Now that our Christmas connection digression is finished, I want to conclude our study of being marked on the hand and forehead (to refresh, here is part one, two, three, and four). Since the final instance of marking is found in Revelation 13, and we are almost to Revelation 13 in our Revelation series, I thought it would be best to just continue on with Revelation and not skip important information, and we will arrive at Revelation 13 and the conclusion to being marked shortly.
“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; and she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child. And 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.” Revelation 12:1-5
We have to remember that this chapter deviates from the chronological progression that we have seen in Revelation so far, because its purpose is to identify the beast which we encountered for the first time in chapter 11, the beast which ascends from the bottomless pit, who wages war against the two witnesses and kills them. This chapter, then, is giving us a summary, and it is not necessarily chronological, but thematic.
The woman is not at first identified, but the crown of twelve stars helps: a star is a spiritual authority, twelve of them calls to mind the twelve tribes of Israel. The woman gives birth to a male child, who is to rule the nations with a rod of iron. This clue tells us the child is the Messiah and Redeemer, Jesus Christ our Lord. Now we can better place the woman:
“And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.” Genesis 3:15
Here is the woman again, the mother of the Messiah and Redeemer. The woman cannot be Eve, because she did not bear the Redeemer. The woman also cannot be Mary; for the woman was crowned with twelve stars, and Mary was not even a noblewoman within her own tribe. In fact, the woman is not any individual woman. The woman is the nation of Israel, the “wife” of the Lord God, Creator of heaven and earth. It was Israel who brought forth the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.
I have heard some say that the woman is the Church, and the twelve stars are the twelve apostles. This is why I believe that the woman cannot be the Church: the woman births the male child, i.e. she pre-dates him. But the Church did not exist before the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. It would be more accurate to say that the male child birthed the Church, than it would be to say that the Church birthed the male child.
How is it that the woman was clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet? There may be another interpretation of this passage, but I find it fascinating that there is a sign of the seed of the woman in the zodiac. The constellations were originally taught to Seth by God Himself, according to Josephus, as in them He wrote the everlasting gospel in the stars, which no man (or devil) could erase or change. (As in everything else, the enemy has twisted and perverted the study of the signs in the heavens which proclaim the glory of God, and the perversion is called astrology. However, the fact that the enemy twisted the signs and their meanings does not negate that God assigned them their places at their creation in order to serve as signs, or witnesses to Him, on the earth, when He first set the giant cosmic clock of the stars and planets in motion.)
The first sign is Virgo, or the virgin who would bring forth the Messiah. It just so happens that when Jesus Christ was born in a stable in Bethlehem, the constellation Virgo was clothed with the sun, and the moon was under her feet. The word of God is so amazing, in that every single syllable is true in every particular!
To be continued …
Update: continued in Revelation 12: the great dragon