Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

A Question of Time

I’ve always loved this section of Revelations, the beautiful woman crowned with the diadem of stars and the terrifying dragon, waiting for her to give birth so he can eat her child, but the child is snatched away and the dragon – Satan – and his angels are thrown to earth. “He knows his time is short” Revelations tells us, but no matter what HE thinks, to us, here on earth, when evil walks, each second seems an infinity.

If you read biblical commentary, the woman is convincingly described as many different things – some say Mary, some say clearly she is the church, there are as many ideas as their are commenters. I prefer to think of it as Hagia Sophia, Logos, the Word, the second person in the Holy Trinity, who gives birth to the son, who is of one substance with the Father. I love the imagery. It’s all metaphor, trying to explain something grand and inexplicable to us, the simple minded.


Revelation 12:1-12

12A great portent appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. 2She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pangs, in the agony of giving birth. 3Then another portent appeared in heaven: a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. 4His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. Then the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a child, so that he might devour her child as soon as it was born. 5And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule* all the nations with a rod of iron. But her child was snatched away and taken to God and to his throne; 6and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, so that there she can be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.
7 And war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. The dragon and his angels fought back, 8but they were defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. 9The great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, proclaiming,
‘Now have come the salvation and the power
and the kingdom of our God
and the authority of his Messiah,*
for the accuser of our comrades* has been thrown down,
who accuses them day and night before our God.
11 But they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony,
for they did not cling to life even in the face of death.
12 Rejoice then, you heavens
and those who dwell in them!
But woe to the earth and the sea,
for the devil has come down to you
with great wrath,
because he knows that his time is short!’

June 9, 2013 - Posted by | Beauty, Cultural, Faith, Lectionary Readings


  1. The sign of the woman clothed with the sun and the moon at her feet happens Oct 6 2013 and I believe will bring forth Elijah the prophet:

    Comment by jon anon | June 25, 2013 | Reply

  2. Fascinating thread, thanks Jon Anon

    Comment by intlxpatr | June 26, 2013 | Reply

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