Re 12:1
12:1 And {1} there appeared a great wonder in heaven; {2} a
     woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet,
     and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:

 (1) Until now it has been the general prophecy, comprehended
     in two parts, as I showed in Re 11:1-19.  Now will
     be declared the first part of this prophecy, in this and
     the next chapter and the latter part in the fourteenth,
     fifteenth and sixteenth chapters.  To the first part, which
     is about the conflicting or militant Church belong two
     things. The beginning and the progress of the same in
     conflicts and Christian combats.  Of which two the
     beginning of the Church is described in this chapter, and
     the progress of it in the chapter following.  The beginning
     of the Christian Church we define as the first moment of
     the conception of Christ, until the time in which this
     church was weaned and taken away from the breast or milk of
     her mother: which is the time when the Church of the Jews
     with their city and temple was overthrown by the judgment
     of God. So we have in this chapter the story of 69 years
     and upwards.  There are three parts to this chapter.  The
     first, is the history of the conception and pregnancy in
     Re 12:1-4.  The second, a history of the birth from
     Re 12:5-12.  The third is about the woman who gave
     birth, to the end of the chapter. These several parts each
     have their conflicts. Therefore in the first part are two
     verses: and another of the lying in wait of the dragon
     against the child about to be born, in the next two verses.
     In the first point are these things, the description of the
     mother Re 12:1 and the pains of childbirth in
     Re 12:2 all shown to John from heaven.
 (2) A type of the true holy Church which was at that time in
     the Jewish nation.  This Church (as is the state of the
     Catholic church) did in itself shine with glory given by
     God, immutable and unchangeable, and possessed the kingdom
     of heaven as the heir of it.

Re 12:2
12:2 And {3} she being with child cried, travailing in birth,
     and pained to be delivered.

 (3) For this is the barren woman who had not given birth;
     Isa 45:1, Ga 4:27.  She cried out with good cause, and
     was tormented at that time, when in the judgment of all she
     seemed near to death, about to die because of her weakness
     and poverty.

Re 12:3
12:3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; {4} and behold
     a great red dragon, having {5} seven heads and ten {6}
     horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.

 (4) That is the devil or Satan, see Re 12:9, mighty,
     angry and full of wrath.
 (5) By this to withstand those seven churches spoken of, that
     is, the catholic church, and that with kingly objects and
     tyrannical magnificence: signified by the crowns set on his
     heads, as if they belonged to him by the proper right,
     without controversy: as also he boasted to Christ;
     See Mt 4:9 Re 13:1.
 (6) More than the horns of the Lamb, or than the churches are:
     so well equipped does the tyrant brag himself to be, to do
     all manner of wickedness.

Re 12:4
12:4 (7) And his tail drew the third part of the stars of
     heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon (8)
     stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for
     {9} to devour her child as soon as it was born.

 (7) After the description of Satan follows this action, that
     is, his battle with the Church partly to that which is
     visible, in which the wheat is mingled with the chaff, and
     the good fish with that which is evil: its good part,
     though in appearance it shined as the stars shine in
     heaven, he is said to thrust down out of heaven, and to
     pervert: for if it were possible he would pervert even the
     elect Mt 24:24 and partly to the elect members of
     the holy catholic church in the second part of this verse.
     Many therefore of the members of this visible Church (says
     John) he overthrew and triumphed on them.
 (8) He withstood that elect Church of the Jews which was now
     ready to bring forth the Christian Church and watched for
     her to give birth. For the whole Church, and whole body is
     compared to a woman: and a part of the Church to that which
     is brought forth, as we have noted in So 7:6.
 (9) Christ mystical (as they call him) that is, the whole
     Church, consists of the person of Christ as the head and of
     the body united to it by the Spirit, so is the name of
     Christ taken on 1Co 12:12.

Re 12:5
12:5 {10} And she brought forth a man {11} child, who was to
     rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was
     caught up unto God, and [to] his throne.

 (10) The second history of this Church delivered of child: in
      which first the consideration of the child born, and of
      the mother, is described in two verses Re 12:6:
      secondly the battle of the dragon against the young
      child, and the victory obtained against him in the three
      verses following Re 12:7-9: last of all is sung a
      song of victory, to Re 12:10-12.  Now John in
      consideration of the child born, notes two things: for
      he describes him, and his station or place in this verse.
 (11) That is Christ the head of the Church joined with his
      Church (the beginning root and foundation of which is the
      same Christ) endued with kingly power and taken up into
      heaven out of the jaws of Satan (who as a serpent  did
      bite him on the cross) that sitting on the heavenly
      throne, he might reign over all.

Re 12:6
12:6 {12} And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath
     a place prepared of God, that {13} they should feed her
     there a thousand two hundred [and] threescore days.

