v5: The woman brought forth a mail child. If looks as if it fits the birth of Jesus. The "rod of iron" is used in Psalms to describe how Jesus will rule when He comes again (Ps. 2:7-9), previously studied Rev, and to be studied Rev 19. It denoted Christ's rule. He will "break them with a rod of iron" all who oppose Him.
Again, some believe the meanings to be similar to:
per Adam Clarke: "In Yalcut Rubeni are these words: “Rachael, the niece of Methusala, was pregnant, and ready to be delivered in Egypt. They trod upon her, and the child came out of her bowels, and lay under the bed; Michael descended, and took him up to the throne of glory. On that same night the first born of Egypt were destroyed.”
per John Edward Clarke: "The Christian Church, when her full time came, obtained a deliverer, who, in the course of the Divine providence, was destined....
....The heathen Roman empire,....
....A strong figure to denote the very great restraint that should be put upon paganism, so that it should not be able longer to persecute the Christian Church. The man child mentioned in this verse is the dynasty of Christians emperors, beginning with Constantine’s public acknowledgment of his belief in the divinity of the Christian religion, which happened in the latter part of A.D. 312, after the defeat of the Emperor Maxentius..... ....A succession of Christian emperors was raised up to the Church; for the Roman throne, as Bishop Newton observes, is here called the throne of God, because there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God."
per Barnes' Notes:The child represents the church. It will increase in prosperity. This "child" will rule all nations because the church was meant to reign in all the earth. The rod of iron was "borrowed" from Ps. It was meant to refer to the idea of a shepherd taking care of its flock by protecting, guarding and defending the sheep. The leadership would be final, strong, and irresistible as a shepherd. In other words, the church would become universal; the religion would become irresistible; this would be in the form of protection rather than force or violence. The "man child" refers to the church increasing under the Messiah."
Being "caught up with God" is referring to Christ's ascension into heaven. Stephen, in Acts, saw Christ standing "on the right hand of God". You will recall, the anger brought to the people caused Stephen to be stoned at this declaration. Thes term "caught up" is used for the rapture by Paul. So how does this fit. The normal rapture is for believers to be "in the blink of an eye" taken to heaven to God (1 Thes. 4:17). However, it does not seem to fit Jesus' ascension exactly. However, if the woman represents Israel and believers, this could be referring to all believers being "caught up".
So, as one can see, there are many ideas. The way I look at the meaning is to look at the history and context of the words. It seems to me that if some of these theories are correct, we should be able to see the sequence of events in history. However, some of the things which must happen simply have not occurred. If we look at the meaning and think it has credence, and some things have not happened yet, then we must come to the conclusion that this is prophecy or just a story. If one believes in and bases his life on the Bible being the divinely inspired word of God, and things have not happened yet, then I believe it to be prophecy. Faith is useful here because we look at the other things that HAVE happened in the Bible and come to the conclusion, it will come about. I used the word "things" here refer to the actions and thoughts that HAVE to happen to assure the Bible is true.
Ps 2:7-10; Rev 2:27; Acts 7:55
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