Rev. 12:1-2 says,(KJV)

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 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.

Furthermore, in vs 5 it says,

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.

Most Biblical commentators(including Matthew Henry, Barnes,Jamieson-Fausset-Brown) believe the man-child is Jesus, but I do not believe that the woman with 12 stars around her head is giving birth to Jesus.

It makes no sense. The Book of Revelation, in which this prophecy appears, relates to events "which must come to pass" (in the future) The voice to John from above says: "come up here and I will show you what must come to pass"

The Book of Revelation is supposed to have been written in 93 AD when the birth of Jesus was already in the past. How useful is a prophecy about an event which has already happened 93 years ago?

The prophecies in the Book of Revelation are about "The End Times" which Jeremiah defines as "post 1948" when "Israel once more lives in its own country"

Is there no event post-1948 which would fit this prophecy?

  • To take place after these things (γενέσθαι μετὰ ταῦτα). biblehub.com/text/revelation/4-1.htm
    – Decrypted
    Apr 13, 2016 at 22:20
  • "The prophecies in the Book of Revelation are about 'The End Times' which Jeremiah defines as 'post 1948' when Israel once more lives in its own country'" Jeremiah's prophesies have nothing whatsoever to do with the creation of the Israeli nation-state in the 20th century. He is foretelling the Babylonian exile and the Jews' eventual return from that exile.
    – user33515
    Jan 28, 2018 at 14:42
  • The conclusion of this question, "Is there no event post-1948 which would fit this prophecy?" leaves it open to all sorts of conjecture. I am voting to close it for being opinion based.
    – user33515
    Jan 28, 2018 at 15:10

8 Answers 8


Not everything in Revelations is about the future. Look at Chapter 3. These are current churches that are being addressed. To talk about things that must come to pass, you would need to put them in context of the whole story, otherwise they can easily be misinterpreted. So, some of what is in Revelations is historical to provide context.

When looking to make meaning out of prophetic visions in the Bible, we should always see if the Bible itself interprets these visions.

In the case of Rev 12, the woman is Israel. How do we know? The descriptive elements that identify the woman are the key. The sun, the moon and the 12 stars. Is there anywhere else in scripture that these same elements are mentioned? Yes. Gen 37:9-10.

Then he dreamed another dream and told it to his brothers and said, “Behold, I have dreamed another dream. Behold, the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me." But when he told it to his father and to his brothers, his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall I and your mother and your brothers indeed come to bow ourselves to the ground before you? ESV

So the woman is symbolic of Israel. See Mic 4:9-10 for further context.

Then appears the dragon... satan (see also rev 12:9 for clarity)

The 'stars of heaven' see Gen 22:17

I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, ESV

are the descendants of Abraham. βάλλω is the greek word that is translated swept/cast down, a metaphor in this case for (in the ground) made dead. A look at the history of Abraham's descendants and the persecution they have suffered should be enough to help here. This verse cannot refer to angels that fell, since it would be in direct contradiction to Rev 12:9 where it was Michael and his angels who threw down Satan and his angels.

Now we come to your question about the child. v5

She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne,

Anywhere else in The Scriptures talk about this child? Rev 2:27

and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father.

a direct quote from Psalm 2:9 (see all of Psalm 2 for context)

You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”

and of course this child was caught up to God and His throne.

This is definitely Jesus!

John was commentating on events that had happened, were happening and will happen. Hope this helps.



St. Hippolytus indicates that it is a continual process:

By the woman then clothed with the sun,” he meant most manifestly the Church, endued with the Father’s word, whose brightness is above the sun. And by the “moon under her feet” he referred to her being adorned, like the moon, with heavenly glory. And the words, “upon her head a crown of twelve stars,” refer to the twelve apostles by whom the Church was founded. And those, “she, being with child, cries, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered,” mean that the Church will not cease to bear from her heart the Word that is persecuted by the unbelieving in the world. “And she brought forth,” he says, “a man-child, who is to rule all the nations;” by which is meant that the Church, always bringing forth Christ, the perfect man-child of God, who is declared to be God and man, becomes the instructor of all the nations.1

...so the event in a spiritual sense is yet to be completed; first the entire world is to be Christianized. But still, in a physical sense, of course the Mother of the Child is the Theotokos (Virgin Mary). St. Epiphanius says on this:

