Revelations 12:1,2


#1

*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. *

I was praying my rosary the other day and read this passage and a thought struck me. This passage (at least the 1’st verse) is used for the coronation of the Blessed Virgin, and that makes sense. But it’s the second verse that got me.

Birth pain is a result of original sin, so could the person described in this passage still be Mary, if she was experiencing birth pains?

I tried looking around the net, but could only find sites that had serious anti-Catholic bias that talked about this. I need some help, can anyone point me to the teaching on this?

thanks,

-revelations


#2

From Haydock’s Catholic Bible Commentary (1859):

Ver. 1. A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet. By this woman, interpreters commonly understand the Church of Christ, shining with the light of faith, under the protection of the sun of justice, Jesus Christ. The moon, the Church, hath all changeable things of this world under her feet, the affections of the faithful being raised above them all. — A woman: the Church of God. It may also, by allusion, be applied to our blessed Lady [the Virgin Mary]. The Church is clothed with the sun, that is, with Christ: she hath the moon, that is, the changeable things of the world, under her feet; and the twelve stars with which she is crowned, are the twelve apostles: she is in labour and pain, whilst she brings forth her children, and Christ in them, in the midst of afflictions and persecutions. (Challoner) — On her head…twelve stars, her doctrine being delivered by the twelve apostles and their successors. (Witham)

Ver. 2. With child, &c., to signify that the Church, even in the time of persecutions, brought forth children to Christ. (Witham) — It likewise signifies the difficulties which obstructed the first propagation of Christianity. (Pastorini)


#3

Here is the interpretation of the so called “Messianic Jews”:

lightofmashiach.org/woman.html

If we know what the sun, moon, and 12 stars mean here, we can know for sure who the woman is. So we need to go back to the Tanakh and get a definition of the symbols used.

[INDENT]*“And he (Jospeh) dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me. And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?” Genesis 37:9,10 *

Gen. 37:10 clearly explains the symbols were Joseph’s family: the sun was his father Jacob , the moon was his mother Rachel, and the 11 stars were his brothers (aka the sons of Jacob, tribes of Israel ). So we know the woman in Revelation is Israel — a Jewish Israel. She wears the very early symbols given to Jacob and the tribes. This is about as Jewish as it gets.

*And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Yeshua HaMashiach." Revelation 12:17 *

Another proof text that the woman is Israel, because it was to Israel the commandments of G-d (referring to Sinai Covenant – the Torah) were given; but note the war isn’t with all her children, only those who also believe in Yeshua. The dragon is after believing Israel – the remnant – which is comprised of Torah observant Jewish believers and grafted in Gentiles. Hmmm, those who keep commandments and have faith in Yeshua … sounds like Torah Observant Messianics to me. Compare to:

“Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Yeshua.” Revelation 14:12

The woman in Revelation is Israel; her remnant is believing Israel.
[/INDENT]

For me that makes more sense. Afterall it is the jews who have been the most tormented people on earth.


#4

The woman is Israel…and the Church, and Mary, and Eve.

Also, many teach that this pain is a reference to the sword that would pierce Mary’s heart (see link above).

Also, Jesus experienced death which is because of sin. So if Mary did suffer birth pangs, it does not mean she must have sinned.


#5

Here’s Mark Shea’s apologetic on the matter:

One argument, oddly enough, accepts that Mary is the Woman of Revelation 12 after all. However, since Revelation says the woman was “with child and she cried out in her pangs of birth, in anguish for delivery” (Revelation 12:2) then (the claim goes) she must be sinful since this is the punishment prescribed for Eve after the Fall:
[INDENT]To the woman he said,
"I will greatly multiply your pain in childbearing;
in pain you shall bring forth children. (Genesis 3:16)

Even to me, who had deeply assumed there was something in Scripture contradicting the Immaculate Conception, this was an exceedingly weak claim. By the logic of this argument, it would also be possible to indict Jesus as a sinner since He suffered toiled, sweated and suffered death, just like Adam (cf. Genesis 3:17-19).

But more fundamentally, there’s a peculiar tone-deafness to the argument. It’s like saying, “Okay! I grant that Mary is the Cosmic Queen of the Universe, crowned with twelve stars, clothed with the majesty of the sun, and treading the moon under her feet with the awesome glory that God has bestowed upon her! Fine! But what’s this? Is that a thread I spy hanging loose on her garments that outshine the sun?” It’s a very silly argument, particularly since the language used by Revelation obviously refers to the innocent sufferings of Mary as she endured the “birth pangs of the kingdom” (Matthew 24:8) in witnessing the agonies of her Son—that is, it refers to the “sword” that pierced her soul at the Passion, not to physical labor pains.[/INDENT]


#6

the messianic jews had strong scriptural support for every symbolism used in the passage. Are there any scriptural support that leads to the interpretation that the woman is the church, mary & eve?


#7

Jimmy addresses this in the article I linked to. I could come up with more if you wanted…but might take a bit.

Curious, you are asking for Scriptural support. Are you still of the same faith you were when you started the forums?


#8

Good replies! Thanks for the links guys my mind is at ease now :D. I would say that Jimmy’s link includes the messianic interpretation along with it’s interpretation.

From what i read i don’t think you can say that rev12 means just one thing. Because it does say Christians and followers of the torah…

thank everybody


#9

Regarding Mary in the passage, I’ve always thought of the birth pains were in reference to the agony she suffered while at the cross with Jesus - as it was foretold: “And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed” (Luke 2:35), since the cross is where Christ gave Mary us as our mother, and us to her as her children (see John 19:26-27 and also Rev 12:17).

This seems to be inline with the DR commentary found here:1 “A woman”… The church of God. It may also, by allusion, be applied to our blessed Lady. The church is clothed with the sun, that is, with Christ: she hath the moon, that is, the changeable things of the world, under her feet: and the twelve stars with which she is crowned, are the twelve apostles: she is in labour and pain, whilst she brings forth her children, and Christ in them, in the midst of afflictions and persecutions.
Peace in Christ,

DustinsDad


#10

since the cross is where Christ gave Mary us as our mother, and us to her as her children (see John 19:26-27 and also Rev 12:17).

Peace in Christ,

DustinsDadI’ve always been fascinated by the way prophecies and visions can end up having multiple fulfillments and meanings and still all be valid. They’re all over the Bible.

It’s always been a pet peeve of mine with so many of the end times preachers who dogmatically make statements and ignore the other meanings and fulfillments as if they aren’t there. It’s one reason that I don’t listen to most of them and just maintain the same (very conservative) position the Church does.

I don’t know where the Eve application comes in and I don’t really see that one but all the rest seem good IMO.

Your reference to Luke 2:35 is also something that I have often meditated upon because to me it’s almost like Simeon is telling Mary that people’s reactions to her and her sufferings will be a measure that God uses to reveal hearts. If that is true then perhaps here is another very biblical case for Marian devotion.


#11

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