Thursday, September 17, 2009

Revelation 12:1-2

Chapter 12

Now that we have gone over the second string of our guitar so to speak, or the history of the witnesses up to the end of the 1260 days where the wrath of God begins, we will return to the tuning pegs again for another history lesson. This time we will see a type of history of Israel, Christ, and Satan. This will in turn lead into a history of antichrist or the beast who is the spawn of Satan.

Verse 1 "And 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:"

Here we see a direct reference to Genesis. A similar imagery was seen before in the story of Jacob and Joseph. Jacob was the father of the twelve tribes, hence the name of the nation being Israel, as Jacob was renamed Israel by God. In Genesis 37 Joseph has two dreams. In this case, we are interested in the second one. Gen. 37:9 "And he 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." In this dream, Joseph's eleven brothers represented by the stars bowed down to him, along with his father Jacob (Israel) who was the sun, and his mother, who was the moon. This sun, moon, and stars imagery relates to the twelve tribes of Israel. Here we see a similar imagery. The woman clothed with the sun is the nation of Israel. The moon is under her feet and she has a crown of twelve stars. The stars stood for each of Joseph's brothers or tribes of Israel in his dream, and now the woman is shown with twelve stars standing for the entire nation. So this is a symbolic representation of Israel. Because we have seen this imagery before, we can know that this can be interpreted in a symbolic manner. The rule of going outside of a literal interpretation is that some explanation for the imagery be given either within the context of the passage or having been seen before. In this case we had to go back to Genesis to find it. (Which is why you have to start your study of Revelation there and cannot think that merely studying Revelation on its own is going to suffice to tell you everything you need to know about the end times.) However, this imagery is not exactly the same, so there may be more to it. While we know there is a symbolic interpretation that gives us the answer as to whom this refers, we do not have to ignore a literal interpretation. There is an astronomical interpretation, which would be the literal interpretation, and which may explain why the symbolism is slightly altered from that in Genesis. Rather than trying to explain all of this myself, I will refer to a website that explains the timing of the birth of Christ by astronomical signs. It is very interesting and worth reading. It also shows how this imagery actually can be explained literally by astronomical signs. We are told that the stars were given for signs, so this should not be dismissed as irrelevant. The important thing to note though, is whether symbolic or literal, this woman represents Israel.

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

Israel did not give birth to the Messiah easily. Israel was a stubborn rebellious people who did not want to follow God. They fell into idolatry, they mingled their blood with pagans (possibly demonically tainted bloodlines) whom they did not kill off as instructed by God. God had to punish them (sometimes by death) to keep them in line and keep the line intact so that Christ could be born. They were also being warred upon by the neighboring nations which made life extremely difficult for them. Satan did not want Christ born, and did his best to stop it.

No comments:

Post a Comment