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The Book of Zechariah
The 8th prophecy in Zechariah (Zec.5:5-11) unfulfilled). Next one: (Zec.6:12)
We come now to the two visions which are the most symbolic and unusual of this series of visions. The first, the "flying roll" (scroll), brings a sharp division in the meaning of the visions which Zechariah has already received. In the first two chapters God makes it clear that He intends to put down ALL the enemies of Israel and that the nation will become the nation of priests which was God's original intention for them.
In the vision of "Joshua and Satan" (Zec.3:1), we learned that the nation first had to be cleansed. The "BRANCH and the stone with seven eyes" (Zec.3:8-10) looked forward to the Kingdom Age when God, having cleansed them, would use them, and they would become a light to the world, symbolized by the "lampstand being fed oil from the olive trees" (Zec.4:3,11-14). The "oil," representing the Holy Spirit, means that they would witness in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Will every Israelite be chosen? What about those who live continually in rebellion and sin? The visions in this chapter shall clearly reveal that the judgment of God will come upon those who are NOT obedient to Him. He will flush out all who are rebellious, and He will judge them. My friend, this goes for Gentiles too! God will do this in the whole world. Even though these visions have in mind the nation of Israel, they also have a world view. The establishment of God's Kingdom here upon the Earth will include ALL people.
Consider the following:
Romans 9:6 Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: (KJV)
Galatians 3:26-29 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. (KJV)
NOT every member, Israel or Gentile will be accepted. Each individual MUST be obedient to God, accept God's way for cleansing, and MUST receive the Messiah (Jn.3:15-19,36; 5:24; 8:24; 14:6; Acts 4:10-12; 1 Jn.5:10-13).
What is said of Israel is also true of the church. NOT every church member is a TRUE Christian! There is coming a day when there will be a separation of believers and unbelievers (Ps.1:5; 5:5; Eze.20:38; Mat.3:12; 13:30,41-42,49-50; 22:13; 24:40,51; 25:32-33,41,46; Lk.3:17; 13:27-28; 17:34; Jn.15:6; 2 Thes.1:8-9; Rev.20:15; 21:8,27; 22:15).
The first great division will be of the church will be at the Rapture (1 Thes.4:13-18; 1 Cor.15:51-52). The division for Israel and for all the nations on the Earth will be at the Second Coming of Christ (Zec.14:1-4; Rev.19:11-21), when He gathers His elect into His Kingdom. THEN there will be a judgment, and Satan will be bound for one thousand years (Rev.20:1-2). This will be pictured here for us. This really was to encourage of the godly remnant of Israel in Zechariah's day . . . and for us today as well.
Vision Of The Flying Roll Zec.5:1-4
Zechariah 5:1 Then I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a flying roll. (KJV)
Then I turned, and lift up mine eyes, and looked . . . the prophet had just seen the candlestick and olive branches, and finally understood the meaning of them. Now, here comes yet another vision. This really had to be a trying and confusing time for the prophet.
And behold a flying roll . . . a volume or book, flying in the air; it was usual for books at that time, to be written on parchment, and to be rolled up in the form of a roll; whence they were called rolls or volumes.
A "roll" is a book in ancient times which consisted of a single long strip of parchment, usually kept rolled on sticks at either end. It was unrolled when a person wanted to read it. It was usually written only on one side, with an exception in Eze.2:10, one that was "written within and without." The writing was done in columns.
Scrolls of prophesy: (Isa.8:1; 34:4; Jer.36:2,4,6,21,23,27,32; Eze.2:9-10; 3:1-3; Hab.2:2; Rev.6:14; 10:8-11).
Zechariah 5:2 And he said unto me, What seest thou? And I answered, I see a flying roll; the length thereof is twenty cubits, and the breadth thereof ten cubits. (KJV)
And he said unto me . . . the angel is speaking again.
