< Revelation 11b
The Woman, and the Child, Overcoming the Dragon
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.
[Two perspectives of this vision of the Woman and the Child Overcoming the Dragon are here overlapped upon one another and are seen as one vision. Each of these two perspectives provides different information.
These two perspectives are marked by the two accounts of the Woman being hidden in the wilderness for a period of time. Technically the period of time is 3 1/2 years. However, this period is first designated in one perspective as "1,260 days" and then in the second perspective as "a time, times and half a time".
In the first view we are introduced to the Woman as the mother of the unique child, then being hidden in the wilderness. In this view we will see her with the overview perspective of the eagle and the Adam. In the second view we will find the woman has become the mother of many children who are spiritually faithful to the unique child. In this second view we will see the woman with the on-the-ground perspective of the ox and the lion. The progression of these perspectives, the one building on the other and tying into the other will lead us directly into the next visions, when the great serpent gives its power to the artificial beast and then when we see the Lamb with the 144,000 on Mount Zion.
The woman is Israel, not Israel as humans see Israel, but rather, the woman is Israel as seen to appear spiritually as God sees her. Indeed, she is Jerusalem as God sees her from his heart, with all Israel gathered together within the holy city to meet with him in remembrance of the Passover of Redemption, to meet with him and go on to live in eternal intimacy with him. In the previous vision of the Two Witnesses, Jerusalem has just been seen by all in heaven to finally repent fully and completely and turn to God through the testimony given by his last prophets to the Lamb who was slain. Now this woman, who is Israel and Jerusalem, is seen in this vision in heaven appearing as God sees her, as he has always seen her, as being worthy to bring forth the Messiah.
The vision given in this chapter has been obscure and hard to understand when it has been seen from the vantage point of the nations, which stand in the Temple's outer court able to learn only indirectly what goes on within the Temple. "Who is the woman?" the nations ask. "Is she Israel? Is she the Church? Is she Mary, the mother of Jesus? Why does the vision say that her child was caught up into heaven immediately, as soon as he was born?" they ask. "Was it not after he had lived 33 years, died and rose again that he was caught up into heaven? Perhaps it is not meant literally but as poetic licence," they say. "Maybe it is saying that he was already beginning to be caught up as soon as he was born," someone in the court of the nations suggests. "But why is the woman crowned with twelve stars?" the nations ask. "And why does it say twice that the woman hides in the wilderness? What kind of metaphorical language is this and what is its meaning?" they wonder. "What is the meaning of the 3 1/2 years of her being hidden that is given in these two different forms?"
Such, questions among many others, are the questions that were asked by gentile readers and commentators through the centuries. And then in the end, when it matters most, the court of the nations is cut off — so that even the access of the gentiles who do not enter the Temple to learn indirectly is cut off.
As seen by the worshippers who worship within the Temple the vision looks very different. It is self-evident to those who are worshipping within the Temple what the vision reveals. There is no obscurity, or questions arising from any obscurity. For them it is a vision of the great and glorious Good News of Jerusalem and Her Mashiach itself. It is the vision that reveals the full scope of redemption, illustrating that song of the Seven Thunderous Choirs of Heaven, which have just been heard ringing out the final Good News announcement: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Mashiach, and he shall reign forever and ever.”
Yet even if the vision is now being described as it is seen from within the Temple, openly before the world, those whose faith is in bondage to replacement theology will not be able to hear in their heart what is said. If anyone reads these words and does not repent of the unbelief at the root of replacement theology, the unbelief that the blood of Yehoshua HaMashiach was shed as a prayer to God for the forgiveness of Jerusalem, their heart will not be able to receive these words.
For them, the woman of the vision will still be in hiding. Not all the children of Israel came out of Egypt with Moshe. There was a multitude whose hearts did not break off with Egypt enough to even leave Egypt at all. And not all the gentiles who attached themselves to Israel at that time attached themselves to the children of Israel who left with Moshe. Some of the gentiles who sought to attach themselves to Israel attached themselves to the children of Israel who stayed in Egypt. So it is in this day and will be now in the day that is quickly coming.
