In Revelation 12, the Catholic Church recognizes the woman as Mary, since she gave birth to Jesus. When looking at the text with that in mind, I think it’s also possible to see that. But, if so, then they would have to renounce their claim on her as a lifelong virgin (one who had no children after Jesus), not only because of other scripture (which I’ve pointed out throughout the gospels), but also because here is says that Satan waged war on “the rest of her offspring” when he couldn’t devour her son or her.
My thought is that the woman mentioned here is Eve, the war in Heaven was during the time of Man in Eden, for the angels and we defeated Satan by the blood of Jesus, the Word of our testimony (1 John 5:11-12), and by giving our lives fully to Jesus, even in martyrdom.
To understand then, Eve giving birth, we have to remember that Eve is the Mother of all humankind. Just as we (Christians) are children of Abraham, we are also children of Eve. For example, Jesus is the son of David. Many recognize Solomon instead, but since Jesus is of David’s descendants, He qualifies to be called “Son of David”. You see, when you look at genealogy work (family tree), you can put Eve at the top. Genesis doesn’t mention every child ever born to Adam and Eve, only those in importance (to explain the effects of sin) and those in the lineage of the later coming and promised Messiah. For example:
When mentioning Rahab, the Bible actually mentions her name. But when mentioning the old woman who had lived in the wall when Joab was pursuing the troublemaking protester, we only know her as the old woman who lived in the wall. So why was Rahab’s name mentioned? Because she’s in the family lineage of Christ…the old woman in the wall was not, so there was no need to mention her name (or to remember it). So therefore, Jesus is a child of Eve (as we are her other children that Satan goes after). So when Satan saw that he couldn’t devour the Son (Jesus), he went after His mother (Eve), and he did this by causing her to sin (in the garden with the fruit, for God said that if they eat from the tree, they’ll surely die). But when they did eat of it, they didn’t die instantly, but began to begin the process. When Satan saw that she didn’t die instantly, he waged war on her offspring (all of humankind). Killing Eve would have thwarted God’s plans for humankind, His command to the humans, and His reason for everything He was doing, but Satan failed. So since he couldn’t touch God, the child, or the woman, he went after the rest of her offspring.
The fact that Cain killed Abel, Sodom was evil, people turned away from God, God destroyed everything with a flood…and that people today are being deceived regularly by him, shows that Satan’s doing a pretty good job in his war. But again, Christ defeated him when He died on the cross as was raised from the dead.
Now those of us who are in Christ are new creations. But we still remember our pasts. Remembering our sins is the work of the accuser. This is why Paul mentioned moving forward and not looking back (Jesus, too), because dwelling on our past sins, which were forgiven, will bring us down. Therefore, if we remember this, then the accuser has no hold on us.
But what about the timing factor, the chronology of John’s vision? Simple, first of all, dreams/visions aren’t always viewed in order (try explaining your dream to somebody sometime), and second, God isn’t bound by time. Remember, God brought John up to where He is, not the other way around. So everything John was seeing may have been outside of chronological order. In other words, just because we’re bound by time, living chronologically, doesn’t mean God is.
Update: After reading some of the comments for this post (here and on social media sites), I’ve come to notice that there are some other possibilities as to whom Revelation 12 could be talking about. For instance, one comment below suggests she’s Israel. His reasons below make sense, also, even though “Israel” was the name of Jacob, a male, the nation Israel has often been referred to in the feminine sense.
Basically, I don’t really know who Revelation 12 is talking about. However, I do believe I can undoubtedly say that it’s not Mary, and many of these reasons I give in my comment below to another commenter (well, I’m basically explaining why the Catholics’ claim on Mary being a forever-virgin is bogus, but I believe that also ties in with Revelation 12).
So what are your thoughts? Who do you think Revelation 12 is talking about?