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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 12:7

And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war,

Adam Clarke Commentary

Revelation 12:7; per Adam Clarke

There was war in heaven - In the same treatise, fol. 87, 2, on Exodus 14:7, Pharaoh took six hundred chariots, we have these words: "There was war among those above and among those below, בשמים חזקה היתה והמלחמה vehammilchamaĥ hayethah chazakah bashshamayim, and there was great war in heaven." Of Michael the rabbins are full. See much in Schoettgen, and see the note on Judges 1:9.

The dragon - and his angels - The same as Rab. Sam. ben David, in Chasad Shimuel, calls וחיילותיו סמאל Samael vechayilothaiv, "Samael and his troops;" fol. 28, 2.

Revelation 12:7; per John Edward Clarke

And there was war in heaven - As heaven means here the throne of the Roman empire, the war in heaven consequently alludes to the breaking out of civil commotions among the governors of this empire.

Michael and his angels fought against the dragon - Michael was the man child which the woman brought forth, as is evident from the context, and therefore signifies, as has been shown already, the dynasty of Christian Roman emperors. This dynasty is represented by Michael, because he is "the great prince which standeth for the children of God's people." Daniel 12:1.

And the dragon fought and his angels - Or ministers.


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These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 12:7". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-12.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And there was war in heaven - There was a state of things existing in regard to the woman and the child - the church in the condition in which it would then be - which would be well represented by a war in heaven; that is, by a conflict between the powers of good and evil, of light and darkness. Of course it is not necessary to understand this literally, anymore than the other symbolical representations in the book. All that is meant is, that a vision passed before the mind of John as if there was a conflict, in regard to the church, between the angels in heaven and Satan. There is a vision of the persecuted church - of the woman fleeing into the desert - and the course of the narrative is here interrupted by going back Revelation 12:7-13 to describe the conflict which led to this result, and the fact that Satan, as it were cast out of heaven, and unable to achieve a victory there, was suffered to vent his malice against the church on earth. The seat of this warfare is said to be heaven. This language sometimes refers to heaven as it appears to us - the sky - the upper regions of the atmosphere, and some have supposed that that was the place of the contest. But the language in Revelation 11:19; Revelation 12:1 (see the notes on those places), would rather lead us to refer it to heaven considered as lying beyond the sky. This accords, too, with other representations in the Bible, where Satan is described as appearing before God, and among the sons of God. See the notes on Job 1:6. Of course this is not to be understood as a real transaction, but as a symbolical representation of the contest between good and evil - as if there was a war waged in heaven between Satan and the leader of the heavenly hosts.

Michael - There have been very various opinions as to who Michael is. Many Protestant interpreters have supposed that Christ is meant. The reasons usually alleged for this opinion, many of which are very fanciful, may be seen in Hengstenberg (Die Offenbarung des heiliges Johannes), 1:611-622. The reference to Michael here is probably derived from Daniel 10:13; Daniel 12:1. In those places he is represented as the guardian angel of the people of God; and it is in this sense, I apprehend, that the passage is to be understood here. There is no evidence in the name itself, or in the circumstances referred to, that Christ is intended; and if he had been, it is inconceivable why he was not referred to by his own name, or by some of the usual appellations which John gives him. Michael, the archangel, is here represented as the guardian of the church, and as contending against Satan for its protection. Compare the notes on Daniel 10:13. This representation accords with the usual statements in the Bible respecting the interposition of the angels in behalf of the church (see the notes on Hebrews 1:14), and is one which cannot be proved to be unfounded. All the analogies which throw any light on the subject, as well as the uniform statements of the Bible, lead us to suppose that good beings of other worlds feel an interest in the welfare of the redeemed church below.

And his angels - The angels under him. Michael is represented as the archangel, and all the statements in the Bible suppose that the heavenly hosts are distributed into different ranks and orders. See the Jude 1:9 note; Ephesians 1:21 note. If Satan is permitted to make war against the church, there is no improbability in supposing that, in those higher regions where the war is carried on, and in those aspects of it which lie beyond the power and the knowledge of man, good angels should be employed to defeat his plans.

Fought - See the notes on Jude 1:9.

Against the dragon - Against Satan. See the notes at Revelation 12:3.

And the dragon fought and his angels - That is, the master-spirit - Satan, and those under him. See the notes on Matthew 4:1. Of the nature of this warfare nothing is definitely stated. Its whole sphere lies beyond mortal vision, and is carried on in a manner of which we can have little conception. What weapons Satan may use to destroy the church, and in what way his efforts may be counteracted by holy angels, are points on which we can have little knowledge. It is sufficient to know that the fact of such a struggle is not improbable, and that Satan is successfully resisted by the leader of the heavenly host.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 12:7". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-12.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels going forth to war with the dragon; and the dragon warred and his angels; and they prevailed not, neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast down, the old serpent, he that is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world; he was cast down to the earth, and his angels were cast down with him.

It is important to note why this episode was included:

The war and its issue are introduced as an explanation of Satan's fury in these last times and a prediction of his final overthrow.[46]

This war does not merely explain Satan's fury during "these last times" as apparently limited by Beckwith, but also the fury of Satan from the garden of Eden until the end of time, thus providing the true key to the problem of just "when" this conflict occurred. The events of this encounter lie totally outside the perimeter of the Judeo-Christian religion. The Bible reveals very little with reference to it, except a few references here and there. It is an amazing folly indulged by some Christian scholars who fancy they can find out all about this war from pagan mythology, such mythology itself, in all probability, having been concocted from perverted and corrupted "versions" of a truth evidently known by the early patriarchs. That these verses concern a past event, prior to all history, and perhaps even prior to the human creation itself, is absolutely certain. No other possible understanding of it is either intellectually or theologically tenable. As Beckwith affirmed, "That the Apocalyptist thinks of it as past is evident."[47]

It (Revelation 12:7,8) is included here to account for the relentless hostility of the devil towards God and his church. It relates to the period anterior to the Creation, concerning which we have a slight hint in Jude 1:1:6.[48]

Inasmuch as this interpretation is rejected by some, a glance at the reasons for its adoption here is appropriate.

(1) It explains the reason for the passage's appearance in this context.

(2) The war is between the devil and Michael, not between the devil and Christ.

(3) This removes it from the period of the Incarnation, during which the war is between Christ and Satan.

(4) Spiritualizing this passage to make the war a post-resurrection conflict contradicts Matthew 28:18-20. This device is also ridiculous in other ways. "These verses require a much more literal interpretation."[49]

(5) The transfer of Satan's activities to earth did not occur either during Christ's ministry, nor after his resurrection. It existed before the birth of Christ (Revelation 12:4), and for ages prior thereto. See comment above on Revelation 12:4.

(6) The heavenly doxology in Revelation 12:10,12, is at once both proleptic and retrospective, a common feature in this prophecy, and makes no sense at all unless it is so understood. Furthermore, this doxology begins with Revelation 12:10, and should be separated from the account of the war and made the beginning of a new paragraph, as in Wilcock's translation of this chapter.[50]

(7) Plummer noted that the "strongest argument"[51] opposed to this view is based on Luke 10:18, where Jesus said, "I beheld Satan fallen as lightning from heaven," a statement made by our Lord upon the return of the seventy; but that verse is a reference to a past event, not to a future one; and it is inconceivable that Jesus meant the casting out of a few demons by the seventy was the equivalent of Satan's being thrown out of heaven! What Jesus meant by such a remark was that, just as Satan had indeed already been thrown out of heaven, Christ was about to throw him out of the earth also! As proof that he would indeed do this, the good report of the seventy had made it certain.

When Jesus said, "Now shall the prince of this world (Satan) be cast out" (John 12:31), he did not mean, nor did he say, "out of heaven." Satan was about to be cast out of the earth, not in the final sense, but in the sense of the enabling victory of the Cross about to be consummated. This apocalyptic account of Satan's being thrown out of heaven has absolutely nothing to do with the passages in the gospel.

Two different wars are in view: (1) that of Michael and Satan which issued in Satan's being thrown out of heaven, and (2) that of Christ and Satan with the final result of Satan's being thrown out of the earth and into the lake of fire.

(8) Advocates of other views are not easily dissuaded, attempting to show that in the Old Testament Satan is represented as having access to the presence of God (in the sense of heaven, of course)[52] quoting Job 1:6-9; Job 2:1-6 and Zechariah 3:1,2. The inference drawn from such passages is that Satan was "still in heaven" during Old Testament times, and that the war in this passage had not yet occurred. Such a view would require us to believe that when Satan inspired Haman to kill all the Jews on earth, he was still in heaven. Who could believe such a thing?