What seest thou? and I answered, I see a flying roll, the length whereof is twenty cubits, and the breadth thereof ten cubits . . . the scroll in Zechariah's vision was 20x10 cubits. A cubit was the measurement from the end of the middle finger to the elbow and varied depending on the individual but was about eighteen inches, which would make the scroll about 30x15 feet. The only way it could be read would be to unroll it and spread it out. But, he sees it as a "flying roll," that is, speeding over the whole land. Maybe it was unrolled as it moved over the Earth.
The size of the scroll is probably important, because it is the same size as the Holy Place of the tabernacle, and also Solomon's Porch in the Temple (1 Ki.6:3).
This vision shows NO human activity. Zechariah just sees a scroll moving, without any human help. It is presumed that this is the same “angel” who speaks to the prophet, so common to the other visions (Zec.1:9; 4:5; 5:5; 6:4,5). The fact that he appears in the vision of the "man with a measuring line" (Zec.2:1) makes it certain that the same angel is meant by the unnamed “he” in this vision. His lack of disclosure here seems to be meaningful; possibly it is to draw full attention to the "roll" itself.
Among biblical objects or places with these same measurements are the Holy Place in the Tabernacle (Ex. 26), the “porch” of Solomon’s Temple (1 Ki.6:3), and the great bronze altar of the Temple (20 cubits long and 10 high; 2 Chron. 4:1). All three of these have to do with the sanctuary, the place where the Lord meets with His people. The connection of the scroll with the dwelling-place of the Lord leads to the conclusion that the scroll contains the covenant document that binds the Lord and the nation Israel together.
For more on the Tabernacle, see:
Zechariah 5:3 Then said he unto me, This is the curse that goeth forth over the face of the whole earth: for every one that stealeth shall be cut off as on this side according to it; and every one that sweareth shall be cut off as on that side according to it. (KJV)
Then said he unto me, This is the curse . . . the law of Moses is thus called, because it has "curses" written in it (Deut.27:15-26). Those curses are not without cause, but are according to law and justice of the Lord, and is the wrath of our Almighty God (Isa.24:6). Curse: (Deut.11:28-29; 27:15-26; 28:15-68; 29:19-28; Ps.109:17-20; Pro.3:33; Isa.24:6; 43:28; Jer.2:6; Eze.17:13-16; Dan.9:11; Mal.3:9; 4:6; Mat.25:41; Gal.3:10-13; Heb.6:6-8; Rev.21:8; 22:15).
That goeth forth over the face of the whole earth . . . the curse of God goes over the whole land of Israel, and its inhabitants. WHY is the curse of God upon them, and Gentiles too? Because they breach of the law, have utter contempt for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and totally reject the One and Only Messiah, Jesus Christ who died on the cross for them!
The "flying roll" carrying the curse of God, came down upon the Jews to the uttermost, in the destruction of their nation, city and temple; and is the curse God threatened to smite their land with (Mal.4:6). This curse also reaches to the whole world, and ALL its inhabitants who live in disobedience and wickedness; to every kind of sinner, especially those mentioned next.
For everyone that stealeth shall be cut off as on this side, according to it . . . theft is mentioned first, a sin that abounded among the Jews, and from which they were still not free. They robbed one another, and they robbed God (Mal.3:8), they were immoral. "Shall be cut off" . . . shall be punished with an extermination of his house, as well as with cutting off his life. "According to it" . . . according to the just threats of the law. Stealing: (Ex.20:15; Pro.29:24; 30:9; Jer.7:9; Hos.4:2; Mal.3:5,8-10; 1 Cor.6:7-9; Eph.4:28; Jam,5:4).
And everyone that sweareth shall be cut off as on that side according to it . . . it seems this "roll" had writing on both sides, like the one mentioned in Eze. 2:9-10. The two sins of theft and false swearing, the one being against the second part of the Law, and the other the first part of the law, revealing that the "curse of the law" (Gal.3:10,13) reaches all kinds of sins and sinners. Those who do not keep the Law in every respect are cursed! If a person insists on living by the Law, they must "continue in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them" or they are cursed! NO one except Jesus ever did this! Only Christ Jesus was/is sinless: (Isa.53:9; John 7:18; 2 Cor.5:21; Heb.4:15; 7:26; 9:28; James 5:6; 1 Peter 1:19; 1 Peter 2:22; 1 John 3:3; 1 John 3:5).
