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Vincent's Word Studies, by Marvin R. Vincent, [1886], at

Revelation Chapter 12

Revelation 12:1

rev 12:1

Wonder (σημεῖον)

Better, as Rev., sign. See on Mat 24:24.

Clothed (περιβεβλημένη)

Rev., better, arrayed. See on Rev 3:5.

The moon under her feet

See Sol 6:10. The symbol is usually taken to represent the Church.

Revelation 12:2

rev 12:2

Travailing in birth (ὠδίνουσα)

See on sorrows, Mar 13:9, and see on pains, Act 2:24.

In pain (βασανιζομένη)

Lit., being tormented. See on Rev 11:10, and references. For the imagery compare Isa 66:7, Isa 66:8; Joh 16:21.

Revelation 12:3

rev 12:3

Red (πυῤῥὸς)

See on Rev 6:4.

Dragon (δράκων)

Satan. See Rev 12:9. The word is found only in Revelation. In the Septuagint, of the serpent into which Moses' rod was changed. In Isa 27:1; Eze 29:3, of the crocodile or leviathan of Job 41:1. In Jer 51:34, of a dragon.

Crowns (διαδήματα)

The Kingly crown, not the chaplet (στέφανος). See on Rev 2:10

Revelation 12:4

rev 12:4

Of the stars of heaven

Some expositors find an allusion to the fallen angels (Jde 1:6).

Did cast them to the earth

Compare Dan 8:10.

To devour her child as soon as it was born (ἵνα ὅταν τέκῃ τὸ τέκνον αὐτῆς καταφάγῃ)

Rev., more literally, that when she was delivered he might devour her child. Professor Milligan says: "In these words we have the dragon doing what Pharaoh did to Israel (Exo 1:15-22), and again and again, in the Psalms and the Prophets, Pharaoh is spoken of as the dragon (Psa 74:13; Isa 27:1; Isa 51:9; Eze 29:3). Nor is it without interest to remember that Pharaoh's crown was wreathed with a dragon (the asp or serpent of Egypt), and that just as the eagle was the ensign of Rome, so the dragon was that of Egypt. Hence the significance of Moses' rod being turned into a serpent."

Revelation 12:5

rev 12:5

A man-child (υἱὸν ἄῤῥενα)

Lit., a son, a male. The correct reading is ἄρσεν, the neuter, not agreeing with the masculine individual (υἱὸν son) but with the neuter of the genus. The object is to emphasize, not the sex, but the peculiar qualities of masculinity - power and vigor. Rev., a son, a man-child. Compare Joh 16:21; Jer 20:15.

To rule (ποιμαίνειν)

Lit., to shepherd or tend. See on Mat 2:6.

A rod of iron

Compare Psa 2:9, and see on Rev 2:27.

Was caught up (ἡρπάσθη)

See on Mat 12:12. Compare Act 23:10; Jde 1:23.

Revelation 12:6

rev 12:6

Of God (ἀπὸ τοῦ Θεοῦ)

Lit., from God, the preposition marking the source from which the preparation came. For a similar use, see Jam 1:13, "tempted of God."

Revelation 12:7

rev 12:7

There was (ἐγένετο)

Lit., there arose.

War in heaven

Compare 1 Kings 22; Job 1, Job 2:1-13; Zac 3:1-10; Luk 10:18.


See Dan 10:13, Dan 10:21; Dan 12:1; and see on Jde 1:9.

Fought (ἐπολέμησαν)

The correct reading is τοῦ πολεμῆσαι to fight. So Rev., "going forth to war against the dragon (κατὰ τοῦ δράκοντος). The correct reading is μετά with.

Revelation 12:8

rev 12:8

Prevailed (ἴσχυσαν)

See on Luk 14:30; see on Luk 16:3; see on Jam 5:16.

Revelation 12:9

rev 12:9

The great dragon (ὁ δράκων ὁ μέγας)

Lit., the dragon, the great (dragon).