But what about those passages in Job? There is no hint whatever of the events there being "in heaven." Twice in that passage Satan confessed that he was "walking up and down in the earth" (Job 1:7; 2:2). Job was a citizen of the earth at the time of those events; and the access that Satan had to God in that passage was exactly that of "the sons of God" who were also living on the earth.

The same truth is evident in Zechariah where Satan was in the presence of the high priest (during the high priest's lifetime on earth). But were they not also standing before the angel of the Lord? Indeed they were; but the ministry of angels itself is for the saints on the earth (Hebrews 1:14). Scholars who wish to place Satan in heaven during the Old Testament period will have to come up with something a lot better than arguments like these in order to do so.

Returning again to Luke 10:18, if Jesus meant that Satan had only recently been cast out of heaven, what possible event in the ministry of Jesus was the occasion of it? No! Jesus definitely referred to the event related in these verses, and for exactly the same purpose, that of encouraging his followers. Satan's being cast out of heaven was the prophecy of his final overthrow in the lake of fire.

(9) The name Michael can hardly be construed as a "figure" of anything. To do so would send us in search of figurative meanings for hundreds of Biblical names. Michael stands in the Old Testament as a mighty angel, the prince of God's Israel (Daniel 10:13), and in the New Testament as the archangel (Jude 1:1:9). We should not dare to spiritualize this and refer it to another. In this connection, it is appropriate to observe that Christian Science (so-called) has spiritualized a whole dictionary of Bible names, indicating the folly of spiritualizing any name that is clearly a name.SIZE>

War ... Michael and his angels ... and the dragon ... and his angels ... Morris noted that, "Michael appears as the leader of the heavenly host ... his angels. This accords with his description as archangel (Jude 1:1:9)."[53] The dragon also leads a band of angels, spoken of in Matthew 25:41. Presumably, these angels who followed Satan are the same as those of Jude 1:6,2 Peter 2:4. We consider these verses historical, despite the objections of some scholars who go out of their way to deny it.

This paragraph must be interpreted in its context in Revelation rather than in relation to obscure Old Testament passages, or Milton's Paradise Lost. This is not a historical account of the original state of the devil and his fall from that state.[54]

John Milton was a better Bible commentator than some of the modern interpreters. There is no reason whatever for not receiving this passage as historical, despite arbitrary, unproved, and unprovable denials of it.

As for the conceit that this prophecy must be interpreted without benefit of the light shed upon it from other passages of the word of God, such notions should be rejected. What kind of nonsense is it that would deny the light shed by other passages in the Bible, while at the same time dragging in every old pagan myth ever heard of and basing a so-called interpretation on that! The apostles and the Lord himself appealed to the holy Scriptures as supplying enlightenment upon what they discussed; and Christian scholars should do likewise.

We cannot tell who the original author of Ray Summers' comment, above, may be; but, amazingly, some ten or twelve of the scholars we have consulted on this passage have almost identical, verbatim language used to downgrade any historical view of this passage; but, "The lady doth protest too much, methinks!"[55] Michael is a valid, historical name of the archangel, used in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Also, there are clearly historical references to fallen angels in both 2Peter and Jude, which leads us to inquire, why this prejudice against the historical understanding of this? Besides that, any figurative interpretation winds up in all kinds of insoluble difficulties. For example, if it is supposed that this "war" came after the resurrection and enthronement of Christ, and that, "It was an effect of Christ's resurrection and enthronement,"[56] how can the previous verses here be true; for this chapter clearly reveals that Satan's being on earth and hating and persecuting the radiant woman was already a fact long before the birth of Christ. This battle which issued in Satan's being cast down to earth from heaven took place at a time at least prior to the history of the old Israel. Some of the interpretations even bring in angels as mediators!

And they prevailed not ... Nothing is revealed to us of this cosmic struggle; but the implication of the great power, daring, and ability of the evil one are evident. Sufficient to us is the truth that he could not win.

Neither was their place found any more in heaven ... The implications are here, likewise, profound. This says that Satan once had a place in heaven and provides the clue to understanding Ezekiel 28:12-19 as a description of Satan in his heavenly abode. Furthermore this passage reveals Satan already to have been at the time of Ezekiel's prophecy a fallen being utterly under the condemnation of God, adding another prophecy of his ultimate overthrow in the lake of fire. It is impossible to suppose that, when Ezekiel wrote, Satan was still in heaven.

And the great dragon was cast down ... he was cast down to earth ... It is important to note the difference in being "cast down to earth," which occurred in the "war" of this passage, and in being "cast out" of the earth, as in John 12:31. The first means that Satan's base of operations was removed to the earth; and the second means that, at last, Satan's base of operations will be destroyed in the lake of fire. The names of the dragon are next given, making his identity certain.

The old serpent ... "This word carries us back to the garden of Eden, where Satan, under the guise of a serpent, successfully tempted Eve to disobey God's command."[57]

That is called the devil ... There is only one devil, namely Satan. The word "devil" means "slanderous one, false accuser."[58]

And Satan ... "This is a Grecized transliteration of the Aramaic [~Satana], which originally meant one lying in ambush for."[59]

The deceiver of the whole world ... "This means the one continually deceiving, not merely an erratic deception, but a perpetual, never ceasing program."[60] This is one of ten times that this expression occurs in the New Testament.

This fourfold name of the evil one is a full description of his nature. The reality of Satan as the person who organizes the totality of evil on earth is either forgotten, ignored, or disbelieved by many today; but the perpetual witness of his true existence is in the Lord's Prayer, "Deliver us from the evil one." No one who actually believes the Lord Jesus Christ and the New Testament can deny it.

After the victory of Christ on the cross, and subsequent to his glorification, resurrection, and ascension to heaven, no further victories were needed, whether by the archangel Michael or any other being in heaven or upon earth. Therefore, it is theologically impossible to make this war, or battle, in heaven a post-resurrection event. The mingling of the victory of Michael and that of Christ in the following doxology should not be allowed to obscure this fact.

[46] Isbon T. Beckwith, op. cit., p. 618.

[47] Ibid.

[48] A. Plummer, op. cit., p. 312.

[49] Ibid.

[50] Michael Wilcock, op. cit., p. 119.

[51] A. Plummer, op. cit., p. 311.

[52] William Barclay, op. cit., p. 81.

[53] Leon Morris, op. cit., p. 160.

[54] Ray Summers, op. cit., p. 170.

[55] William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act III, Scene 2, line 242.

[56] R. C. H. Lenski, op. cit., p. 373.

[57] Ralph Earle, op. cit., p. 570.

[58] R. C. H. Lenski, op. cit., p. 377.

[59] Ibid.

[60] James D. Strauss, op. cit., p. 164.


Copyright Statement
James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Revelation 12:7". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/revelation-12.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And there was war in heaven,.... Not in the third heaven, the habitation of God, the seat of the angels and glorified saints, there is no discord, jars, and contentions there, nothing but peace, love, and joy; but in the church below, which is militant, and has in it as it were a company of two armies; or rather in the Roman empire, which was the heaven of Satan, the god of this world, and of his angels; and this war refers not to the dispute between Michael the archangel and the devil about the body of Moses, Judges 1:9; nor to the of the angels when they rebelled against God, left their first estate, and were cast down to hell, Judges 1:6; nor to that ancient and stated enmity between the seed of the serpent and the seed of the woman, Genesis 3:15, which has appeared in all ages of time, more or less, since the fall of Adam; nor to the combats which Christ personally had with Satan and his powers when here on earth, as in the wilderness, immediately after his baptism, and in the garden, a little before his death, and on the cross, when he spoiled principalities and powers, and destroyed him that had the power of death, the devil; but rather to the conflict which Christ and his people had with the rulers of the darkness of this world, with the Roman powers, and with false teachers during the three first centuries; though it seems best to understand it of the war commenced by Constantine against Paganism, and which was finished by Theodosius, by whom Heathenism received its death wound, and was never restored since the phrase of war in heaven is not unknown to the Jews; they sayF9Shaare Ora, fol. 26. 4. when Pharaoh pursued after Israel, there was war above and below, and there was a very fierce war בשמים, "in heaven":

Michael and his angels fought against the dragon: by whom is meant not a created angel, with whom his name does not agree, it signifying "who is as God"; nor does it appear that there is anyone created angel that presides over the rest, and has them at his command; though the Jews seem to imagine as if the angels were ranged under several heads and governors, of whom they make Michael to be one; for they sayF11Debarim, Rabba, fol. 237. 4. ,

"when the holy blessed God descended on Mount Sinai, several companies of angels descended with him, מיכאל וחבורתו, "Michael and his company", and Gabriel and his company:'

