The Woman, Israel
12 A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; 2 and she was with child; and she *cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth.
The Red Dragon, Satan
3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. 4 And his tail *swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child.
The Male Child, Christ
5 And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to [a]rule all the [b]nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne. 6 Then the woman fled into the wilderness where she *had a place prepared by God, so that there [c]she would be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.
[a] Revelation 12:5 Or shepherd
[b] Revelation 12:5 Or Gentiles
[c] Revelation 12:6 Lit they would nourish her for
Intro to a tiny gallery
The importance of this passage convinced me not to introduce it with a mere image. Instead I’ve appended a tiny gallery.
No painting or engraving can capture the glories or terrors of the Apocalypse. Every attempt will fail, for God’s Word alone is Truth and Eternal, and absolutely Real. Art is a gift to us when it reflects and honors His Word, for then it can delight us and remind us of the One Who is good, holy, and true – the Triune God.
A tiny gallery
Apocalypse by Gebhard Fugel (1863-1939) 14 – Kap. 12.1 Frau und Drache
Woman of the Apocalypse – from the Hortus Deliciarum by Herrad of Landsberg – 12th Century
Woman and dragon (Giusto de Menabuoi) 14th Century
Vasiliy Koren’s Apocalypse p.13 – Woman and dragon – between 1692 and 1696
The Woman Clothed in the Sun (Speculum humanae salvationis or Mirror of Human Salvation) – anonymous – originating in 14th Century
15 Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying,
“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His [a]Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.” 16 And the twenty-four elders, who sit on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17 saying,
“We give You thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who are and who were, because You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign. 18 And the nations were enraged, and Your wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to [b]reward Your bond-servants the prophets and the [c]saints and those who fear Your name, the small and the great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth.”
19 And the [d]temple of God which is in heaven was opened; and the ark of His covenant appeared in His [e]temple, and there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder and an earthquake and a great [f]hailstorm.
[a] Revelation 11:15 I.e. Messiah
[b] Revelation 11:18 Lit give the reward to
[c] Revelation 11:18 Or holy ones
[d] Revelation 11:19 Or sanctuary
[e] Revelation 11:19 Or sanctuary
[f] Revelation 11:19 Lit hail
The book of revelation in Art
Towards the end of the eighth century Beatus, a monk in the monastery of San Martin de Turieno, near present day Santander, compiled a Commentary on the Book of Revelation, or Apocalypse, from the writings dedicated to the topic by such patristic authors as Jerome, Augustine, Ambrose and Irenaeus. Recognition of Beatus of Liébana has survived to our time thanks to his decision to illustrate the sixty-eight sections into which he divided the text of the Book of Revelation . . . Lacking any copy from before the tenth century, we cannot be sure of the appearance of Beatus’s original illustrations.
7 When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them. 8 And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. 9 Those from the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations will look at their dead bodies for three and a half days, and will not permit their dead bodies to be laid in a tomb. 10 And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and celebrate; and they will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.
11 But after the three and a half days, the breath of life from God came into them, and they stood on their feet; and great fear fell upon those who were watching them. 12 And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” Then they went up into heaven in the cloud, and their enemies watched them. 13 And in that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell; seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.
14 The second woe is past; behold, the third woe is coming quickly.
Some Christians, including Dr. Hendriksen, believe that the Two Witnesses portray the Church in this present Gospel Age between the First and Second Coming of the Lord: its witness (ministerial and missionary), proclamation and judgements, and suffering. Others believe that they are individuals who will appear at the End of the Age. May the Lord give us light and peace about these important truths!
The book of revelation in Art
Many profess to know the great truths of God’s Word without understanding that without the Holy Spirit they understand nothing
1 Corinthians 2:14
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.