Revelation 12 Sign Prophecy Insight

Many date setters looked at a very rare astronomical event on September 23, 2017 as the fulfilling of Revelation 12:1-2. The so-called Revelation 12 Sign Prophecy did not result in the Rapture as many thought it would.

In this article, I explain why the Revelation 12 Sign Prophecy failed in 2017 and explain the symbolism of Revelation 12:1-2.

Revelation 12 Sign Prophecy Insight Video

Revelation 12:1-2’s Context

One of the main reasons the Revelation 12 Sign Prophecy failed is that its proponents only looked at Revelation 12:1-2 by itself.

We can’t look at Revelation 12:1-2 in isolation. Revelation 12:1-2 is part of a larger passage about a conflict that takes place between Satan and the woman:

“(1) And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: (2) And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. (3) And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. (4) And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. (5) And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. (6) And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.” (Revelation 12:1-6)

The woman represents the remnant of Israel, and we can see that this vision spans throughout history as

  • Revelation 12:5 refers to the ascension of Christ.
  • Revelation 12:7-9 describes Satan and his angels being cast to earth during the end times.
  • Revelation 12:13-16 describes the woman seeking refuge from Satan for 1260 days (the second half of the tribulation).

Therefore, Revelation 12:1-2 is part of a vision about an ongoing conflict between the woman and Satan-not an astronomical sign.

Revelation 12:1-2 Symbolism

Many proponents of the Revelation 12 Sign Prophecy did not recognize that Revelation 12:1-2 relates to a vision described earlier in the Bible.

The Book of Revelation often harkens back to other Bible prophecies. For instance,

  • Revelation 13’s beast of the sea harkens back to Daniel 7.
  • Revelation 17 in Revelation 18 harkens back to Jeremiah 50 Jeremiah 51 Isaiah 47
  • Gog and Magog of Revelation 20 harkens back to Ezekiel 38 and 39.

The same thing applies for Revelation 12:1-2. Revelation 12:1-2 harkens back to Genesis 37. In Genesis 37, Joseph has a dream that consists of the Sun, the Moon, and 11 Stars:

  • The Sun represents his father Jacob
  • The Moon represents his mother Rachel
  • The 11 Stars represents his eleven brothers

Revelation 12 has a sun, the moon, and 12 stars. Genesis 37 relates to Israel while Revelation 12 relates to the remnant of Israel, so the visions are consistent.

Therefore, we can say that the symbolism in Revelation 12:1-2 is consistent with the remnant of Israel rather than an astronomical sign.

  • I don’t believe we’re supposed to look at an astronomical sign in Revelation 12:1-12 – it’s more of a vision consistent with something described earlier in the Old Testament.
  • Also, there’s not much you can derive about the Rapture from Revelation 12, so I don’t know where people got the idea that Revelation 12:1-2 relates to the Rapture.

Final Thoughts

The Revelation 12 Sign Prophecy hype was another case where teachers who don’t know what they are talking got people excited for no reason. Unfortunately, we will see more of this sensationalism in the future as false teachings about the end times become more common.

Do not fall for the hype by date setters. They will lead you astray!

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Wayne Croley
Wayne Croley

Hi! I’ve studied and written about Bible prophecy since I was a teenager. My goal is to make Bible prophecy easy for you to understand while avoiding the sensationalism seen elsewhere. I am the author of several end time books, including Prophecy Proof Insights on the End Times, a comprehensive book about the end times. I hold an M.B.A. and degrees in Managerial Economics and Political Science.


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  1. We are now living in the last days of earth’s history. I am amazed (and worried) that you (Wayne) cannot see this!! I pray that God will open your eyes so that you can prepare for His soon return, and that you can help others do the same.

    • You conclude that my eyes are shut because I don’t buy the hype of the Revelation 12 sign speculation? Read “Prophecy Proof Insights on the Last Generation”. You will see that I’m not blind to what’s going on around us.

