Revelation 12, order of events


Only looking at how Revelation 12 (and 11) may refer to Mary and her Assumption into heaven, can someone explain if the events in this chapter are chronological or are they jumping around?

I’m confused where it mentions a woman clothed with the sun (already crowned Queen of Heaven?), then mentions the birth of child (of Jesus while on Earth) and then it goes to the taking down of a third of the stars (when Satan and a third of the angels went down with him before mankind?).

I’m pretty horrible at understanding Scripture so, what is the chronological order of Revelation 12 because the order is making me confused on how it may refer to the Blessed Virgin Mary.


Good catch! I just finished a course on Revelation, and the theologian teaching it concluded that the events throughout the book are not chronological, but the in the order things were revealed to the author.


You have to remember that the whole book is literally a big set of allegorical and symbolic imagery that doesn’t really flow in linear time - doesn’t really follow human time, if you will. Look at Revelation 13, for example - the Lamb there is referred to as being “slain from the foundation of the world.” We know Jesus died at a specific point in history, but Heaven doesn’t run according to human standard. John uses spatial, not temporal language there.

In Revelation (and in many other apocalyptic literature), that is exactly the conceit: God - who is the one revealing the visions - does not follow human notions of time. So the distinction between ‘past’, ‘present’, and ‘future’ are blurred. Imagine yourself on an airplane looking down the scenery below. On the ground, you might have trouble looking out beyond the street or over the horizon, But up there in the sky, you can see nearly everything - you are not bound by any notion of ‘down the street’ or ‘two blocks away’ as you might be down on ground level. Or better yet, think of it like a conductor’s score: the conductor ‘sees’ all parts of the score - what was played, what is being played, and what will be played.


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