Since again the Lord's physical conception and birth marked the beginning of his incarnation, the vision has brought into some order and sequence the events which it is going to explain, by starting its explanation from the physical conception of Christ, and by depicting for us the Mother of God. For why does he say, And a portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet? He is speaking of the mother of our Savior, as I have said. Naturally the vision describes her as being in heaven and not on earth, as pure in soul and body, as equal to an angel, as a citizen of heaven, as one who came to effect the incarnation of God who dwells in heaven ("for," he says, "heaven is my throne" [Isa 66:1]), and as one who has nothing in common with the world and the evils in it, but wholly sublime, wholly worthy of heaven, even through she sprang from our mortal nature and being. For the Virgin is of the same substance as we are.2

Explanations of physical and spiritual aspects of things are not mutually exclusive but are parts of a whole.


Much of the time, Jeremiah recognises the distinction between Israel and Judah, so when he speaks of 'Israel', it is usually not about Judah or the Jewish people, but about the scattered people of the northern kingdom. We see this in Jeremiah 3:6-8, where the prophet draws a clear distinction between Israel and Judah:

The LORD said to me in the days of King Josiah: See now what rebellious Israel has done! She has gone up every high mountain, and under every green tree she has played the harlot. And I thought, after she has done all this she will return to me. But she did not return. Then, even though her traitor sister Judah saw that for all the adulteries rebellious Israel had committed, I put her away and gave her a bill of divorce, nevertheless her traitor sister Judah was not frightened; she too went off and played the harlot.

Jeremiah wrote this at a time when Israel had been defeated and many of the people scattered throughout the Assyrian Empire, while others had fled south to Judah and Egypt. He believed that it was God's intention that the people of Israel would return to their land and unite with Judah, under a Judahite king from the line of David. So it is not just post-1948, but post the sixth century BCE in which we should be looking for a sign.

In Revelation 12:1-2, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars appeared in the sky, and she was with child. A huge red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, also appeared in the sky, its tail sweeping away a third of the stars, hurling them down to the earth. The dragon stood before the woman, to devour her child when she gave birth. She gave birth to a boy, who was carried up to God, while the woman fled into the desert. Then war broke out in heaven, with the archangel Michael and his angels prevailing against the dragon and its angels. Verse 12:9 explains that the dragon was the old serpent called the devil, or Satan, was cast out of heaven with his angels. When the dragon saw that it had been cast down to earth, it pursued the woman who had given birth, but the woman was given wings of an eagle, by which she escaped. The dragon becomes angry with the woman and goes off to wage war against her other offspring, who keep God's commandments and bear witness to Jesus (12:17). The defeat of Satan appears to echo the Second Book of Enoch, a pseudepigraphic book generally dated to late in the first century CE, around the same time as the Book of Revelation was also written, although 2 Enoch attributes Satan's fall to pride whereas in Revelation it was the outcome of the battle that followed his attempt to devour the child.

The only thing that has come to pass since the time of Jeremiah, that would fit this prophecy, is the birth of Jesus. One way of reading this apocalyptic chapter is symbolically, or as an allegory. Another is to imagine it as a primitive pre-Christian story that John of Patmos chose to include in his Book of Revelation. Either way, it was not so much a belated prophecy of the earthly birth of Jesus, but a lurid story that explained the depravity of Satan. This answers the question of how useful the account was. Christian were told that Satan planned to make war with the remnant of the celestial woman's seed, who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ (Revelation 12:17).


An alternate explanation for the Revelations 12 woman giving birth, is the passage of scripture that defines "Christ in us, the hope of Glory."

This woman could be the Church of Jesus Christ, or the individual christian, who is the temple of God, and who she is giving birth to is 'a' son of God who will 'rule and reign with Christ', and 'will be seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus'. (Where is Jesus seated in a heavenly place? At the right hand of God His Father on the throne)

He will rule with a rod of iron, can also mean the christian, the son of God, caught up to God's throne to be seated with Him, (in Christ) where he will rule and reign with Christ.


Revelation 12:5 gives us an anchor to a specific point in history. It reads:

“She gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne” (Rev 12:5).

For the following reasons, this "male child" is Jesus Christ:

Firstly, who else could be described as the unique child of a woman that is represented as clothed with the sun, and with the moon under her feet (12:1)? This woman has many other children (Rev 12:17), but this "male child" stands out far above them all because the woman is said to be expecting him "and in pain to give birth," meaning that she is longing intensely for his arrival.