A person is redeemed from the "curse of the Law" ONLY by the "precious Blood of Christ" (1 Pet.1:18-19).
A "curse" is a bad thing that will happen to people when they disobey God. In this verse, there are two kinds of sinners listed. #1. Thieves. Those who sin against their neighbors (Mat.23:14). Consider the last 6 of the Ten Commandments.
Fifth Commandment: Ex.20:12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. (KJV)
Sixth Commandment: Ex.20:13 Thou shalt not kill. (KJV)
Seventh Commandment: Ex.20:14 Thou shalt not commit adultery. (KJV)
Eighth Commandment: Ex.20:15 Thou shalt not steal. (KJV)
Ninth Commandment: Ex.20:16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. (KJV)
Tenth Commandment: Ex.20:17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's. (KJV)
Swearing: (Zec.5:4; 8:17; Ex.20:7; Lev.19:12; Num.30:2; Deut.5:11; 23:23; Ps.50:14; Ecc.5:4-6; Isa.48:1; Jer.5:2; 23:10; Nah.1:15; Mat.5:33-37; 23:16-22; Jam.5:12).
#2. The second kind of sinners are those who are NOT sincere about their promises to God (Mat.5:33). Consider the first 4 of the Ten Commandments.
First Commandment: Ex.20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me. (KJV)
Second Commandment: Ex.20:4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: (KJV)
Third Commandment: Ex.20:7 Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. (KJV)
Fourth Commandment: Ex.20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. (KJV)
The Ten Commandments are the laws that God gave to Moses in Exodus chapter 20. The Covenant is the agreement between God and His people, Israel. ‘Outside the covenant’ means ‘not one of God’s people’. Again, let me remind you that Gentiles can be God's people!
The God of Israel is also the God of TRUE Christians, for there is just ONE God! Consider the following:
Rom.9:6-8 Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: 7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. 8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. (KJV)
Gen. 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. (KJV) . . . Those that are friends or enemies to thee shall be the same to God; a marvelous privilege OR contempt! In thee, Abraham's Seed (Gen.22:18; 26:4; 28:14), meaning in and through Christ (Acts 3:25; Gal.3:9,16, 28-29).
Gal.3:8-9 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. (KJV) . . . Notice: ALL nations that would believe God (1 Jn.5:10-13).
Rom.3:28-30 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. 29 Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also: 30 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith. (KJV)
Rom.4:16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, (KJV)
Eph.3:6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: (KJV)
All families of the Earth, all nations; BUT . . . this is limited to those who BELIEVE God. All that shall be blessed shall be blessed by THIS means (Christ), and NO other way. (Jn.3:15-18,36; 5:24; 8:24; 14:6; Acts 4:10-12). Those who refuse to believe God are "cursed."
Rom.4:16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, (KJV)
This curse, or bad thing, will happen to people who do NOT obey God. Such people are NOT God’s people. See our articles: http://www.hisservants.org/10_commandments_in_the_bible_h_s.htm
Every one that stealeth . . . and every one that sweareth . . . It seems that the roll was written on both sides: stealing and swearing seem to be two major sins; the first being sins against men; the second, sins against God.
Zechariah 5:4 I will bring it forth, saith the LORD of hosts, and it shall enter into the house of the thief, and into the house of him that sweareth falsely by my name: and it shall remain in the midst of his house, and shall consume it with the timber thereof and the stones thereof. (KJV)
I will bring it forth, saith the Lord of hosts . . . the roll was flying over "the whole earth." The curse and wrath of God, symbolized by it, is what God would bring forth out of His treasures, according to His purposes and declarations, and execute upon sinners; showing the certainty of it, and that there is no escaping it. There are many Scripture verses that tell us that God has a "storehouse" where He stores His treasures: the good and the bad! Consider the following, on God's storehouse: (Deut.28:12; 32:34-35; Ex.9:23; Job 26:8; 37:3,9,17;22; 38:22-24,37; Ps.18:13-14; 33:7; 77:17-18; 97:4; 135:7; 148:8; Isa.29:6; 55:10; Jer.10:13; 51:16; Rev.16:18,21).
