Revelation 12:5
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne.

King James Bible
And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.

Darby Bible Translation
And she brought forth a male son, who shall shepherd all the nations with an iron rod; and her child was caught up to God and to his throne.

World English Bible
She gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron. Her child was caught up to God, and to his throne.

Young's Literal Translation
and she brought forth a male child, who is about to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, and caught away was her child unto God and His throne,

Revelation 12:5 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

And she brought forth a man child - Representing, according to the view above taken, the church in its increase and prosperity - as if a child were born that was to rule over all nations. See the notes on Revelation 12:2.

Who was to rule all nations - That is, according to this view, the church thus represented was destined to reign in all the earth, or all the earth was to become subject to its laws. Compare the notes on Daniel 7:13-14.

With a rod of iron - The language used here is derived from Psalm 2:9; "Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron." The form of the expression here used, "who was to rule" - ὅς μέλλει ποιμαίνειν hos mellei poimainein - is derived from the Septuagint translation of the Psalm - ποιμαινεῖς poimaineis - "thou shalt rule them"; to wit, as a shepherd does his flock. The reference is to such control as a shepherd employs in relation to his flock - protecting, guarding, and defending them, with the idea that the flock is under his care; and, on the supposition that this refers to the church, it means that it would yet have the ascendency or the dominion over the earth. The meaning in the phrase, "with a red of iron," is, that the dominion would be strong or irresistible - as an iron scepter is one that cannot be broken or resisted. The thoughts here expressed, therefore, are:

(a) that the church would become universal - or that the principles of truth and righteousness would prevail everywhere on the earth;

(b) that the ascendency of religion over the understandings and consciences of people would be irresistible - as firm as a government administered under a scepter of iron; yet,

(c) that it would be rather of a character of protection than of force or violence, like the sway which a shepherd wields over his flock.

I understand the "man child" here, therefore, to refer to the church in its increase under the Messiah, and the idea to be, that that church was, at the time referred to, about to be enlarged, and that, though its increase was opposed, yet it was destined ultimately to assert a mild sway over all the world. The time here referred to would seem to be some period in the early history of the church when religion was likely to be rapidly propagated, and when it was opposed and retarded by violent persecution - perhaps the last of the persecutions under the pagan Roman empire.

And her child was caught up unto God - This is evidently a symbolical representation. Some event was to occur, or some divine interposition was to take place, as if the child thus born were caught up from the earth to save it from death, and was rendered secure by being in the presence of God, and near his throne. It cannot be supposed that anything like this would "literally" occur. Any divine interposition to protect the church in its increase, or to save it from being destroyed by the dragon - the fierce pagan power - would be properly represented by this. Why may we not suppose the reference to be to the time of Constantine, when the church came under his protection; when it was effectually and finally saved from pagan persecution; when it was rendered safe from the enemy that waited to destroy it? On the supposition that this refers to an increasing but endangered church, in whose defense a civil power was raised up, exalting Christianity to the throne, and protecting it from danger, this would be well represented by the child caught up to heaven.

This view may derive confirmation from some well-known facts in history. The old pagan power was concentrated in Maximin, who was emperor from the Nile to the Bosphorus, and who raged against the gospel and the church "with Satanic enmity." "Infuriate at the now imminent prospect of the Christian body attaining establishment in the empire, Maximin renewed the persecution against Christians within the limits of his own dominion; prohibiting their assemblies, and degrading, and even killing their bishops." Compare Gibbon, 1:325, 326. The last struggle of pagan Rome to destroy the church by persecution, before the triumph of Constantine, and the public establishment of the Christian religion, might be well represented by the attempt of the dragon to destroy the child; and the safety of the church, and its complete deliverance from pagan persecution, by the symbol of a child caught up to heaven, and placed near the throne of God. The persecution under Maximin was the last struggle of paganism to retain the supremacy, and to crush Christianity in the empire. "Before the decisive battle," says Milner, "Maximin vowed to Jupiter that, if victorious, he would abolish the Christian name. The contest between Yahweh and Jupiter was now at its height, and drawing to a crisis."

The result was the defeat and death of Maximin, and the termination of the efforts of paganism to destroy Christianity by force. Respecting this event, Mr. Gibbon remarks, "The defeat and death of Maximin soon delivered the church from the last and most implacable of her enemies," 1:326. Christianity was, after that, rendered safe from pagan persecution. Mr. Gibbon says, "The gratitude of the church has exalted the virtues of the generous patron who seated Christianity on the throne of the Roman world." If, however, it should be regarded as a forced and fanciful interpretation to suppose that the passage before us refers to this specific event, yet the general circumstances of the times would furnish a fulfillment of what is here said:

(a) The church would be well represented by the beautiful woman.

(b) The prospect of its increase and universal dominion would be well represented by the birth of the child.

(c) The furious opposing pagan power would be well represented by the dragon in its attempts to destroy the child.

(d) The safety of the church would be well represented by the symbol of the child caught up to God, and placed near his throne.

Revelation 12:5 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Snares of Satan
The great controversy between Christ and Satan, that has been carried forward for nearly six thousand years, is soon to close; and the wicked one redoubles his efforts to defeat the work of Christ in man's behalf and to fasten souls in his snares. To hold the people in darkness and impenitence till the Saviour's mediation is ended, and there is no longer a sacrifice for sin, is the object which he seeks to accomplish. When there is no special effort made to resist his power, when indifference prevails
Ellen Gould White—The Great Controversy

The Glory of Jesus and Mary.
Before entering upon the contemplation of the excellent glory which surrounds the blessed in heaven, we must endeavor to form a correct idea of God's grace, which enabled them to perform the great and noble actions we are now to consider. They were all, except Jesus and Mary, conceived in sin, and, therefore, subject to the same temptations that daily assail us. They never could have triumphed and reached the supernatural glory which now surrounds them, had they been left to their own natural strength,
F. J. Boudreaux—The Happiness of Heaven

The Work of Jesus Christ as an Advocate,
CLEARLY EXPLAINED, AND LARGELY IMPROVED, FOR THE BENEFIT OF ALL BELIEVERS. 1 John 2:1--"And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." By JOHN BUNYAN, Author of "The Pilgrim's Progress." London: Printed for Dorman Newman, at the King's Arms, in the Poultry, 1689. ADVERTISEMENT BY THE EDITOR. This is one of the most interesting of Bunyan's treatises, to edit which required the Bible at my right hand, and a law dictionary on my left. It was very frequently republished;
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

The Time of Trouble
"At that time shall Michael stand up, the great Prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, everyone that shall be found written in the book." Daniel 12:1. When the third angel's message closes, mercy no longer pleads for the guilty inhabitants of the earth. The people of God have accomplished their work. They have received "the latter
Ellen Gould White—The Great Controversy

Cross References
Psalm 2:9
'You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware.'"

Isaiah 66:7
"Before she travailed, she brought forth; Before her pain came, she gave birth to a boy.

2 Corinthians 12:2
I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago-- whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows-- such a man was caught up to the third heaven.

2 Corinthians 12:4
was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak.

Revelation 2:27
AND HE SHALL RULE THEM WITH A ROD OF IRON, AS THE VESSELS OF THE POTTER ARE BROKEN TO PIECES, as I also have received authority from My Father;

Revelation 12:13
And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child.

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