"so kings armies", in Psalm 68:12; are by them interpreted of "kings of angels"; and it is asked who are these? and the answer is, Michael and GabrielF12Shirhashirim Rabba, fol. 14. 3. & 26. 3. . Lord Napier thinks that the Holy Ghost is designed, who is equally truly God as the Father and the Son, and who in the hearts of the saints opposes Satan and his temptations; but it seems best to interpret it of Jesus Christ, who is equal with God, is his fellow, is one with the Father, and in whom the fulness of the Godhead dwells bodily: he is the Archangel, the first of the chief princes, the head of all principality and power, who is on the side of the Lord's people, pleads their cause, defends their persons, and saves them; see Judges 1:9; and by "his angels" may be meant either the good angels, literally understood, who are his creatures, his ministers, and whom he employs under him, in protecting his people, and in destroying his enemies; or else the ministers of the Gospel, who are called angels in this book, and who, under Christ, fight the good fight of faith, contend earnestly for it, being valiant for the truth upon earth; or rather the Christian emperors, particularly Constantine and Theodosius, and the Christians with them, who opposed Paganism in the empire, and at last subdued, and cast it out:

and the dragon fought, and his angels; there is such an order among the evil angels, as to have one of their own at the head of them, they having cast off their allegiance to God and Christ, who is styled the prince of devils, and his name is Beelzebub: hence we read of the devil and his angels; see Matthew 12:24; and these may be intended here, unless false teachers, who transform themselves into angels of light, as their leader sometimes does, should be thought to be meant, who resist the truth and oppose themselves to the ministers of it; though rather, Satan as presiding over, and influencing the Roman Pagan empire, and the Roman emperors, who acted under him, are here designed; with whom Constantine and Theodosius, under Christ, combated, such as Maximinus, Maxentius, Licinius, Arbogastes, and Eugenius, and those that were with them. The Arabic version renders it, "the serpent with his soldiers".


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Revelation 12:7". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-12.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And there was war in heaven: 14 Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

(14) Christ is the Prince of angels and head of the Church, who bears that iron rod (Revelation 12:5). Also {See (Daniel 12:1) }. In this verse a description of the battle and of the victory in the two verses following (Revelation 12:8-9). The psalmist noted this battle as did Paul; (Psalm 68:9) ; (Ephesians 4:8) ; (Colossians 2:15).

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Revelation 12:7". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/revelation-12.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

In Job 1:6-11; Job 2:1-6, Satan appears among the sons of God, presenting himself before God in heaven, as the accuser of the saints: again in Zechariah 3:1, Zechariah 3:2. But at Christ‘s coming as our Redeemer, he fell from heaven, especially when Christ suffered, rose again, and ascended to heaven. When Christ appeared before God as our Advocate, Satan, the accusing adversary, could no longer appear before God against us, but was cast out judicially (Romans 8:33, Romans 8:34). He and his angels henceforth range through the air and the earth, after a time (namely, the interval between the ascension and the second advent) about to be cast hence also, and bound in hell. That “heaven” here does not mean merely the air, but the abode of angels, appears from Revelation 12:9, Revelation 12:10, Revelation 12:12; 1 Kings 22:19-22.

there wasGreek, “there came to pass,” or “arose.”

war in heaven — What a seeming contradiction in terms, yet true! Contrast the blessed result of Christ‘s triumph, Luke 19:38, “peace in heaven.” Colossians 1:20, “made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; whether … things in earth, or things in heaven.

Michael and his angels … the dragon … and his angels — It was fittingly ordered that, as the rebellion arose from unfaithful angels and their leader, so they should be encountered and overcome by faithful angels and their archangel, in heaven. On earth they are fittingly encountered, and shall be overcome, as represented by the beast and false prophet, by the Son of man and His armies of human saints (Revelation 19:14-21). The conflict on earth, as in Daniel 10:13, has its correspondent conflict of angels in heaven. Michael is peculiarly the prince, or presiding angel, of the Jewish nation. The conflict in heaven, though judicially decided already against Satan from the time of Christ‘s resurrection and ascension, receives its actual completion in the execution of judgment by the angels who cast out Satan from heaven. From Christ‘s ascension he has no standing-ground judicially against the believing elect. Luke 10:18, “I beheld (in the earnest of the future full fulfillment given in the subjection of the demons to the disciples) Satan as lightning fall from heaven.” As Michael fought before with Satan about the body of the mediator of the old covenant (Judges 1:9), so now the mediator of the new covenant, by offering His sinless body in sacrifice, arms Michael with power to renew and finish the conflict by a complete victory. That Satan is not yet actually and finally cast out of heaven, though the judicial sentence to that effect received its ratification at Christ‘s ascension, appears from Ephesians 6:12, “spiritual wickedness in high (Greek,heavenly‘) places.” This is the primary Church-historical sense here. But, through Israel‘s unbelief, Satan has had ground against that, the elect nation, appearing before God as its accuser. At the eve of its restoration, in the ulterior sense, his standing-ground in heaven against Israel, too, shall be taken from him, “the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem” rebuking him, and casting him out from heaven actually and for ever by Michael, the prince, or presiding angel of the Jews. Thus Zechariah 3:1-9 is strictly parallel, Joshua, the high priest, being representative of his nation Israel, and Satan standing at God‘s fight hand as adversary to resist Israel‘s justification. Then, and not till then, fully (Revelation 12:10, “NOW,” etc.) shall ALL things be reconciled unto Christ IN HEAVEN (Colossians 1:20), and there shall be peace in heaven (Luke 19:38).

against — A, B, and C read, “with.”


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 12:7". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/revelation-12.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

There was war in heaven (εγενετο πολεμος εν τωι ουρανωιegeneto polemos en tōi ouranōi). “There came to be war in heaven” (εγενετοegeneto not ηνēn). “Another ταβλεαυtableau not a σημειονsēmeion (Revelation 12:1, Revelation 12:3), but consequent upon the two σημειαsēmeia which precede it. The birth and rapture of the Woman‘s Son issue in a war which invades the επουρανιαepourania ” (Swete). The reference is not to the original rebellion of Satan, as Andreas held. As the coming of Christ brought on fresh manifestations of diabolic power (Mark 1:13; Luke 22:3, Luke 22:31; John 12:31; John 14:30; John 16:11), just so Christ‘s return to heaven is pictured as being the occasion of renewed attacks there. We are not to visualize it too literally, but certainly modern airplanes help us to grasp the notion of battles in the sky even more than the phalanxes of storm-clouds (Swete). John even describes this last conflict as in heaven itself. Cf. Luke 10:18; 1 Kings 22:1.; Job 1; Job 2:1-13; Zechariah 3:1.

Michael and his angels (ο Μιχαηλ και οι αγγελοι αυτουho Michaēl kai hoi aggeloi autou). The nominative here may be in apposition with πολεμοςpolemos but it is an abnormal construction with no verb, though εγενετοegeneto (arose) can be understood as repeated. Michael is the champion of the Jewish people (Daniel 10:13, Daniel 10:21; Daniel 12:1) and is called the archangel in Judges 1:9.

Going forth to war (του πολεμησαιtou polemēsai). This genitive articular infinitive is another grammatical problem in this sentence. If εγενετοegeneto (arose) is repeated as above, then we have the infinitive for purpose, a common enough idiom. Otherwise it is anomalous, not even like Acts 10:25.

With the dragon (μετα του δρακοντοςmeta tou drakontos). On the use of μεταmeta with πολεμεωpolemeō see Revelation 2:16; Revelation 13:4; Revelation 17:14 (nowhere else in N.T.). The devil has angels under his command (Matthew 25:41) and preachers also (2 Corinthians 11:14.).

Warred (επολεμησενepolemēsen). Constative aorist active indicative of πολεμεωpolemeō picturing the whole battle in one glimpse.


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Revelation 12:7". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/revelation-12.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

There was ( ἐγένετο )

Lit., there arose.

War in heaven

Compare Job 1, Job href="/desk/?q=job+2:1-13&sr=1">Job 2:1-13; Zechariah 3:1-10; Luke 10:18.

Michael

See Daniel 10:13, Daniel 10:21; Daniel 12:1; and see on Judges 1:9.

Fought ( ἐπολέμησαν )

The correct reading is τοῦ πολεμῆσαι tofight. So Rev., “going forth to war against the dragon ( κατὰ τοῦ δράκοντος ). The correct reading is μετά withi0.


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Bibliography
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 12:7". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/revelation-12.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

And there was war in heaven — Here Satan makes his grand opposition to the kingdom of God; but an end is now put to his accusing the saints before God. The cause goes against him, verses10,11, Revelation 12:10,11and Michael executes the sentence. That Michael is a created angel, appears from his not daring, in disputing with Satan, Jude 9, to bring a railing accusation; but only saying, "The Lord rebuke thee." And this modesty is implied in his very name; for Michael signifies, "Who is like God?" which implies also his deep reverence toward God, and distance from all self-exaltation. Satan would be like God: the very name of Michael asks, "Who is like God?" Not Satan; not the highest archangel. It is he likewise that is afterward employed to seize, bind, and imprison that proud spirit.