  2. I would not so easily dismiss this astronomic sign as a coincidence. If the sign is to be taken as the start of the tribulation, and looking at all that has happened in the last 12 months and how close we appear to be to the mark of the beast system this is not too far fetched, the so-called mid point is rapidly approaching and whatever happens at the end (the return of Jesus?) will occur sometime in 2024. As an interesting aside, the date itself, 23/09/2017, when broken down into its component numbers and added together totals 24 also (2+3+9+2+1+7). All signs are pointing to 2024, a year when there will be a total eclipse of both the sun and moon within a few weeks of one another. Just saying…

  3. It is likely that you are both wrong about this sign. The sign appears to trigger the countdown of the 1260 days of being nourished in the wilderness, and not the rapture. At the end of the 1260 the dragon 🐉 is cast down. Depending on how you calculate it, the countdown ends on 3/5 or 3/6 2021. For some reason Disney is releasing a new movie on 3/5 called Raya and the Last Dragon. Just a coincidence I am sure…

  4. Do you have any idea what the next target date people are setting is or do you suppose we will have to go through this every year from now on?

      • To all who were disappointed that the rapture did not happen last Sept. 23, 2017…..


        Amir Tsarfati is struggling to explain and encourage his listeners about the failed expected event, in his update in youtube. And many other pretrib date-setters would be.

      • I remember reading that Jesus said, “Therefore, you also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an hour that you do not expect” (Mat. 24:44).
        Pre-tri expects the rapture before the tribulation.
        Mid-tri expects the rapture in the middle of the tribulation.
        Post-tri expects the rapture at the end of the tribulation.
        Pre-wrath expects the rapture just before the wrath of God comes.
        Could it be that all of these expectations be wrong? And that the generation of believers that will or not face whatever is coming will know…? Why have so many different interpretations of the same bible verses? I know, hermeneutics.
        Interestingly that when Jesus was born, no one knew the Messiah was born except some humble shepherds in the field. There is something to this. And yet there were many prophecies concerning the coming of the Messiah. Yet only Shepherds were informed. Why…? Why not the leaders of Israel who knew the law and the prophets… or so they thought?
        Or how about when Simeon in the Temple? And Anna? Why them and not others?
        There is a principle behind all this that defines those who will know…
        Well, one thing is for sure. Jesus is coming back… no matter when… let’s be ready, and have hearts of Shepherds, inspiration of the Spirit like Simeon and sensitive like Anna… My humble assessment.
        Eis Christos…

  5. John the Revelator, in the first place, is not an astronomer. He described what he saw in his vision in the sky with his very limited human imagination, the same with how Joseph described his dream of the 12 stars bowing before him.

    This hype could be the machination of the antichrist proponents whose agenda is to deceive all the people including the gullible elect.

    It may play out as how Revelation had put it but the real deal here is the deception tactics of the devil, a counterfeit start of the great tribulation without the rapture, a counterfeit appearance of a counterfeit antichrist and false prophet before the appearance of the real and final antichrist who will claim himself to be as the awaited christ of the jews and the christians.

  6. This Just prove how ignorant many believers are out there. Their understanding and study of God’s word are very shallow especially as there are so many wise scholars out there now studying The scriptures and showing others the most correct interpretation based on all the details given in scripture. No wonder the bible says “my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”. There shouldn’t be any believers that falls for all this foolishness but yet it happens every time.

  7. Thanks Wayne, I just heard about this today and I was wondering what this hype is all about again, so I came to your blog because I was sure I’ll find something rational and sober here. I was right. 🙂 You nailed it again. Thank you and God bless!

      • Wayne, what most people miss is that the Body of Christ(the Gentile Church)(Colossians 1:26-27) and the Rapture (1 Corinthians 15:51) was a mystery until it was revealed to Paul. The Body of Christ will not be present in the Tribulation when the Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached to all the world by the two witnesses, the 144,000 messianic evangelists and an evangelistic angel. Only after that will the end come. Then Jesus will return at his second coming and the Body of Christ will return with him. The Body of Christ is the church in this time of Grace, we must lift each other up, not tear each other apart. After the Body of Christ is snatched out of here at the rapture, God will return his focus on the nation of Israel during the tribulation. Many will be saved in that time throughout the world, but they will be the tribulation saints.
        God Bless You and let the Lord guide you in all your ways.