REVELATION 12 - THE WOMAN
The 12th chapter of Revelation describes God providing protection for His loyal people throughout many years of the Gentile occupation of the Holy Land.
In Revelation chapter 11, two 1260 year periods are described. These two periods together comprise 2520 years of Jerusalem and the Jews being trodden down and persecuted by Gentile powers, beginning at the time of the Babylonian captivity and concluding at the end of the Second World War and the Holocaust. This 2520 year period was foretold in Leviticus 26:24 and is alluded to in type in Daniel chapter 4, as explained in detail on the page "THE TWO WITNESSES".
Chapters 12 and 13 of Revelation reveal more detail about these two consecutive 1260 year periods. Specifically, Rev 12 focuses on the first 1260 year period, while Rev 13 focuses on the second 1260 year period. This is evidenced by the crowns that are described in Rev 12:3 and 13:1. In Rev 12:3 these crowns are on the seven heads of the Beast powers, whereas in Rev 13:1 they are on the ten horns of these same powers.
During the first 1260 year period, comprising the years from 575BC until 685AD inclusively, all seven heads of the Beast came to rule over Jerusalem, after which the first of the ten horns began its reign over that city. The second 1260 year period, from 686 until 1945 inclusively, was that of the "mouth that speaks great things and blasphemies" (Rev 13:5), when the Papacy operated as an independent power, during the time that the ten horns ruled Jerusalem. Again, all this is described on the page "THE TWO WITNESSES".
Let's look at Rev 12 and see what information is given about the first 1260 year period.
1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman (spiritual, or faithful, Israel; the Church) clothed with the sun (having the character of God through the indwelling of His spirit), and the moon under her feet (she is figuratively in charge of the moon, in that she determines how much of God's sunlight she reflects into the world), and upon her head a crown of twelve stars (symbolic of the twelve divisions of the people of God):
2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered (Israel went through centuries of national pain and suffering to get to the point of delivering Christ into the world).
3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon (Satan), having seven heads and ten horns (representing the Gentile nations that Satan empowered for 2520 years to trample down Jerusalem and the Jews - see the page "The Times of the Gentiles"), and seven crowns upon his heads (the events here described are during the first 1260 year period, when all seven heads of the Beast came to rule over Jerusalem).
4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven (angels), and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born (Satan tried to kill Christ almost as soon as He was born).
5 And she brought forth a man child (Christ), who was to rule (Lit. who is to rule) all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne (after He had succeeded in His mission on Earth, which included overcoming Satan and dying for the sins of mankind).
6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath (had) a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days (during this 1260 year period, the time of the seven heads with the crowns, God provided safe havens for his loyal people, so that even though they were still subject to persecution, they were as a group able to survive - see also verse 14).
7 And (For) there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him (this permanently separated Satan and his demons from God and His angels. This event must have occurred at the very start of the fifth Millennium - see the page "The Seven Day Blueprint").
10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down (defeated), which accused them before our God day and night (which he can no longer do, since Christ has paid the penalty for man's sins).
11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth (Israel) and of the sea (the Gentile nations)! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.
13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth (to Israel), he persecuted the woman (at that time headquartered in Jerusalem) which brought forth the man child (Acts 8:1 describes the Jews instigating "great persecution" against the Church in Jerusalem, only a few years after its inception, and therefore only a few years into the fifth millennium).
14 And (But) to the woman were given (had been given) two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time
(1260 years), from the face of the serpent (the account in Acts 8 describes early Christians fleeing to the regions of Samaria and Judea. However, already at the start of this 1260 year period, when the Jews were taken to Babylon, the faithful among them were protected by God there, as the books of Daniel and Esther testify. During the times of the Maccabees, those loyal to God were preserved in Judean hideouts by God, away from their Seleucid oppressors. When Christ was a baby, his parents fled with Him from Herod's persecution, to Egypt, and found refuge there. Before the Roman campaign of 67-73AD, faithful Church members in Israel fled beyond the Jordan to a place called Pella. So we see that throughout this time of oppression, places of safety were provided by God to His loyal people, as required).
15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood (intense persecution) after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.
16 And (But) the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth (the earliest persecutions of the Church, as testified throughout the New Testament, came from the Jews. In the 67-73AD war, the entire Jewish nation was destroyed. Figuratively therefore, the earth of Israel devoured the Jews, bringing their persecution of the Church, for the most part, to an end).
17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed (God's loyal people in other locations), which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ (note the description of a true believer here: one who keeps God's commandments and accepts the testimony of Jesus, as found in Scripture. Jews will acknowledge the former, "Christians" of this world, to a degree, the latter, but very few people accept and teach both).
So we see that Revelation chapter 12 gives us a brief overview of God's dealings with His faithful people, be they Jews or Christians, during the first half of the "Times of the Gentiles", i.e. the 1260 year period running from 575BC until 685AD. Even though the Holy Land was controlled by foreign occupiers, God looked after His faithful people, wherever they found themselves. Revelation chapter 13 follows on with the second 1260 year period, completing the 2520 years of Gentile occupation of Jerusalem, and persecution of God's people.