Revelation 12 is the twelfth chapter of the Book of Revelation or the Apocalypse of John in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. The book is traditionally attributed to John the Apostle, but the precise identity of the author remains a point of academic debate. This chapter contains the accounts about the woman, the dragon, and the child, followed by the war between Michael and the dragon, then the appearance of the monster from the sea. William Robertson Nicoll, a Scottish Free Church minister, suggests that in this chapter the writer has created a Christianised version of a Jewish source which "described the birth of the Messiah in terms borrowed from ... cosmological myths [such as] that of the conflict between the sun-god and the dragon of darkness and the deep".
Apocalypse 19. Michael and the angel. Revelation 12:7-9. Scheits. Phillip Medhurst Collection
|Book||Book of Revelation|
|Christian Bible part||New Testament|
|Order in the Christian part||27|
- Papyrus 115 (ca. AD 275; extant verses 1-5, 8-10, 12-17)
- Papyrus 47 (3rd century)
- Codex Sinaiticus (330-360)
- Codex Alexandrinus (400-440)
- Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus (ca. 450; complete)
Old Testament referencesEdit
New Testament referencesEdit
The Woman, the Dragon and the Child (12:1–6)Edit
- Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars.
The King James Version refers to "a great wonder"  and the Revised Standard Version refers to "a great portent". The Greek word used is σημεῖον, rendered sign in many other passages in the New Testament. Anglican biblical commentator William Boyd Carpenter writes that "the word sign is preferable to wonder, both in this verse and in Revelation 12:3. It is the same word which is rendered sign in Revelation 15:1. It is a sign which is seen: not a mere wonder, but something which has a meaning; it is not 'a surprise ending with itself', but a signal to arrest attention, and possessing significance; there is 'an idea concealed behind it'."
- And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads.
The word rendered "dragon" - Ancient Greek: δράκων, - occurs 9 times (and 4 more in derivative forms) in the New Testament, only in the Book of Revelation, where it is uniformly rendered as here: "dragon". The word for diadem (Greek: διάδημα) occurs only three times in the New Testament, always in the Book of Revelation. The number and placement of diadems on a claimant’s heads or horns are significant: on the dragon’s seven heads as a symbol of its claim to complete authority (Rev. 12:3); on the beast from the sea’s ten horns as a symbol of its claim to total power (Rev. 13:1); and on Christ’s head, multiple in number (Rev. 19:12).
- 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.
- "A man child": from Greek: υἱὸν ἄρρενα,[b] , literally: "a son, a male". The term "man child" in Jeremiah 20:15 (KJV: "A man child is born") is translated from the Hebrew term: בן וכר, where in the Greek it is υἱὸς ἄρσην, or simply ἄρσην as in the Septuagint rendering of this passage.
- "Rule" from Greek: ποιμαίνειν, , meaning "tend as a shepherd" (cf. Revelation 2:27). It was prophesied in Psalm 2:9, that Christ should break the nations with a rod of iron.
Michael and the Dragon (12:7–12)Edit
- And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought.
- And the great dragon was cast out, 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.
- "Old serpent": This is the only place in canonical Scripture where without doubt it is revealed that the 'Tempter in Eden' (Genesis 3:1) was 'the Devil' (cf. Wisdom 2:24 for a non-canonical Scripture allusion).
- And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto the death.
- "Overcame him by the blood of the Lamb" or "conquered him on account of the blood of the Lamb", implying that the power of the accuser or the devil was removed when 'the Lamb of God' had taken away the sin of the world (John 1:29), and when the redeemed people have the boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus (Hebrews 10:19).
The Dragon and the Woman (12:13–17)Edit
- And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.
- "Two wings of a great eagle": Bauckham sees the "eagle's wings" (Exodus 19:4; Deuteronomy 32:11; Isaiah 40:31) and the "wilderness" in this verse as "exodus motifs".
- And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.
- War in Heaven
- Jesus Christ
- John's vision of the Son of Man
- Names and titles of Jesus in the New Testament
- Seven trumpets
- Woman of the Apocalypse
- The Revelation 12 sign prophecy, an event that was supposed to take place in 2017
- Related Bible parts: Revelation 5, Revelation 6, Revelation 7, Revelation 8, Revelation 9, Revelation 11, Revelation 13
- Davids, Peter H (1982). I Howard Marshall and W Ward Gasque (ed.). New International Greek Testament Commentary: The Epistle of James (Repr. ed.). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans. ISBN 0802823882.
- Evans, Craig A (2005). Craig A Evans (ed.). Bible Knowledge Background Commentary: John, Hebrews-Revelation. Colorado Springs, Colo.: Victor. ISBN 0781442281.
- F. L. Cross, The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), 45
- Bauckham 2007, p. 1289.
- Nicoll, W. R., Expositor's Greek Testament on Revelation 12, accessed 5 November 2018
- Revelation 12:1-18: Vulgate
- Elliott, J. K. "Revelations from the apparatus criticus of the Book of Revelation: How Textual Criticism Can Help Historians." Union Seminary Quarterly Review 63, no. 3-4 (2012): 1-23.
- Claremont Coptic Encyclopaedia, Codex Vaticanus, accessed 29 September 2018
- Kirkpatrick, A. F. (1901). The Book of Psalms: with Introduction and Notes. The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges. Book IV and V: Psalms XC-CL. Cambridge: At the University Press. p. 838. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
- Revelation 12:1: NKJV
- Revelation 12:1 KJV
- Revelation 12:1 RSV
- Barnes, Albert, Barnes' Notes on Revelation 12, accessed 8 November 2018
- Boyd Carpenter, W., Commentary on Revelation, chapter 12, accessed 7 November 2018
- Revelation 12:3 NKJV
- Strong's Greek 1404. drakón. Biblehub.com
- James L. Resseguie, Revelation of John: A Narrative Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2009), 171-72, 180.
- Revelation 12:5 KJV
- Greek Text Analysis: Revelation 12:5. Biblehub
- Vincent, Marvin R. (1886) Vincent's New Testament Word Studies, "Revelation 12". Hendrickson Publishers. Internet Sacred Texts Archive. Biblehub.
- Bengel, Johann. Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. Revelation 12. Accessed on 24 April 2019.
- Jamieson, Robert; Fausset, Andrew Robert; Brown, David. Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown's Commentary On the Whole Bible, "Revelation 12". 1871.
- Poole, Matthew, A Commentary on the Holy Bible. "Revelation 12".
- Revelation 12:7 NKJV
- Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges. Revelation 12, accessed 28 April 2019
- Revelation 12:9 KJV
- Revelation 12:11 KJV
- Boyd Carpenter, W., Revelation 12, in Ellicott, C. J. (Ed.) 1905), Ellicott's Bible Commentary for English Readers, London: Cassell and Company, Limited, [1905-1906] Online version: (OCoLC) 929526708 accessed 28 April 2019
- Revelation 12:14 KJV
- Bauckham 2007, p. 1297.
- Revelation 12:16 KJV