4 But it shall come about in the last days That the mountain of the house of the Lord Shall be established as the highest and chief of the mountains; It shall be above the hills, And peoples shall flow [like a river] to it. 2 And many nations shall come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, To the house of the God of Jacob, That He may teach us about His ways And that we may walk in His paths.” For the law shall go forward from Zion, And the word of the Lord [the revelation about Him and His truth] from Jerusalem. 3 And He will judge between many peoples And render decisions for strong and distant nations. Then they shall hammer their swords into plowshares And their spears into pruning hooks [so that the implements of war may become the tools of agriculture]; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Nor shall they ever again train for war. 4 Each of them shall sit [in security and peace] under his vine And under his fig tree, With no one to make them afraid, For the mouth of the [omnipotent] Lord of hosts has spoken it. 5 For all the peoples [now] walk Each in the name of his god [in a transient relationship], As for us, we shall walk [securely] In the name of the Lord our [true] God forever and ever.
6 “In that day,” says the Lord, “I shall assemble the lame, And gather the outcasts [from foreign captivity], Even those whom I have caused pain. 7 “I shall make the lame a [godly] remnant And the outcasts a strong nation; And the Lord shall reign over them in Mount Zion From this time on and forever. 8 “As for you [Jerusalem], tower of the flock [of Israel], Hill and stronghold of the Daughter of Zion (Jerusalem’s inhabitants), To you the former dominion shall come, The kingdom of the Daughter of Jerusalem [when the Messiah reigns in Jerusalem, and the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled].
9 “Now, why do you cry out loudly? Is there no king among you? Has your counselor perished? For agony has gripped you like a woman in childbirth. 10 “Writhe in pain and labor to give birth, O Daughter of Zion, Like a woman in childbirth; For now you shall go out of the city, Live in the field, And go to Babylon. There you will be rescued; There the Lord shall redeem you From the hand of your enemies. 11 “Now many [conquering] nations are assembled against you, Who say, ‘Let her be profaned [through Gentile presence and the temple’s destruction], And let our eyes gaze on and gloat over Zion.’ 12 “But they (Gentile nations) do not know the thoughts of the Lord, Nor do they understand His purpose and plan; For He has gathered them (Gentiles) like sheaves to the threshing floor [for destruction]. 13 “Arise and thresh, O Daughter of Zion! For I will make your horn iron And I will make your hoofs bronze; That you may beat many peoples in pieces [trampling down your enemies], That you may devote to the Lord their unjust gain (pagan possessions) And their wealth to the Lord of all the earth.
Birth of the King in Bethlehem
5 “Now gather yourself in troops, O daughter of troops; A state of siege has been placed against us. They shall strike the ruler of Israel on the cheek with a rod (scepter). 2 “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah; From you One shall come forth for Me [who is] to be Ruler in Israel, His goings forth (appearances) are from long ago, From [a]ancient days.” 3 Therefore, He will give them up until the time When she who is in labor has given birth to a child. Then what is left of His kinsmen Shall return to the children of Israel. 4 And He shall stand and shepherd and guide His flock In the strength of the Lord, In the majesty of the name of the Lord His God; And they shall dwell [secure in undisturbed peace], Because at that time He shall be great [extending His authority] [Even] to the ends of the earth. 5 This One [the Messiah] shall be our peace. When the Assyrian invades our land And tramples on our citadels and in our palaces, Then shall we raise against him Seven shepherds and eight princes [an overpowering force] among men. 6 They shall devastate the land of Assyria with the sword and The land of Nimrod within her [own] gates. And He (the Messiah) shall rescue us from the Assyrian (all enemy nations) When he attacks our land And when he tramples our territory.
7 Then the remnant of Jacob Shall be among many peoples Like dew from the Lord, Like showers on the grass [a source of blessing] Which [come suddenly and] do not wait for man Nor delay for the sons of men. 8 The remnant of Jacob Shall be among the nations, In the midst of many peoples Like a lion among the beasts of the forest, Like a young lion [suddenly appearing] among the flocks of sheep Which, if he passes through, Tramples down and tears into pieces [the nations in judgment], And there is no one to rescue. 9 Your hand will be lifted up against your adversaries, And all your enemies shall be cut off and destroyed.
10 “And in that day,” says the Lord, “I will cut off your horses from among you And destroy your chariots [on which you depend]. 11 “I will cut off the cities of your land And tear down all your fortifications. 12 “I will cut off witchcrafts and sorceries from your hand, And you shall have no more fortune-tellers. 13 “I will also cut off your carved images And your sacred pillars from among you, So that you will no longer worship and bow down To the work of your hands. 14 “I will root out your Asherim (symbols of the goddess Asherah) from among you And destroy your cities [which are the centers of pagan worship]. 15 “And in anger and wrath I shall execute vengeance On the nations which have not obeyed [such vengeance as they have not known before].”
12 And a great sign [warning of an ominous and frightening future event] appeared in heaven: a [a]woman clothed with the sun, with the moon beneath her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. 2 She was with child (the Messiah) and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth.
The Red Dragon, Satan
3 Then another sign [of warning] was seen in heaven: behold, a great fiery red dragon (Satan) with [b]seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven royal crowns (diadems).4 And his tail swept [across the sky] and dragged away a third of the stars of heaven and flung them to the earth. And the dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child.
The Male Child, Christ
5 And she gave birth to a Son, a male Child, who is destined to rule (shepherd) all the nations with a rod of iron; and her Child was [c]caught up to God and to His throne.6 Then the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God, so that she would be nourished there for a thousand two hundred and sixty days (forty-two months; three and one-half years).
The Angel, Michael
7 And war broke out in heaven, Michael [the archangel] and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels fought, 8 but they were not strong enough and did not prevail, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven.9 And the great dragon was thrown down, the age-old serpent who is called the [d]devil and Satan, he who continually deceives and seduces the entire inhabited world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying,
“Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom (dominion, reign) of our God, and the authority of His Christ have come; for the [e]accuser of our [believing] brothers and sisters has been thrown down [at last], he who accuses them and keeps bringing charges [of sinful behavior] against them before our God day and night.11 And they overcame and conquered him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, for they did not love their life and renounce their faith even when faced with death.12 Therefore rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them [in the presence of God]. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you in great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time [remaining]!”
13 And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who had given birth to the male Child. 14 But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time (three and one-half years), away from the presence of the serpent (Satan).15 And the serpent hurled water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood. 16 But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the river which the dragon had hurled out of his mouth.17 So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went off to wage war on the rest of her children (seed), those who keep and obey the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus [holding firmly to it and bearing witness to Him].
Revelation 12:1The woman represents the nation of Israel. The sun refers to Jacob (also called Israel, the name divinely bestowed on Jacob at Peniel Gen 32:28), and the moon to Rachel, while the twelve stars refer to the twelve tribes of Israel, originating with the sons of Jacob and Rachel (Gen 37:9-11).
Revelation 12:3The seven heads and ten horns correspond to the heads and horns of the beast in 17:3 ff, and to those of the beast in Dan 7:7 ff as well. Daniel’s description reveals that the ten horns are ten kings who temporarily reign with the Antichrist during the Great Tribulation (cf 17:12).
Revelation 12:5This refers to the ascension of Christ to heaven following His death and resurrection.
Revelation 12:9The Greek for devil is diabolos, which is actually a translation of Satan, a Hebrew word meaning “adversary” or “accuser.” The Greek word additionally carries with it the concept of “slanderer.” See note v 10.
Revelation 12:10This is the activity of Satan from which he has earned his name (see note v 9). The activity is most clearly seen in Job 1-2 and in Zech 3.
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