Revelation 12:3

Thursday, 25 February 2021

And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. Revelation 12:3

John continues with the vision which began in verse 12:1. The woman clothed in the sun has cried out in labor and in pain, ready to give birth. After noting this, John continues, saying, “And another sign appeared in heaven.” This doesn’t mean a new vision, but another part of the same unfolding vision.

Being a “sign,” it is given to represent something else. In other words, the language is not to be taken as literal. Rather, what is seen is given as an allegory. Just as the woman is given as a picture of Israel, what is seen here is only a picture representing other things. As it is seen “in heaven,” it is representing spiritual matters. With that understood, John says, “behold, a great fiery red dragon.”

The word drakón, translated as “dragon,” is introduced into Scripture here. It will be seen thirteen times in Revelation. Of this word, HELPS Word Studies states –

“…properly ‘seeing one,’ used of mythical dragons (huge serpents) seeing their prey from far away; (figuratively) Satan (Rev 12:7,9) exercising his subtle (indirect) impact on heathen governments (powers) – i.e. accomplishing his hellish agenda from ‘behind the scenes.’”

As stated, this dragon can represent Satan, or it can represent the powers of Satan as worked out in governments. The same Greek word is found in the Greek translation of the Old Testament in the account of the serpent on the pole in Numbers 21. It is also used in Job 41:1, Isaiah 27:1, Jeremiah 51:34, and Ezekiel 29:3 – all in various ways. For example, in Ezekiel, it is used as a metaphor for Pharaoh, king of Egypt.

The description of it being “great” signifies that it is large and powerful. The color, translated as “fiery red,” was used in verse 6:4. This is its last use in Scripture. As seen then, the color being fiery red is overwhelmingly agreed upon to signify war, just as the planet Mars, the red planet, is a symbol of war. This probably isn’t coincidence as even from the first chapter of the Bible, the heavenly objects are meant “for signs and for seasons.” Planets and constellations are mentioned elsewhere in the Bible in this way.

Of this dragon, John next says it is “having seven heads.” The symbolism here is probably that of a group of nations. This type of apocalyptic literature was seen in the Old Testament writings, such as in Daniel 7. The dragon is a body of united governments, and the heads probably represent individual nations. From there, it says, “and ten horns.” Horns in Scripture signify power and authority. What is seen here is similar to the words of Daniel –

 “After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. I was considering the horns, and there was another horn, a little one, coming up among them, before whom three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots. And there, in this horn, were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words.” Daniel 7:7, 8

John next says, “and seven diadems on his heads.” The word translated as “diadem,” is diadéma. This is its first use in Scripture and it will be seen three times. It signifies a royal crown. HELPS Word Studies says –

“…referring to: a) the pagan empires of ancient history which opposed God (Rev 12:3); b) the end-times coalition led by Antichrist (Rev 13:1); and c) the infinite majesty (kingshipof Christ (Rev 19:12).”

Their analysis places this account in Revelation 12:3 as ancient history. This is a possibility. As this is apocalyptic literature, it could be a panorama of past history leading into the future, or it could be events that are yet ahead in the redemptive narrative. Those options will be explored in the verses ahead. For now, the symbolism appears to be –

A great, fiery red dragon – An entity filled with satanic influence, bent on war.
Having seven heads – Comprised of seven distinct nations.
And ten horns – Under the authority of ten powerful rulers.
And seven diadems on his heads – Seven of the entities are kingdoms or nations under a single leader rule.

Obviously, there is speculation as to the structure of this beast, but this gives a general outline of what it may be comprised of.

Life application: Jesus called the devil “a murderer from the beginning…” Right from the time of the creation of man, the devil set out to kill and destroy. In the Garden of Eden, he tempted man and caused death to enter the world when man believed his lies. He continues to deceive and destroy both individuals and nations. He does it by influencing people and nations as well.

