|Dragon persecutes Woman
v13: In this verse, the dragon has been thrown to earth with his demon angels. The scene now goes later in history. He is now persecuting the woman or Israel. This woman has had; through the lineage of Abraham, David, etc.; had a very important man child. Through the lineage of Israel, Jesus came. The man child reference is just a pointed statement of who the woman is and that the persecution being discussed is after the birth.
v14: The term "two wings of a great eagle" is not clearly understood. Most think is implies a miraculous help. Exodus uses the same phase for divine help (Exod. 19:4). It refers to speedy flight to avoid further persecution. Satan's persecution will last 3-1/2 years (time , and times, and half a time). Recall that " time" translates from kairon which means a season (or a set of seasons such as Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter being One Season). Therefore, the "time, and times.......... refers to sets of Seasons or one year each. Israel must flee quickly to divine help and protection (wings). This timing may be given to be tied to Daniel (Dan. 7:25; [7:25 commentary]; Dan. 12:7; [12:7 commentary];).
v15: This may be a little tricky to understand. The serpent, Satan, casts out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman. The persecution is pictured as a flood of water. This is obviously symbolic; but, symbolic of what? A thing one should do when studying symbolic material is to look at that symbol in other parts of the Bible. That might help in the understanding. So, if we look at the Old Testament, Jeremiah may have part of an answer. When the Egyptian armies came against Babylon, Jeremiah prophesied (Jer. 46:8; Jer. 47:2). Daniel also has something to say (Dan. 11:26; [11:26 commentary]). So the most likely meaning using Biblical background is an overwhelming army is sent by the beast or serpent (Satan). This would most obviously would occur with the frustration of the Jews suddenly leaving Jerusalem. It is consistent with the Old Testament figure of speech. Whatever the meaning, Satan will mount a powerful attack against the Jews in the desert (wilderness). God will be with the Jews (Isa. 59:19; Psa. 124:1-6).
v16: We should remember that NOBODY can get to a people or person that is under God's protection. At this time, Satan does not have a chance to get to the Jews. There are many ways "the earth helping the woman" and the "earth opening her mouth and swallowing" can be understood. One good possibility is there will be a state of confusion will allow escape. Chaos by wars, population movements, and countless refugees, to name a few, could cause certain fleeing ones from the reign of terror. Another understanding might be as written: a great chasm opens between the Jews and Satan's armies and they simply cannot reach the Jews. You might think that the advancement of Satan would overpower any actual chasm. But, God is protecting and I believe Satan knows it. The reason this chasm is a possibility is the whole description in this chapter is in the motive of Exodus. The Egyptian armies were drowned in the Red Sea after following the Israelites. Whatever the exact meaning, it has a devastating effect on Satan.
v17: Satan was "wroth" or incensed over his failures with the woman. He then went to the "remnant of her seed" (Jews that believe in Christ). This seed remnant goes back to Genesis (Gen. 3:15). So this is a continuation of an eternal vendetta of Satan against the God's people. This will continue until the chasm of fire takes Satan and his followers. Some believe, this verse is referring to the Jews that did not flee in the middle of the tribulation. Maybe those behind would want to compromise, be unaware of the dangers, or not know what the Bible says. For sure there would be a remnant left. It is not an understandable situation to non believers and those that do not know the scripture that the Jews or such a small and seemingly insignificant country are so important in the world situation. All we have to do is look at the world situation today with Israel. The National identity of the Jews will never be lost. The scriptures have been dealing with the togetherness of the Jews with time. They will never be lost or separated enough to be insignificant. They WILL become one again (Jer. 30:3-11). The REFERENCES below include other similar scripture readings on the Jews never being eliminated.
Deut. 30:1-5; Lev. 26:40-45; Zech 13:8-9; Isa. 11:10-16; Jer. 23:3-8; 31:7-11; 32:37-41; Ezek. 34:11-16; 36:22-28; Dan 12:1; 7:25; Matt 7:25, 27; Gen 8:13-14; Jer 23:3; Psa 32:6; 69:2, 15
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