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Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Revelation 12:7". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/revelation-12.html. 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

And there was; that is, there had been previously for the passage Revelation 12:7-12, seems introduced as a narrative of the origin of the hostility manifested by the dragon against the woman and her son.


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Bibliography
Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Revelation 12:7". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/revelation-12.html. 1878.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

7 ff.] And there was war in heaven (we now enter upon a mysterious series of events in the world of spirits, with regard to which merely fragmentary hints are given us in the Scriptures. In the O. T. we find the adversary Satan in heaven. In Job 1, 2, he appears before God as the Tempter of His saints: in Zechariah 3 we have him accusing Joshua the High-priest in God’s presence. Again our Lord in Luke 10:18 exclaims, “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven,” where see note. Cf. also John 12:31. So that this casting down of Satan from the office of accuser in heaven was evidently connected with the great justifying work of redemption. His voice is heard before God no more: the day of acceptance in Christ Jesus has dawned. And his angels, those rebel spirits whom he led away, are cast down with him, into the earth, where now the conflict is waging during the short time which shall elapse between the Ascension and the second Advent, when he shall be bound. All this harmonizes together: and though we know no more of the matter, we have at least this sign that our knowledge, as far as it goes, is sound,—that the few hints given us do not, when thus interpreted, contradict one another, but agree as portions of one whole.

The war here spoken of appears in some of its features in the book of Daniel, ch. Daniel 10:13; Daniel 10:21, Daniel 12:1. In Jude 1:9 also we find Michael the adversary of the devil in the matter of the saints of God): Michael (“one of the chief princes,” Daniel 10:13; “your prince,” i. e. of the Jewish nation, Daniel 10:21; “the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people,” Daniel 12:1; “the archangel,” Jude 1:9; not to be identified with Christ, any more than any other of the great angels in this book. Such identification here would confuse hopelessly the actors in this heavenly scene. Satan’s being cast out of heaven to the earth is the result not of his contest with the Lord Himself, of which it is only an incident leading to a new phase, but of the appointed conflict with his faithful fellow-angels led on by the archangel Michael. The οἱ ἄγγελοι αὐτοῦ in both cases requires a nearer correspondence in the two chiefs than is found between Satan and the Son of God) and his angels to war (the construction is remarkable, but may easily be explained as one compounded of ( τοῦ) τὸν ΄. καὶ τοὺς ἀγγ. αὐτοῦ πολεμῆσαι (in which case the τοῦ depends on the ἐγένετο, as in ref.) and ὁ ΄. καὶ οἱ ἄγγ. αὐτοῦ ἐπολέμησαν. In the next clause, it passes into this latter) with the dragon, and the dragon warred and his angels, and they prevailed not, nor was even ( οὐδέ brings in a climax) their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast down, the ancient serpent (in allusion to the history in Genesis 3. Remember also that St. John had related the saying of our Lord, that the devil was ἀνθρωποκτόνος ἀπʼ ἀρχῆς), he who is called the devil and Satan, he who deceiveth the whole inhabited world, was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast with him (I would appeal in passing to the solemnity of the terms here used, and the particularity of the designation, and ask whether it is possible to understand this of the mere casting down of paganism from the throne of the Roman empire? whether the words themselves do not vindicate their plain literal sense, as further illustrated by the song of rejoicing which follows?). And I heard a great voice in heaven (proceeding apparently from the elders, representing the church (cf. τῶν ἀδελφῶν ἡμῶν): but it is left uncertain) saying, Now is come (it is impossible in English to join to a particle of present time, such as ἄρτι, a verb in aoristic time. We are driven to the perfect in such cases) the salvation and the might and the kingdom of our God and the power of His Christ (i. e. the realization of all these: ἡ σωτηρία τοῦ θεοῦ ἡμῶν being, as so often, that salvation which belongs to God as its Author: see reff. and cf. Luke 3:6): because the accuser (the form κατήγωρ, instead of κατήγορος, is rabbinical, קטיגור . They had also a corresponding term, סניגור, συνήγωρ, = συνήγορος, to designate Michael, the advocate of God’s people. See Schöttgen, vol. i. p. 1119 ff., where he accumulates extracts of some interest from the rabbinical books) of our brethren is cast down, who accuseth (the pres. part. of the usual habit, though that his office was now at an end) them before our God by day and by night (see, as above, the passage cited in Schöttgen). And they conquered him on account of the blood of the Lamb (i. e. by virtue of that blood having been shed: not as in E. V., “by the blood,” as if διὰ had been with the genitive. The meaning is far more significant; their victory over Satan was grounded in, was a consequence of, His having shed his precious blood: without that, the adversary’s charges against them would have been unanswerable. It is remarkable, that the rabbinical books give a tradition that Satan accuses men all the days of the year, except on the Day of Atonement. Vajikra Rabba, § 21, fol. 164. 3, in Schöttgen) and on account of the word of their testimony (the strict sense of διὰ with an accus. must again be kept. It is because they have given a faithful testimony, even unto death, that they are victorious: this is their part, their appropriation of and standing in the virtue of that blood of the Lamb. Without both these, victory would not have been theirs: both together form its ground): and they loved not their life unto death (i. e. they carried their not-love of their life even unto death: see reff.). For this cause (viz., because the dragon is cast down: as is shewn by the contrast below) rejoice, ye heavens and they that dwell (there is no sense of transitoriness in St. John’s use of σκηνόω: rather, one of repose and tranquillity (reff.)) in them. Woe to the earth and the sea (the construction is a combination of the usual accus. in exclamations, with οὐαί, which takes a dative), because the devil is come down (see above on ἄρτι ἐγένετο, Revelation 12:10, on the impossibility of expressing the aor. in such connexions) to you (the earth and sea) having great wrath (the enmity, which was manifested as his natural state towards Christ, Revelation 12:4, being now kindled into wrath), because he knoweth (so E. V., rightly, the participle carrying with it this ratiocinative force) that he hath but (in our language this “but” is necessary to shew that it is not the ἔχειν but the ὀλίγον which excites his wrath. In Greek this is made clear by the position of ὀλίγον) a short season (i. e. because the Lord cometh quickly, and then the period of his active hostility against the church and the race whom Christ has redeemed will be at an end: he will be bound and cast into the pit. Until then, he is carrying it on, in ways which the prophecy goes on to detail). And when the dragon saw that he was cast down to the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the male child (the narrative at Revelation 12:6 is again taken up and given more in detail. There, the reason of the woman’s flight is matter of inference: here, it is plainly expressed, and the manner of the flight also is related. ἔτεκεν is not to be taken as pluperfect, still less as pointing to what was yet to take place; but is the simple historic tense, used for identification in again taking up the narrative). And there were given (in the usual apocalyptic sense of δοθῆναι, to be granted by God for His purposes) to the woman [the] two wings of the great eagle (the figure is taken from O. T. expressions used by God in reference to the flight of Israel from Egypt. The most remarkable of these is in ref. Exod., ἀνέλαβον ὑμᾶς ὡσεὶ ἐπὶ πτερύγων ἀετῶν καὶ προσηγαγόμην ὑμᾶς πρὸς ἐμαυτόν. So also in ref. Deut. But the articles are not to be taken as identifying the eagle with the figure used in those places, which would be most unnatural: much less must they, with Ebrard, be supposed to identify this eagle with that in ch. Revelation 8:13, with which it has no connexion. The articles are simply generic, as in ὁ κροκόδειλος ὁ χερσαῖος, Leviticus 11:29.