The picture given here is a corporate body that has been established on earth and which has the intent of thwarting God’s purposes for the redemption of man. This redemption was promised all the way back in Genesis 3:15 and reflects the anticipated Messiah. From the beginning, and even until today, all of the devil’s efforts are to undermine what God has done in and through Christ.

But the devil is a created being. He is finite and limited. God is infinite and unlimited. There should be no fear that the devil can steal one of the redeemed of the Lord away. Such cannot occur. Once a person is saved by the blood of the Lamb, he is forever secure. Let us trust this and not be overcome with anxiety about the wiles of the devil. Let us put our hope, trust, and confidence in the Lord’s Christ. Let us fix our eyes on JESUS!

Oh God, no matter what the devil tries and no matter how fierce are his minions who work his evil, we know that You are infinitely greater. We know that Your plans and purposes for the restoration of all things will never be thwarted. Your book is written and the prophecies are given. We can watch them unfold with great surety that all will come about as stated! Amen.



7 thoughts on “Revelation 12:3

  • Thursday, February 25th, 2021 at 5:39 am

    Good Day Church Family
    Well now I know where this color red comes from. Many times I see depictions of Satan in movies, cartoons etc. in red, siting like some cute object on someone’s shoulders. Strangely, in my country, he is depicted as a ‘black entity with a long tail and a fork in his hand’ running about on 2 legs. I don’t know where that came from. But if as we learnt today “the color being fiery red is overwhelmingly agreed upon to signify war,” then it means that Satan has declared war on all of us. So let us ensure that we daily put on our armour according to Ephesians 6: 11-13 so ‘that we may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil’. The wonderful thing is that we know how this battle ends and we also know that we are on the winning team.
    Thank you Pastor Charlie.
    Grace and Peace to all as we await His return.

  • Thursday, February 25th, 2021 at 7:16 am


  • Thursday, February 25th, 2021 at 9:03 am

    my heart is fix of LORD my heart is fix , i will sign and give praise , – thank you love and prayers

  • Thursday, February 25th, 2021 at 9:17 am

    Amen Ruth! Yes we all need to be armored up and in the word daily if not hourly as Satan is inI his final all out attack on believers right now. The good new is the rapture window ( Israel’s birthday ) is down to 77 days now! I pray we don’t have to go the 77 days till the rapture and that it comes sooner. Daily events.. no hourly events happening in the world only confirm to me that we are in the rapture window Amen. And that is as far as I dare contemplate it, no day no hour but a window of opportunity, a window filling with signs for us to be prepared, a widow of hope and anticipation that is looking better and better by the minute. Amen we fly soon.

    We are another day closer to home
    Grace, Mercy and peace on you and yours
    God Bless my friends we fly soon

  • Thursday, February 25th, 2021 at 12:36 pm

    Glory to God for another day to read his word and praise the author of life. Jesus is the Messiah of Nazareth. He is the beloved son of God. He did the will of our father in laying down his life, so all who believed in him with be saved. Thank you for your great mercy and great forgiveness. Who are we to be blessed this way. Here we are in the wilderness and you are so faithful to call us by name. Hallelujah.

    Jesus we need you as our savior and invite you into our hearts, to write your righteous word, statutes and commands within us. Let us never neglect to read your holy words. Let us help the poor and afflicted find their way to you. As you have helped us!

  • Thursday, February 25th, 2021 at 10:56 pm

    Thank you Charlie! With all that is happening in the world and what we read as the dragon in Revelation of what is to come, it can cause great fear and anxiety. Yet, Charlie you remind us to stay focused on Jesus and that God is unlimited while the dragon (satan and his minions) are limited, created (not Creator) beings. Think of David facing Goliath and so we too must be this way in our faith and trust in God. Please God give us the strength and courage to keep focus on You and Jesus despite all that is happening around us to pull us away.

  • Friday, February 26th, 2021 at 11:59 am

    Prasie God. It is always wonderful to come here and read your comments. Have a blessed afternoon!


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