Wonder in heaven … woman clothed with sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars … being with child. (Rev. 12:1-2)
This is an amazing compilation by John of Patmos written within three decades of the persecution-crucifixion of the Jewish people. John has a premonition that in apotheosis a woman will be with child. This “Wonder in heaven” startlingly bursts upon serenity of those claiming divinity. Something unknown will be disclosed shaking violently self-created truisms. John is stating there has been a miscomprehension; something aberrant, unprecedented will be the sign of the apocalyptic end. To John, the period up until the end times is clouded by deception, darkness, blind intoxication, horses running in different directions. Figuratively a “slaying a third of men” is anticipated. Woes would be suffered. With the opening of the testaments, the book, the extant interpretation is to be challenged. So great is the misapprehension that a woman clothed with the brilliance of the sun’s light, wearing twelve stars, has to come to enlighten gross misguidance. A new birth comes – she is beholden with a child. We will ask if the new will replace the old. Sensationally this commotion happens whilst the last trumpet is sounding. It is all very foreboding. Something of great significance, not previously perceived, is about to be transformative. Our souls will be free from the blight of errors down the centuries. A light is about to shine.
Reading of this wonder woman, radiating reflective light, one ponders as John incorporates an old Mediterranean-Eastern mythology of mother and child into the narrative. John never directly mentions a Mary, a Joseph nor a Jesus born at the end of Herod the Great’s reign in his “Revelation of Jesus Christ” – Rev. 1:1. He never personifies. He structured a manuscript over decades, made “content” reliant on their ancient past records, written words, numbers, fables and numerous metaphors all drawn from their OT writings. One begins to question did the later synoptic books personify a man-child based on John of Patmos’ apocalyptic metaphor. Paul’s letters and epistles should be followed by the book of Revelation and then followed by the three personifying gospels. John’s fourth gospel regenerates a truly spiritual interpretation to awaken the heart and mind.
The Synoptic phrases concentrate their whole attention on the Pharisees and Sadducees. Despite this western academia and theological masters have shifted the blame onto Rome. To modernity Rome has always been the culprit (i.e. seven hills of Rome is a popular myth). Such fanciful interpretation is from what we call Daniel’s prophecy of 9:24-27. But Daniel’s insight, his 490 years (70 weeks) recall, was of the years of Jewish kings as plainly stated in the structured books of Kings and Chronicles. Narcissism was so ripe we, well into this millennium, projected Daniel’s insight forward to 33 AD. Daniel actually looked back to the ancient written texts to construe a never ending pattern of ascent and descent. John of Patmos did similarly. The first reference to man-child in Hebrew writings was that of Hezekiah (Immanuel). This was the fertile ground for repeated application of this allegory. It also enabled the easy going (Hamites) to adopt a literal version and sweep away the original. “Study to show thyself approved” was the call. But those that never study succumbed to our darkest introvert hours well after the fall of Jerusalem.
The gospels wrote the story up of resistance to the Pharisees and Sadducees from the old testament fables – book of Ruth – Naomi said call me Mara (waters, people made bitter), Joseph (increaser), virgin governance – almah – without God (decline of Israel and Judah before Hezekiah), virgin governance – bethulah – governance with God (after Hezekiah’s Temple reconstruction) , Hezekiah – the man-child who in maturity was called Immanuel and last of all the book of Joshua (Jesus). The woman with the shining light with child of Rev. 12:1 renews this ancient message cleverly transcribed from the pre-exilic era. The Synoptic carried on this tradition.
John sensed that later readers would personify the opposition to the ruler-ship of the Pharisees and Sadducees. The Hebrews had a history of great leaders. James and Peter both encouraged the idea of a crucified savior and the Sadducees denied resurrection. This was very convenient to the struggling government. The rebellion had been annihilated, persecuted. The pandering leadership did not want any second coming. It was very traumatic with the ongoing rulership liaising with the Romans. The populace sensed the coming annihilation. Their government was not able to provide reliable, consistent, security with the rise of aggressive surrounding belligerent national states. Soon their autonomy was threatened, their very being. In the eyes of the Jews this leadership had regressed from the time of Judas Maccabees, their great “Rock”, and promulgator of their everlasting kingdom.