"Narrow is the gate and straight is the way that leads to (the kingdom of) life, Matthew 7:14, (my translation). There are those who have entered through the narrow gate but who have not continued on the narrow path that leads to the kingdom. Perhaps they have descended with Israel into Egypt and into the death of her hope, her Anointed one, but they have been diverted from the path to the kingdom. Although they do not know it their faith and suffering has been diverted into a sober, religious existentialism through their own sorrows. Their faith and hope has become self-centred. They have not continued on the straight path to overcome this world through the joy of the hope of Israel's salvation through her Mashiach's resurrection from the dead. They are attached to the children of Israel who stayed in Egypt and did not leave with Moses. The core of replacement theology will remain buried deep in their heart and prevent them from recognizing the woman of this vision for who she is.
It is most commonly thought that replacement theology is encapsulated in the the idea of the replacement of the nation of Israel with the Christian Church in the role of the Bride of Christ/Mashiach. In truth, this idea is not the essence of replacement theology. Actually, this idea is the outcome of replacement theology.
The true essence of replacement theology is not an idea or a belief. It is the failure of a belief. It is the failure to believe that the sacrifice of Jesus/Yehoshua was entirely a prayer to the God of Israel, not to reject Israel, not to replace Israel with any other people, but to forgive Jerusalem and now save and redeem Israel completely, as God had saved and redeemed Israel out of Egypt, in order that both Israel and the nations might know God in truth. And the true essence of replacement theology is the failure to believe that the God of Israel answered this, his Mashiach's prayer.
The core of replacement theology is found in the human heart. It is the failure to believe that God answered the prayer of the Lamb of God for his beloved Jerusalem, to believe that God answered him for the sake of his nation Israel, raising him from the dead as an act of sovereign justice, justifying life for Israel and only because of this for Creation itself. That failure of faith is the true spirit and essence of replacement theology.
It is those who never left the Temple who, with Yochanan, will certainly receive the full revelation of this vision, those who have never been joined to replacement theology at all, in any generation. As for those whose faith has been infected with replacement theology, only those who truly repent of this failure of faith will be counted among those who worship in the Temple with Israel and will not be left out in the court of the nations when it is fully overtaken by — and given over to — the mystery of the theology of the replacement of Israel by the nations. These who in the endtime repent and come out of replacement theology are those who now hear and believe that both the gate and the way are the Good News of Jerusalem's forgiveness and Israel's salvation, though she did not know, though she did not understand, until the time of the Two Witnesses.
Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman... It is stated in a most pronounced manner that the woman appears in heaven.*1 All that is in heaven rules over the earth. All that is revealed through this vision of the woman, as it has appeared in heaven, rules over all that will occur through her upon the earth.
The victory crown composed of twelves stars upon the woman's head is of entirely different significance than the seven crowning rings upon the head of the serpent, which will soon be seen. The woman's crowning victory comes before she has accomplished her work of giving birth to the child. Her victory is in becoming worthy to give birth to the child. In contrast, the serpent is crowned only because he did his evil work already. He mastered the world once long before with the power of a lie, and is the god of this world only through maintaining that lie.
However, on the very occasion that the serpent first appeared to introduce its lie, God cursed the serpent with the promise of the woman being transformed through her unique child who would destroy the serpent. Now we see a vision of the realization of this curse of the serpent, this promise of the woman and her child.
The Covenant of Day and NightThe woman seen transformed by the word of God's promise is clothed in the covenant of God, his covenant of day and night. She is robed in the sun and the moon clothes her feet. The covenant of day and night is the form of God's covenant that he prepared for Israel and made as the beginning, as providing a foundation for the world.
“Thus saith the LORD: ‘If you can break My covenant of the day and My covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season, then may also My covenant be broken with David My servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne, and with the Levites the priests, My ministers, (Jeremiah 33:20-21).
God's covenant of day and night is one with his covenant with Israel and his covenant with Israel is one with his covenant with David, that the promised seed of the woman should be the heir to his throne. Although both David and his son Solomon ruled over all twelve tribes of Israel, their rule over the twelve tribes did not completely fulfill all the covenant promises that God made to Abraham. God therefore made his covenant with the fathers of Israel personally with David also, promising him a son in whom all of the covenant that he made with Israel would be fulfilled. It is in accordance with this covenant as made with David that the woman is seen clothed in heaven with the sun and the moon and with a single crown of twelve stars. For God has placed the garland of his covenant upon her head.]
Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth.
[It is as she appears in heaven, in her most transfigured and glorious and victorious state that the woman is heard to cry out with the birth pangs of the Mashiach. A woman is not heard crying out at the beginning of her labor but at the very time of her delivery. Her cries do not just attract the attention of those who receive this revelation concerning her and her child but also attract the attention of her enemy.]
And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads.
[Here is the first vision in this revelation of what the lying serpent has become by incorporating the civilizations of the nations under his rule, from the position to which he attained as the ruler of the earth and its principalities in the lowest heavens.
We have seen him before in the Book of Daniel and will see him again in this Revelation. Here in this vision we have the greatest overview of the history of redemption, and here the serpent is shown in the manifestation of his vainglory to show only his wrath and his defeat. Therefore the significance of his appearance will be discussed at a late point in the Revelation.]
His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born.
[It was not after the child was born but before when the serpent's tail corrupted a third of the stars of heaven, that is to say, a third of the angels of the stars. The serpent himself was a fallen angel who fell from heaven the moment he conceived his lie and introduced it to Adam. But in his wake other angels fell also, for he corrupted them by the influence of his spirit.
Just as the child to be born was not to be born only of the flesh but also of the resurrection of the dead, so the woman who was to give birth was not only to give birth in this creation but also of a new creation. For of this child it is written,
"I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to Me, 'You are My Son, Today I have brought you to birth, (Psalms 2:7).
"And we declare unto you good news, how the promise which was made unto the fathers, God has fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he has raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, You are my Son, this day I have brought you to birth," (Acts 13:32-33)]
She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne.
[As Miriam, as a daughter of Israel, gave birth to Yehoshua in the flesh, so Israel as a corporate entity, the entity fashioned and defined by God, gave birth to him by enduring the pains of her history and by eternal covenant made with Abraham, made with Sarah, and all Israel's forebears. And so Jerusalem, as spiritually representative of All-Israel, gives birth to him by virtue of her 70 weeks of labor pains and by virtue of the promise made to David.
The promise made to David was that Mashiach would sit on David's throne ruling the nations with the rod of truth, the seal of God. Indeed, it was out of the womb of Israel and out of the struggles of Jerusalem's heart that God raised Yehoshua from the dead, bringing him as the source of a renewed, eternal creation to birth.
For more depth in this perspective read the poem, The Woman's Child. (You can read this poem in a Simplenote format here. Or on the website, Poems of Max Carl Kirk here.)
"And her Child was caught up to God and His throne." From the day of his birth in Bethlehem until the day of his ascension in Jerusalem, all of his teaching, his death and his resurrection, all was, according to the most literal reading of this vision, a part of his being caught up to God and His throne. The vision can be understood this way, or the vision can be understood to be saying that his resurrection was itself the birth that God had his eye upon — and all that came before was like the conception and incubation. And that as soon as the new creation was born in the earth, in his resurrection from the dead, God caught him up to himself in heaven. In either way that the vision is read, or if it is read in both ways, the vision tells us that it is the ascension of the child up to God and to his throne that the serpent wanted to stop. He wanted to devour him while he was yet within his grasp upon the earth. He did not succeed.]
Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.
[This is the first of two times in the chapter that we are told that the woman had to be, and was, hidden in the wilderness from the serpent after her child was born and caught up to God and his throne. The prophetic time period is literally 3 1/2 years, and is based on the prophecy, found in the Book of Daniel, of 70 weeks for the spiritual rectification of Jerusalem.
In this instance, in reference to the 3 1/2 prophetic weeks or years, we are told that the Woman will be hidden in her place in the wilderness for 1,260 days. In the second instance, in verse 14, we are told that she will be hidden there for "a time, times and a half a time". These both refer to exactly the same prophetic period. However, the first time the reference is made it is as precise as possible, while the second instance is as general as possible. What does this tell us? The reason for this is of great significance as we will see.
