What does Revelation 12:13 mean?
ESV: And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child.
NIV: When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child.
NASB: And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child.
CSB: When the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who had given birth to the male child.
NLT: When the dragon realized that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child.
KJV: And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.
NKJV: Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child.
Verse Commentary:
Angered by his expulsion from heaven, the Devil pours out his wrath on the woman who gave birth to the male child. In other words, he relentlessly persecutes Israel. He hates Israel because Israel was instrumental in bringing Jesus, the Messiah, into the world. Micah prophesied that the "ruler in Israel" would be born in Bethlehem Ephrathah in Judah (Micah 5:2), and Luke 2:1–7 reports His birth in that designated village. Matthew 2:2 refers to Him as king of the Jews.

The enmity between the Devil and Jesus began in the garden of Eden. When our first parents succumbed to the Devil's temptation to disobey God, God told him, "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he [Jesus the Messiah] shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel" (Genesis 3:15). Multiple assaults on the Jewish people throughout history attest to the fact that the Devil hates Israel. He also hates Jesus, the Messiah who came out of Israel, and whom he tried to destroy.

This verse also references the male child described earlier. Later verses will describe the other offspring of the woman, making them the fifth of seven important characters described in this part of Revelation.
Verse Context:
Revelation 12:13–17 depicts the dragon pursuing Israel in an attempt to destroy her. He sends an army to devour her, but to no avail. God protects members of Israel who flee into the wilderness, where He sustains them for the second half of the tribulation. Then, the Devil focuses on the believing remnant of Israel. This passage of Scripture relates to Ezekiel and Joel's description of an invading army from the north that troubles Israel (Ezekiel 38; Joel 1—2). It also relates to Revelation 9 that describes an invading army of demonic inspired forces. Revelation 13 reveals the two evil figures the Devil uses to persecute the believing remnant of Israel.
Chapter Summary:
This chapter relates several highly symbolic visions, which introduce figures critical to the end times. First is a woman, representative of Israel. Second is a red dragon, identified with Satan. Third is a male child, who is Jesus Christ. The red dragon seeks to devour the woman's male child, but God caught the child to His throne, referring to the ascension of Jesus after His resurrection. The passage then continues to describe a war in heaven between Michael and Satan—here Satan becomes the fourth key figure—which results in Satan's complete and total eviction from heaven. Satan attempts to destroy Israel, most likely through an armed invasion, which is supernaturally defeated by God through an earthquake. The fifth main figure is the collective ''offspring'' of the woman. These events are given further details in passages such as Ezekiel chapter 38.
Chapter Context:
Preceding verses have brought us to the middle of the tribulation, after the seal judgments and very near the end of the trumpet judgments. Now, the focus shifts to symbolically introduce a series of important figures. These are mentioned in various eras, not as part of the earlier chronology of Revelation. This passage relates to Matthew 24:15–26 and Isaiah 16:1–4. Ezekiel 38 and Joel 1 describe an invasion into Israel from the north, and Revelation 9 identifies the invading army as demon inspired. Revelation 13 continues to describe major end-times figures, focusing on ''the beast,'' also known as the Antichrist, and the False Prophet.
Book Summary:
The word ''revelation'' means ''an unveiling or disclosure.'' This writing unveils future events such as the rapture, three series of judgments that will fall on the earth during the tribulation, the emergence of the Antichrist, the persecution of Israel and her amazing revival, as well as Jesus' second coming with His saints to the earth, the judgment of Satan and his followers, and finally, the eternal state. This content, combined with the original Greek term apokalypsis, is why we now refer to an end-of-the-world scenario as ''an apocalypse.''
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