The Revelation 12 Sign

There are multiple signs that 2017 is an important year on God’s prophetic calendar. The Revelation 12 sign is causing a lot of discussion and analysis about why 2017 is the year the sign described in Revelation chapter 12 will occur. It only takes a simple google search to find oodles of articles and videos on the subject. But before we jump into a discussion about that, let’s first quickly cover some basics.

The purpose of the sun, moon, and stars

I don’t get the opportunity very often to gaze at the constellations where I live, due to cloud cover and bright city lights. But I have seen some amazing starry nights and have marveled at the glorious universe that God created. Perhaps you've stared at the constellations in awe as well. But did you know that God created the moon, the stars, and the sun to provide more than just light and a glorious night sky?
And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years.
Genesis 1:14 KJV
It's critical to our understanding of this verse to understand the meaning (in the original language) of a couple of words that are used in this verse.

First, the meaning of the word “seasons” in this verse doesn’t refer to spring, summer, autumn, or winter. The word translated here as “seasons” means appointed times, designated time, or feast in the original language.

Second, some Bible translations use the word “wonder” instead of “sign”. However, the word “sign” is the proper translation of the Greek word that’s used in this verse and also in Revelation 15:1. This event signals that something is about to happen.

The psalmist understood the purpose of the celestial bodies. They declare God’s glory and also speak God’s knowledge to us without the use of words.
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows and proclaims His handiwork. Day after day pours forth speech, and night after night shows forth knowledge. There is no speech nor spoken word [from the stars]; their voice is not heard. Yet their voice [in evidence] goes out through all the earth, their sayings to the end of the world...
Psalm 19:1-4 (Amplified Bible)

Astronomy vs Astrology

Some Christians are afraid to study the stars because they confuse astronomy with astrology. I have to be honest with you, I’ve mixed them up myself. So, just so we’re on the same page, here’s the difference between the two.

Astrology is the study of the movements and relative positions of celestial bodies interpreted as having an influence on human affairs and the natural world. In other words, this includes such things as horoscopes, which Christians should avoid.

Astronomy is the study of objects and matter outside the earth's atmosphere and of their physical and chemical properties. The Easton’s Bible Dictionary says “the Hebrews were devout students of the wonders of the starry firmament (Amos 5:8; Psalm 19). In the Book of Job, which is the oldest book of the Bible in all probability, the constellations are distinguished and named. Mention is made of the “morning star” (Revelation 2:28; comp. Isaiah 14:12), the “seven stars” and “Pleiades,” “Orion,” “Arcturus,” the “Great Bear” (Amos 5:8; Job 9:9; 38:31), “the crooked serpent,” Draco (Job 26:13), the Dioscuri, or Gemini, “Castor and Pollux” (Acts 28:11). The stars were called “the host of heaven” (Isaiah 40:26; Jeremiah 33:22)”.

The 12 constellations are referred to collectively in the book of Job as Mazzaroth.

The Lord said to Job:
Can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades,
Or loose the belt of Orion?
Can you bring out Mazzaroth in its season?
Or can you guide the Great Bear with its cubs?
Do you know the ordinances of the heavens?
Can you set their dominion over the earth?

Job 38:31–33
Notice all the constellations the bible refers to. This is proof that it’s perfectly fine for Christians to study the constellations. In fact, they not only show the glory of God but they’re also a sign for us.

A quick note about stars

To fully understand the Revelation 12 sign, you need to understand the definition of the word stars, as it’s used in Revelation 12. Students of astronomy know that stars appear to be fixed in the sky. Meaning that they don’t appear to move. These are the kinds of stars that make up the twelve constellations. There are also stars that do move, such as shooting stars and wandering planets.

Now that we’ve got that under our belt, let’s now look at the Revelation 12 sign that’s causing all the buzz and excitement.

The Revelation 12 sign

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.
Revelation 12:1-2 (NASB)
The sign described in these verses hadn’t occurred since this prophecy was written down for us by the Apostle John until now.

