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Who Is The 'Woman' in Revelation 12:1?

Ellen Kavanaugh

All the symbols in Revelation are either defined in Revelation itself, or can be defined from the previous use of same word / symbol in the Tanakh. In fact, I think this is why there is a blessing to those who read the Revelation; in order to understand it, you have to read and study all the prophetic passages of the Tanakh as well. So, you gain more than just a study of one book, but of many books.

In Rev. 12:1 the woman is described as a:

"great sign in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head twelve stars.

If we know what the sun, moon, and 12 stars mean here, we can know for sure who the woman is. So we need to go back to the Tanakh and get a definition of the symbols used.

"And he (Jospeh) 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

Gen. 37:10 clearly explains the symbols were Joseph's family: the sun was his father Jacob , the moon was his mother Rachel, and the 11 stars were his brothers (aka the sons of Jacob, tribes of Israel ). So we know the woman in Revelation is Israel --- a Jewish Israel. She wears the very early symbols given to Jacob and the tribes. This is about as Jewish as it gets.

And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Yeshua HaMashiach." Revelation 12:17

Another proof text that the woman is Israel, because it was to Israel the commandments of G-d (referring to Sinai Covenant -- the Torah) were given; but note the war isn't with all her children, only those who also believe in Yeshua. The dragon is after believing Israel -- the remnant -- which is comprised of Torah observant Jewish believers and grafted in Gentiles. Hmmm, those who keep commandments *and* have faith in Yeshua ... sounds like Torah Observant Messianics to me. Compare to:

"Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Yeshua." Revelation 14:12

The woman in Revelation is Israel; her remnant is believing Israel.

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