reply to post by Akragon
I don't believe the "war in heaven" actually happened...
Who or what can oppose its creator?
Not literally, of course.
It only makes sense (to me) if you have a universe not created By God.
Notice the first attack is made by Michael, the the dragon fights back, then Michael prevails.
The problem with trying to interpret this (again, to me) comes from thinking this dragon is the same one mentioned earlier. Think an anti-typical
dragon which the seven headed dragon takes its type from. The seven headed dragon is a symbolic designation and is seen playing a negative sort of
role to where without divine intervention, it would have put an end to the child. That was on the earth, while the dragon Michael fights is in the
heaven, different dragon. The heavenly dragon is the universe, which is symbolizing the natural order of things where you have things like entropy,
where if it was allowed to take its natural course, would have put an end to the child even if it had escaped the earth dragon.
I should add this little bit of interpretation which is fundamental to understanding my above interpretation, the child which a lot of people would
automatically take to be the baby Jesus is actually the infant church, so by inference, us.
Chapter 12 of revelation is split up into four main sections and those in turn are each made of at least two parts. The chapter is using symbolism in
a overlapping sort of way which was a device common in apocalyptic literature at the time Revelation was written, which was their method of creating
this feeling of continuity. Such as they have a starting point with one main character, then it introduces a second character and describes its
relationship with the first one, then goes into the second character interacting with a third character. Then after resolving that conflict it can go
further into the second character by itself, then that is shown to be transformed by the earlier encounter, then this modified character can have
another and different sort of interaction in a new scene, with the first character who in the meantime has also been changed. The idea is to recycle
the symbols to keep a familiarity, in this case you can tell which is the ideal good and which is the ideal bad, and then once that is established,
those symbols can be applied to signify someone completely different but with that same moral aspect. So, in the case of the war, this is an
establishment of the nature of the dragon motif by bringing up a mental image familiar to the reader which is the concept of the Cosmic Warrior, which
to us seems inexplicable, since those old religions which emphasized that concept have gone into obscurity over the intervening centuries.
edit on 24-1-2012 by jmdewey60 because: (no reason given)