[Readers, this post is very informal, and may not be final. It is my personal notes from studies I did on September 23, October 5, and October 21, on Revelation 12.]
September 23, 2017, was a day the constellations demonstrated the Revelation 12 passage:
REV 12.1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: REV 12.2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.
On September 23, I saved a screenshot (above) from my cell phone app, StarTrackerLite, which shows in real time the positions and movement of the stars and planets. The constellations show Virgo (i.e., the ‘woman’) with the sun at her neck, the moon at her feet, etc, just as Rev. 12 described.
Studying that photo, I noticed two things.
- The position of Jupiter does make her look pregnant, or as if she is giving birth! Jupiter is the ‘King’ planet, so Virgo is pregnant with the King! That makes the identity of Virgo, Mary, and in greater, symbolic terms, ancient Israel! She was the one who brought Christ forth into the world. However, she is also the one who KNOWS He is the King. Therefore, through the birth, the woman transforms to become Israel of God, the family of God, now followers of Messiah.
- Note the position of constellation Virgo – under the constellation Leo. Virgo is literally ‘following’ Leo in her trajectory. Again, the symbolism of Virgo as Israel of God, following Leo, the Lion. The Bible tells us Christ is the Lion of Judah! The constellations, in sync with Scripture, identity Virgo as those following Christ.
The significance of the above in relation to Rev. 12, I believe, is that ultimately, the woman who will be under attack by the ‘dragon’ is going to be Israel of God, in modern times the body of Christ, His church.
Studying Rev 12:6, trying to make sense of the ‘wilderness’ to which the ‘woman’ flees for protection from the dragon for ‘1260 days’.
Researching definitions of ‘wilderness’ in Greek, in Strong’s Bible dictionary. All shown below.* Note, most interesting is the comparative word in Strongs, #5561. See below in blue.
Oddly, upon studying these word meanings, a song started ‘playing’ in my head: ‘This land is your land, this land is my land, from California to the New York islands… from the Redwood forest to the gulf stream waters… this land was made for you and me.’
Hmmm. I haven’t thought of that song in perhaps years. A message from the Spirit? He often speaks to me by putting songs in my mind.
America certainly did fit the descriptions (from Strong’s for ‘wilderness’, see below) at the time the colonists came… She was ‘an expansive land, largely unpopulated (at the time), between two limits…’ (either way you look at it we are still between two limits: 2 oceans on east/west coasts… 2 neighbors on north/south coasts).
America happens to contain the densest population of the followers of Messiah… so far, still a land of religious freedom. If America is potentially the land made to protect the ‘woman’, then what does the ‘1260 days’ really mean?
And when is that time ‘up’?
Rev 12:13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast forth to the earth, he pursued the woman who did bring forth the male, rev.12.14 and there were given to the woman two wings of the great eagle, that she may fly to the wilderness*, to her place, where she is nourished a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent; rev.12.15 and the serpent did cast forth after the woman, out of his mouth, water as a river, that he may cause her to be carried away by the river, rev.12.16 and the land did help the woman, and the land did open its mouth and did swallow up the river, that the dragon did cast forth out of his mouth; rev.12.17 and the dragon was angry against the woman, and went away to make war with the rest of her seed, those keeping the commands of God, and having the testimony of Jesus Christ. (YLT)
Revelation 12:13-17 again mentions the wilderness, a land which protects the ‘woman who brought forth the male’ for a period of time. Having established I believe the woman to represent both Mary and Israel of God… or, all who follow Christ, then it may be logical to presume the land which houses the largest numbers of His followers might, in fact, be just that land.
In these last centuries, the primary land protecting Christians has been America. Is it a coincidence Rev. 12 mentions the eagle helping the woman get to the wilderness land that protects her, and America’s national symbol is the American Bald Eagle?
Indeed, if you consider the words above from Revelation 12, America fits the description. She was an expansive, largely uninhabited land at the time of her founding, she has taken in the largest number of Christian refugees, prevented persecution of Christians within her borders and provided a safe and prosperous place for them to live and thrive. Certainly, there are other countries that also continue to protect Christians, but none more pronounced than the U.S. in the last nearly two and a half centuries.
As to the very specific, albeit cryptic, reference to ‘a time, and times, and half a time’, during which the land is able to protect the woman, we need to consider the meaning. There are many who have taught in solidarity this is a reference to the 3 1/2 years of the tribulation. But, could it also (or instead) be referring to the few hundred years one nation has offered refuge and protection to the people of God in the last centuries?
IF the land is America, if we agree she has protected the largest number of Christ-followers as indicated in Revelation 12… we can look at the dates the first Christians fled to her in search of religious freedom and see if the years since then might come anywhere close to fitting into the ‘time, times and half a time’ pattern.
First, there was a lost Colony that first arrived around 1585 (Approx. 432 years from present.) The enduring Colonies were established beginning 1607, with Jamestown, a business venture. (Approx. 410 years from present.)
Puritans arrived Plymouth in 1620, desiring to start a new, pure church, fleeing the corrupt church of England. (Approx. 397 years from present.)
Based on the numbers above, 450 years fits the pattern of a ‘time, times, and half a time’. With that in mind, the above 3 scenarios would yield 18 years, 40 years, or 53 years remaining, respectively.
This is just something to think about, by no means a conclusive study. It is merely one possibility to ponder. I’ve learned over the years, prophetic passages can apply to multiple events or time periods, so one meaning does not necessarily cancel out another.
Research, from Strong’s Bible dictionaries:
*Wilderness: (g2048) ερημος, — er’-ay-mos; of uncertain affinity; lonesome, i.e. (by implication) waste (usually as a noun, (5561)* (χωρα) being implied): — desert, desolate, solitary, wilderness.
Transliterated: eremos; Pronounced: er’-ay-mos of uncertain affinity; TDNT 2:657; adjective Trans & freq in the AV- wilderness 32 times, desert 13 times, desolate 4 times, solitary 1 time; 50 occurrences of Greek word in AV
1. solitary, lonely, desolate, uninhabited a. used of places 1. a desert, wilderness 2. deserted places, lonely regions 3. an uncultivated region fit for pasturage b. used of persons [Also, ominously:] 1. deserted by others 2. deprived of the aid and protection of others, especially of friends, acquaintances, kindred 3. bereft a. of a flock deserted by the shepherd b. of a woman neglected by her husband, from whom the husband withholds himself.
*(5561) χωρα, — kho’-rah; feminine of a derivative of the base of (5490) (χασμα) through the idea of empty expanse; room, i.e. a space of territory (more or less extensive; often including its inhabitant): — coast, county, fields, ground, land, region.
Transliterated: chora; Pronounced: kho’-rah from a derivative of the base of 5490 through the idea of empty expanse; n f Trans. & freq. in the AV- country 15 times, region 5 times, land 3 times, field 2 times, ground 1 time, coast 1 time; 27 occurrences of Greek word in AV,
1. the space lying between two places or limits. [Blogger’s note: could that be between 2 major oceans, OR with 2 border neighbors?? Does any other country in the world fit this description?]
2. a region or country i.e. a tract of land a. the (rural) region surrounding a city or village, the country b. the region with towns and villages which surround a metropolis 3. land which is ploughed or cultivated, ground.
All quoted verses and research from:
God; Strong, James. A Complete Bible Reference Study Library (4 in 1): [Illustrated]: KJV Bible with Strongs markup, Strongs Concordance & Dictionaries, Lexicon Definitions, and Bible word index (Kindle Locations 122365-285296). Bestbooks. Kindle Edition.