The Travail of Revelation 12

The phrase “travail of birth” is God’s way of using the picture of a woman in labor (John 16:21) to be a reference to the Jews in the tribulation cf. Revelation 12:1-6

The "woman" here is Israel. Mary is a great type of Israel, as was Sarah & Rebekah, but Jacob “takes the cake” when you consider that Jacob’s name was changed to Israel in Genesis 32:28.

The moon here is a representative of Rachel, whom Jacob loved (Genesis 29:18-20) as Christ loves the church (moon) and Rachel gave birth to Joseph and Benjamin - the two children Jacob loved most.

The 12 stars represent the 12 sons (stars are called sons in Job 38:7) of Jacob (12 being the number of perfect government)

The dragon is the devil or antichrist according to Revelation 20:2, and his being is described in Job 41. The word dragon appears in 19 times in 18 verses (6x6x6). Herod is a great type of this devil or dragon, awaiting the birth of a “man child” (Mt. 3:16-18)

The “man child” is a Tribulation deliverer who will either come back from the dead like Moses and Elijah (i.e. David, Josiah, Samuel), or it will be a new deliverer in the tribulation who will be martyred and then resurrected (Consider the verses of Rev. 2:26-28; Lam. 4:20.)
Now, Jesus Christ is either a great type of this “man child” being born “under the nose” of the dragon (cf. Psalm 2:9; Rev. 19:15) or it is literally talking about the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Israel will flee (Jeremiah 4:23) into the wilderness on the wings of eagles (verse 14), and will hide out in the rock of Sela-Petra (Mt. 7:13-16; Isaiah 16:1) for 3 ½ years. They will be fed by the 7 heads of leviathan as "manna from heaven" (Psalm 74:10; Isaiah 27:1; Micah 7:14-15) much like Elijah was fed in the wilderness by ravens (1Kings 17:6).

Meanwhile, they are being hunted by the antichrist’s army (Micah 7:2) until the Lord shows up to deliver them according to Micah 4:8-10. The ones that do not escape are the ones who worshiped the beast, were not keeping the commandment nor looking for the Lord’s return – Isaiah 66:6-8.

Jeffrey smith