Who is the woman in Revelation 12?
The woman in chapter 12 is no doubt, Israel. Clothed with the sun, she is portrayed as the Light-giver to the world. The crown of stars is in reference to the twelve tribes of Israel (Revelation 7). The great dragon is Satan himself who drew, in his original fall, one-third of the angels with him to earth. When the woman gives birth to the man-child, Satan is ready to destroy Him. Because the woman here is symbolic of the nation of Israel, the child whom she gives birth to cannot be the literal Jesus but the symbolic Jesus who represents Christ as the head and His body, the church. Not only did Satan seek to destroy Jesus as His birth, but he also tried to destroy the church in its early days.
We see that the child was literally caught up unto God, to His throne, that is, Christ was caught up in His ascension after his resurrection, and the church will be caught up in the Rapture, taken out before the Tribulation. In the middle of the Tribulation, the woman (Israel) will flee from the persecution of the Antichrist out of the Land of Israel into the wilderness where God as prepared a place for her. The woman (Israel) will flee to Moab, Ammon, and Petra where she will be protected from Antichrist (Daniel 11:41). She will remain there for the second half of the Tribulation.
The Woman, the Child and the Dragon
"Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars. Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth.
And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born. She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne."