The Woman Clothed with the Sun was a sign in the sky that John the Apostle saw in a vision from Jesus Christ — recorded in the Book of Revelation. The woman was pregnant and gave birth to a son, whom a Dragon tried to destroy. The child is said to have been destined to rule the world, but was caught up suddenly to be in God's throne room in Heaven. A war arose in heaven, which ended in favor of God and the child having defeated the Dragon who was being cast down to earth where it continued to fight. God caused the forces of nature to be favorable for the woman but the Dragon made war with the rest of her children.
The scene shifted from what God was doing on the earth to the fuller picture in heavenly places. From the beginning of creation, God had set the sun, moon and stars in the heavens to show not only His glory but as signs signifying his plan. Though in a vision, John was seeing something real. He would recognize the constellation Virgo, but only as if he were in the heaven (outer space) since the sun was visible among the stars. There at the feet was the moon. Above the head was a ring of what seemed to be twelve stars. John recognized the alignment as like it was in the feast month around the Day of Atonement. He also realized that this was a rerun, or rather a sequel, to a dream that the Patriarch Joseph had shared with his brothers and parents.
It was not Joseph who was at the center of the sun, moon and stars this time, but a woman about to give birth. And there at her feet was a great dragon. This extra detail was not strange in nature, for one of the constellations close by forms a snake that stretches about a third of the way across the sky. In the vision John was seeing the celestial bodies as they had been at a point of time represented by the woman, child and dragon.
Birth of the Son
Main article: Birth of Christ
The woman with child was the focal point of two great prophecies in the history of redemption. The first had been in the wake of the sin that barred mankind from the Garden of Eden. Having disobeyed God, the first woman received a promise that one day a woman would give birth to a special child--one who would crush the head of the Serpent. Even greater than that, though, was that a virgin would give birth to a child who would be named "God with us", and again, that this son would be both Mighty God and the Prince of Peace. There could be no doubt in John's mind that the child was Jesus.
Then John saw that the winding serpent take a hideous form, with ten heads and a body covering half the sky. The heads had the thrones worn by vassal kings and conquerors. The battle was real, and John had lived it. He remembered the increasing struggle first with the Jewish authorities and then with the provincial governors. Finally, the greatest powers on earth had taken on God, and the outcome might have been doubtful is battle field was an earthly one.
War in Heaven
As the battle raged in heaven, the course of events on the earth had been for the hearts and minds of men. As Jesus was in his ministry, Satan waged a spiritual battle against him up to and including an apparent victory as Jesus died and was buried. But then, from the belly of the earth, the realm of the dead that Satan claimed as his own, Jesus had risen. Satan was defeated but still active. Jesus had been taken away--in Resurrection and in Ascension--from the realm of earthly kings.
In the vision, the woman is seen to be given wings like those of a large eagle with which to fly away from the Dragon into the desert. John could not help but recall the description of God's providence in the Exodus. That had been the great salvation event of the Old Testament that foreshadowed every part of what Jesus and the Church had experience during John's life. The Son had been taken up, but his spiritual brothers, in one sense, were being prepared to be kings and priests. Satan's efforts, with his feeble imitation of floodwaters wholly inadequate for the task, were soaked up like a spring shower on dry ground. John doubtless recalled the early days of rapid growth in Jerusalem. The apostles had so much work to do they ordained the first deacons. It seemed like the young men were in some ways better at evangelism that some of the Apostles. Then tragedy struck as Stephen was brutally and publicly executed for seemply preaching Bible history. The church scattered after that. The signs in the vision confirmed that those three and a half years showed that the church was going to withstand the worst Satan could send there way.
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