John to help counter any literal interpretation deliberately referenced the past fable in his creative story of mother and child that had been eternally recognized as a story of the creative heraldic victory of Light over Darkness from before a consciousness evolved to hold the baton. The male and female traits had always represented the inherit toing and froing within all transient passage. John and Paul both had experienced this struggle evident in their very life experience.
Predicting there would be long periods of total darkness was a lesson the Jewish race had learnt from the past. It was always, in pre-exilic and post-exilic times, a long time before the tide turned and a new cycle of regeneration commenced. Seeds had to be patiently planted. John projected the coming of a new woman clothed with sun, with a child, into a universal apocalyptic application. Darkness had permeating all the decades post the crucifixion with the voice of the populace annihilated. The churches of Asia Minor failed to appreciate, denying the writing of the Ancients so John had something against all of them. By now Roman dominance was ever compounding and imminent. Certainly by the final writing of Revelation, all was lost, the government had collapsed. Jerusalem was burned to cinders. Death stalked the land in every quarter. All hope was forlorn, resurrection lost for generations to come. John wrote positively of seven angels’ messages, seven seals that would be broken, seven trumpets that would sound, and seven last plagues. So dramatic would be the Apocalypse, so bright the rays of light that come with a new birth – it would be the long awaited resurrection.
Later developing Christianity delivered a truth, a whole truth and nothing but truth, beyond all reasonable doubt. Christ had been born at the end of the reign of Herod the Great. The population was subjected to heavy taxes, moved from rural to city construction sites, impoverished in forced resettlement from their agrarian self-sufficient life-style. Many towns were set alight. More than ninety five percent remained illiterate and many came to believe they could well be a longed for messiah. John infers that the light of the Apocalypse enlightens the very darkest niche that has enshrouded the earth with a hypocritical truth. Is Jesus going to have a companion, a rival in the end? Surely modernity’s woman and child is a metaphorical expression – creativity (Eve) emerges from millenniums of falsified ethical and moral spirituality, shining like a torch. John’s subservient society had crossed the path of the Ancient scribes. Paul realized his error in his epiphany. But John skillfully sought a pedagogical fulfillment for higher elevation of the lowly populace. The four angels would loosen a liberating milieu with the bonded waters (peoples) of the Euphrates flowing again. Why twelve stars? Are these the figuratively twelve tribes, the twelve apostles, a symbol of a great body of diversity?
There is a “wonder in heaven.” Unexpectedly, a woman clothed with the sun is seen with child. A new savior for the world! Birth is about to spring forth again. Will the entrenched myths of the dark ages turn their attention to tomorrow’s child. This child is about to be born. We have to move quickly to be prepared. The structure of the Testaments is about to be disclosed. The chaos of denominationalism is over.
And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. (Rev. 12:3)
What a tortuous birth it has been! What is about to be brought forth? So much light shines, the sun and moon and a crown of twelve stars of intensity. It was always going to be a very triumphant experience. But wait.
And there appeared another wonder in heaven … a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and ten crowns upon his heads.… And the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. (Rev. 12:3-4)
Suddenly, the opposing dark forces appear. A red dragon appears ready to devour the woman clothed with the sun and moon. Our new bambino is in danger. Jealousy is threatening, the curse of all time. This dragon has seven heads, ten horns, and ten crowns and is ready to devour the embryonic child — the same characteristics as that first beast of Rev. 13:1! Has the dragon and the beasts of Daniel (ten horns – ten tribes of Israel, seven heads – the last seven kings of Judah after Hezekiah’s restoration) metamorphosed into one almighty beast throughout our age of delusion; a terrible beast that is very street smart. This beast apparently surpasses the combined powers of Saul, David, Solomon, and the diverse beast of Israel and Judah. This hazardous beast has devolved from all the beasts of the past and inhabits every nook and cranny. Friends, it can’t be trusted. It is absolutely terrifying and will do anything to survive. Anything is possible with the support of the power of the dragon. We will come back to it in Revelation 13:1.
And she brought forth a man-child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: her child was called up to God, and to his throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness … that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and three score days. (Rev. 12:5–6)
Wow. How could we take this literally? Another child, unto us another child is born! And I recall 1260 days will the child be fed in the wilderness. Is not that the sacred and civil year balance of governance and cosmological advance from days of old?
What will come next?