Chapters 12-18 are a more detailed account of specific events that took place in chapters 1-11. Not unlike the 4 views of the gospel in Mt., Mk., Lk., and Jn. or Genesis 2 being detailed account of the 6th day of creation. chapters 12-16 more focus on the Fall of Satan(12) the Antichrist(13) Rapture(14) result of trumpet judgments in the bowls(16)and the destruction of the world system (17-18)
1) And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:
2) And she being with child cried, travailing in birth and pained to be delivered.
3) And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.
4) And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.
5) And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.
6) And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.
7) And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
8) And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
9) And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
10) And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come 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) And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
12) Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them, Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil if come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.
13) And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.
14) And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.
15) And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.
16) And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.
17) And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of god, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Chapter 12 is a synopsis of chapters 1-5 paying more attention to Christs origin And Satan's purpose and anger toward mankind and specifically Israel, as opposed to chapters 1-5 which focused on the church age and martyrs.
1) The woman is Israel, it can't represent the church because the church didn't give birth to anyone. It can't be Mary, She's not around to be persecuted. The crown of twelve stars is a representation of the twelve tribes. An alternate, less popular view is that the woman is Eve, the mother of all living.
12:2 Israel symbolically giving birth to the messiah.
12:3 The Dragon represents Satan. 7 heads are the 7 earthly kingdoms throughout time.
4) A third of the stars of heaven represent the original rebellion of Lucifer which resulted in a third of the angels in heaven rebelling with him. To devour her child- Satan always tried, throughout time, to prevent the birth of the Messiah.
5) Jesus Christ, The Messiah. Ps 2:7-9, Acts 13:3, Is 7:4, 9:6, Mic 5:2, Caught up, Assension, Acts 1:9
6) Israel protected 3 1/2 years. The last 3 1/2 years of Daniel's final "week"
12:7 Good Vs. Evil, Satan Vs. God, since the beginning, now culminates in a dramatic climax.
12:8 Satan, who has always had access to heaven, is once and for all cast down to the earth.
12:9 Like Satan in Genesis and Job, now comes to earth to persecute mankind.
12:10 He no longer has access to heaven
12:11 Self denial and worship earned them the right to be redeemed in the eyes of God
12:12 the last 3 1/2 years of tribulation, the devil will indwell the antichrist after he is killed and resurrected. (13:3)
12:13 Israel will face her greatest persecution ever in history in this period.
12:14 although persecuted, they will also be watched over. Dt 32:9-12, Ps 91:4, Is 40,31
12:15 Floods symbolize attacks and warfare, in this case the armies of the world ruler, Anti-Christ.
12:16 the initial attack on Israel will fail. Earthquakes? Fissures? Sinkholes?
17) The Remnant- that live in all of the world that believe Jesus is the Messiah.