With these O. T. references before us, we can hardly be justified in pressing the figure of the eagle’s wings to an interpretation in the fulfilment of the prophecy, or in making it mean that the flight took place under the protection of the Roman eagles, as some have done), that she might fly into the wilderness (the flight of Israel out of Egypt is still borne in mind) to her place (prepared of God, Revelation 12:6; so also in Exodus 23:20, ὅπως εἰσαγάγῃ σε εἰς τὴν γῆν ἣν ἡτοίμασά σοι), where she is nourished (there) (as God nourished Israel with manna in the wilderness, see Deuteronomy 8:3; Deuteronomy 8:16, where ψωμίζειν is used) a time and times and half a time (i. e. 3½ years = 42 months, ch. Revelation 11:2 = 1260 days, Revelation 11:6 and ch. Revelation 11:3) from the face of the serpent ( ἀπό must not be joined, as some texts are punctuated, with πέτηται, but belongs, as in ref., ἔφυγενκαὶ ᾤκησεν ἐκεῖ ἀπὸ προσώπου ἀβ., to the last verb, τρέφεται: importing “safe from,” “far from,” “hidden from”). And the serpent cast out of his mouth after the woman water as a river, that he might make her to be borne away by the river. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth (reff.) and swallowed down the river which the dragon cast out of his mouth (in passing to the interpretation, we cannot help being struck with the continued analogy between this prophecy and the history of the Exodus. There we have the flight into the wilderness, there the feeding in the wilderness, as already remarked: there again the forty-two stations, corresponding to the forty-two months of the three years and half of this prophecy: there too the miraculous passage of the Red Sea, not indeed in strict correspondence with this last feature, but at least suggestive of it. These analogies themselves suggest caution in the application of the words of the prophecy; and in this direction. The church in the wilderness of old was not, as some expositors would represent this woman, the pure church of God: His veritable servants were hidden in the midst of that church, as much as that church itself was withdrawn from the enmity of Pharaoh. And, it is to be noted, it was that very church herself which afterwards, when seated at Jerusalem, forsook her Lord and Husband, and committed adultery with the kings of the earth, and became drunk with the blood of the saints. It would seem then that we must not understand the woman of the invisible spiritual church of Christ, nor her flight into the wilderness of the withdrawal of God’s true servants from the eyes of the world. They indeed have been just as much withdrawn from the eyes of the world at all times, and will continue so till the great manifestation of the sons of God. I own that, considering the analogies and the language used, I am much more disposed to interpret the persecution of the woman by the dragon of the various persecutions by Jews which followed the Ascension, and her flight into the wilderness of the gradual withdrawal of the church and her agency from Jerusalem and Judæa, finally consummated by the flight to the mountains on the approaching siege, commanded by our Lord Himself. And then the river which the dragon sent out of his mouth after the woman might be variously understood,—of the Roman armies which threatened to sweep away Christianity in the wreck of the Jewish nation,—or of the persecutions which followed the church into her retreats, but eventually became absorbed by the civil power turning Christian,—or of the Jewish nation itself, banded together against Christianity wherever it appeared, but eventually itself becoming powerless against it by its dispersion and ruin,—or again, of the influx of heretical opinions from the Pagan philosophies which tended to swamp the true faith. I confess that not one of these seems to me satisfactorily to answer the conditions: nor do we gain any thing by their combination. But any thing within reasonable regard for the analogies and symbolism of the text seems better than the now too commonly received historical interpretation, with its wild fancies and arbitrary assignment of words and figures. As to the time indicated by the 1260 days or 3½ years, the interpretations given have not been convincing, nor even specious. We may observe thus much in this place: that if we regard this prophecy as including long historic periods, we are driven to one of two resources with regard to these numbers: either we must adopt the year-day theory (that which reckons a day for a year, and consequently a month for thirty years,—and should reckon a year for 360 years), or we must believe the numbers to have merely a symbolical and mystical, not a chronological force. If (and this second alternative is best stated in an inverse form) we regard the periods mentioned as to be literally accepted, then the prophecy cannot refer to long historic periods, but must be limited to a succession of incidents concentrated in one place and lustrum either in the far past or in the far future. Of all prophecies about which these questions can be raised, the present is the one which least satisfactorily admits of such literal interpretation and its consequences. Its actors, the woman and the dragon, are beyond all controversy mystical personages: one of them is expressly interpreted for us to be the devil: respecting the other there can be little doubt that she is the Church of God: her seed being, as expressly interpreted to be, God’s Christian people. The conflict then is that between Satan and the church. Its first great incident is the birth and triumph of the Son of God and of man. Is it likely that a few days or years will limit the duration of a prophecy confessedly of such wide import? I own it seems to me that this vision, even if it stood alone, is decisive against the literal acceptation of the stated periods. Rejecting that, how do we stand with regard to the other alternative in its two forms? Granting for the moment the year-day principle, will it help us here? If we take the flight into the wilderness as happening at any time between the Ascension, A.D. 30, and the destruction of Jerusalem, A.D. 70, 1260 years will bring us to some time between A.D. 1290 and 1330: a period during which no event can be pointed out as putting an end to the wilderness-state of the church. If again we enlarge our limit for the former event, and bring it down as late as Elliott does, i. e. to the period between the fourth and seventh centuries, we fall into all the difficulties which beset his most unsatisfactory explanation of the man-child and his being caught up to God’s throne, and besides into this one: that if the occultation of true religion (= the condition of the invisible Church) was the beginning of the wilderness-state, then either the open establishment of the Protestant churches was the end of the wilderness-state of concealment, or those churches are no true churches: either of which alternatives would hardly be allowed by that author. And if on the other hand we desert the year day principle, and say that these defined and constantly recurring periods are not to be pressed, but indicate only long spaces of time thus pointed out mystically or analogically, we seem to incur danger of missing the prophetic sense, and leaving unfixed that which apparently the Spirit of God intended us to ascertain). And the dragon was wroth at the woman (on ἐπί with a dat. as applied to the object of mental affections, see ref. and note) and departed (from his pursuit of her) to make war with the rest of her seed, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus ( τὴν μαρτ. ἰησοῦ as in ch. Revelation 6:9; see note there. Notice as important elements for the interpretation, 1) that the woman has seed besides the Man-child who was caught up to God’s throne (for this is the reference of τῶν λοιπῶν), who are not only distinct from herself, but who do not accompany her in her flight into the wilderness: 2) that those persons are described as being they who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus: 3) that during the woman’s time of her being fed in the wilderness, the dragon is making war, not against her, but against this remnant of her seed: 4) that by the form of expression here, these present participles descriptive of habit, and occurring at the breaking off of the vision as regards the general description of the dragon’s agency, it is almost necessarily implied, that the woman, while hidden in the wilderness from the dragon’s wrath, goes on bringing forth sons and daughters thus described.

If I mistake not, the above considerations are fatal to the view which makes the flight of the woman into the wilderness consist in the withdrawal of God’s true servants from the world and from open recognition. For thus she must be identical with this remnant of her seed, and would herself be the object of the dragon’s hostile warfare, at the very time when, by the terms of the prophecy, she is safely hidden from it. I own that I have been led by these circumstances to think whether after all the woman may represent, not the invisible church of God’s true people which under all conditions of the world must be known only to Him, but the true visible Church: that Church which in its divinely prescribed form as existing at Jerusalem was the mother of our Lord according to the flesh, and which continued as established by our Lord and His Apostles, in unbroken unity during the first centuries, but which as time went on was broken up by evil men and evil doctrines, and has remained, unseen, unrealized, her unity an article of faith, not of sight, but still multiplying her seed, those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus, in various sects and distant countries, waiting the day for her comely order and oneness again to be manifested—the day when she shall “come up out of the wilderness, leaning on her Beloved:” when our Lord’s prayer for the unity of His being accomplished, the world shall believe that the Father has sent Him. If we are disposed to carry out this idea, we might see the great realization of the flight into the wilderness in the final severance of the Eastern and Western churches in the seventh century, and the flood cast after the woman by the dragon in the irruption of the Mahometan armies. But this, though not less satisfactory than the other interpretations, is as unsatisfactory. The latter part of the vision yet waits its clearing up).


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Bibliography
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Revelation 12:7". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/revelation-12.html. 1863-1878.

Scofield's Reference Notes

angels

(See Scofield "Hebrews 1:4").


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Bibliography
Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Revelation 12:7". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/revelation-12.html. 1917.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

MICHAEL AND ALL ANGELS

‘Michael and his angels.’

Revelation 12:7

The belief in angelic creatures has been a favourite article in the universal creed, but the most unequivocal and direct evidence of their existence and ministry is to be found in the Bible. Fifteen, at least, of the inspired writers have described them.

I. Of the vast number of the holy angels there is very little doubt.—The Jewish Rabbis state that ‘nothing exists without an attendant angel, not even a blade of grass.’ The great Aquinas asserts that ‘there are more angels than all substances together, celestial and terrestrial, animate and inanimate.’ St. Gregory calculates that ‘there are so many angels as there are elect.’ Charles Kingsley maintains that ‘in every breeze there are living spirits, and God’s angels guide the thunder-clouds.’ But what saith the Scripture? On its pages their number is variously stated. (See case of Moses, Elisha, Daniel, St. John.) At the advent of Jesus there appeared ‘a multitude of the heavenly host,’ and one dark eventide, near Gethsemane, He declared to St. Peter that if He prayed to His Father He would give Him ‘more than twelve legions of angels.’

II. But all the angels are not of the same rank.—Michael, for example, is represented in Scripture as being the next in rank to the Angel-Jehovah. In the Book of Daniel he is spoken of as ‘one of the chief princes’ in the celestial hierarchy, and in the Book of St. John as ‘the archangel.’