And it shall enter into the house of the thief, and into the house of him that sweareth falsely by my name; and it shall remain in the midst of his house, and shall consume it with the timber thereof, and the stones thereof . . . when the wrath of God is sent out from the Lord, there is NO stopping it! Where it takes place, it will remain! You cannot run from it, nor can you hide from it! You cannot get rid of it! It makes an utter desolation of goods and estates, and can totally destroy both body and soul in Hell. There seems to be a reference to the plague of leprosy (Lev.ch.13 & 14).
God will punish people who do not obey Him. If they do not obey, God will punish them. The message of what Zechariah saw is very clear. God is loving, kind and merciful. He wants to forgive people, but He is also a Judge, and a fair One! When we are truly sorry for what we have done to offend Him, and we confess our sins to Him (1 Jn.1:9), He forgives us! Otherwise, God will punish us.
This curse shall come from God, and it shall remain, close to them and theirs like Gehazi's leprosy (2 Ki.5:27). Nothing shall remain, as when both the timber and stones of a house are consumed.
The vision is filled with covenant terms and images that make it certain that the scroll either is the Torah or contains covenant texts of the Torah. 'Torah' is the name applied to the five books of Moses, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. The unidentified speaker of vs.3 immediately equates the scroll with the “curse” a technical term referring to the sanctions of covenant documents.
The Book of Deuteronomy is rich in covenant language, "covenant" is mentioned 26 times, especially so in: (Deut.29:1,9,12,14,20-21,25). The flying scroll vision of Zechariah mentions only two of the covenant conditions, violation of these will bring on the curse.
Stealing forbidden: (Ex.20:15; 22:1,7; Lev.6:2-7; 19:11,13; Deut.5:19; 23:24-25; 24:7; Job 24:14; Pro.30:9; Isa.10:1-2; Jer.7:9-11; Eze.22:29; Hos.4:1-3; Mic.2:1-2; Nah.3:1; 7:1; Zec.5:3).
Swearing forbidden: (Zec.5:4; Ex.20:7; Lev.6:3; 19:12; 24:16; Num.5:21; 30:2; Deut.5:11; Ps.15:4; 50:18-22; 63:11; Eze.36:20-23; Dan.9:11; Jer.4:1-2; 7:9; 22:5; Mal.3:5; Mat.5:33-36; 1 Cor.6:9-10; Gal.5:19-21; Jam.5:12; Rev.21:8,27; 22:15).
BUT, these two sins, represent the whole law, because the one has to do with human relationships and the other with man’s responsibility before God. The first, anyone who steals violates the eighth commandment (Ex.20:15), which really breaches the whole “second half” of the law (Deut.27:26; Gal.3:10).
He who swears falsely in the Name of the Lord (vs.4), or who uses His Name “in vain” or for wrong purposes (greedy preachers), violates the third commandment (Ex. 20:7), a law that represents the first part of the law. Whoever breaks either or both parts has sinned grievously, for he has violated the covenant that the Lord has made with him and to which he, as part of the chosen nation, Israel, has sworn.
The "roll" is something the Lord has sent out. He is its Author, both in content and intended purpose. It is a message but also a weapon by which He will judge His stubbornly defiant people. It is His powerful Word that will accomplish the objective for which it is sent . . . be it eternal salvation or eternal condemnation (Isa.55:11; Jn.3:15-19). Controlled by the Lord, the scroll will enter the house of the thief and of him who swears falsely in the Lord's Name. The visit will not be "Hi and bye", but will stay until its intended mission is accomplished.
