Home > Book of Revelation, Heavenly Jerusalem, Interpretation, Literalism, The 3 ½ years, The Gospel > Natural and spiritual interpretations of Rev. 11 & 12

Natural and spiritual interpretations of Rev. 11 & 12

August 25, 2012

In the table below two kinds of interpretation of Revelation 11 & 12 are compared. The column at the left identifies many of the symbols in these chapters. The middle column presents commonly held views based on a literal approach, and what is here considered the natural or human point of view, represented by the little horn in Daniel 7, with “eyes like the eyes of a man.” The column at the right contains a more mature, spiritual interpretation. Often, scholars will offer a mix of interpretations from either of the two columns.

symbol natural, human p.o.v.
the little horn of Dan. 7
spiritual interpretation
42 months, 1,260 days a literal 3½ years, or 1,260 years a symbolic 3½ years representing part of the present age; the times of the Gentiles
the temple of God the Jewish temple before 70 A.D., or a future rebuilt temple the church
outer court of the temple the court of a literal temple religions of the world, including Christianity
the holy city earthly Jerusalem heavenly Jerusalem, the church
Gentiles nations phony Christians
two olive trees, two candlesticks, two witnesses two men, probably ethnic Jews, or Enoch & Elijah, or two of the 7 churches, etc. the scriptures, and the Spirit
lord of the whole earth Satan Adam, or man
they shut heaven  so there is no rain two prophets control the weather rain represents God’s word; the revelation of scripture has ceased, the canon is closed
they turn waters to blood two prophets make water unfit to drink the living waters of the gospel appear incredible to many
they smite the earth with plagues two prophets smite the earth with literal plagues prophecy says all God’s enemies will be destroyed
the beast from the bottomless pit the Antichrist the serpent, Satan [Rev. 20:2]
the great city earthly Jerusalem the world excluding the holy city
the two witnesses ascend to heaven the slain prophets are resurrected the saints are anointed with the Spirit, and enlightened by the Word
the woman in heaven the Jews, or Mary, or the church, or the souls of deceased saints in heaven the saints
a crown of 12 stars the stars represent the apostles or the 12 tribes of Israel the saints reign with Christ
the sun Christ, or Jacob the gospel
heaven the empyrean the woman’s place; the spiritual environment of the saints
the earth the earth worldly human society
the moon ethnic Jews, or the law types of the gospel in the Old Testament
stars angels believers
the manchild the church, or Christ Christ
wilderness in vs. 6 a literal desert the wilderness contrasts with the great city of Rev. 11:8
nourishment literal food spiritual learning
Michael an archangel, or Christ Christ
war in heaven the future tribulation the continuing spiritual warfare of the saints
those who dwell in heaven the souls of deceased saints in heaven the saints who overcome Satan by the word of their testimony, and the blood of the Lamb
woe to those who dwell in the earth the world the world
two wings of a great eagle an airplane flight the wings of a great eagle represent an understanding of prophecy
a time, times and a half a literal 3½ years the remaining time of the church, until the resurrection
wilderness in vs. 14 a literal desert the wilderness is the spiritual inheritance of the saints, which contrasts with the great city of Rev. 11:8, from which they escape; the saints’ spiritual environment, which Christ prepares for them [John 14:2-3]
serpent’s flood armies of the Antichrist a murky flood of flawed interpretations and beliefs
the earth helps the woman weather, or similar natural events, or perhaps Jews fleeing to Petra the land that helps the woman is the heavenly country, to which the woman flies, by means of the wings of a great eagle. Her wilderness blossoms; in the Old Testament the land represented Christ, as the Lord was the inheritance of the priests and Levites, in lieu of land