2 She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth. 3
3 Then another sign appeared in the sky; it was a huge red dragon, 4 with seven heads and ten horns, and on its heads were seven diadems.
5 She gave birth to a son, a male child, destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod. 5 Her child was caught up to God and his throne.
6 The woman herself fled into the desert where she had a place prepared by God, that there she might be taken care of for twelve hundred and sixty days. 6
9 The huge dragon, the ancient serpent, 9 who is called the Devil and Satan, who deceived the whole world, was thrown down to earth, and its angels were thrown down with it.
10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: ＂Now have salvation and power come, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Anointed. For the accuser 10 of our brothers is cast out, who accuses them before our God day and night.
13 When the dragon saw that it had been thrown down to the earth, it pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child.
14 But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle, 11 so that she could fly to her place in the desert, where, far from the serpent, she was taken care of for a year, two years, and a half-year.
15 The serpent, 12 however, spewed a torrent of water out of his mouth after the woman to sweep her away with the current.
17 Then the dragon became angry with the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring, those who keep God's commandments and bear witness to Jesus. 13 (18) It took its position 14 on the sand of the sea.
1 [12:1-14:20] This central section of Rev portrays the power of evil, represented by a dragon, in opposition to God and his people. First, the dragon pursues the woman about to give birth, but her son is saved and ＂caught up to God and his throne＂ (Rev 12:5). Then Michael and his angels cast the dragon and his angels out of heaven (Rev 12:7-9). After this, the dragon tries to attack the boy indirectly by attacking members of his church (Rev 12:13-17). A beast, symbolizing the
2  The woman adorned with the sun, the moon, and the stars (images taken from Genesis 37:9-10) symbolizes God's people in the Old and the New Testament. The Israel of old gave birth to the Messiah (Rev 12:5) and then became the new Israel, the church, which suffers persecution by the dragon (Rev 12:6, 13-17); cf Isaiah 50:1; 66:7; Jeremiah 50:12. This corresponds to a widespread myth throughout the ancient world that a goddess pregnant with a savior was pursued by a horrible monster; by miraculous intervention, she bore a son who then killed the monster.
4  Huge red dragon: the Devil or Satan (cf Rev 12:9; 20:2), symbol of the forces of evil, a mythical monster known also as Leviathan (Psalm 74:13-14) or Rahab (Job 26:12-13; Psalm 89:11). Seven diadems: these are symbolic of the fullness of the dragon's sovereignty over the kingdoms of this world; cf Christ with many diadems (Rev 19:12).
7 [7-12] Michael, mentioned only here in Rev, wins a victory over the dragon. A hymn of praise follows.
14 [17(18)] It took its position: many later manuscripts and versions read ＂I took my position,＂ thus connecting the sentence to the following paragraph.