The salvation and the power
and the kingdom of our God,
and the ruling authority[ab] of his Christ,[ac] have now come,
because the accuser of our brothers and sisters,[ad]
the one who accuses them day and night[ae] before our God,
has been thrown down.
11 But[af] they overcame him
by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony,
and they did not love their lives[ag] so much that they were afraid to die.
12 Therefore you heavens rejoice, and all who reside in them!
But[ah] woe to the earth and the sea
because the devil has come down to you!
He[ai] is filled with terrible anger,
for he knows that he only has a little time!”
13 Now[aj] when the dragon realized[ak] that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14 But[al] the woman was given the two wings of a giant eagle so that she could fly out into the wilderness,[am] to the place God[an] prepared for her, where she is taken care of—away from the presence of the serpent—for a time, times, and half a time.[ao] 15 Then[ap] the serpent spouted water like a river out of his mouth after the woman in an attempt to[aq] sweep her away by a flood, 16 but[ar] the earth came to her rescue;[as] the ground opened up[at] and swallowed the river that the dragon had spewed from his mouth. 17 So[au] the dragon became enraged at the woman and went away to make war on the rest of her children,[av] those who keep[aw] God’s commandments and hold to[ax] the testimony about Jesus.[ay] 18 And the dragon[az] stood[ba] on the sand[bb] of the seashore.[bc]
- Revelation 12:1 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence within the narrative.
- Revelation 12:1 sn Sun…moon…stars. This imagery is frequently identified with the nation Israel because of Joseph’s dream in Gen 37.
- Revelation 12:2 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.
- Revelation 12:2 tn Grk “and being tortured,” though βασανίζω (basanizō) in this context refers to birth pangs. BDAG 168 s.v. 2.b states, “Of birth-pangs (Anth. Pal. 9, 311 βάσανος has this mng.) Rv 12:2.” The καί (kai) has not been translated.
- Revelation 12:3 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the vision.
- Revelation 12:3 tn For the translation of διάδημα (diadēma) as “diadem crown” see L&N 6.196.sn Diadem crowns were a type of crown used as a symbol of the highest ruling authority in a given area, and thus often associated with kingship.
- Revelation 12:4 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate that this remark is virtually parenthetical.
- Revelation 12:4 tn Grk “its”; the referent (the dragon) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Revelation 12:4 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the vision.
- Revelation 12:5 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the conclusion of the anticipated birth.
- Revelation 12:5 tn On this term BDAG 135 s.v. ἄρσην states: “male…The neut. ἄρσεν Rv 12:5, difft. vs. 13, comes fr. Is 66:7 and is in apposition to υἱόν. On the juxtaposition s. FBoll, ZNW 15, 1914, 253; BOlsson, Glotta 23, ’34, 112.”
- Revelation 12:5 tn Grk “shepherd.”
- Revelation 12:5 tn Or “all the Gentiles” (the same Greek word may be translated “Gentiles” or “nations”).
- Revelation 12:5 tn Or “scepter.” The Greek term ῥάβδος (rhabdos) can mean either “rod” or “scepter.” sn An allusion to Ps 2:9 (see also Rev 2:27; 19:15).
- Revelation 12:5 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.
- Revelation 12:6 tn Grk “and the woman,” which would be somewhat redundant in English.
- Revelation 12:6 tn Or “desert.”
- Revelation 12:6 tn Grk “where she has there a place prepared by God.”
- Revelation 12:6 tn Grk “so they can take care of her.”
- Revelation 12:7 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence within the narrative.
- Revelation 12:7 sn The archangel Michael had a special role in protecting the nation of Israel in the OT (Dan 10:13, 21; 12:1; see also Jude 9).
- Revelation 12:8 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the implied contrast.
- Revelation 12:8 tn The words “to prevail” are not in the Greek text, but are implied.
- Revelation 12:8 tn Grk “found.”
- Revelation 12:8 tn Grk “for them”; the referent (the dragon and his angels, v. 7) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Revelation 12:9 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the result of the war in heaven.
- Revelation 12:10 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the vision.
- Revelation 12:10 tn Or “the right of his Messiah to rule.” See L&N 37.35.
