En kvinna klädd i solen: En tolkning av kvinnan i Uppenbarelseboken 12

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This article explores and evaluates three common identifications of the woman in Revelation 12: Mary, mother of Jesus, Israel and the church. This is accomplished through the study of allusions, particularly to the Septuagint, that are embedded in the Greek text. Each verse describing the woman in Revelation 12 has connecting points with one or several texts in the Septuagint and seems to allude to or connect with these in ways that identify the different characters.
The study of these allusions results in several conclusions when it comes to the different identifications. Firstly, an identification of the woman with Mary, mother of Jesus, only makes sense in the first part of the pericope, 11.9-12.6. Secondly, an identification of the woman with Israel makes sense of the allusions throughout the pericope. Thirdly, an identification of the woman with the church does not make sense at all. The investigation does, however, shed light on some of the other characters and, by extension, on the church. The child that the woman gives birth to in 12.5 is presented in ways that identifies it with the Messiah and more specifically Jesus Christ. The woman’s other children, described in 12.17, seem to refer to the church or the Christians.
Considering these results, the overall conclusion is that the woman in Revelation 12 is presented in a way that identifies her with Israel. The pericope starts far away, almost as an allegory over Israel, moves closer to the present time and the reader, and ends with a threat against the Christians. At the same time it puts these Christians in continuity with the history, tribulations and deliverance of Israel, as personified in the woman who gives birth to Jesus Christ.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Religious Studies
Original languageSwedish
Pages (from-to)103-126
JournalSvensk exegetisk årsbok
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: New Testament Studies (015017052)

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