Just as Israel after redemption from Egypt, with the many Passover lambs, went into the wilderness, so now Israel after redemption through the one eternal Passover Lamb goes into the wilderness. But Israel, as the natural mind understands Israel, is not a definition of the woman of the vision. The woman of the vision is a definition of Israel as God sees Israel. For as God sees Mashiach, so he is, and not as the natural mind sees him. And as God sees Israel, so she is, and not as the natural mind sees Israel; for she is not a nation at all except by the definition of God's word.
Israel does not simply flee to the wilderness but to a place prepared in the wilderness just for her. She does not go into the wilderness to die but to be fed and to live. The wilderness in the Exodus was the wilderness of Israel's wandering. But Israel did not wander just anywhere in the wilderness. She was led on a path.
For the Visible Presence of God was there with her and led her. The place she was led was the place prepared for her because it was the place of her correction and her perfection, the place where she was fed, the place of her preparation to enter the Land of promise where she would become the witness of Hashem. It was to be by her complete redemption in her own land that God would say to Adam and to Adam's whole race and family, "I am what I am," (not what you want me to be). Then and only then would Adam, and Adam's whole race and family be corrected forever, by judgment and redemption, from sin.
The revelation of Yehoshua HaMashiach (Jesus Christ) is the revelation that the judgment, first of Israel and then of the nations, takes place first in the death of the Lamb of God. And the redemption of Israel, then of the nations through Israel, takes place in the resurrection of the Lamb for Israel. For it is in this way, as defined in relation to the Lamb that God sees Israel, and defines Israel as the woman who brings forth the Mashiach. Then, in due time, the revelation takes place as a correction in Israel. For the revelation of truth works from within her, from where God planted it in the deepest depths of her soul, until it emerges into the full expanse of her mind and heart and fills her with words of a song, a good news to declare!
The wilderness to which Israel flees, then, is the wilderness of the nations. It is the galut, not just to anywhere in the wilderness, but a special place in the wilderness, a place where she is spiritually hidden together with the Divine Presence from the nations round about her, a place where she is fed and prepared, transformed and brought to birth, to give all birth and to be herself eternally born. A place where the serpent does not find her.
While we see that the woman is clothed in glory, we should not think that she is some ideal remnant of the faithful, neither one representative of the faithful, like Miriam, nor many like the gathering of disciples. No. Though we see her dressed gloriously, she is the same nation, the same Israel who received the Torah at Sinai and who sinned with the ten spies and failed to enter the Land by faith and was then made to wander in the wilderness of Sinai.
The woman clothed in the sun, with the moon upon her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head is the Israel who failed to receive her Messiah by faith and was then made to wander in the wilderness of the nations. But she is that Israel as seen through the eye of God, only through the eye of God. For she did not bring forth her child by her own power, by her own faith. It was by the power of God and the grace of God and nothing else that Mashiach came into the world as a child of Israel, made atonement for sin and was raised from the dead in a newness of creation.
For how long does the woman wander in her hiding place, her place of regeneration? For how long is she hidden from the serpent and her glory from the nations? At first we are told that it is for 1,260 days. This is the same number we have just heard used to record the testimony in Jerusalem of the Two witnesses.
This precise way of counting is used here to tell us that while her wandering and concealment begins to be measured immediately with the ascension of her child into heaven, there will be a time when it is measured in a contracted frame, as the most complete and total concealment. At first she was hidden and they sensed her. When the time span is focused she will be absolutely hidden from the serpent and from the nations. This will be during the time of the testimony of the Two Witnesses, the time when the Temple in heaven and those who worship in it is measured but the court of the gentiles is left out, being overrun by the violence of the nations for forty-two months.
In review: We see the time of the woman's concealment measured in expanded and contracted ways. For it is a measurement of spiritual time encountering the nature of time in this world. When the vision of the woman with her child and the dragon opens, we see the drama in the perspective of an overview, a summary. But this overview perspective focuses in, to precisely number of the 3 1/2 prophetic years in terms of days. We are being told by this that in looking at the full overview, the drama will lead to a time when the period of the woman's concealment is a contracted period which must be counted narrowly in terms of days. In what follows in the vision we will see in a narrower and narrower focus how the action leads to that conclusion.]