That old serpent (ὁ ὄφις ὁ ἀρχαῖος)

Lit., the serpent, the old (serpent). For this habitual construction in John, see on Jo1 4:9. For ἀρχαῖος old, see on Jo1 2:7, and compare "he was a murderer ἀπ' ἀρχῆς from the beginning," Joh 8:44; ἀρχή beginning being etymologically akin to ἀρχαῖος old.

The Devil

See on Mat 4:1.


See on Luk 10:18.

The deceiver (ὁ πλανῶν)

Lit., he that deceiveth. See on Jo1 1:8.

World (οἰκουμένην)

See on Luk 2:1 The world with all its inhabitants.

Down to (εἰς)

Lit., into.

Revelation 12:10

rev 12:10

Saying in heaven (λέγουσαν ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ)

The correct reading joins in heaven with great voice. So Rev. I heard a great voice in heaven.

Now (ἄρτι)

See on Joh 13:33.

Is come (ἐγένετο)

Lit., came to pass. Alford says: "It is impossible in English to join to a particle of present time, such as ἄρτι now, a verb in aoristic time. We are driven to the perfect in such cases."

Salvation, power, the kingdom

All have the article: the salvation, etc. So Rev. The phrase, now is come the salvation, etc., means that these are realized and established. Some, less correctly, render, now is the salvation, etc., become our God's. Compare Luk 3:6.

Power (ἐξουσία)

See on Mar 2:10. Rev., authority.

The accuser of our brethren (ὁ κατήγορος τῶν ἀδελφῶν ἡμῶν)

The correct form of the Greek for accuser is a transcript of the Rabbinical Hebrew, κατήγωρ. The Rabbins had a corresponding term συνήγωρ for Michael, as the advocate of God's people. The phrase is applied to Satan nowhere else in the New Testament.

Is cast down (κατεβλήθη)

The aorist tense. Once and for all. Compare Joh 12:31; Joh 16:8, Joh 16:11.

Which accuseth (ὁ κατηγορῶν)

Lit., the one. The article with the present participle expresses what is habitual.

Revelation 12:11

rev 12:11

Overcame (ἐνίκησαν)

See on Jo1 2:13.

By the blood of the Lamb (διὰ τὸ αἷμα τοῦ ἀρνίου)

The preposition διά with the accusative signifies on account of. Hence Rev., correctly, because of: in virtue of the shedding of that blood. Similarly in the succeeding clause, "because of the word of their testimony." For lamb, see on Rev 5:6.

Testimony (μαρτυρίας)

See on Joh 1:7.

They loved not their life even unto death

Alford, correctly, "they carried their not-love of their life even unto death."

Revelation 12:12

rev 12:12

Dwell (σκηνοῦντες)

See on Joh 1:14. Compare Rev 7:15; Rev 13:6; Rev 21:3.

To the inhabiters (τοῖς κατοικοῦσιν)

Omit. Read, as Rev., woe for the earth and for the sea.

Wrath (θυμὸν)

See on Joh 3:36.

Time (καιρὸν)

See on Mat 12:1; see on Mar 1:15; see on Act 1:7.

Revelation 12:14

rev 12:14

Two wings

The definite article αἱ the should be added: "the two wings." Compare Exo 19:4; Deu 32:11; Psa 36:7.

The great eagle

The article does not point to the eagle of Rev 8:13, but is generic.

A time and times and half a time

Three years and a half. See on Rev 11:2.

Revelation 12:15

rev 12:15

Cause her to be carried away of the flood (παύτην ποταμοφόρητον ποιήσῃ)

Lit., might make her one carried away by the stream: a river-born one. The word occurs only here in the New Testament.

Revelation 12:17

rev 12:17

Jesus Christ

Omit Christ.

The best texts add to this chapter the opening words of ch. 13 (A.V.), "And I stood upon the sand of the sea." Some, however, change ἐστάθην I stood, to ἐστάθη he stood, referring to the dragon. So Rev.

Next: Revelation Chapter 13