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How does Israel fit into Revelation?

by Stephen Davey

Suellen asks, "What are the indications that point to Israel as being the woman clothed with the sun in Revelation 12:1?"

I do believe, as your questions implies, that Revelation 12:1 is a reference to Israel. The passage reads as follows:

“And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.”

The view that this is a picture of Israel fits the context of this chapter, as well as the rest of Scripture.

As you know, Jesus was Jewish. He was part of the nation Israel as the God-man. The prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah both use the imagery of Israel being a woman in labor. There is an implication of pain and anguish associated with labor.

Israel was under the heel of Rome when Christ was born—and the added persecution by Satan to wipe out the Christ child is one of the underlying dramas of the Christmas story. The anguish of Israel was heard as Herod had all the Jewish boys under the age of two killed in and around Bethlehem in order to destroy the one who was born, King of the Jews.

It seems fitting for Scripture to use the imagery of labor and delivery in regards to Jesus ethnic origin.

You’ll also notice that her symbolic appearance is tied to Israel in the mention of the sun, moon and 12 stars.

There is only one other place in Scripture where you find all these symbols clustered together in one place. That one other place is Genesis 37 where Joseph describes his dreams to his brothers and father. There you have the sun, the moon and 12 stars representing the nation Israel.

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