Satan Thrown Out of HeavenAnd war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought,
[When the serpent cannot devour the woman's child on the earth, he tries to follow him right to the throne of God to destroy him and prevent the complete redemption of Israel and the final revelation of the Anointed Child in his glory. Michael, who is the great angel of the Revelation, the Angel of the Lord, the guardian angel of Israel, and all who are with him, then stand against the serpent and all who have fallen with him. The battle is for the truth of the Good News of Israel and Her Mashiach. Then the serpent, as he had done from the beginning, fought, together with his angels, to turn the truth into a lie.]
but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer.
[The serpent first tried to establish the lie of God's rejection of Israel in heaven, but failed. "Was it not proof of the rejection of Israel that Yehoshua had been rejected by Jerusalem as her king and had to then be taken up into heaven and concealed from Israel by his Father?" the serpent argued. But he was cast down before God and was driven out of his court.]
So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
[It is by the finished work of Mashiach for Israel that the devil is defeated and cast out of heaven. Why then is it that he cast down to earth, where he must also be defeated through Israel's testimony to their redemption by the blood of the Lamb of God?
Once he is cast down he works toward ruling the nations to fulfill the scheme of Haman. In our time he did this through the Nazi party in Germany, now through Hamas and organizations like them All this is clear. What will become clear that is not yet clear is that the dragon will gain equal access, to that which he now has in organizations like Hamas, to the whole of civilization of the nations in order to attempt to fulfill the scheme of Haman. But just as Haman was allowed to establish himself only so that he might be overcome by Mordachai and Esther, so Hamas and all the nations today are being allowed to establish themselves in the power of the dragon in order that they might be overcome by the servants of the Lamb.]
Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Mashiach have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.
[This declaration that the Kingdom is now come is the declaration of worldwide salvation. It is heard first after the salvation of Jerusalem in 11:13. We see that here, therefore, we are again looking at the time of the Song of the Sea after the crossing of Israel with Moshe. This now is the song of the angels and elders in heaven upon seeing the repentance of Jerusalem, the final redemption. Jerusalem will now testify with the angels and elders, caring forth the testimony of the Two Witnesses until the end, when Babylon falls and the serpentine dragon who possess the nations is destroyed. And we see this here now in the vision of the woman that is before us. We see this foretold in Isaiah 21, where one speaking in the power of the angel, Michael from the watchtower cries out concerning the coming of the Two Witnesses:
"A lion: My lord, I stand continually upon the watchtower in the daytime, and I am set in my ward whole nights:
And, behold, here comes a chariot of men, with a couple of horsemen. And he answered and said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground.
The chariot of men prophetically represents the armies of Hashem and the couple of horsemen are the witnesses of Hashem's victories, coming to announce the good news. In Revelation 18:1-2 and following we will see the fulfillment of this prophecy explicitly portrayed in detail when we see the fall of Mystery Babylon. Here in the vision of the Woman and Her Child we have a vision designed to give us understanding of all these matters. Therefore it is appropriate to take time to read this vision carefully and learn all that it is meant to reveal.
Here, in the declaration of world salvation, the time frame when the woman brings forth the child and he is caught up into heaven and the time frame when Jerusalem believes the testimony of the Two Witnesses are collapsed together, as if they were one time frame. It is first set in the time frame when the woman brings forth the child and he is caught up into heaven and the dragon is unable to devour him that a victory over the devil resulting in his being cast down to the earth is pictured. As we will see, the timeframe of the final confrontation with the dragon's incarnation as the beast is here going to be folded into the same frame, as if it happened at the same time, where we see the serpent overcome, cast down and crushed. Indeed, in the purely spiritual realm al of this does occur at one and the same time. It is for this reason that it is written here as it is.]
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.
["They" (those who are spoken of here) are indicated under different representations. "They," it will turn out, are Yochanan himself and the whole community of the prophets and the apostles in heaven and earth, (who include under different representations), the twenty-four elders, the saints under the altar, the 144,000, those multitudes clothed in white robes who came out of great tribulation, those who are counted as worshipping in the Temple, the Two Witnesses, repentant Jerusalem, the woman and her children; they are all those sealed with the seal of God in their foreheads. All these overcome the dragon through the child of the woman, who is the Lamb, who gave his lifeblood as a sacrifice in order to justify life for his mother and was then caught up into heaven in newness of life. And all this was done in order that the opportunity might be saved for the woman and her children through their testimony to overcome the dragon, who had deceived the whole world.]
Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.”
[What is known as good news in heaven is felt only to be tribulation on the earth. This is a reference to the third woe which we are in the middle of at the time of these visions. There is no truth to the serpent's politics, which he has been cultivating since laying the foundations of Babylon, concerning building a utopian world for future generations, whereby he justifies slandering and cursing all who oppose him in the name of human civilization and its purported righteousness and glory. The whole world is warned of this lie but only those who receive the testimony of God's servants will heed this warning. For in fact the lie of human civilization, of Babylon, is a lie that twists the truth, founding itself on Biblical human rights and Biblical restorative justice and turning these into mere rebellious human ambition and licentiousness.
That the serpent knows his time is short says volumes. Only a little can be said about this here at this point. He knows not only that he is cast down but why. He knows, therefore, that he will not enter the new creation. He will lie in every possible way. He thinks he has nothing to lose. In what follows, much will be revealed in terms of the details of what the serpent will do under these conditions. There is much that must be said about these details and what they mean.
We have seen already in this chapter the overview of the redemption of Israel and the revelation of her Messiah, seeing it so far, as it were, from the perspective of the eagle-like angel's eye. In this overview, we have also seen something of the complexity of the history of redemption, seeing something of the relationship of an heavenly eternity having entered into earthly time, as it were, from the perspective of the Adam-like angel. Now we will be taken completely to ground level to see the same from the perspective of those who experienced these events. We will be moving now, as it were, to the perspective of the ox-like angel and the lion-like angel.]
This is the way it happened that the Woman was hidden and saved...Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child.
[We were already told that the woman escaped from the dragon to her place in the wilderness. What we are being told about now is not a second instance of her being persecuted and escaping into the wilderness. It is the same persecution, the same escape, the same hiding in her place in the wilderness. At first we were just told this in a summary way. Now we are going to be given more details about how this happened. This detailed account begins by relating how that when the child was caught up into heaven a war broke out in heaven between Michael and his angels and the dragon and his angels. This means that the dragon, when he could not gain access to the child, that is to say, the Mashiach of Israel, on earth, tried to follow him into heaven. But the great archangel, Michael, who was made by God to be the Prince of Israel, when he assigned specific angels as princes of all the nations, was now empowered to make war against the dragon, that is to say, against Satan.
We are told that Satan was defeated and cast down to the earth, once and for all. From this point on until the appearing again of Mashiach upon the earth this vision and every vision that follows it will fill in for us in great detail exactly how and why Michael made war with the dragon and how he was able to bring him to the point of defeat through the testimony of the woman and her children to the Lamb who was slain for them. We will see that it is when Satan is defeated in this way that Mashiach returns and begins the process of casting him out for eternity.
How are the woman and her children together one people? And how is she hidden from the dragon and yet not all her children are hidden and are susceptible to being attacked by the dragon? She is in heaven on earth. This is the secret. Her hiding place among the nations in the wilderness is the place where the Shechinah is also hidden in the wilderness of the nations. And where the Shechinah is heaven is. We will see more about this.]
But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.
[Just as she was taken out of Egypt on eagle's wings and brought into the wilderness of Sinai where she was concealed from Egypt, so here she is brought out of the nations which are ruled by the venom of the serpent and is concealed now in the wilderness of the Torah. It can be called the wilderness of the Torah because it is a wilderness of wandering for Israel around the place of receiving the Torah. It is in this sense that it is the place prepared for her, being the place which is both in heaven and on earth. For as the seven pillars of the Shechinah concealed and protected Israel in the wilderness at the first, so they conceal and protect Israel here and now. For the Divine Presence is not of this world but of the eternity of God, and yet the Divine Presence went with Israel down into Egypt and came up with her to cross the sea to Sinai and to dwell in the Temple in Jerusalem. The wilderness of the nations is the place between receiving the Torah at the first and the Land of promise, where through a renewed covenant Israel will receive the Torah with a new heart.