That mission is very clear. . . the scroll will demolish the house to the last timber and stone. Although this could be taken literally to some extent as referring to material structures, I think it could better mean “house” as a symbol for one’s life and family. The scroll as the covenant Word of God, contains the message that judges and brings to ruin ALL human efforts at salvation and success. Any covenant breaker will find that his sins against God and men will lead to utter destruction.
Works NOT sufficient for salvation: (Ecc.1:14; Isa.64:6; Eze.7:19; Acts 13:39; Rom.3:20-31; 4:1-22; 8:3; 9:16,31-32; 11:6; Gal.2:16,19,21; 3:1-29; Gal.6:15; Eph.2:8-9; Tit.3:4-5; Heb.4:3-10; Jam.2:10-11).
A contrasting parallel could be drawn from vision three with the man with the plummet and this vision. The result there was a city with no wall of protection but the Lord Himself, the “wall of fire” (Zec.2:5). Here the scroll does not build but instead destroys, leaving neither wall nor roof nor foundation. In the first case, the remnant who trust in the Lord will find adequate shelter in His Presence among them. But here, the thief and blasphemer will NEVER know of this protective grace but only the wrath of a Holy God whose covenant mercies have been despised and rejected (Hab.2:9-11).
Blasphemy: (Ex.20:7; Lev.19:12; 22:32; 24:16; Deut.5:11; Ps.10:11,13; 73:9,11; 74:18; 78:19-20; 94:7; 139:20; Pro.30:7-9; Isa.8:21-22; 29:15-16; 36:20-21; 37:23; 40:27; 52:5; 65:7; Jer.17:15; 20:7; 23:10; Eze.8:12; 9:9; 18:25; 20:27; 33:17-20; 35:12-13; Dan.7:25; 11:36-37; Hos.7:13; Zep.1:12; Zec.5:3-4; Mal.3:13-15; Mat.12:31-32; 15:19; Mk.3:29-30; 7:21-23; Rom.2:24; Col.3:8; 2 Thes.2:4; 2 Tim.3:2; Heb.10:29; Jam.2:6-7; 3:10-11; 2 Pet.3:3-4; Rev.13:1,6; 16:9,11,21; 17:3).
Zechariah 5:5 Then the angel that talked with me went forth, and said unto me, Lift up now thine eyes, and see what is this that goeth forth. (KJV)
Then the angel that talked with me went forth . . . from the place where he had been interpreting the vision of the flying roll, possibly to another more convenient place for showing and explaining the following vision. It seems that he took the prophet with him.
And said unto me, Lift up now thine eyes, and see what is this that goeth forth . . . either out of the temple or out of Heaven, into some open place, where it might be seen. The angel does not tell us where he was with the prophet when the last vision appeared. The angel tells Zechariah to took up and observe what he sees.
Zechariah 5:6 And I said, What is it? And he said, This is an ephah that goeth forth. He said moreover, This is their resemblance through all the earth. (KJV)
And I said, What is it? . . . after Zechariah saw it, he wants to know what it was, and what does it mean.
And he said, This is an ephah that goeth forth . . . an "ephah" (basket) was a measure used by the Jews (Ex.16:36). "Bath" (Isa.5:10: Eze.45:10-11,14) is also a measure which held above seven wine gallons. For more on measures: . . . . . . . . http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/10531-measures
He said moreover, this is their resemblance through all the earth . . . "resemblance" is eye; or "this is their eye," or what they are looking at, namely, this ephah. An ephah, is equal to three seah, and in liquid, to a bath, containing about a bushel and a half.
This ephah (Jewish measure) shows that there is an eye upon them which sees their works; and THIS is symbolic of the eye of the Lord, which sees and takes note of ALL the evil actions of men, NOT approving them, but observing them, to avenge them. Some interprets this as those who deal in false measures, whose sin is exposed and their punishment set forth. Measures must be just: (Lev.19:35-36; Deut.25:13-16; Pro.11:1; 16:11; 20:10,23; Hos.12:7-9; Mic.6:10-12).
