“And there appeared another wonder in heauen, and behold a great red dragon, hauing seuen heads, and ten hornes, and seuen crownes vpon his heads.”
1611 King James Version (KJV)
12:3 And behold a great red dragon - His fiery - red colour denoting his disposition. Having seven heads - Implying vast wisdom. And ten horns - Perhaps on the seventh head; emblems of mighty power and strength, which he still retained. And seven diadems on his heads - Not properly crowns, but costly bindings, such as kings anciently wore; for, though fallen, he was a great potentate still, even the prince of this world.
Re 12:3 Behold a great red dragon. Another wonder is seen, also in the sky, a great serpent-like figure, red, with seven heads and ten horns. This figure, we learn from Re 12:9 is a devilish manifestation. The devil uses it for his purposes. The red color implies a persecuting power. Having seven heads and ten horns. The seven heads are explained in Re 17:9, where the seven-headed beast appears again, to be seven mountains, and also seven kingdoms; the ten horns are there said to be ten kingdoms which did not yet exist. We have also this monster appearing substantially in Da 7:7. I will discuss it more particularly in chapter 17 (see PNT "Re 17:12), but will here say that there is little doubt that it represents the persecuting powers of the earth which have opposed God and his Israel; the great world powers arrayed against God. This world power appears as Pagan Rome in the persecution of the Woman; the Church. The dragon was the standard of Pagan Rome in the third century, as testified by many ancient writers.