This woman is the same woman whom we read about in verses 1-6. Her son is the child who will soon rule all nations, in verse 5. That is a reference to Christ (Psalm 2:7-9). The woman therefore means the nation called Israel, from which Christ came (Matthew 1:1; compare Revelation 12:1 and Genesis 37:9-10).
The devilís anger against Christ has not ended, but he cannot attack Christ (12:5). So instead, he attacks anyone who has a relationship with Christ (verse 17). That includes Israel, because Israel as a nation has a special relationship with God (Genesis 12:1-3; Romans 11:11-15).
Revelation chapters 12 and 13 are very similar to Daniel 12:1. Daniel too describes terrible troubles in the world; he too is probably writing about the period immediately before Christís return. In Daniel 12:7, he too refers to a period of a time, times and half a time (three and a half years), as in Revelation 12:14. He too mentions Michael the archangel (a leader of Godís special servants, the angels).
During these great troubles, God will be protecting his people, the people who come from Israelís families. If this is the same period as in Revelation 11:2, then foreigners will act fiercely against the holy city, Jerusalem. However, God will look after his people, even in the desert. He can provide for them there in an astonishing manner, even as he did for Elijah (1 Kings 17:1-6).
David wished that he had the wings of a dove, to escape from his troubles into the desert (Psalm 55:6-8). The eagle, however, is a much more powerful bird than the dove. It rises high into the sky, and it can remain there for a very long time. God protects his people, not just by wings like a dove, but like a great eagle (Isaiah 40:31).
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© 2016, Keith Simons.