Here’s the thing that really excites me. NASA confirms that the alignment described in Revelation 12 sign will occur on September 23, 2017, and astronomers tell us that this celestial alignment won’t occur again for another six thousand years. This is yet another confirmation from heaven that we’re living in the very last of the last days. Friends, this sign is intended for our time, not for some distant time that’s far into the future.

Over the centuries, Bible scholars, commentators, and theologians have been uncertain as to the meaning of the Revelation 12 sign. I think that’s because this sign was meant to be understood only by the last generation. That’s you and me. In our modern age, due to computer technology, astronomers are able to predict the movement and alignment of the celestial bodies far into the future as well as model their movements and alignments centuries into the past.

What the Revelation 12 sign is referring to

The woman clothed with the sun refers to the constellation Virgo.

Every detail described in the first verse of Revelation 12 will occur on 9/23/2017.
  • The sun will be behind Virgo’s head, thus clothed with the sun.
  • The moon will be under her feet.
  • She will be crowned with 12 stars.
Nine of the stars in Virgo’s crown will be the 9 primary stars of the constellation Leo that is visible to the naked eye. The remaining three stars in Virgo’s crown (as you can see in the picture above) will be the wandering planets, Mercury, Mars, and Venus, which will be in perfect alignment to complete Virgo’s crown on 9/23/17.

This brings us to the most interesting part, of the prophecy, which is the woman travailing in birth (Revelation 12 verse 2).

Something is about to be born

We all know that the typical pregnancy is 9 months. So exactly when did the woman depicted in this prophecy become pregnant? The wandering planet, Jupiter entered the womb of Virgo on December 23 2016. Jupiter has been orbiting in a retrograde motion within Virgo’s womb since 12/23/2016 and astronomers tell us that Jupiter will exit Virgo’s womb on 9/23/2017 after being in the womb for 9 months!

Interestingly, December 23, 2016, the day that Jupiter entered Virgo’s womb is the exact day the United Nations passed UNSC Resolution 2334, demanding Israel to stop all settlement activity. Hmmm… very interesting. This gives me even more assurance that the sign prophesied in Revelation 12, two thousand years ago, is the same sign that we’ll witness this September.

When did a star ever mark a birth?

A star, known as the Bethlehem star marked the birth of Jesus (See Matthew chapter 2). This was probably not a single star but rather a convergence of two wandering planets, making them appear as the brightest star ever seen by man. You might recall that the Magi, who were astronomers, followed the Bethlehem star. When they arrived in Jerusalem, they inquired of King Herod where the King of the Jews was and explained to him that they had come to worship Him because they had seen His star when it rose. Herod learned from the Magi when the star had first appeared. Because we know that Herod killed all the children in Bethlehem that were two years old and younger, we can assume that the Bethlehem star had appeared in the sky for approximately two years.

A convergence of the same wandering planets that appeared to mark the birth of Jesus, occurred again on 9/23/2015. Exactly two years before the Revelation 12 sign. Consider this: if the Bethlehem star first appeared two years prior to the birth of Christ, and appeared over Bethlehem two years later, perhaps the convergence of stars that occurred in 2015 is a two-year warning of another important birth that’s about to occur. Fast forward two years and you arrive on the exact day that we now know the Revelation 12 sign will occur.

What does this all mean?

To quote Amir Tsarfati, “I’m not a prophet, I just come from a non-profit organization”. In other words, we can’t be 100% sure what this sign means until it happens.

Robert Breaker has pointed out that the Revelation 12 sign is most likely a sign that something will be born concerning Israel. Primarily because Israel is most often referred to in the Bible as the woman. Of course, anything that affects God’s chosen people affects everyone.

I think the Revelation 12 sign is a yet another wake-up-call from God that we’re in the very last hour, perhaps the waning minutes, of the last days before Christ returns for His church. I’m not suggesting, as some have, that this sign specifically marks the rapture of the church or that something will happen on this exact day. I know people are longing for the return of Christ (as all Christians should be) and are hopeful that this is a sign of the rapture. I believe the rapture is imminent but the Bible teaches that we can’t know the day or the hour it will happen. There’s a good reason why God doesn’t want us to know the exact time of the rapture. It’s because He wants us to always be ready. Please don’t be like the foolish virgins that weren’t ready when the bridegroom arrived (see Matthew 25).