III. The ministry of angels.—They were ever the servants of Jesus during His incarnate life, as they are now in His glorified life; and sometimes God has employed them to punish the wicked. But they are specially ‘sent forth to do service for the sake of them that shall inherit salvation.’ Nor do they forget the body which enshrined the soul. They guard its sleeping-place, as they did the sepulchre of Jesus, until the early dawn of the resurrection, when they will give up their trust.


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Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Revelation 12:7". Church Pulpit Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/revelation-12.html. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

Ver. 7. And there was war] viz. While the woman was bringing forth; and after that her son was advanced to the empire.

Michael and his angels] Constantine and his armies.

Against the dragon] Maximinus, Maxentius, Licinius, and other tyrants, acted and agitated by the devil.


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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 12:7". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-12.html. 1865-1868.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

By Michael and his angels, understand Christ, whose the angels are, and so much the name imports, Michael, that is, who like God; Christ is the likeness of his Father, his essential likeness. St. John in a vision beholds Michael and his angels combating with the dragon and his angels; yea, vanquishing and overcoming them. This may comfort the church under all her conflicts, that at length her Michael will finally prevail, and she in him.

Our Lord Jesus Christ, by the powerful preaching of the gospel, has weakened the kingdom of sin, Satan, and antichrist. His angels are his ministers, martyrs, and confessors; those particularly of the first ages, who, by their cries to God, and apologies to their rulers, by their holy lives, and patient deaths, did overcome their enemies. And thus Michael and his angels, Christ and his ministers, fought against the dragon and his angels, against Satan and his cruel instruments, who were so far from prevailing, that they lost ground continually; the Christians overcame them by their faith and patience. And the great dragon was cast down, he was by the preaching of the gospel deposed from being worshipped as a god, and his power was taken away.

From the whole note, 1. That though Michael, Christ alone, be able to overcome the dragon and all his angelic powers, yet for his own greater honour, and their greater confusion, he overcomes him and them by his ministers and faithful servants.

Note, 2. If Michael our prince be with us, Christ Jesus, the captain of our salvation, our leader, then, though the combat may be sharp, yet the victory is sure; for if he be for us, who can (successfully) be against us?

Note, 3. That Satan and his angels were cast out together; for of the devil and his instruments the lot shall be alike; they sin together, and they shall suffer together, and shall never be parted.

Lord, how dreadful will an imprisonment with devils and damned spirits be to eternal ages! To lie for ever with Satan in that mysterious fire of hell, whose strange property it is always to torture, but never to kill; or always to kill, but never to consume. The dragon was not only cast out of heaven with his angels, but both were cast down into hell, even into that lake which burns with fire and brimstone.


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Bibliography
Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Revelation 12:7". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/revelation-12.html. 1700-1703.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Revelation 12:7. ΄ιχαὴλ, Michaël) The archangel, but still, a created angel. Daniel 10:13; Jude 1:9. Nic. Collado, Raph. Eglinus, Jonas Le Buy, Grotius, Cluver, Mede, Dimpelius, and others, recognise a created angel.— τοῦ πολεμῆσαι(125)) that is, ἦσαν. An elegant expression. Thus Basil of Seleucia says of Abel, ὅλος τοῦ δώρου γενό΄ενος, altogether intent upon that which he was offering. Comp. 2 Chronicles 26:5, in the Hebrew. The war was occasioned by the πλάνῃ, with which the whole world was carried away.— ΄ετὰ) together with, that is, against. So μετὰ, Revelation 12:17; Revelation 2:16; Revelation 11:7; Revelation 13:4; Revelation 13:7; Revelation 17:14; Revelation 19:19.


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Bibliography
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Revelation 12:7". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/revelation-12.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

And there was war in heaven: by heaven, in this place, doubtless is meant the church of God; and supposing that the pagan emperors are to be understood by the dragon, ( which is pretty generally agreed), there can be no great doubt, but by this war in heaven, is to be understood those persecutions which the primitive church endured between the years 64 and 310.

Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels: the two parties were the pagan emperors, and their officers, and party, and Michael and his angels. But who is here meant by Michael and his angels? Some, by this Michael, understand a principal angel called the archangel, Jude 1:9, one of the chief princes, Daniel 10:13. Others, by Michael here understand Christ himself, who, they think, is understood by Michael, Daniel 12:1. The matter is not much; it is most certain that the battle is not ours, but Christ’s. It is as certain that Christ exerciseth his power by his angels, and that they have a ministration about his church. The meaning is no more than this, that Christ and his party opposed the pagan persecutors and their party.


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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 12:7". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/revelation-12.html. 1685.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

War in heaven; representing the conflict for supremacy between the truth of Christianity and the old system of pagan delusion. Michael seems here to represent all the agencies employed by Christ, as the dragon does the devil acting in and through his agents, especially the persecuting emperors and their servants.


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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Revelation 12:7". "Family Bible New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/revelation-12.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

7. ἐγένετο πόλεμος ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ. This must refer to an event subsequent to the Incarnation—not therefore to the “Fall of the Angels” described in Paradise Lost. Milton may have been justified in using this description as illustrating or suggesting what he supposed to have happened then: but we must not identify the two.

ὁ ΄ιχαήλ. Daniel 10:13; Daniel 10:21; Daniel 12:1. The two latter passages seem to tell us that he is the special patron or guardian angel of the people of Israel: and it may be in that character that he is introduced here.

οἱ ἄγγελοι αὐτοῦ. He is called “the archangel” in Judges 1:9 : the angels are “his,” as well as “angels of the Lord,” just as either a general or a king can talk of “his soldiers.”

τοῦ πολεμῆσαι. Ewald tried to explain this as a Hebraism. The sense is “There was war in Heaven, so that Michael and his angels made war with the Dragon.” R. V[439] “going forth to war.” Did the text before the transposition suggested above ever run καὶ προῆλθεν δράκωνὅ τε ΄ιχαὴλ καὶ οἱ ἄγγελοι αὐτοῦ τοῦ πολεμῆσαι μετὰ τοῦ δράκοντος?


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"Commentary on Revelation 12:7". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cgt/revelation-12.html. 1896.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

2. Firmamental warthe dragon cast to earth, Revelation 12:7-17.

7. War in heaven—These symbols are, doubtless, drawn from the holy tradition so often alluded to in Scripture, that Satan was once a heavenly angel and fell from his first estate. (Judges 1:6.) The traditional account is, of course, modified to suit the symbolical purpose.

Michael— Mentioned in Daniel 10:13; Daniel 10:21; Daniel 12:1, as “one of the chief princes,” and champion for the Jewish people against adverse powers. And as in the apocalypse Jerusalem is the Christian Church, and Jews are Christians, so Michael, “the archangel,” (Judges 1:9,) is champion for Christ and Christianity. He is not, as Hengstenberg claims, Christ himself. For in this scene Christ is the man child on the throne, and overcoming his adversary through “the archangel,” the heroic general of his forces. The signification of Michael’s name—”Who is like God?”—suggests, not that he is God, but the champion and challenger for God; just as the parody, “Who is like the beast?” is not uttered by the beast himself, but by his admirers. The forces on both sides are angels. The dragon’s being in the firmamental heaven, means that he was ruling over the Roman world as the impersonation of paganism.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 12:7". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-12.html. 1874-1909.

Foy E. Wallace's Commentary on the Book of Revelation

THE WAR IN HEAVEN (Chapter 12:7-17)

There are several words in the general vocabulary of Revelation, the connotations of which must be understood. These are the words: air, earth, sea, quake, heaven, stars and war. The symbols are employed in the following meaning : air, the sphere of life and influence; earth, the place of the nations; sea, society described as either troubled and tossed or placid and peaceful; quake, the political shaking of the nations; heaven, the governments, authorities and dominions; stars, the rulers and officials of governments; war, the upheavals in the governments and among inhabitants of the earth (various provinces of the empire); and the conflicts between the heathen authorities and the church in the waging of the persecutions of the saints. With this nomenclature defined, the various facets of the phraseology employed in the next few verses can be explained.

(1) The War with Michael and His Angels--12:7-8.

1. There was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels. The war in heaven meant the hostilities which developed with the tributary governments of Rome. Two classes were here placed in opposition--Michael and his angels are put in opposition to the dragon and his angels.

The dragon and his angels represented all of the powers of paganism and darkness. Conversely, Michael and his angels were representative of the truth and the light of Christianity. Michael was represented in Daniel 12:1-13 as defender and guardian of Israel. So Michael and his angels were the representatives and protectors of the woman-the persecuted church. They fought against the dragon and his evil angels by the means of the war between the satellites of Rome, because these conflicts within the Roman empire diverted the emperor's attention from the persecutions of the woman and gave respite to the church. History verifies this outbreak of wars within the Roman empire during this period of persecution; and in Matthew 24:1-51 Jesus foretold that such wars would exist to "shorten these days."


