Revelation Chapter 12, Part 17
Verse 17 “And the dragon was enraged with the woman and he went to make war with the rest
of her offspring who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ,
and he stood upon the sand of the sea”
NOTE: The first phrase of 13:1 “And he stood upon the sand of the sea” (in its corrected
translation), actually belongs in Chapter 12. (Chapter 13 then begins, “And I saw a beast . . .” The
sand of the sea is a symbol for the great masses of humanity. The (dragon) civil powers yet dominate the
masses until the Lord will overthrow their selfish rulerships.
“Religious truth is always a threat. This final verse indicates that before the church is completed
the (dragon) civil power will yet “make war” with the remaining members of the true church (the
“feet of him”).”
Since Verse 16 refers to the French Revolution, should it not be assumed that Verse 17 took
place shortly thereafter? No, not necessarily! Rather, it is as if the dragon were licking its
wounds during an ensuing time interval. The dragon had wanted to overwhelm and drown the woman,
but “the earth opened her mouth” and helped the woman, temporarily frustrating the dragon plan.
Satan recognized that he had made a tactical error, so he retreated from the scene to contemplate
another attack upon the woman in the future. All these thoughts are conveyed in this one short verse.
The Adversary is regrouping his forces to attack the woman a second time, and this future
warfare will involve the catching up or rapture of the last members of the Church. The use of the
word “remnant” (of the woman’s seed) suggests an end-of-the-age setting.
As already stated, in the Book of Revelation the dragon represents purely civil power, and particularly
the Roman power. France was one of the ten parts of the “city” (Rev 11:13). The city, in this
instance, was the whole setup of the ten horns (called ten toes elsewhere), which represented Europe
(Papacy, Babylon). The rebellion or revolution (”a great earthquake”) arose in the French segment of
this “city”, the Holy Roman Empire (of Europe). Thus the French Revolution is related to Rome, even
though the scene of action took place in France. And France was the leading power at the time; in fact, at
times it had been a stronger supporter of Papacy than Italy itself.
The various autocratic nations saw the tumult in France and the excesses and abuses of liberty that
occurred. However, instead of tightening the reins of control in their own countries, as Satan had
mistakenly anticipated, they established parliamentary or representative forms of government (republics).
This development actually benefited the woman, who was supposed to be destroyed. Greatly angered, the
Adversary now purposed “to make war with the remnant of her seed” (Verse 17), with those who
“keep the commandments of God.” These words are to be coupled in thought with Verse 12: “Woe to
the inhabitants of the earth and of the sea! For the devil is come down unto you [the woman],
having great wrath.”
These two parenthetical inserts (Verse 12 and the latter part of Verse 17) are intended, by the Holy
Spirit, to set straight and to counteract the false rejoicing of Verse 10 through the beginning of Verse
12. A clear distinction is drawn between (1) those who really “keep the commandments of God”
and truthfully hold “the testimony of Jesus Christ” and (2) the false Michael, “who as God”
possesses a form of godliness but denies the power thereof. A second attack upon the true
Church is to be anticipated. The Elijah class this side of the veil must and will be vanquished, but the
apparent defeat will only hasten the Kingdom glories.
A Genesis Parallel
“I will put enmity between thee [the serpent] and the woman, and between thy [the serpent’s]
seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy [the serpent’s] head, and thou [the serpent] shall bruise
his [its, the woman seed’s] heel.” (Gen 3:15 KJV)
Since the antecedents for the pronouns it and his are the collective noun “her seed,” the more exact
rendering of this text would be the collective singular “it” and “its”:
Viz. “[for the woman's seed] "it" shall bruise [crush] thy head [i.e., Satan, the head of the serpent
seed class], and thou [both the head and the body members of the dragon seed] shall bruise its [the
collective singular, showing plurality] heel [the last body members to enter the door to the marriage (Matt
25:10), even ‘the remnant of her seed’].” Genesis 3:14, the preceding verse, clearly indicates that
“the Lord God” is speaking to the serpent; thus the pronouns “thee,” “thy,” and “thou” in Genesis 3:
15 clearly apply to the serpent, not to the woman.
Other translators who basically agree with much of the foregoing statement are as follows:
“… They shall strike at your head, and you shall strike at their heel”—James Moffatt.
“… They shall bruise thy head, and thou shall bruise their heel”—George Ricker Berry, the Masoretic,
and Dr. J. H. Hertz.
“… They shall attack you in the head, and you shall attack them in the heel”—J.M. Powis Smith and
“… It shall bruise thy head, and thou shall bruise its heel” (the preferred rendition)—E. W.
“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and its seed; it shall
bruise your head, and you shall bruise its heel.” (NKJV with corrections)
In other words, the expression “her seed” (that is, the woman’s seed) is almost invariably considered to
indicate some future child or son to be born, or, as an alternate, to indicate the woman’s posterity in the
sense of progeny or other children. But that is not the intent any more than the expression “thy seed”
(that is, the dragon’s seed) signifies the dragon is to bring forth either a child or other children.
The point is that the woman herself is the seed. The woman (Rev 12:17) is not an individual but a
multitudinous seed, a seed class, a plurality of individuals. The same is true of the dragon. The scene
portrays a confrontation between the woman seed and the dragon seed. In a somewhat similar vein, the
true Church is likened to one body yet consists of many members.
The multitudinous aspect is the significance of the terms “the dragon and his angels” and “Michael and
his angels”; viz., the dragon and Michael are not individuals, but each is an organized society of
individuals (Rev 12:7, 9).
The Apostle Paul provides the clue as to what the mysterious “it” is in the clause “it shall bruise
“And the God of peace shall bruise [Greek suntribo—tread, crush] Satan [the head of the dragon seed
class] under your feet [the glorified Church body members, the completed woman seed class] shortly.”
Like other prophecies of the Bible, Genesis 3:15 was recorded in reverse order as a time lock. The Lord
sometimes uses this strategy to hide certain truths until His due time for revealment. Not until other
related truths become explicitly understood can the Lord’s people see that a particular Scripture was
purposely hidden by an out-of-order sequence. Thus in Genesis 3:15 and Romans 16:20, Satan’s
destruction does not take place until the end of the Millennial Age, for his binding and immobilization must
occur first, earlier, in the Kingdom Age.
Throughout the New Testament Satan is represented as the father of an allegorical seed, with a direct or
indirect referral back to the Garden of Eden. The Apostle John in his first epistle (1 John 5:19) states,
“We know that . . . the whole world lies in wickedness [Greek en to ponero, in the Wicked One].” The
term “seed” (Rev 12:17), when used in other books of the New Testament, pertains in some manner to
children, offspring, and descendants. Verse 17 is the sole instance of its use in the Apocalypse. While, in
a sense, the phrase “remnant of her seed” could be thought of as the spiritual progeny or posterity of
the woman, yet the view previously expressed that the dragon and the woman each represent a seed
class is still preferred. There are other cases where terms used elsewhere in Scripture take on a slightly
altered meaning than when they appear in the Book of Revelation. (T.K.O.R. Pages 318-321)
Thus we conclude our study of Revelation Chapter 12
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