Revelation 12

Good Evening All…

I am hoping that the title of this thread would attract a few intelligent readers and hopefully open up this chapter in Revelation for a calm and OPEN discussion. I am not looking for arguments or heated battles. But I want to understand the catholic belief in this chapter and how it pertains to my own beliefs and understanding of what I have been taught. I guess I should mention that I am a shudder protestant but I want to refrain from using that term in this thread. Please respect this request. It has earned such a bad conotation here and I really don’t prefer to be lumped in with groups who don’t profess that Christ is Lord. Non-Catholic is fine and preferred.

I want to open the discussion with a few verses and start there.

On with the discussion… :thumbsup:

[quote=King James Version]Revelation 12

1And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:

2And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.

From what I understand (and you can correct me on this if I am wrong) the catholic faith views this woman as Mary giving her the title of ‘Queen of Heaven’. What I have been taught, and my research has brought me to this conclusion, is that this woman is the Jewish Nation. The twelve stars on her head represent the twelve tribes of the Jews and her giving birth to the ‘child’ is because Jesus was born of Jewish decent. Later on it explains that this woman is chased by a dragon. While I never knew Mary to be chased by anyone I do know that the Jewish nation has been chased and persecuted throughout history.

Please offer your views and beliefs but remember to respect those who offer opposing views and think before your respond. Thank you all! :slight_smile:

It does not jive with Biblical data, plain and simple. If we read the Gospels, we realize that when Jesus was born, it was Herod and the house of Israel that looked for Him to murder Him, and possibly the whole Family as well. So, in that alone a big hole is made in the notion that it pertains to Israel. Later on we see that it is again the Pharisees, who represent the House of Israel, that will have Him crucified.

While I never knew Mary to be chased by anyone I do know that the Jewish nation has been chased and persecuted throughout history.

The flight of the Family to Egypt when Herod wanted to search for Him…need more be said?

But Herod was not looking for Mary nor was he looking to harm her. He may have hurt her had she stepped in to protect Jesus but he wasn’t specifically after her. He wanted Jesus because He threatened Herod’s reign or so he thought.

Herod is looking for Jesus, but would he kill Jesus and leave Joseph and Mary to live and not expect retribution of some sort? It’s merely common sense: have the whole Family wiped out to remove any evidence or even a chance that the Messiah might come from them. That is why the whole Family went to Egypt; they knew that Herod won’t stop with Jesus, but will not be satisfied until the Family is wiped out.

Originally Posted by King James Version
Revelation 12

1And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:

2And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.

Just looking at these verses alone, some questions come to mind:

Does Israel still have this crown, even though she largely rejected Christ?

What travailing in birth and delivery did Israel have when Christ was born? I am not aware of any.

Yes, the woman can be seen as Mary. And yes, Catholic do see it that way.

However, the woman can also be seen as “good” and the dragon can be seen as “evil” so it’s the battle of Good and Evil.

Or the woman can be viewed as the Church

I have even heard that the woman can be viewed as the “daughter of Zion” (i.e. old people of God)

Listen to this. Especially program 8. It has to do with Chapter 12 and the woman and the dragon

Unlike many folks who aren’t happy unless they find THE interpretation for a certain Biblical verse or passage and it’s that interpretation – or else, Catholic thought on Revelation 12 has always admitted of a number of completely valid interpretations that do not necessarily contradict, but rather, complement each other. It might be frustrating to these types of folks, but – oh well.

Is the woman Mary? Is the woman the Church? Could the woman be Israel?

Yes! :slight_smile:

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
Luke 1:42
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;

Luke 1:56
And Mary remained with her [Elizabeth] about three months

2Sam 6:12
So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom to the city of David with rejoicing;

Luke 1:46-47
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

cont. from prior post

The crown of twelve stars fits Mary as well as Israel. Twelve is a number that represents more than just the twelve tribes of Israel. The number twelve is also a sign of perfection. Mary is among the “souls of just men made perfect,”[Heb 12:13] and as the mother of Jesus she is also the queen mother in the line of the Davidic kings.

Mary was like other Christians during the early Church and could easily have been the target of persecutions. It is generally understood that she spent her final years in Ephesus. Perhaps this is the explanation for the flight into the wilderness to escape the dragon. John was close to Mary and he wrote the book of Revelation. This reference in Revelation may be the only reference we have that she did flee physically into the desert or it may simply mean that she remained sinless during her life time and that Satan’s efforts against her failed because of God’s protection.

I hope this helps.

Yes, but I am confused. The passage in Revelation SPECIFICALLY states that the dragon is after the woman…

[quote=King James Version]Revelation 12:13
13And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.

When was Mary persecuted?

Mary is the Mother of Jesus.

Because she is the Mother of Jesus she is also viewed as the “New Eve”

Those that follow Jesus are called “Christians”.

Mary is seen as the New Eve, because Eve is the Mother of all of humanity… and Mary being the Mother of Jesus is the Mother of all Christians.

The women give birth to a child. The child can be seen as Jesus, but the child can be seen as “Christians”

This might help: Holy Queen: The Mother of God in the Word of God And listen to the program I suggest earlier may help. (see earlier post)

I don’t know how to type it all in away that would explain it.

If one reads it carefully, it should be noted that Herod wouldn’t just be after Jesus, but even Mary and Joseph. That should be very clear. The question is, would Herod stop only with Jesus, or go after the woman herself, knowing that her proginy could, in essence, still destroy him? In short, he would have to go to the source, so to speak, and cut it off permanently.

When was Mary persecuted?

[FONT=comic sans ms]When people vilify Jesus, then she is also persecuted, as that is her Child. So we can see how she was affected while He hung on the Cross.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit