Not to be confused with Peoples of the Apocalypse PDF of Babylon. Revelations 12 in a single image.
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The woman gives birth to a male child who is threatened by a dragon, identified as the Devil and Satan, who intends to devour the child as soon as he is born. The Woman of the Apocalypse is widely identified as the Virgin Mary. This interpretation is held by the ancient Church as well as in the medieval and modern Roman Catholic Church. In Reformed theology and traditions which are averse to Marian veneration, the interpretation of the Woman represents the church. God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days. Then there is a description of „War in Heaven“ of the angels against the dragon, and „the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. The Virgin of Guadalupe has been depicted as the Woman of the Apocalypse since the 16th century.
Ancient witnesses to the Marian interpretation include St. Raised to Heaven because Co-Redemptrix on Earth. The Virign is depicted as wearing a red dress and blue mantle while crushing a serpent under her foot. Both Marian veneration and the interpretation of the Woman of the Apocalypse are recorded since at least the 4th century, but the specific veneration of Mary in this form becomes tangible only in the medieval period. Association of Mary with a single star is recorded from the early medieval period, in the hymn Ave Maris Stella. Mary with the woman of the Apocalypse. The Madonna of the Apocalypse became associated with Our Lady of the Rosary, the „crown of twelve stars“ being identified with a „rosary of twelve privileges“ of Mary.
Rotonda di San Lorenzo, Mantua, Italy, 14th century. Commentators who adhere to Reformed Theology in their eschatology sometimes identify the woman as the Church, and the man-child she gives birth to are the saints. In Revelation 2:18-29, the Church in Thyatira is promised that the faithful shall rule the nations with a rod of iron. In Revelation 19:15 the same thing is stated of Jesus.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church has traditionally identified itself as the end-time „remnant church“ described in Revelation 12:17. The Catholic Church recognizes the ‚woman‘ as part of the polyvalent symbolism that is found in the book in four referents: Israel, the Church, Eve, and Mary. Dispensational Premillennialists, and Amillennialists who believe in multiple valid interpretations will often identify the woman as the nation of Israel. There are several reasons given to support this interpretation. The woman is said to be clothed with the sun, the moon under her feet, and twelve stars.