The Man Child

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“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.” (Revelation 12:5)

This remarkable scene was part of a great vision given to the apostle John as the Lord was revealing to him “the things which shall be hereafter” (Revelation 1:19). He had seen an amazing “sign” in heaven—a woman “clothed with the sun . . . travailing in birth,” with “a great red dragon” awaiting the delivery and ready “to devour her child as soon as it was born” (Revelation 12:1-4).

Although the whole vision is richly symbolic, the figure of the man child clearly refers to Jesus Christ, because it is He alone who must eventually rule all nations “with a rod of iron” (Revelation 19:15). Thus, the symbolic “woman” must suggest His human mother, Mary, but also Eve, the “mother of all living” (Genesis 3:20), for in His human birth, the Son of God became also “the Son of man” (Acts 7:56; Revelation 1:13). The vision, in fact, dramatizes the long warfare between the great dragon (i.e., Satan—Revelation 12:9) and the seed of the woman (Genesis 3:15).

In the vision, the “man child” will have been “caught up” (i.e., “raptured”) to heaven, and the dragon and his angels “cast out” to earth (Revelation 12:5-9). But when Christ returns from heaven, all believers, living and dead, will also be “caught up” to meet Him in the air, and thus may well be included in the man child of the great “sign.”

There has been continuous warfare between the seed of the Serpent and the spiritual seed of the woman. The Dragon is forever “wroth with the woman” and with “the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 12:17). But Christ will finally prevail and cast Satan into the eternal lake of fire (Revelation 20:10). HMM