The woman in Revelation 12 can be understood to pertain to Mary, Israel, and even the Church. It is important to remember that apocalytic biblical writings have many levels of meaning. Since you already have ideas on why this reference is to Israel and are questioning how it might apply to Mary that is where I will focus.
Please note that just before this passage begins there is a reference in the immediate verse preceding that needs to be recognized. In Rev 11:19 it says: “Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, **and the ark of his covenant was seen **within his temple; and there were flashes of lightning, voices, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.” Then Rev 12:1 says, “And a great portent appeared in heaven, **a woman **clothed with the sun,…”
There is an important linkage associated with the Ark and Mary. This association is one of the important clues that helps identify Mary as the woman in Rev 12. We see the connection of Mary and the Ark in the following passages of scripture:
2 Sam 6:2
And David arose and went with all the people who were with him from Baale-judah, to bring up from there the ark of God
Luke 1: 39
In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah
2 Sam 6:9
And David…. said, “How can the ark of the Lord come to me?”
Luke 1: 43.
(and Elizabeth said to Mary) “And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”
2 Sam 6:10
David took it [the Ark] aside to the house of Obededom the Gittite.
Luke 1: 40. and she[Mary]entered the house of Zechariah
2 Sam 6:15
So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting
and she [Elizabeth] exclaimed with a loud cry,
2 Sam 6: 16
As the ark of the Lord came into the city…Michal saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord;
Luke 1: 41
And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb;
2 Sam 6:11.
And the ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obebedom the Gittite three months;
And Mary remained with her [Elizabeth] about three months
So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom to the city of David with rejoicing;
And Mary said, "…… and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
There is another important connection that supports the interpretation as well. In Rev 12, we see three individuals. The woman is even described as having clothing and feet. We see a woman, a dragon, and the woman’s son that will rule with an iron hand. This language harkens back to Genesis. In Genesis 3 we read about the woman Eve, the serpent Satan, and the woman’s “seed,” Jesus, the promised messiah. There is enmity between the woman, her seed, and satan. Satan does not conquer the woman even though Satan tempts everyone and attempts to spiritually destroy us. In Revelation he pursues the woman but does not catch her. She does not fall. Satan therefore pursues her offspring that are described as “those who keep the commandments of God and bear testimony to Jesus.”
The children/offspring is another nuance that is quite compelling for the case that it is Mary. Remember that the book of Revelation is written by John and that it was John to whom Mary was entrusted upon the death of the Lord. In the gospel John’s name is not mentioned. Instead it says, “When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.”[see Jn 19:26-27] This language fits every disciple of Jesus whom he loves. Every Christian disciple that loves Jesus is a son or daughter to Mary because they are “those who keep the commandments of God and bear testimony to Jesus.”[Rev 12:17]
cont. on next post