To what do you believe this verse of the Apocalypse refers?
I have read various commentaries and they seem to widely diverge. Some commentators relate it to the Exodus passage in which God related how he lifted Israel out of Egyptian slavery upon “eagle’s wings,” as a symbol of the divine election and saving Grace.
Others note that the “great eagle” is a symbol of Babylon in Ezekiel, thus signifying that the “world power” - the Roman Empire of St. John’s time - would eventually cease being a persecutor and come to the defence of Holy Mother Church, understanding it as alluding to the ultimate conversion of the Empire and the Gentiles to the Gospel. The “two wings” are interpreted by these commentators as signifying the Western and Eastern half of the Empire which would become Christendom.
St. Victorinus of Pettau (died 304 AD) a church father who wrote the earliest Latin commentary on the Book of Revelation, opined that the “two wings of the great eagle” were to be identified with the ‘Two Witnesses’ of the Last Days - Elijah and the other prophet (Enoch?). He wrote:
6. But the woman fled into the wilderness, and there were given to her two great eagle’s wings. The aid of the great eagle’s wings— to wit, the gift of prophets— was given to that Catholic Church, whence in the last times a hundred and forty-four thousands of men should believe in the preaching of Elias; but, moreover, he here says that the rest of the people should be found alive on the coming of the Lord. And the Lord says in the Gospel: Then let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains; Luke 21:21 that is, as many as should be gathered together in Judea, let them go to that place which they have ready, and let them be supported there for three years and six months from the presence of the devil.
- Two great wings are the two prophets— Elias, and the prophet who shall be with him…
7-9. *There was a battle in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon warred, and his angels, and they prevailed not; nor was their place found any more in heaven. And that great dragon was cast forth, that old serpent: he was cast forth into the earth. * This is the beginning of Antichrist; yet previously Elias must prophesy, and there must be times of peace. And afterwards, when the three years and six months are completed in the preaching of Elias, he also must be cast down from heaven, where up till that time he had had the power of ascending; and all the apostate angels, as well as Antichrist, must be roused up from hell