 (12) The Church of Christ which was of the Jews, after his
      ascension into heaven, hid itself in the world as in a
      wilderness, trusting only in the defence of God, as Luke
      witnesses in Acts.
 (13) Namely the apostles and servants of God ordained to feed
      with the word of life, the Church collected both of the
      Jews and Gentiles unless any man will take the word
      "alerent" impersonally after the use of the Hebrews,
      instead of "aleretur" but I like the first better. For he
      has respect to those two prophets, of whom Revelation 11:3
      speaks. As for the meaning of the 1290 days, see the same
      verse \\Geneva (7) "Re 11:3"\\.

Re 12:7
12:7 And there was war in heaven: {14} Michael and his angels
     fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his

 (14) Christ is the Prince of angels and head of the Church, who
      bears that iron rod Re 12:5.
      Also \\see Geneva "Da 12:1"\\. In this verse a description
      of the battle and of the victory in the two verses
      following Re 12:8,9. The psalmist noted this battle
      as did Paul; Ps 68:9 Eph 4:8 Co 2:15.

Re 12:8
12:8 {15} And prevailed not; neither was their {a} place found
     any more in heaven.

 (15) The description of the victory, by the denying of the
      thing in this verse, and by affirming the opposite in
      Re 12:9. As Satan gained nothing in heaven, but was by
      the power of God thrown down into the world of which he is
      the prince, Christ himself and his elect members standing
      still by the throne of God.
     (a) They were cast out so, that they were never seen any
         more in heaven.

Re 12:10
12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, {16} Now is
      come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God,
      and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our
      brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God
      day and night.

 (16) The song of victory or triumph containing first, a
      proposition of the glory of God and of Christ shown in
      that victory: secondly, it contains a reason for the same
      proposition, taken from the effects, as the enemy is
      overcome in battle, in this verse, and the godly are made
      conquerors (and more than conquerors) Ro 8:37.
      Thirdly a conclusion, in which is an exhortation to the
      angels, and to the saints: and to the word, a prophecy of
      great misery, and of destruction obtained by the devil
      against mankind, since he himself will soon be miserable
      Re 12:12.

Re 12:11
12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the
      word of their testimony; and they {b} loved not their
      lives unto the death.

      (b) He is said in the Hebrew tongue, to love his life, who
          values his life more than anything else: and on the
          other side, he is said not to love his life, who does
          not hesitate to risk it, if need requires it.

Re 12:13
12:13 And when {17} the dragon saw that he was cast unto the
      earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man

 (17) The third part: a history of the woman delivered,
      consisting of two parts, the present battle of Satan
      against the Christian Church of the Jewish nation, in
      Re 12:13-16: and the battle intended against the
      Church of the Gentiles, which is called holy by reason of
      the gospel of Christ in Re 12:17.

Re 12:14
12:14 {18} And to the woman were given two wings of a great
      eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her
      {c} place, where she is nourished for a {19} time, and
      times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

 (18) That is, being strengthened with divine power: and taught
      by oracle, she fled swiftly from the assault of the devil,
      and from the common destruction of Jerusalem and went into
      a solitary city beyond Jordan called Pella as Eusebius
      tells in the first chapter of the third book of his
      ecclesiastical history: where God had commanded her by
      (c) Into the place God had prepared for her.
 (19) That is, for three and a half years: so the same speech
      is taken in \\see Geneva (q) "Da 7:25"\\.  This space of
      time is reckoned in manner from that last and most grievous
      rebellion of the Jews, to the destruction of the city and
      temple,for their defection or falling away, began in the
      twelfth year of Nero, before the beginning of which many
      signs and predictions were shown from heaven, as Josephus
      wrote, lib.7, chap.12, and Hegesippus lib.5, chap.44, among
      which this is very memorable.  In the feast of Pentecost
      not only a great sound and noise was heard in the Temple,
      but also a voice was heard by many out of the Sanctuary
      which cried out to all, Let us depart from here. Now three
      and a half years after this defection by the Jews began,
      and those wonders happened, the city was taken by force,
      the temple overthrown, and the place forsaken by God: and
      the length of time John noted in this place.

Re 12:15
12:15 {20} 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.

 (20) That is, he inflamed the Romans and the nations that in
      persecuting the Jewish people with cruel arms, they might
      at the same time invade the Church of Christ, now departed
      from Jerusalem and out of Judea.  For it is a normal thing
      in scripture, that the raging tumults of the nations
      should be compared to waters.

Re 12:16
12:16 {21} And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened
      her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon
      cast out of his mouth.

 (21) That is, there was offered in their place other Jews, to
      the Romans and nations raging against that people: and it
      came to pass by this that the Church of God was saved
      entirely from that violence, that most raging flood of
      persecution which the dragon vomited out being completely
      exhausted in the destroying of those other Jews.

Re 12:17
12:17 {22} And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to
      make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the
      commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus

 (22) Being set on fire by this means, he began to be more mad,
      and because he perceived that his purpose against the
      Christian Church of the Jewish remnant was come to
      nothing, he resolved to fall on her seed, that is, the
      Church of the Gentiles, gathered by God and the holy
      members of the church. This is that other part, as is said in
      Re 12:13 in which the purpose of Satan is shown in
      Re 12:17 and his attempt, in Re 12:17.