It means the measure of iniquity is filling up, either in Judea, particularly in the times of Christ (Mat.23:32), or in the whole world, and especially in the antichristian states (Rev.18:5).
Question 19. Next one, Zec.5:10.
Zechariah 5:7 And, behold, there was lifted up a talent of lead: and this is a woman that sitteth in the midst of the ephah. (KJV)
And, behold, there was lifted up a talent of lead . . . by the angel, since later he is said to cast it upon the midst of the "ephah" (vs.8). A talent of silver, with the Jews, was equal to three thousand shekels (Ex.38:24), and weighed between 120-125 pounds. "Lifted up" . . . the cover is lifted off the ephah to let the prophet see the female image of "wickedness" within. The cover being "of lead," implies that the "woman" cannot escape from the ponderous load of sin which presses her down.
And this is a woman that sitteth in the midst of the ephah . . . who, in Zec.5:8 is called "wickedness," and here represented by a "woman," because some say that the woman was first to transgress; or possibly since sin is so flattering and deceitful, and leads to ruin; this woman, wickedness, wicked men, and all the wicked among the Jews and Gentiles, who sit in the "ephah," are very active in filling up the measure of their sins.
These sinners sit with great pleasure and openly and visibly declare their sin, just like Sodom did, and like today! They do NOT even try to hide it, which to me is blasphemy! With extreme pride and great boldness and disrespect, thinking they are safe and secure, they have NO concern whatsoever about their eternal future. They do NOT believe God's Holy Word, so they must think that they are exempt from the eternal punishment that God so clearly promises!
See our articles on Hell: . . . . . . . . . . . http://www.judgmentcoming.org/j_c_hell_is_real.htm
This woman could very likely be symbolic of "the great whore of Rome" (Rev.17), sitting as a queen upon many waters; ruling over kings and princes; living in great ease and pleasure, filling up the measure of her sins. Treasuring up wrath: (Job 21:16-20; Ps.38:4; Pro.5:22-23; Dan.9:27; Rom.2:5-6; 1 Thes.2:16; 2 Pet.3:7).
This is a most perplexing vision. Let's compare and contrast it with vision two, its literary counterpart. In both, the “angel who spoke to me” is essential to the introduction to and interpretation of the vision (Zec.1:19, 21; 5:5,8,10-11). In both, Zechariah confesses his ignorance of what he sees and asks for an explanation (1:19; 5:6). In the vision of the horns they are pushing in all directions, scattering “Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem,” clearly a reference to the Babylonian dispersion. In the ephah vision is opposite, it shows wickedness that is going into exile, carried by flying women who finally deposit her in Babylon. Both visions share a common interest in the international world, mainly Persia in Zechariah’s day.
The angel points out that there was “one woman” sitting in the ephah. The point is that there is one woman here as opposed to two others, mentioned later (vs.9), who transport her to her destination. It is only when the cover is raised that the woman within is seen by the prophet. A woman cannot be contained in a five-gallon container, for in actual life, it is impossible (Mk.10:27; Lk.18:27). But in a vision from our Almighty God, such things are not only possible but they draw attention to the fantastic experience of its divine origin.
Zechariah 5:8 And he said, This is wickedness. And he cast it into the midst of the ephah; and he cast the weight of lead upon the mouth thereof. (KJV)
And he said, This is wickedness . . . the angel told the prophet that the "woman" represented all wicked people, who are really wickedness itself, as is their inward part (Ps.5:9), and particularly of "the wicked one," the man of sin and son of perdition, the Roman antichrist and apocalyptic beast. The Antichrist: (Isa.11:4; Eze.38:2-3; Dan.7:8,11,24; 8:9;23; 9:26-27; 11:5-45; Mic.5:3-15; 2 Thes.2:1-12; 1 Jn.2:18; 4:3; 2 Jn.1:7; Rev.13; 17:3; 19:19-20).
And he cast it into the midst of the ephah . . . the angel cast down this woman (wickedness), from where she had been sitting (vs.7).
