Seed of the Woman

After his expulsion, Satan waged war against the “seed of the Woman” – Those who hold the “testimony of Jesus” - Revelation 12:7-17

Snake - Photo by Bofu Shaw on Unsplash
Having failed to destroy the messianic “
son,” and thoroughly enraged, the “Dragon” vents his rage by pursuing the “woman” into the “wilderness,” and not by waging war against the unsaved "inhabitants of the earth.” Instead, prevented from destroying the “woman,” he persecutes her offspring - [Photo by Bofu Shaw on Unsplash].

Everything that transpires in the rest of the chapter is the result of the son’s elevation to the “throne.” While some of the pictured events may occur in the future, all of them are because of his past victory over the “Dragon,” the “accuser of the brethren.”
  • (Revelation 12:13-17) – “And when the Dragon saw that he was cast to the earth, he pursued the woman who had brought forth the male. And there were given to the Woman the two wings of the great eagle that she might fly into the wilderness to her place where she is nourished a time, times half a time from the face of the Serpent. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water like a river after the Woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the stream. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth and swallowed up the river that the Dragon cast out of his mouth. And the Dragon was angered against the woman and went away to make war with the rest of her Seed, with them who were keeping the commandments of God and holding the testimony of Jesus.”
The “nourishing” of the “woman” echoes the story of Yahweh feeding Israel in the wilderness with “manna.” He sustains her through the persecuting efforts of the “Dragon.” The “two wings of the eagle” allude to Exodus when God declared to Israel, “You have seen what I did to the Egyptians and how I bare you on eagles' wings” - (Exodus 16:15-35, 19:3-4).

The reference to the “serpent” provides a link to the story of Eve in the Garden of Eden when she was “deceived” by the Devil. The image of the “serpent casting water like a river out of his mouth” does not refer to literal floodwaters, but to the flood of deception Satan poured out against the “woman” - (Genesis 3:13).

God intervened to thwart his assault against her. Enraged all the more, the “Dragon” turned his fury against the “rest of the woman’s seedto make war with them,” which echoes the clause from the book of Daniel when the “little horn made war with the saints and prevailed over them” - (Daniel 7:21).

Keep” translates the Greek verb téreô. The phrase does not refer to keeping the commandments of the Mosaic Law, but to those who “keep” the words of Jesus and is a link to the promises made to the overcoming saints from the “seven churches.” Thus, the overcomers from the “churches of Asia” are included in the “remnant of her seed” - (Revelation 1:3, 2:26, 3:3-8, 22:7-9).

Gospel - Photo by Ben White on Unsplash
Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Likewise, the “
testimony of Jesus” connects to previous statements about overcoming believers, beginning with John on the isle of Patmos, who suffer persecution because of the “testimony of Jesus” - (Revelation 1:2, 1:9, 6:9, 11:7, 12:11):
  • And when he opened the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of them that had been slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held” - (Revelation 6:9).
In the preceding passages, “testimony” or martyria is connected to being persecuted for Jesus, beginning with John when he found himself on Patmos because of his “testimony.” And always, it is for the “testimony” of Jesus.

Both descriptions are applied to the “saints” in the fourteenth chapter of the book, the same group that will be attacked by the “beast from the sea” in the next chapter - the “saints” (Revelation 13:7, 14:12).

The “remnant of her seed.” In this context, the only offspring of the “woman” was the messianic “son.” When Satan was expelled, the voice declared that the “accuser of the brethren” had been cast down - those who “overcame” the “Dragon” by the “word of their testimony.” Thus, the “remnant of her seed” is identical to the “brethren” of Jesus, those who faithfully follow the “Lamb” wherever he goes.

The last verse of chapter 12 forms a transition to the next vision. Standing on the seashore, the “Dragon” will summon his “seed,” the “beasts” from the “sea” and the “earth,” to wage war against the “seed of the woman” that is, the “saints” and “brethren” who “overcome” Satan by following the “slain Lamb” wherever he goes.

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