- Revelation 12:10 tn Or “Messiah”; both “Christ” (Greek) and “Messiah” (Hebrew and Aramaic) mean “one who has been anointed.”
- Revelation 12:10 tn Grk “brothers,” but the Greek word may be used for “brothers and sisters” or “fellow Christians” (cf. BDAG 18 s.v. ἀδελφός 1, where considerable nonbiblical evidence for the plural ἀδελφοί [adelphoi] meaning “brothers and sisters” is cited). The translation “fellow believer” would normally apply (L&N 11.23), but since the speaker(s) are not specified in this context, it is not clear if such a translation would be appropriate here. The more generic “brothers and sisters” was chosen to emphasize the fact of a relationship without specifying its type.
- Revelation 12:10 tn Or “who accuses them continually.”
- Revelation 12:11 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast.
- Revelation 12:11 sn They did not love their lives. See Matt 16:25; Luke 17:33; John 12:25.
- Revelation 12:12 tn The word “But” is not in the Greek text, but the contrast is clearly implied. This is a case of asyndeton (lack of a connective).
- Revelation 12:12 tn Grk “and is filled,” a continuation of the previous sentence. Because English tends to use shorter sentences (especially when exclamations are involved), a new sentence was started here in the translation.
- Revelation 12:13 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” because the clause it introduces is clearly resumptive.
- Revelation 12:13 tn Grk “saw.”
- Revelation 12:14 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast present here.
- Revelation 12:14 tn Or “desert.”
- Revelation 12:14 tn The word “God” is supplied based on the previous statements made concerning “the place prepared for the woman” in 12:6.
- Revelation 12:14 tc The reading “and half a time” (καὶ ἥμισυ καιροῦ, kai hēmisu kairou) is lacking in the significant majuscule C. Its inclusion, however, is supported by P47 א A and the rest of the ms tradition. There is apparently no reason for the scribe of C to intentionally omit the phrase, and the fact that the word “time” (καιρὸν καὶ καιρούς, kairon kai kairous) appears twice before may indicate a scribal oversight.sn The parallel statement in Rev 12:6 suggests that the phrase a time, times, and half a time equals 1,260 days (three and a half years of 360 days each).
- Revelation 12:15 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the vision.
- Revelation 12:15 tn Grk “so that he might make her swept away.”
- Revelation 12:16 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast present here.
- Revelation 12:16 tn Grk “the earth helped the woman.”
- Revelation 12:16 tn Grk “the earth opened its mouth” (a metaphor for the ground splitting open).
- Revelation 12:17 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the implied result of the woman’s escape.
- Revelation 12:17 tn Grk “her seed” (an idiom for offspring, children, or descendants).
- Revelation 12:17 tn Or “who obey.”
- Revelation 12:17 tn Grk “and having.”
- Revelation 12:17 tn Grk “the testimony of Jesus,” which may involve a subjective genitive (“Jesus’ testimony”) or, more likely, an objective genitive (“testimony about Jesus”).
- Revelation 12:18 tn Grk “he”; the referent (the dragon) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Revelation 12:18 tc Grk ἐστάθη (estathē, “he stood”). The reading followed by the translation is attested by the better mss (P47 א A C 1854 2344 2351 lat syh) while the majority of mss (051 M vgmss syph co) have the reading ἐστάθην (estathēn, “I stood”). Thus, the majority of mss make the narrator, rather than the dragon of 12:17, the subject of the verb. The first person reading is most likely an assimilation to the following verb in 13:1, “I saw.” The reading “I stood” was introduced either by accident or to produce a smoother flow, giving the narrator a vantage point on the sea’s edge from which to observe the beast rising out of the sea in 13:1. But almost everywhere else in the book, the phrase καὶ εἶδον (kai eidon, “and I saw”) marks a transition to a new vision, without reference to the narrator’s activity. On both external and internal grounds, it is best to adopt the third person reading, “he stood.”
- Revelation 12:18 tn Or “sandy beach” (L&N 1.64).
- Revelation 12:18 sn The standard critical texts of the Greek NT, NA28 and UBS5, both include this sentence as 12:18, as do the RSV and NRSV. Other modern translations like the NASB and NIV include the sentence at the beginning of 13:1; in these versions chap. 12 has only 17 verses.