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.