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Bibliography
Wallace, Foy E. "Commentary on Revelation 12:7". "Foy E. Wallace's Commentary on the Book of Revelation". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/foy/revelation-12.html. 1966.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Michael the archangel ( Jude 1:9) is the leader of God"s angelic army. He is Israel"s special patron ( Daniel 10:13; Daniel 10:21; Daniel 12:1). He evidently holds high rank among unfallen angels as Satan does among the fallen. John saw him engaged in battle with Satan and his angels, the demons. Michael battled with Satan in the past ( Jude 1:9), but the conflict in view here evidently takes place just before the last part of the Tribulation.


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Bibliography
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 12:7". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/revelation-12.html. 2012.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Revelation 12:7. ἐγένετοτοῦ π. (= ותהי מלחמה בשׂמים לִהלחם), the nomin. makes this rare use of the genit. infin. even more clumsy and irregular than the similar constr. with accus. in Acts 10:25 (where see note). The sense is plain, and it is better to put the constr. down to syntactical laxity than to conjecture subtle reasons for the blunder or to suggest emendations such as the addition of ἐγένετο to πόλεμους (Vit. i. 168), or of ἦσαν or ἐγένετο before ΄. κ. οἱ ἄγ. αὐτοῦ (Ws., Bousset), the latter being an irregular nomin., or the alteration of πολ. to ἐπολέμησαν (Düst.) or the simple omission of πόλεμοςοὐρανῷ. For πολ. μετὰ cf. Thumb 125 (a Copticism?). In the present form of the oracle, the rapture of messiah seems to have stimulated the devil to fresh efforts, unless we are meant to understand that the initiative came from Michael and his allies. The devil, as the opponent of mankind had access to the Semitic heaven, but his role here recalls the primitive mythological conception of the dragon storming heaven (A. C. 146–150). Michael had been for over two centuries the patron-angel or princely champion of Israel ( εἷς τῶν ἁγίων ἀγγέλων ὂς ἐπὶ τῶν τοῦ λαοῦ ἀγαθῶν τέτακται, En. Revelation 20:5; cf. A. C. 227 f.; Lueken 15 f.; Volz 195; R. J. 320 f., and Dieterich’s Abraxas, 122 f.). As the protector of Israel’s interests he was assigned a prominent rôle by Jewish and even Christian eschatology in the final conflict (cf. Ass. Mos. x. 2). For the theory that he was the prince-angel, like a son of man (Daniel 7:13) who subdued the world-powers, cf. Grill 55 and Cheyne 215 f. More generally, a celestial battle, as the prelude of messiah’s triumph on earth, forms an independent Jewish tradition which can be traced to the second century B.C. (cf. Sibyll. iii. 795–807, 2 Maccabees 5:2-4; Jos. Bell. vi. 5, 3).— καὶ οἱ ἄγγελοι αὐτοῦ The only allusion in the Apocalypse (cf. even Revelation 20:11 with Matthew 25:41) to the double hierarchy of angels, which post-exilic Judaism took over from Persia (Bund, iii. 11). In the Leto-myth, Pytho returns to Parnassus after being baffled in his pursuit of the pregnant Leto.


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Bibliography
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Revelation 12:7". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/revelation-12.html. 1897-1910.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

was = came to be.

heaven = the heaven. See Revelation 3:12. A particular sphere above earth which is dwelt in by, or accessible to, the dragon and his evil powers. Compare Job 1and Job 2. Zechariah 3:6. See Luke 10:18.

Michael. See Daniel 10:13, Daniel 10:21; Daniel 12:1. Jude 1:9, and App-179.

fought against. The texts read "(going forth) to war with".

against. Greek. meta. App-104.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 12:7". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/revelation-12.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

In Job 1:1-22; Job 2:1-13, Satan presents himself among the sons of God, before God in heaven, as accuser of the saints; again, in Zechariah 3:1-2. But at Christ's coming as our Redeemer, he fell from heaven, especially when Christ suffered, rose, and ascended to heaven. Christ appearing before God as our Advocate (Hebrews 9:24), Satan, the accusing adversary, could no longer appear against us, but was cast out judicially (Romans 8:33-34). He and his angels range through the air and the earth, during the interval between the ascension and the second advent, about to be cast hence also, and bound in hell. That "heaven" here does not mean the air, but the abode of angels, appears from 1 Kings 22:19-22; Revelation 12:9-10; Revelation 12:12.

There was , [ egeneto (Greek #1096)] - 'there came to pass.'

War in heaven - a seeming contradiction in terms, yet true! Contrast the blessed result of Christ's triumph, Luke 19:38, "peace in heaven." Colossians 1:20, "to reconcile all things ... whether ... in earth, or ... in heaven."

Michael and his angels ... the dragon ... and his angels. It was fitting that as the rebellion arose from unfaithful angels and their leader, so they should be overcome by faithful angels and their archangel, in heaven. On earth they are fittingly to be overcome, as represented by the beast and false prophet, by the Son of man and His human saints (Revelation 19:14-21). The conflict on earth, as in Daniel 10:1-21, has its correspondent conflict of angels in heaven. Michael is peculiarly the prince, angel, of Israel. The conflict in heaven, though judicially decided already against Satan from the time of Christ's ascension, receives its completion in the judgment to be executed by the angels who cast out Satan. From Christ's ascension he has no standing-ground against the believing elect. Luke 10:18, "I beheld (in the earnest of the future fulfillment given in the demons' subjection to the disciples) Satan as lightning fall from heaven." As Michael fought with Satan about the body of the mediator of the old covenant (Jude 1:9), so now the Mediator of the new covenant, by offering His sinless body in sacrifice, arms Michael with power to complete the victory. That Satan is not yet finally, but only judicially, cast out of heaven, appears from Ephesians 6:12, "spiritual wickedness in high (heavenly) places." This is the primary church-historical sense. Through Israel's unbelief, in the ulterior sense, Satan the accuser has ground against the elect nation. At the eve of her restoration, his standing-ground in heaven against her shall be taken from him, 'the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem' rebuking and casting him from heaven forever by Michael. In Zechariah 3:1-9, similarly, Joshua the high priest represents Israel, and Satan, standing at God's right hand as adversary, resists Israel's justification. Not until then fully (Revelation 12:10, "Now," etc.) shall ALL things be reconciled unto Christ IN HEAVEN (Colossians 1:20), and there shall be peace in heaven (Luke 19:38).

Against. 'Aleph (') A B C read, 'with.'


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 12:7". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/revelation-12.html. 1871-8.

The Bible Study New Testament

Then war broke out in heaven. The central idea of Revelation 12:7-12 is that Christ's atonement [God's act in Christ to set men free] frustrates the Devil. Note that Michael and his angels do the attacking. The dragon is defeated and expelled from heaven. See notes on Revelation 20:1-3.


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Bibliography
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Revelation 12:7". "The Bible Study New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/revelation-12.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

THE WAR IN HEAVEN.

(7) And there was war . . .—Translate, And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels to war with the dragon; and the dragon warred and his angels. This is one of those passages which has ever been regarded as more or less perplexing. It has afforded material for many poetic fancies, and has been the occasion of much speculative interpretation. We shall fail to catch the spirit of its meaning if we insist upon detaching the passage from its context; and the more so that the structure of the chapter seems to give an express warning against doing so. The narrative of the woman’s flight into the wilderness is suspended that this passage may be inserted. Could we have a clearer indication of the anxiety of the sacred writer to connect this war in heaven with the birth and rapture of the man child? The man child is born; born a conqueror. The dragon is His foe, and the powers of the foe are not confined to the material and historical world: he is a power in the world spiritual; but the man child is to be entirely a conqueror. His rapture into heaven is the announcement that there, in the very highest, He is acknowledged victor; and His victory is won over the power of the dragon, the old serpent, whose head is now bruised. “The prince of this world cometh,” said Jesus Christ, “and hath nothing in Me.” “Now is the judgment of this world; now is the prince of this world cast out. And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto Me.” Do we need more? There is mystery—unexplained mystery, perhaps—about this war in heaven, but there need be none about the general occasion referred to; it is the overthrow of the evil one by Christ: the death-blow given by the Lord of Life to him who had the power of death; it is the victory of Bethlehem, Calvary, and Olivet which is commemorated, and the effects of which are seen to transcend the sphere of the things seen. But why have we Michael and his angels introduced? This may be one of those unexplained mysteries referred to above. Some, indeed, think that this Michael is a designation of our Lord Himself, and of Him alone; but a consideration of the other passages in which Michael is mentioned (notably, Daniel 10:13, where Michael is called “one of the chief princes”) leaves this limited meaning doubtful, and almost suggests conflict among the spiritual hierarchies. It may, however, be the case that the name Michael—the meaning of which is, “who is like unto God”—is a general name applied to any who for the moment represent the cause of God in the great conflict against evil. It may thus belong, not to any one angel being, but be a kind of type-name used for the champion and prince of God’s people, and so employed in this passage to denote Him who is the Captain of our salvation.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Revelation 12:7". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/revelation-12.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
war
13:7; 19:11-20; Isaiah 34:5; Ephesians 6:12; *Gr:
Michael
Isaiah 55:4; Daniel 10:13,21; 12:1; Hebrews 2:10; Jude 1:9
and his
Matthew 13:41; 16:27; 24:31; 26:53; 2 Thessalonians 1:7
the dragon
3,4; 20:2
his angels
9; Psalms 78:49; Matthew 25:41; 2 Corinthians 12:7; *Gr: ; 2 Peter 2:4

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 12:7". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-12.html.

Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation

WAR IN HEAVEN.

Revelation 12:7-9. — "And there was war in the Heaven: Michael and his angels went to war with the dragon. And the dragon fought, and his angels; and he prevailed not, nor was their place found any more in the Heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, the ancient serpent, he who is called Devil and Satan, he who deceives the whole habitable world, he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him." The scene described in these verses is not spoken of as a sign. The presence of Satan in Heaven is a reality. A war there between the hosts of good and evil under their respective leaders, Michael and the Dragon, is most sure. The statement that Satan has a place in "the Heaven," not in the immediate presence of God, is received with surprise by many and with incredulity by others; and it is deemed stranger still to speak of actual conflict in the place beyond all others of peace and rest, in the place of

"No midnight shade, no clouded sun,

But sacred, high, eternal noon."

But when the vastness of the heavens is considered we cease to wonder. No child in the Father's house, no saint there, need ever fear the conflict of contending hosts. But sin was conceived in the heart of Satan. Not content to occupy a creature's place, although probably the highest of spiritual intelligences (Ezekiel 28:12-17), he aspired to the throne itself. He sinned. He morally fell from his exalted position. But he was not then cast down from the heavens. Other spirits are associated with him in his moral degradation. The blessings of saints are in the heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3), there also they sit, but in Christ (Ephesians 2:6). Others besides saints are in the heavenlies (Ephesians 3:10); and there our Christian conflict is carried on now (not after death or the Coming — no warfare then) against wicked spirits (Ephesians 6:12). Now, however, the moment has come for his final expulsion from "the Heaven," and the hosts of evil with him. He has to be cast down to the earth, then into the abyss, and finally into the lake of fire, not to reign, but to suffer eternally, the most abject and degraded of beings. The first step in the execution of judgment upon Satan is his forced dislodgment from above. It is the time and occasion referred to by the prophet Isaiah. "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall punish the host of the high ones on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth" (Isaiah 24:21). Jehovah will mete out punishment to the sinning angels in their place "on high," and to the mighty on earth as well. None, however exalted in rank and position, can escape.

MICHAEL.

But who is Michael (who is like unto God)? This distinguished angel is named five times in the Scriptures (Daniel 10:13; Daniel 10:21; Daniel 12:1; Jude 1:9; Revelation 12:7). He seems to be the leader of the angelic hierarchy, as he is termed by Jude "the archangel,"{*Scripture does not speak of archangels, only of one, and that in two passages in the New Testament (1 Thessalonians 4:16; Jude 1:9). The Pauline reference is to Christ, the true, real head of angelic power; the other by Jude speaks of that angelic created being who presides over the destinies of Israel. The only two angels who are specifically named are Michael and Gabriel.} and in Daniel 10:13, where Michael is first named, he is spoken of as "first of the chief princes" (see margin). In each of the five passages where his name occurs, and in their several contexts, the Jewish people are in question. Evidently he is the angel to whose guardian care the interests of Israel are committed. "And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of Thy people," i.e., the Jewish people (Daniel 12:1). The period referred to by the prophet is the same time beheld in vision by the Seer of Patmos. The Great Tribulation is to be entered upon. But Michael makes it his business to see that Israel does not perish. "He (Jacob) shall be saved out of it " (Jeremiah 30:7). Michael is a militant angel. The contests between Persia and Babylon were to all appearance decided by the generalship and force of arms of the renowned Persian, Cyrus, the prophetically designated overthrower of the Babylonian monarchy and the deliverer of the Jewish people from their lengthened exile of seventy years (Isaiah 44:28; Isaiah 45:1-4), but it was not really so. The movements of nations, their wars, politics, and social policy are shaped and directed by higher and spiritual powers. There are angels, good and bad, who are constantly influencing men and governments, and of this chapter 10 of Daniel is a conspicuous example. Wars and strife on earth are but the reflex of opposing spiritual powers in the lower heavens. The invisible struggles between the powers of light and the forces of darkness are real and earnest (1 Samuel 16:13-15; 1 Kings 22:19-23), and by the influence of these spiritual beings the world is providentially governed. Angelic agency toward the saints of God on earth (Hebrews 1:14; Acts 12:1-25) is a generally admitted truth, but their action in determining the issue of battles and shaping national policy, and human interests generally, is not recognised as it ought to be. Of course all is under the wise, strong, and controlling hand of God. He is the supreme Arbiter in human life and history. In the chapter referred to (Daniel 10:1-21) Michael goes to the help of an unnamed angel who had wrought at the court of Persia for twenty-one days (v. 13). With the assistance of the archangel the destinies of Persia were directed, resulting in the two associated facts: Babylon the oppressor overthrown, and Judah the oppressed delivered. Michael, too, figures in the contest about the body of Moses. Satan sought possession of the body no doubt to ensnare Israel to worship it, as they did the brazen serpent (2 Kings 18:4). But no human hand dug the grave of Moses. Jehovah "buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Beth-peor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day" (Deuteronomy 34:6). Jude in a few energetic sentences informs us of the cause of dispute between Satan and Michael. Now the contest in our chapter in the Apocalypse is not one between two chiefs simply, as mentioned by Jude, but here the respective forces gather under their distinguished leaders. "Michael and his angels went to war with the dragon. And the dragon fought, and his angels."


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Bibliography
Scott, Walter. "Commentary on Revelation 12:7". "Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sor/revelation-12.html.

E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

War in heaven. We must keep in mind that everything being described is symbolic and shown to John right there on that isle of Patmos. But also we should not forget that inspired symbols stand for actual facts and truths. This war was not the first conflict that the forces of heaven had had with Satan for Jesus said he saw him fall from heaven ( Luke 10:18). And Paul tells us what was the cause of the first conflict, namely, hit pride ( 1 Timothy 3:6). Ever since that event he has been the bitter enemy of heaven and all that pertains thereto, never losing an opportunity of getting in his evil work. Now when he sees this expectant mother in heaven (verse1) he is determined to start a war over it. Just why or how the devil could be present in the vicinity of the angels is not told us in detail, but we know from Job 1:6 and Job 2:1 that he has been suffered in the past to be present at gatherings of the angels before God. But the time Jesus saw him fall as cited in Luke was not on the occasion of this war, for the angels who won in the war ascribed the victory to the blood of the Lamb, and when Jesus said he saw Satan fall from heaven was before He had shed his blood. Hence this war was just another attempt of Satan to get in his wicked work and head off the plan of the Lord to give to the world a religion free from the entanglements of worldly despotism, and the selfish ambition of wicked men. It was fitting that Michael should be the angel to lead the forces of heaven against Satan, for he is called "one of the chief princes" in Daniel 10:13, and chapter12:1 of that same book says that he is the prince that "standeth for the children of thy people."


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Bibliography
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 12:7". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/revelation-12.html. 1952.

Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation

Revelation 12:7

Revelation 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

By heaven here, we may understand the Roman Empire, the dragon's kingdom, where John saw the great red dragon. { Revelation 12:3} By war here, is meant those mystical battles mentioned, Verse7 , 13th, and17th of this chapter. { Revelation 12:7; Revelation 12:13; Revelation 12:17} Whereof, this first combat was between

Michael and his angels, and the dragon and his angels.

The Roman pagan empire was the seat of this war; Michael and his angels, that Isaiah , Christ the captain general of our salvation. { Hebrews 2:10} The Christian emperors (especially Constantine the Great) were his Lieutenant-generals; the Christian kings and governors were his angels; that Isaiah , his commissioned officers; the laws and decrees of the Christian emperors, against idols, and idolatrous worship was their commission.

The dragon and his angels;

that Isaiah , the devil. The heathen emperors by their laws and decrees against the Christians, gave commission to their commanders and officers, the anti-Christian kings, governors, and armies, to kill and destroy the Christians. { Daniel 7:21-28}


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Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 12:7". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hkc/revelation-12.html.

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