In the interpretation of this Prophecy, the woman in heaven clothed with the sun, before she flies into the wilderness, represents the primitive Church catholic, illuminated with the seven lamps in the seven golden candlesticks, which are the seven Churches of Asia. The Dragon signifies the same Empire with Daniel’s He-goat in the reign of his last horn, that is, the whole Roman Empire, until it became divided into the Greek and Latin Empire; and all the time of that division it signifies the Greek Empire alone: and the Beast is Daniel’s fourth Beast, that is, the Empire of the Latins.
Before the division of the Roman Empire into the Greek and Latin Empires, the Beast is included in the body of the Dragon; and from the time of that division, the Beast is the Latin Empire only. Hence the Dragon and Beast have the same heads and horns; but the heads are crowned upon the Dragon, and the horns upon the Beast. The horns are ten kingdoms, into which the Beast becomes divided presently after his separation from the Dragon, as hath been described above. The heads are seven successive dynasties, or parts, into which the Roman Empire becomes divided by the opening of the seven seals. Before the woman fled into the wilderness, she being with child of a Christian Empire, cried travailing, viz. in the ten years persecution of Dioclesian, and pained to be delivered: and the Dragon, the heathen Roman Empire, stood before her, to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth a man child, who at length was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne in the Temple, by the victory of Constantine the great over Maxentius: and the woman fled from the Temple into the wilderness of Arabia to Babylon, where she hath a place of riches and honor and dominion, upon the back of the Beast, prepared of God, that they should feed her there 1260 days. And there was war in heaven, between the heathens under Maximinus and the new Christian Empire; and the great Dragon was cast out, that old serpent, which deceiveth the whole world, the spirit of heathen idolatry; he was cast out of the throne into the earth. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.