In the soul of the Lamb, the Divine Presence went down into death with Israel and came up again into an eternal life of God's forgiveness and righteousness. Therefore the Woman was given Two Witnesses and two wings to keep her in the Divine Presence, for she is carried every day on the cloud and every night on the fire of the Shechinah. And the nations do not see her. And the serpent cannot find her. For she is concealed within the Hand of God. Israel is seen in the eye of God as being one with the Shechinah. As he sees her, so he defines her. But her children do not always yet walk by faith according to her glory with Mashiach in the eye of God. Therefore, when they walk as others walk the world sees them and even the dragon may find them.
Now the 3 1/2 years is called "a time, times and a half a time". This is a reference to the 3 1/2 years in the most general and non-specific form possible. We see with complete clarity now that the 3 1/2 years, while at some point being literal years in the form of 1,260 days, are not only literal years but also are a representation of the Divine principle of final judgment through the separation of Israel and the nations. This is both the judgment of the world and the redemption of the world. From the eternal point-of-view this "special time" began to occur when Abraham was called out of Ur of the Chaldeans. It is also the time of the Exodus.eWe understand clearly now that the finality of judgment is not so much about when it happens as what takes place and upon whom it takes place. Final judgment is that judgment that takes place upon the deepest root and upon the crowning head of sin and rebellion. There is an aspect of final judgment that began long, long before the final sentence of that judgment is spoken. In the end, however, the final sentence is turned from severe judgment to mercy and from condemnation to redemption.
It is the term, "time, times and half a time," that encompasses in history the beginning and the end of judgment upon the root and head of sin. The Revelation of Yehoshua began in the beginning of the history of the world and will be completed in the end of the history of this world. His reign began in the past, but through an aspect both of revelation and concealment, and his having reigned over all time, first through God's all-powerful promise, then through God's keeping that promise, will be openly revealed in the future.
Here, where the escape of the woman is being seen from the perspective of the ox-like and the lion-like Living Creatures on the ground, in a narrative like way, we are being reminded that the true nature of the identity of the Woman has always been concealed from the world and from the serpent, right from the beginning of time. And now we know something more, from the perspective that we have seen now from above, that when time is coming to an end and the serpent is cast down to the earth, the nations and the serpent will be cut off for 1,260 days even from what they could before overhear and learn about who the Woman is and where the Woman is being hidden. For that literal period of 3 1/2 years the world and the devil will be able to learn nothing and know nothing about the Woman.]
So the serpent spewed [a] water [of spiritual impurity] out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood.
[The serpent knows by his cunning that somehow the woman is both in heaven and on earth. Although he cannot understand how this is, and he cannot reach the woman or her child any longer in heaven, he knows she is also somewhere on the earth. Therefore he floods the whole earth with demons, destruction and lies, hoping to destroy her in the demonic flood. It is in this way that God forces the serpent to show his true nature, forcing him to unleash his demonic forces upon his own kingdom.
But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth.
[From the beginning when the dragon was cast down from heaven he has been seeking to destroy the Woman and in doing so has turned his kingdom of human civilizations evermore to ambition, corruption and greed, so that through evil invention and corrupt laws human civilization ultimately returns to the state it was in before the Great Flood when it had corrupted all flesh and damaged all earth's systems. But now, as the twenty-four elders proclaim, "God will destroy those who are destroying the earth..." God will ensnare the dragon and submerge him in his own vile flood.
And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
[That is to say, at the end of a certain period of 3 1/2 years the serpent is given power to kill the Two Witnesses... but in doing so brings about his own destruction. For when Jerusalem sees them brought back to life after 3 1/2 days and then caught up to heaven she knows that it is as Yehoshua was reported to have been resurrected and caught up to God. Therefore Jerusalem, at that time, knows that his prayer for her forgiveness has been answered, and, coming out of captivity in Babylon, she takes the witness stand to testify against the lying claim of the dragon, the beast and the false prophet.
So, in the coming chapters we shall see the effect of the Woman's victory, and her children's victory, over the dragon, when Jerusalem testifies to the truth of the Good News of Yehoshua HaMashiach and the deception of the beast and the false prophet, and her testimony brings about the fall and destruction of Mystery Babylon.]
Chapter 13 >
*1 The woman in heaven
On the woman in this vision as the corporate aspect of Israel see this study:
The Corporate Nature of Israel
At one of the following links
See also the poem: