Why is the Book of Revelation so misunderstood?
Wasn't its whole point to give revelation? Well, in typically Jewish manner, yes and no.
The Book of Revelation was written as an apocalypse, a Jewish literary genre which also includes the extraordinary Books of Daniel and Zechariah. Profound truths were concealed from outsiders and opponents using elaborate symbolism, to be understood only by those properly taught -- as Jesus explains in Matthew 13:10-13.
The apostle John's original first century audience, having been led by Jewish Christians, would have readily understood his imagery from Jewish history. His plagues echo the ten plagues of Israel's exodus; his seven trumpets resonate of the Old Testament battle for Jericho.
Many think the keys to unlocking the Book of Revelation are lost.
Not so. We still have Old Testament history and, for those who know where to look, full explanations of its symbols in the New Testament.
What we need is the humility to learn from the first century Jewish believers the mysteries of the woman, the Messiah, the dragon, the comings of Elijah, and 'the times of the Gentiles'. From these we can understand God's continuing purpose for Israel.