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: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.(Revelation 12:1-5)
In a recent article we began an exploration of the mystery of the near universal hatred and antipathy towards the Jews. We examined possible human reason why people seem to have hated, blamed and suspected the Jews of much evil.
Such causes as envy at the successes of Jewish people, and badly misreading scripture, or the fact that God exiled the Jews and caused them to be perpetual strangers in the diaspora over the centuries, all factor in, no doubt. Also the fact that even in their estrangement from God and temporary exile, the Jews are yet a witness to the reality of the God of the Bible would be a reason why those who hate God would hate the Jews.
But there is a virulent, irrational aspect to anti-Semitism which points to even deeper, darker causes than these. I believe tat the vision the Apostle John had in Revelation 12 is a spiritual explanation for Anti Semitism.
There is a correspondence between the Sacred books of Genesis and the Revelation. As it was in the beginning, so shall it be at the end, for there is continuity in the Divine Revelation.
Genesis three features a woman, in a garden of delight, being tempted by a serpent. By the time we come to Revelation 12, the woman is in labor, with child, and the serpent has become a multi-headed, multi crowned Dragon! There is a man in the garden also, He was called to rule the world. In the vision of John, there is now a man-child, destined to rule all nations.
Who is the woman? We know who the woman is in Genesis, she is Eve, the mother of us all. But who is the woman in Revelation? She is clothed with the Sun, with the moon under her feet and has a crown of 12 Stars.
When I was a Roman Catholic, I used to think the woman was the Virgin Mary. Our little church even featured a statue of Mary, standing on the globe, crushing the serpent underneath her feet. She had a crown of 12 Stars.
Of course this was a blasphemous misinterpretation of the original gospel in Genesis 3:15, the promise of the “Seed of the woman” who would himself crush the serpent’s head , but would bruise his own heel. Mary, the mother of Jesus, didn’t crush the serpent’s head, for she confessed that she too was a sinner in need of salvation.
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.(Genesis 3:15)
“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name”.(Luke 1:46-49)
The European Union, a new political entity heavily influenced by Roman Catholicism, has chosen as its flag the 12 Stars in a circle, the so-called “Crown of Mary”.
But the woman in the vision is not Mary. Then who is she?
Let us interpret scripture with other scripture, Revelation with Genesis in this case.The identity of this vision is revealed in the story of Joseph and his dreams.
“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. 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)
The twelve stars are the sons of Israel, and the Sun and the Moon are Jacob and Leah. Thus the Woman in the vision is Israel.
What does the part mean about Israel laboring in birth? The chosen nation has ever been in labor, for beyond the reception and custody of the written Word of God, and the maintenance of a Holy nation of Priests and Kings, and the sole witness to the true God in a pagan world, Israel’s great task was to be the vessel through whom the Messiah, ‘the seed of the woman’ should come into the world to save us from our sins.
Now why dost thou cry out aloud? is there no king in thee? is thy counsellor perished? for pangs have taken thee as a woman in travail. Be in pain, and labour to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, like a woman in travail: for now shalt thou go forth out of the city, and thou shalt dwell in the field, and thou shalt go even to Babylon; there shalt thou be delivered; there the Lord shall redeem thee from the hand of thine enemies.(Micah 4:9-10)
All of the above, though being Divine privileges, have involved a lot of pain, endurance and hatred from the world which “lies in the power of the wicked One”.
The Red Dragon? The very text tells us who that is…
…that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.(Revelation 12:9)
The Dragon waited for the woman to give birth, that He might devour the man-child, ‘the seed of the woman who would one day crush the serpent’s head’. The ‘man-child’ is Jesus of Nazareth, “Born of a woman, and born under the law“.
From the time of the announcement in the garden of Eden, of the coming ‘man-child’, all through the calling and election of Abraham,Isaac and Jacob, and on into the history of the twelve tribes of Israel, the serpent has ever sought to destroy the ‘seed’, before He could rise up to rule and crush the Devil’s head.
This is why Pharoah took Abraham’s wife, and Isaac’s wife, and tried to obliterate the children of Israel, tempting them to commit fornication with idolaters, , trying to wipe out the grandchildren of David through Athaliah, or to get the Jews to intermarry with Pagans in the days of Nehemiah.
Behind all of these incidents was the Serpent seeking to devour the seed! Thus, as we will elaborate in our next article, Anti-Semitism is Satanic! Everywhere antisemitism is promoted, you are hearing the hiss of the serpent.