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Revelation 12:1

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1 And [kai] there appeared [optanomai] a great [megas] wonder [semeion] in [en] heaven; [ouranos] a woman [gune] clothed [periballo] with the sun, [helios] and [kai] the moon [selene] under [hupokato] her [autos] feet, [pous] and [kai] upon [epi] her [autos] head [kephale] a crown [stephanos] of twelve [dodeka] stars: [aster] KJV-Interlinear



1 And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; NASB



This is the first of seven signs that will be mentioned and all of them will be described as ‘megas,’ or signs that have huge significance in all of creation and/or history.


John begins this chapter with the symbolism that parallels that of Josephs dream, Gen. 37:9-11.


The woman is the second of four women symbolized in this book. Jezebel being the first from chapter two.


This woman represents the nation of Israel as it has often been represented in the Old Testament, Jer 3:1,20; Ezek 16:32-35; Hos 2:2, Isa 50:1.


And though Satan has made every attempt to rid the world of the Israelites, God has promised that Israel will play a prominent role in the last days, not to mention being a notable player in the establishment of Gods Kingdom, Isa 65:17-25; Ezek 37:21-28; Dan 2:44; Zech 8:1-13, which is yet to come. Israel will never be gotten rid of, ever. And they will be a nation during the Tribulation.


Israel will also enjoy a national salvation during the Tribulation, Zech 12:10-13:1,8-9; Rom 11:26.


That should be obvious by their very presence now. Nothing in history happens by accident, and the existence of an actual nation, just further reinforces that Gods plan and maneuvering the pieces of the puzzle of nations into place, is actually occurring. Its existence does not mean that the Tribulation has arrived. The Tribulation will last only seven years and Israel became a nation, again, some fifty-two years ago.


In Joseph's dream, the sun represents Jacob, the moon Rachel, and the eleven stars Joseph's brothers. Joseph's dream parallels Israel's history. Both endured the indignity of captivity in Gentile nations, yet were in the end delivered and exalted to a place of prominence in a kingdom. And just as the Israel of old endured suffering before being exalted, so too, the Israel of the Tribulation will have to endure suffering before it is exalted.


The woman was clothed with the sun and reflects the redeemed Israel's unique glory, brilliance, and dignity as God's chosen nation, Deut 7:6; 14:2; 1 Kings 3:8; Ps 33:12; 106:5; Isa 43:20. It also links her with Jacob (the sun in Joseph's dream), and heir in the Abrahamic covenant. Israel's continued existence as a nation reflects the ongoing fulfillment of that covenant, Gen 12:1-2.


The moon under her feet is a further description of Israel's exalted status. It also includes the concept of Gods covenant relationship with Israel, since the moon was part of the cycle of Israel's required times of worship, Num 29:5-6; Neh 10:33; Ps 81:3; Isa 1:13-14; Col 2:16. But the moon also symbolizes the changing of the times and the seasons, reinforcing the concept that as time marches on (moon under her feet), Israel will always be around. Neither time nor opposition, will remove Israel from history, or from a major role in Gods plan.


The crown is associated with triumph in the midst of suffering and struggle.


The twelve stars, Joseph being the twelfth, on the woman's head, refer to the twelve tribes of Israel.





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