Revelation 12:1-2 …...there appeared a great sign in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, beneath her feet the moon and on her head, a crown of twelve stars. She cried out in the pain of her labour.
Revelation 12:17 Furious with the woman, [faithful Christians, taken to safety] the dragon goes off to wage war with the rest of her offspring. [other Christians. The two groups are shown in Daniel 11:32.]
There are differing theories as to who this ‘woman’ represents. Some say that it is the Virgin Mary and she was indeed, the mother of the ‘man child’, Jesus. Others identify her with the ‘Mother Church’, or all of Christendom.
I consider that the correct identification is that she represents the Israel of God. That is: every faithful Christian believer. Galatians 6:16
Israel is often referred to as a married woman; Isaiah 54:1-6, Jeremiah 3:1-11, Hosea 2:14-23
To hold that the woman is ethnic Israel, is wrong, but Jesus came from Israel [Judah] and His chosen Christian people is the result of His work, His seed.
“clothed with the sun” Christians recognize and honour Jesus Christ as the Son [sun] of Righteousness. They will be the bearers of this divine light.
“the moon under her feet” As the moon is subordinate to the sun and gets her light from it, so all of Israel’s glory comes from Jesus. The moon shines at night, so a redeemed Israel will be people from every tribe, race, nation and language, living in peace and security in all of the holy Land, will be a bright witness during the darkness of the Tribulation era.
“A crown of twelve stars on her head” Symbolic ofthe twelve tribes of Israel, all the Lord’s faithful people. The future authority and rule of Christians during the Millennium are portrayed in Joseph’s dream. Genesis 37:9 Twelve is the number symbolic of government.
“ crying out in pain” This seems to refer to the coming time of trial for Judah, Israel and all the worlds peoples. The prophet Micah confirms this in a clear prophecy. After referring to the birth of the Messiah in Micah 5:2 , he then says in; Micah 5:3 Therefore, only until she who is pregnant has given birth, will He give up Israel …..and then those of the people who survive will rejoin their brethren.
“the rest of her offspring” Those Christians who remain in Israel and around the world, who refuse to take the mark of the beast.
The parenthesis in the middle of Micah 5:3, is a time period of nearly 2000 years. Very soon dramatic changes will happen on this world. The Lord’s plan for the end period of this age will commence with a worldwide judgement of fire upon His enemies, then all those prophecies about the resettlement of the Land of Israel, the rise of the Antichrist and the Great Tribulation will take place. After that Jesus will Return and reign with His saints for 1000 years.