The Sign of Rev 12

Is it the rapture , the beginning of the Tribulation, or something else (or nothing)? What is the sign of Rev 12 and what does it mean to us today?

We are beginning a 3 part series on this controversial sign.  I am starting the series now so that you can have all the information and my opinions prior to the sign on Sept. 23.

Several of the readers of this website have done extensive research on this sign and have shared their expertise with me. I am very grateful to everyone that sent me material.

The sign of Rev 12 which is very much in the news these days is given in Rev. 12:1

A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars (Rev. 12:1)

Much mystery has accompanied this sign of Rev 12, what it means, and whether its a physical or spiritual sign. This sign was hidden in relative obscurity until 2011 when William Tapley using astronomy software “discovered” that a potential alignment of stars and planets might fulfill the sign on September 23 of this year.

In the midst of the “blood moon” hysteria of 2013-2015, attention was focused elsewhere. But after the blood moons came and went, the world’s social media posts began to consider the sign which may fulfill the scripture with an astronomical alignment involving the constellations Virgo and Leo, the sun, moon, and planets Mercury, Mars, Venus, and Jupiter.

To briefly explain the astronomical sign, Rev. 12:1 speaks of a great sign in the heavens. This could mean the spiritual heavens where God dwells or it could mean the astronomical heavens. If this later meaning is in view, it would mean that the sun and moon were literal, and the “woman” and her “crown” were constellations and planets. The “woman” would be naturally be Virgo which is part of the zodiac or mazzaroth (ancient Hebrew zodiac).  Virgo is “clothed” in the sun in September – which means the sun is found in this constellation during this month. The “new moon is at her feet” on Yom Teruah. This part of the “sign” occurs  nearly every year at this time.

As far as the crown of 12 stars. Those ascribing to this sign believe they are the stars of the constellation of Leo plus the addition of the three stars listed above (Mercury, Mars, and Venus.)  This would require 9 stars in Leo, but the actual number varies from 10 to 13 depending on which star chart your examine. Astronomers don’t consider Leo to have 9 stars. Other Christian astronomers claim the “Virgo Cluster” is what John referred to as the “crown” on the woman’s head.

The third significant feature of this sign is that Jupiter has appeared to traverse through the constellation of Virgo for a nine month period, much as a pregnancy. Proponents of this sign claim this is the pregnancy referred to in Rev. 12:2:

And she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth. (Rev. 12:2)

Making this claim more dramatic is the fact that to the Hebrews, Jupiter was known as Zadek, or righteous one or righteousness. Many ascribe this planet to Jesus. One might think Jupiter passing through Virgo is an unusual event, but this happens every couple of years.

So how common is it to have three planets in Leo, while Jupiter in in Virgo on Yom Teruah? Well, it is not that common, but it has happened several times in the last 6000 years. Although this specific alignment hasn’t happened in 7000 years, other alignments that are similar have happened.

So as you can see, the actual alignment is a close fit to the “sign,” but may or may not be exact, and it’s not as rare as we are told.

Historic Astronomical Sign

What is interesting is a very similar sign occurred on Yom Teruah, September 11, 3 BC which many consider the possible birth date of Jesus.  (See Ernest Martin’s online book) In that alignment, the three planets in Leo were different; Jupiter was between the feet of the Lion in conjunction with the “King star” Regulus, and Mars was not involved.

Why is this important? Well, if this truly was a past fulfillment of this “great sign,” then a lot of the critiques about the sign in 2017 fall flat. If it was a sign in 3 BC, it is a sign now. If it isn’t a sign now, it wasn’t in 3 BC either. It is one or the other.

What are other opinions?

“Fisher Man” is a regular reader of this blog and a friend, and he has done more research on this sign than anyone I am aware of. He not only has researched this sign, but also has made Educated guesses about the sign of Dragon and the 7 Angels with the 7 Plagues also listed in Revelation.  The attached video is quite interesting and implies that the sign will initiate the 70th Week in October of this year.

I am not so sure of that, but the astronomical signs and mathematical coincidences it presents are intriguing. So I wanted to share this with all of you.


Dr. Michael Heiser has commented on the historic sign of Rev 12 which he supports as a true “sign.”


Joel Richardson gives his opinion about the sign of Sept. 23rd, which he believes is not a sign.

The Underground Episode 64: What is the Sign of September 23, 2017?

September 23rd and the Rapture

A number of pretribulationalist teachers are claiming that Sept. 23rd is a likely date for the rapture. In a recent article, I have explained in depth why I don’t believe this is accurate. 

Just like Joel Richardson, I believe the frenzy whipped up about this theory in “chicken little” fashion is damaging to the church and true prophecy interpretation. If and when this theory is proven false there will be great disappointment. This is one reason our ministry has chosen that day to deliver the book, “Rapture: Case Closed?” to the 1000 top leaders of the church. The idea behind choosing that date is to say in essence, “Okay, the rapture didn’t happen has many predicted. Now let’s delve into Scripture to see what the Bible really says about it.”


In this article, I’ve tried to present what others think about this “sign of Rev 12” and what I don’t think it is. In the next blog article I will analyze Rev. 12 and look at what I think the text is saying and how that may or may not be associated with Sept. 23rd.


15 thoughts on “The Sign of Rev 12”

  1. I don’t believe this is a sign of the rapture, but I’d like to have a copy of the book “case closed” when the day comes. Will it be available for download?

