12 1 A woman 2 appeareth travailing with child, 4 whose child the dragon would devour, 7 but Michael overcometh him 9 and casteth him out, 13 and the more he is cast down and vanquished, the more fiercely he exercised his subtleties.
1 And [a]there appeared a great wonder in heaven: [b]A woman clothed with the Sun, and the Moon was under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve Stars.
2 And [c]she was with child, and cried travailing in birth, and was pained ready to be delivered.
3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven: [d]for behold, a great red dragon having [e]seven heads, and ten [f]horns, and seven crowns upon his heads:
4 [g]And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth. And the dragon [h]stood before the woman, which was ready to be delivered, [i]to devour her child, when she had brought it forth.
5 [j]So she brought forth a man [k]child, which should rule all nations with a rod of iron: and that her child was taken up unto God and to his throne.
6 [l]And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that [m]they should feed her there a thousand, two hundred and threescore days.
7 And there was a battle in heaven, [n]Michael and his Angels, fought against the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels.
8 [o]But they prevailed not, neither was their [p]place found anymore in heaven.
9 And the great dragon that old serpent, called the devil and Satan, was cast out, which deceiveth all the world: he was even cast into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, [q]Now is salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
11 But they overcame him by that blood of that Lamb, and by that word of their testimony, and they [r]loved not their lives unto the death.
12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabitants of the earth, and of the sea: for the devil is come down unto you, which hath great wrath, knowing that he hath but a short time.
13 And when [s]the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which had brought forth the man child.
14 [t]But to the woman were given two wings of a great Eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her [u]place where she is nourished for a [v]time, and times, and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.
15 [w]And the serpent cast out of his mouth water after the woman, like a flood, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood,
16 [x]But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood, which the dragon had cast out of his mouth.
17 [y]Then the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went and made war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Revelation 12:1Hitherto hath been the general prophecy comprehended in 2 parts, as I showed upon Rev. 11. Now shall be declared the first part of this prophecy, in this and the next chapter and the latter part in chapters 14, 15 and 16. Unto the first part, which is of the conflicting or militant Church belong 2 things. The beginning and the progress of the same in conflicts and Christian combats. Of which two, the beginning or upspring of the Church is described in this Chap. and the progress thereof in the Chap. following. The beginning of the Christian Church, we define to be from the first moment of her the conception of Christ, until the time wherein this Church was as it were weaned and taken away from the breast or milk of her Mother: which is the time when the Church of the Jews with their city and Temple was overthrown by the judgment of God. So we have in this chapter the story of 60 years and upwards. The parts of this chapter are three. The first is, the history of the conception and bearing in womb, in 4 verses. The second, an history of the birth from verse 5 unto verse 12. The third is, of the woman that had brought forth,unto the end of the chapter. And these several parts have every one their conflicts. Therefore in that first part are two things contained, one, the conception and bearing in womb in two verses: and another of the lying in wait of the Dragon against that should be brought forth, in the next 2 verses. In the first point are these things, the description of the mother, verse 1, and the dolors of childbirth, verse 2, all showed unto John from heaven.
Revelation 12:1A type of the true and holy Church, which then was in the nation of the Jews. This Church (as is the state of the holy Church Catholic) did in itself shine about with glory given of God, trod under feet mutability and changeableness, and possessed the kingdom of heaven as the heir thereof.
Revelation 12:2For this is that barren woman that brought not forth, of which Isa. 45:1, and Gal. 4:27, she cried out for good cause, and was tormented at that time, when in the judgment of all she seemed near unto death, and in means ready to give up the ghost by reason of her weakness and poverty.
Revelation 12:3Thereby to withstand those seven Churches spoken of, that is the Catholic Church, and that with kingly furniture and tyrannical magnificence: signified by the crowns set upon his heads, and if the same without controversy belonged unto him by proper right: as also he boasted unto Christ, Matt. 4:9. See after, upon Rev. 13:1.
Revelation 12:3More than are the horns of the Lamb, or than the Churches are: so well furnished doth the tyrant brag himself to be, unto all manner of mischief.
Revelation 12:4After the description of Satan followeth this action, that is, his battle offered unto the Church partly to that which is visible wherein the wheat is mingled with the chaff, and the good fish with that which is evil: a good part thereof, though in appearance it shined as the Stars shine in heaven, he is said to thrust down out of heaven and to pervert: for if it were possible he would pervert even the elect, Matt. 24:24, and partly to the elect members of the holy Catholic Church in the second part of this verse. Many therefore of the members of this visible Church (saith S. John) he overthrew and triumphed upon them.
Revelation 12:4He withstood that elect Church of the Jews which was now ready to bring forth the Christian Church, and watched for that she should bring forth. For the whole Church, and whole body is compared unto a woman: and a part of the Church unto that which is brought forth as we have noted at large upon, Cant. 7:6.
Revelation 12:4Christ mystical (as they call him) that is the whole Church, consisting of the person of Christ as the head, and of the body united thereunto by the Spirit, so is the name of Christ taken, 1 Cor. 12:12.
Revelation 12:5The second history of the Church delivered of child: in which first the consideration of the child born, and of the Mother is described in 2 verses: secondly the battle of the Dragon against the young child, and the victory obtained against him 3 verses following: last of all is sung a song of victory, unto verse 12. Now S. John in consideration of the child born, noteth two things: for he describeth him, and his station or place in this verse.
