The Woman Persecuted, But Preserved

Revelation 12:13-18
The End Times

More on the 1,260 Days [1]

Again God uses the 1,260-day time period. The 1,260 days of verse 6 are identical with a season and two seasons and half a season of verse 14; the latter means “a year, years, and half a year,” or 3½ years, which is the same as 42 months, which, at 30 days to the month, is 1,260 days. Why three different expressions are used for the same length of time we do not know; there may be shades of meaning hidden from us.

The woman was in the desert 3½ years or 1,260 days. The Holy City was trampled on for 42 months (11:2). The beast lived 42 months after his death-stroke was healed (13:5). The two witnesses prophesied in sackcloth for 1,260 days (11:3). Thus the Holy City was trampled on while the woman was in the wilderness, while the two witnesses were prophesying in sackcloth, while Babylon (the revived beast) was on the throne, all at the same time. The dragon (HaSatan), standing on the shore of the sea, prepares to went off to fight the rest of her children (those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Yeshua). HaSatan sets his sights on all Believers.

The Woman Persecuted, But Preserved

“When the dragon saw that he had been hurled down to the earth, he went in pursuit of the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14 But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle, so that she could fly to her place in the desert, where she is taken care of for a season and two seasons and half a season, away from the serpent’s presence. 15 The serpent spewed water like a river out of its mouth after the woman, in order to sweep her away in the flood; 16 but the land came to her rescue — it opened its mouth and swallowed up the river which the dragon had spewed out of its mouth. This spiritual contest that has been going on now for millennia is about to come to a spectacular conclusion. It can be compared to the last half of the ninth inning in a baseball game or the final two minutes of a professional football game. The whistle has blown, and HaSatan has been informed that the last 3 1/2 years are about to begin. Every bit of HaSatan’s energy will be used to destroying Israel, this planet, and all the people who live there. 

The Scriptures tell us that the dragon will bring a flood upon the land in an attempt to destroy Israel. Whether this is a literal flood or a flood of soldiers (HaSatan’s army), the attempt is foiled by God; however, there may be a massive loss of people! Zechariah, chapter 13, may be speaking of this occasion, and if that be true, verse 8 discloses that two-thirds of the nation will be struck down. Many that die could be those of different races living in Israel at that time, as opposed to those who are the blood line of the Jewish nation.

Some theologians believe that Israel’s flight (verse 14) may be made possible by the United States of America; however, this is strictly speculation. But God’s protection of Israel is certainly not dependent upon American support. God’s protection and His methods of protection are completely up to His sovereignty, whether they be natural or supernatural. But God’s divine protection of Israel from complete and ultimate destruction by the serpent is the clear teaching of this text. Before the chapter closes we find the dragon not only warring against the nation Israel but also turning against those Jews who have recognized Yeshua as the true Messiah and have embraced Him by faith.

The dragon was infuriated over the woman and went off to fight the rest of her children, those who obey God’s commands and bear witness to Yeshua.

The rest of her children are Messianic Believers who have come to salvation during the Tribulation. They obey God’s commands, not the 613 mitzvot but the Torah with the necessary changes (Hebrews 7:11, 8:6; Acts 15:22-28; Yochanan 13:34; Romans 13:8-10) that give us the Torah’s true meaning, which the Messiah upholds” (Galatians 6:2).

Then the dragon stood on the seashore; this phrase seems out of place.  You don’t typically end a sentence, let alone a chapter with a semi-colon.   Some versions place this verse at the beginning of 13:1 to accommodate a textual variation, “I stood upon the sand of the sea,” (KJV), referring to Yochanan. But better textual evidence in modern translations affirms the reading, “he [i.e., the dragon] stood.”

Special Comparative Note on Chapter 12:13-18[2]

Historicist Approach:

Historicists are divided over the interpretation of the persecution of the woman. Elliot interprets this as a severe decline in true piety and spiritual state of the church shortly after the triumph of Christianity in the Roman Empire.  The continuing warfare against the rest of her children as HaSatan’s efforts to subvert the doctrines on Augustine and Vigilantius.  Barnes sees the dragon as the papacy.  The woman’s flight is the disappearance into the obscurity of the uncompromised persecution of the papacy. Most view the flood and the earth’s intervention as God’s protection and preservation of the true remnant even against overwhelming odds.

Preterist Approach:

Preterists consider this passage regarding the escape of the Judean Church from the Edomite and Roman invasions during the Jewish War when Believers fled to shelter in the desert caves.  The flood is viewed similarly to the crossing of the Red Sea in Exodus.

Futurist Approach:

Some Futurists see this passage as a reminder of Exodus 19:4 and Deuteronomy 32:11-12.  There is a divergence of opinion on the flood.  Some see it as drowning out people out of their wilderness refuge. Others see it as “evil teachings…in contrast to the water of life given by Yeshua.” Still others as the overflowing horde of men and weapons sent after the Jews in the wilderness by the beast.

Idealist Approach:

Idealists tend to support the Futurists views on this passage.

In my next post, we will explore Revelation 13:1-4 dealing with The Beast from the Sea.

Click here for PDF version.

[1] Halley’s Bible Handbook: Deluxe Edition.

[2] Material in this post is taken from “Revelation: Four Views, Revised & Updated” by Steve Gregg. Notations in brackets, if any, are my comments.

One thought on “The Woman Persecuted, But Preserved

  1. Pingback: The Woman Persecuted, But Preserved – @dnorris99 My Heart is for Israel | Talmidimblogging

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