Originally posted by MrCobb
Maybe, but I believe it is one woman: Jerusalem. Well, both just happen to be found in the wilderness, that much is sure... they convey that there is one woman who begins beautiful and ends a whore;
You don't notice how these two women are not only behaving differently, but also being treated differently.
For one thing, there is more than one wilderness in the world. Sahara is a wilderness, and Antarctica is a wilderness, but they are not by any means the same place. Babylon is in the kind of wilderness where she rests on "many waters" echoing the waters of the abyss which God had to deal with at the creation of the world. Whereas the woman of ch12 gets into the kind of wilderness which the dragon attempted to flood with water, but the waters were all swallowed up.
In fact all the imagery in the last part of ch12 is Exodus imagery, or at least "escape from Egypt" imagery.
Let me see, the one we want here is
On an eagle's wings
The dragon- Egypt imagery ; "the great dragon that lies in the midst of his streams"- Ezekiel ch29 v3
Trying to cover the earth with a flood- Egypt imagery- Jeremiah ch46 v8
Earth opening up and swallowing the water- Exodus imagery- Exodus ch15 v12
The most blatant piece of Exodus imagery is the two wings of the great eagle- "You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I lifted you up on eagles' wings and brought you to myself"- Exodus ch19 v4.
The whole passage is an echo of the Exodus experience, coming to a climax in the "flight into the wilderness", which is, of course, part of the climax of the Exodus.
There, in the wilderness, she will be "nourished", just as the Israelites were fed with manna. Exodus imagery again.
The logical conclusion of this wilderness experience is that she would pass through it and be brought into the promised land". And indeed that is exactly what happens in the last couple of chapters of Revelation. So if the woman of ch12 "morphs" into anything, it is into the "new Jerusalem" of ch21.
So these two women are not the same woman. At the very most they are twins, the good twin and the evil twin.
In any case, the imagery of Harlot Babylon is a lot more complex than you realise. If you try to limit her to the "unfaithful church", you are oversimplying. There has to be a political element as well, because the Old Testament Babylon is the political power which destroyed the Temple. So those who want to identify her with Rome cannot be 100% wrong (but they're also guilty of oversimplifying).
See Harlot Babylon; Twinned with Rome