So that I don’t leave you hanging, here are some things that could occur on or near the appearance of the Revelation 12 sign:
  • Israel is attacked by her neighbors: With the wars presently going on in Syria and Iraq, and with all the terrorist organizations around Israel’s borders, the middle east is a tinderbox just waiting for a spark to set it ablaze. All the nations who will come against Israel in the Ezekiel 38-39 war are already aligned together. The result of this war will make Israel even safer because their enemies will be humbled and defeated, putting Israel in a stronger position to negotiate peace.
    Many have calculated that 2017 is a Jubilee year, but we have no way to be sure because we’re not certain of the exact date of the first Jubilee. If it is a Jubilee year, then it’s very possible that Israel could reclaim more of the promised land in 2017, which would be the typical outcome of winning a war.
  • Damascus is completely destroyed: Isaiah prophesied in chapter 17 that Damascus will become a ruinous heap in a single day and never be inhabited again. We know that Syrian president Bashar Asad has chemical weapons and that Israel won’t tolerate an attack from the Syrian side of their boarder–especially an attack with a weapon of mass destruction. If-and-when Israel destroys Damascus, this would undoubtedly cause the spark that would set the Ezekiel 38-39 war into motion.
  • Israel signs a 7-year peace agreement: Even though this is possible, I think it’s much more likely that the Ezekiel 38-39 war mentioned above will occur before the peace agreement is signed. After Israel’s enemies who want to wipe the Jews from the face-of-the-earth are subdued, Israel will be in a much stronger position to negotiate peace.
Before I go, I want to leave you with some other interesting things to consider that all point to 2017 as being a prophetically important year.

Interesting facts that point to 2017

God is into numbers and therefore certain numbers have special significance. We know this because some numbers are used repeatedly in the bible. For this discussion, we’ll focus on just a few of them.
  • The number 5 is the number of God’s grace.
  • The number 7 is the number of completeness or divine perfection.
  • The number 50 can be found 154 times in the Bible. The most significant fact for this discussion is that every 50th year is a Jubilee year for the Jews (See Leviticus 25:8–10).
The year 5777 on the Hebrew calendar began in October of 2016 and ends October 2017. If the calculations of when the first Jubilee year occurred is correct, then this Hebrew year 5777 marks 70 jubilees. The number 5 in 5777 represents God’s grace. Much like we often drop the first one or two digits from a year, such as writing “2017” and “17” the Jews also sometimes abbreviate a year by dropping the first digit. So, “5777” would become “777” a trinity of completeness or divine perfection. Some take this to mean the perfect completion of the church age, also called the age of Grace. Again, that’s pointing to the general time of the rapture of the church. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

Now concerning the number 50: remember every 50th year is a Jubilee year. Jonathan Cahn’s book, The Mystery of the Shemitah talks a great deal about the significance of the recent Jubilee years. Let’s look at some of them.

1917 - The Balfour declaration marked a turning point in the restoration of the Jewish people to the land of Israel—the first such turning point in two thousand years.

1967 – In the 6-day war, Israel defeated the combined armies of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan, capturing the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights and the Sinai Peninsula. This greatly enlarged their territory but the Jews still don’t possess all of the promised land.

2017 – The Revelation 12 sign appears on the 70th feast of trumpets since Israel became a nation in 1948. We’ll have to wait and see if this is the year that they’ll capture even more of the land that God promised to Abraham (See Genesis 15:18-21). It's interesting to note that all of the Spring feasts where fulfilled by Jesus. The feast of trumpets is the first of the Fall feasts that are yet to be fulfilled.

To those who are not walking with Christ, who are not ready for His return, all of this is terrifying news. To those who are in Christ, and who eagerly await His return, these signs give us hope and assurance. Friends, our gracious God has given us many signs to wake us up so that we’re not spiritually asleep when the Lord returns for His church. What will the Lord find you doing when He returns?

Related articles