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Therefore ° rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.
And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.
And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.
And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

12:9 cast out. Appropriately, and providentially, this is the central verse in the book of Revelation. The dragon is here identified as the serpent of Eden (Genesis 3:1), as the Satan who tested Job (Job 1:6), and as the Devil who tested Jesus (Matthew 4:1). See also Revelation 20:2.


12:9 deceiveth the whole world. As the great deceiver, Satan has deceived the whole world with the great lie with which he evidently deceived himself in the beginning—namely, that God is not really the Creator, Sustainer, and Judge of all things, and that, consequently, both men and angels can reject His Word, rebel against His rule and ultimately aspire to be “gods” themselves. This lie finds its only rationale in the false premise of evolution, the idea that the universe always existed or exists independently of a Creator and is able to evolve itself into higher and higher orders of being. This lie may take the form of either atheism or pantheism, but both deny God and His revealed truth of special creation. With it, Satan has deceived the whole world, in every age and culture since the creation. Note I John 5:19; II Corinthians 4:3-4.


12:9 into the earth. Satan had long ago been cast out of his heavenly authority as the anointed cherub (Ezekiel 28:14-17), though he still has access to God as “the accuser of our brethren” (Revelation 12:10). Even that access will end when he is defeated by Michael; from then on he and his angels will be limited to the earth alone, where he will still desperately try to overthrow God.


12:10 accuser of our brethren. A glimpse of the continual slandering activity of the devil (Greek diabolos, meaning “slanderer” or “false accuser”) is given us in the case of Job (Job 1:7, 11); Joshua the high priest (Zechariah 3:1-2) and Peter (Luke 22:31), as well as his ongoing campaign against every believer (I Peter 5:8).


12:11 the blood of the Lamb. This is the last reference in the Bible to the shed blood of the Lord Jesus, “the Lamb of God” (John 1:29). There are at least forty-three such references, all testifying in one way or another to its great significance in our salvation. Here, very appropriately, the emphasis is on its power for overcoming Satan in his final attempt to destroy the work of God in salvation.


12:13 persecuted the woman. This intense persecution of Israel in the very last years of the present age is the subject of many passages in the writings of the Old Testament prophets (e.g., Leviticus 26:40-45; Deuteronomy 30:1-5; Isaiah 11:10-16; 27:6-13; Jeremiah 23:3-8; 30:3-11; 31:7-11; 32:37-41; Ezekiel 34:11-16; 36:22-28; Daniel 12:1).


12:14 great eagle. This indicates angelic, miraculous help to the fleeing Israelites, evidently intending to remind them of similar divine help when they fled Pharaoh in the days of the Exodus (note the reference to “eagles’ wings” in Exodus 19:4).


12:14 nourished. Same word as “fed.” Just as God miraculously fed the Israelites in the wilderness under Moses, so He will again nourish these last-day Israelites in the wilderness as they await the Messiah.


12:15 as a flood. This is a symbolic flood, for it is cast out of the mouth of the symbolic serpent. The devil-energized “beast” (Revelation 13:4), having disrupted the temple worship in Jerusalem, placing his own image there to be worshipped (Revelation 13:15; Matthew 24:15), then seeking to execute all who refuse to do so, will be enraged at the Jews in particular, and will send a “flood” after them, probably a flood of military might—armies, artillery, airplanes—but God will destroy them all, just as He did long ago with Pharaoh’s hosts. Note Psalm 124:1-6 and Isaiah 59:19.


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