Revelation 12:5That is, Christ the head of the Church (the beginning, root and foundation whereof is the same Christ) endowed with kingly power, and taken up into heaven out of the jaws of Satan (who as a serpent did bite him upon the cross) that sitting upon the celestial throne he might reign over all.
Revelation 12:6The Church of Christ which was of the Jews, after his assumption into heaven, hid itself in the world as in a wilderness, trusting in the only defense of God, as witnesseth S. Luke in the Acts of the Apostles.
Revelation 12:6Namely the Apostles, and servants of God ordained to feed with the word of life, the Church collected both of the Jews and Gentiles, unless that any man will take the word alerent impersonally after the use of the Hebrews instead, of aleretur, but I like the first better. For he hath respect unto those two Prophets, of whom Rev. 11:3, as for the meaning of the 1260 days, look the same place.
Revelation 12:7Christ is the Prince of Angels, and head of the Church, who beareth that iron rod, the fifth verse. See the notes upon Daniel, Dan. 12:1. In this verse a description of the battle and of the victory in the two verses following. The Psalmist had respect unto this battle, Ps. 68:9, and Paul, Eph. 4:1 and Col. 2:15.
Revelation 12:8The description of the victory, by denying of the thing in this verse, and by affirming the contrary in the next verse. As that Satan gained nothing in heaven but was by the power of God thrown down into the world, whereof he is the prince, Christ himself and his elected members standing still by the throne of God.
Revelation 12:8They were cast out, so that they were never seen anymore in heaven.
Revelation 12:10The song of victory or triumph containing first, a proposition of the glory of God and of Christ showed in that victory: secondly, it containeth a reason of the same proposition taken from the effects, as that the enemy is overcome in battle in this verse, and that the godly are made conquerors (and more than conquerors, Rom. 8:37) verse 11. Thirdly, a conclusion wherein is an exhortation unto the Angels, and the Saints, and unto the world, a prophecy of great misery, and of destruction procured by the devil against mankind, lest himself should shortly be miserable alone, verse 12.
Revelation 12:11He is said in the Hebrew tongue, to love his life that esteemeth nothing more precious than his life: and on the other side, he is said not to love his life, who doubteth not to hazard it, wheresoever need requireth.
Revelation 12:13The third part: an history of the woman delivered, consisting of two members, the second battle of Satan against the Christian Church of the Jewish nation, in four verses: and the battle intended against the seed thereof, that is against the Church of the Gentiles, which is called holy, by reason of the Gospel of Christ in the two last verses.
Revelation 12:14That is, being strengthened with divine power: and taught by oracle, she fled swiftly from the assault of the devil, and from the common destruction of Jerusalem, and went into a solitary City beyond Jordan called Pella, as Eusebius telleth in the first Chapter of the third book of his Ecclesiastical history, which place God had commanded her by Revelation.
Revelation 12:14That is, for three years and a half: so the same speech is taken, Dan. 7:15. This space of time is reckoned in manner from that last and most grievous rebellion of the Jews, unto the destruction of the city and Temple, for their destrution or falling away, began in the twelfth year of Nero, before the beginning whereof, many foresigns and predictions were showed from heaven, as Josephus writeth, lib. 7, chap. 12, and Hegesippus, lib. 5, chap. 44, amongst which this is very memorable, that in the feast of Pentecost, not only a great sound and noise was heard in the Temple, but also a great voice was heard of many out of the Sanctuary which cried out to all, Let us depart hence. Now three years and a half after this defection was begun of the Jews, and those wonders happened, the City was taken by force, the Temple overthrown, and the place forsaken of God: and this compass of time Saint John noted in this place.
Revelation 12:15That is, he inflamed the Romans and the nations, that they persecuting the Jewish people with cruel arms might by the same occasion invade the Church of Christ, now departed from Jerusalem and out of Judea. For it is an usual thing in Scripture that the raging tumults of the nations, should be compared unto waters.
Revelation 12:16That is, there was offered in their place other Jews, unto the Romans and nations raging against that people: and it came to pass thereby that the Church of God was saved whole from that violence, that most raging flood of persecution which the Dragon vomited out being altogether spent in the destruction of those other Jews.
Revelation 12:17Being set on fire by this means, he began to be more mad, and because he perceived that his purpose against the Christian Church of the Jewish remnant was come to nought, he resolved to fall upon her seed, that is, the Church gathered also by God of the Gentiles, and the holy members of the same. And this is that other branch, as I said upon verse 13, in which the purpose of Satan is showed, verse 17, and his attempt, verse 18.
Revelation 12:18That is, a most mighty tempest, that he rushed upon the whole world (whose prince he is) to raise the floods and provoke the nations, that they might with their furious bellows toss up and down, drive here and there, and finally destroy the Church of Christ with the holy members of the same. But the providence of God resisted his attempt, that he might favor the Church of the Gentiles, yet tender and as it were green. The rest of the story of the Dragon is excellently prosecuted by the Apostle S. John hereafter in the twentieth chapter. For here the Dragon endeavoring to do mischief, was by God cast into prison.
Geneva Bible, 1599 Edition. Published by Tolle Lege Press. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without written permission from the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations in articles, reviews, and broadcasts.
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