Secondly, for who else would the dragon, identified as Satan, stand ready to devour him as soon as he is born (Rev 12:3-4, 9)?

Thirdly, the dragon is also identified as “the serpent of old” (Rev 12:9). This is the serpent in the garden of Eden (Gen 3:1) and reminds us of God’s promise that the seed of the woman will bruise the head of the serpent (Gen 3:15). The "male child" in Revelation 12, therefore, is that promised seed of the woman.

Fourthly, this "male child" will "rule all the nations with a rod of iron." Who could that be other than Christ? Furthermore, Revelation 2:27 explicitly states that His Father gave Jesus the authority to rule the nation with "a rod of iron." And Revelation 19:11-21, describing Christ’s return, says that the One “called the Word of God” (Rev 19:13), a title which John also elsewhere uses for Jesus (John 1:1, 14), will rule the nations with a rod of iron (Rev 19:15)

Lastly, the male child “was caught up to God and to His throne” (Rev 12:5). Who could this be other than Christ? It refers to His ascension to heaven. As Mark 16:19 states, “the Lord Jesus … was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.”  Verse 5, therefore, covers the entire period from Christ’s birth to His ascension.

Since Christ is so pertinently identified in this verse, the previous verses must describe the time before Christ and the subsequent verses must describe the time immediately after Christ's ascension. For a further discussion, see - Who are the woman, the dragon, the child and what is the war in heaven?


the woman is the queen of israel, that's why she has a crown of 12 stars and is clothed in the sun and moon as to her splendour, the child will be a new king of heaven who will rule heaven and earth. Jesus refers to him as he who overcomes in chapters 2 and 3, he is also the rider on the horse in 19, this happens when the stars fall from the earth as is indicated by the dragon destroying a third of them. he will rule is repeated 3 times and the unknown name twice, 2 and 19, just take the text as is and it is a woman giving birth to a child and nothing more


The woman is Israel as was stated above. Genesis 37:9 KJV

And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.

The man child are the "overcomers". Revelation 2:26-27 KJV

And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.

And Revelation 3:21 KJV

To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

The man child is " caught up" (greek "harpazo", latin "rapturo") as in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 KJV

Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

After this satan is thrown down to earth thus beginning Daniels 70 th week or the seven years of tribulation.

Israel has a place prepared fot her for the alloted time. Revelation 12:6, 14 KJV

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........ 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.

The remnant of the woman is the remainder of the church that was not "cought up" fullfilling Revelation 13:7 KJV

And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.

And becouse i recognise that it is odd to say that israel gives birth to the church the following verses should be considered

Romans 4:11 KJV

And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:

And 1 Peter 3:6 KJV

Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.

And Romans 11:16-18 KJV

For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.


If we interpret the birth as the creation of the State of Israel, everything slots into place:

The dragon with seven heads was the “entity” standing by to devour the child as soon as it was born. The surrounding Arab states were (and still are) in an alliance known as The United Arab League and it consists of seven states: Iraq Syria Lebanon Jordan Egypt Saudi Arabia and Yemen. To further cement the identity, Revelation continues in 13v3 “and I saw one of his heads, as it were, wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.” The Arab League expelled Egypt in 1979 for signing a treaty with Israel and removing one of the heads would certainly be classed as a mortal wound! The mortal wound was “healed” when Egypt was re-elected to The League in 1990.

Revelation 12v14 says: And to the woman were given two wings of "the" (not "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, (3.5 years) from the face of the serpent. The woman who gave birth then, is identified as the United Nations, which did so by means of Resolution 181 in November 1947. The two wings of the great eagle (the emblem of the USA) transported her to “safety” to a place which either took 3½ years to prepare or gave her protection for that time (it depends how you choose to read it). In 1952 The United Nations moved from Switzerland to New York where their new building had been under construction since 1949 The time between laying the cornerstone and completion is known to be 3¼ years but a few extra months would have elapsed between starting and laying the cornerstone, so the figure of 3½ years would be remarkably accurate.

  • If the "woman who was giving birth" was The United Nations giving birth to the New State of Israel, then her "head being in the sun" with the "moon at her feet" would completely describe The United Nations which spans the world and at any one time, one end of the UN would be in daylight (the sun) whilst the other would be in the shadows or "the moon at her feet" Oct 11, 2022 at 15:01

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