  2. The 70th week will start with the covenant with death and shoal, which will tantalize the Jewish nation through allowing the temple sacrifices to resume again, since the stoppage in CE 70. This 9/23 similarity to the great sign in Rev., IS a wake up call to the sleeping followers of Jesus, that the 70th week is approaching rapidly. We are now witnessing the first verses of the Olivet discourse in Matthew. Followers of Jesus’ Words know that the the first resurrection will not happen on 9/23.
    We have distress of nations;weather anomalies; the increase of hate, lawlessness, and anarchy; rumors of wars and soon wars; soon earthquakes in divers places; and Jerusalem the focus of the world. All this is the beginning of birth pangs..of sorrows. Stay awake, strengthen our faith, and Watch; the rapture is an appointed time.

  3. The only question I have about that is did it have what does appear to be a red dragon’s face between the legs the other 4 times? Another thing that makes it seem like it “could” be linked with Satan being cast out of heaven is the timing of it all. You have the verse in Hosea about the Messiah reviving and raising us up after 2 days which we believe to be 2000 yrs since the ascension which we know was sometime between 27 and 33 AD. I believe once Islam reaches a 4th of the earths population (Rev. 6:8) we will be in the tribulation. The pew research institute has said Islam will officially reach a 4th of the earths population in the 2020s and be approximately 26.4 % in 2030. So “maybe” this sign happens the 23rd then shortly Later Satan is cast out he then possesses the AC he wars a short time with king of the south then signs the covenant with many in the early 2020s. Just speculation of course but the timing makes it interesting. I do kind of expect the Lord to return within 2000 yrs of the ascension and also within a generation of the rebirth of Israel. Time will tell.

    1. In the near future, I’ll be doing an article on “two days” both in Hosea and elsewhere. This is a primary reason why I as well do not feel this could be the start of the 70th Week. However, I keep my mind open.

      1. Doesn’t the 70th week of Daniel start with the signing of the 7 year covenant? And maybe we won’t even know when its signed. Will it be public? 11/29/18 I think Trump is working on it now.

        1. Thanks for the comment Christie. It is the opinion of many people that the 70th Week begins with a peace covenant. However that is not my opinion. Jesus never mentions a peace covenant in Matt. 24, Mark 13, or Luke 21 and it’s not mentioned in Revelation. The only verse that supports this idea is Dan. 9:27 and it is debatable if that is what the verse is discussing. I do believe Trump is working on a peace deal, however how that will be tied to the 70th Week is not known.

          1. Thank you Nelson for your work. God’s word is very deep & it takes time to read & study & ponder these things. I have been studying intensely the end time stuff for the last 2.5 months. I mean like hours a day. The Lord has shown me so much understanding in the end times stuff. I bought your book Rapture case closed last year & had some family crisis in 2017 so I just picked it back up last week.
            Lord has shown me much of what you wrote about just with his Holy Spirit guiding me thru 3 gospels.
            He has given me a lot of insight about rev 12 & what it means.
            Then just yesterday I read the 70 x 7 book & got to the part about the covenant & was blown away. I want to research it more & im sure I will be getting back to you. Keep up the good work! I am praying for your ministry.

  4. I’m not sure the sign will be anything, too many people have cried wolf in recent yrs (2012, blood moons etc) so I don’t know but I do notice a few things that could be possible with this sign. One It says plainly the sign will appear in heaven, two it is called a great wonder meaning people will look at it with great amazement and wonder. Three the sign does appear to show exactly what the verse says about the virgin, moon under feet, clothed with the sun etc. I believe the crown of 12 stars is to show that the woman represents spiritual Israel because of the 12 tribes of Israel. Then appears another wonder in heaven an enormous red dragon. Ive seen pictures on google sky of what does actually appear to be a red dragon’s face between the legs of this virgin “sign”. But the main thing that sticks out to me is this dragons tail casts a third part of the stars of heaven to the earth. If I’m not mistaken a third of the angels are cast out of heaven along with the devil. Shortly after this verse the dragon himself is cast to the earth and his angels with him. It then says when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child (Israel). To me it seems possible this sign could happen shortly before the dragon is cast out of heaven and a third of the angels with him. And then he (Lucifer) will posses the AC (Isaiah 14) and then persecute the woman Israel. This sign seems to be linked in a way with the dragon being cast out of heaven. I would guess shortly after he is cast out the final 7 yrs would start. But it could also be nothing at all idk.

    1. jlils, Were your reading my future posts in advance? I will make some (not all) of these points. I look forward to your comments when I post the next two installments.

      One thing to consider however, is that the current sign is not as unique as people are saying. It has occurred 4 other times between 1000 and 1900. There is a chance the astronomical sign is nothing. And there is a chance it is something. We shall see.

  5. Totally agree with you Nelson

    The only biblical celestial signs to look for that signal the end, are the ones mentioned in Math24 and the book of Joel.







    1. Rev. 12 certainly does point to the midpoint of the 70th Week. We will discuss that next week. However, I doubt you are right about the USA, that is “headline” prophecy. Eagle is a symbol for a divine being throughout scripture. Exodus 19:4 speaks of God himself bearing Israel on eagle’s wings. Deut. 32:11 speaks of the same thing. I suggest always looking at other biblical references to determine meaning. John the Revelator quotes or references the OT 500 times in the Revelation.

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