New Defender's Study Bible Notes
12:3 great red dragon. The sign of the great dragon is explained in Revelation 12:9. He is “that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan,” who has tried to destroy the woman and her spiritual seed ever since Eden. Parenthetically, in order to be used as a sign, the dragon itself must have been a real animal, well known and feared by the ancient world but now extinct (see on Genesis 1:21; Job 40:15-24; Isaiah 27:1). Though evolutionists would disagree, dragons almost certainly were dinosaurs, universally known by the nations of antiquity to exist as real creatures.
12:3 ten horns. The “seven heads and ten horns” on this hydra-headed dragon evidently represent the great kingdoms of past history and the chief current kingdoms of this final period of history, all of which have been and will be imbued with the spirit of the old serpent (I John 5:19). See notes on Revelation 17:10-12 for more specific identification.
12:4 to the earth. These “stars of heaven” are identified as Satan’s angels in Revelation 12:9. In Satan’s primeval rebellion against God, he was able to persuade a third of God’s “innumerable company of angels” (Hebrews 12:22) to follow him. They were “cast out into the earth” (Revelation 12:9) as a result (see also Isaiah 14:12; Ezekiel 28:17; Luke 10:18). Some even went to the lowest hell (II Peter 2:4) and some were bound in the Euphrates (Revelation 9:14) as a result of further specific and very flagrant sins. There are still multitudes of demonic angels, however, freely roaming the world and serving “the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2), and these hosts will be more active and dangerous than ever in these final days.
12:4 devour her child. Ever since the Protevangelic promise of Genesis 3:15, Satan has been attempting to prevent the promised Seed from being born, beginning with his attack on Cain and Abel (I John 3:12), and even attempting to corrupt the entire human race in the days of Noah (Genesis 6:4-13). In spite of his efforts, once Christ was born, Satan tried to destroy Him with Herod’s slaughter of the babes at Bethlehem. When that failed, he then tried to corrupt Christ in the wilderness temptation, and finally tried several times to have Him slain before He could go to the cross.