And he cast the weight of lead upon the mouth thereof . . . now that wickedness is IN the ephah, the angel puts the weight of lead (a cover) on the mouth of the ephah (Gen.29:2). She (wickedness) is shut up, as in a prison, to suffer the punishment of all her sins. This shows that there is NO escaping Almighty God's divine vengeance! His wrath falls heavy where it lands, and sinks to the lowest depth, being laid on by the firm, unchangeable and irrevocable decree of God.
This could apply to the utter destruction of Antichrist, symbolized by "a great millstone, and cast it into the sea," and sunk there, never to rise more (Rev.18:21). Also see Ex.15:10.
Zechariah 5:9 Then lifted I up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came out two women, and the wind was in their wings; for they had wings like the wings of a stork: and they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heaven. (KJV)
Then lifted I up mine eyes, and looked . . . (Zec.5:5) this is NOT a new vision, but a continuation of the vision of the ephah (basket). "Then lifted I up mine eyes, and looked" (Zec.5:1).
And, behold, there came out two women . . . out of the same place the "ephah" (basket) did. The sinful nation appeared as a woman, and now, they who are to be God's executioners, to punish that wicked woman, are also called "women." This could mean the Romans.
The wind was in their wings . . . these women had wings, meaning swiftness, as angels are said to have.
For they had wings like the wings of a stork . . . a "stork" is a creature kind and gentle, showing there is no cruelty in the displays of the power and justice of God in punishing sinners. Divine vengeance would swiftly follow, when after their return out of captivity, they would corrupt themselves, and fill up the measure of their sins.
And they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heaven . . . the judgments came as flying, and to carry away with them those that are to be punished. It a hint of a future carrying the Jews into captivity again for their sin. "Lifted up" means all was in plain sight. The whole measure of the sins of wicked men will all be made manifest, and brought into judgment, and too their punishment; they will go into everlasting punishment, in the sight of angels and men; and which shall be the case of the antichristian beast (Rev.17:8; 19:20; 20:10,15).
It is not sure why "two women" took the basket away. It was the job of the priests to remove evil things. Possibly "wind was in their wings" not only meant that they flew very fast; but the symbol for "wind" is "Spirit." So, it could mean that God’s Spirit was taking the evil thing away.
Some say these "two women" are the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin, who had been carried captive into Babylon; and others say it is the two kings, Jehoiakim and Zedekiah, who were the cause of the captivity. Another say these are the Babylonians and Chaldeans, two nations as one, joined in Nebuchadnezzar's armies, which carried them captive. Yet others say it was the two reformers, Ezra and Nehemiah, who were instrumental in the purging of the the Jews.
Or the Babylonians and Romans may be intended by the "two women" who carried the Jewish ephah to its final punishment. The Chaldeans ruined Judea before the advent of our Lord; the Romans, shortly after.
Zechariah 5:10 Then said I to the angel that talked with me, Whither do these bear the ephah? (KJV)
Then said I to the angel that talked with me . . . after the prophet had seen the "ephah" come forth; the woman, wickedness, cast into it, and the talent of lead upon her; and the two women lifting up the ephah between heaven and earth.
Whither do these bear the ephah? . . . Zechariah does not ask what the ephah signified, nor who the women that bore it were, he asks only "Where are they taking it?"
Question 20. Next one, Zec.6:4.
Zechariah 5:11 And he said unto me, To build it an house in the land of Shinar: and it shall be established, and set there upon her own base. (KJV)
And he said unto me, To build it an house in the land of Shinar . . . meaning in Babylon, where the Jews were carried captive (Gen.10:10; Dan.1:2; Isa.11:11).
The bearing of the "ephah" thither may mean the reason for their captivity, the measure of sins was filled up by them. The Lord had all that He could take from them. To build it a house in the land of Shinar . . . the land of Shinar means Babylon; and Babylon means Rome, in the Apocalypse (Rev.14:8; 16:19; 17:5; 18:10,21).
The building the house for the woman imprisoned in the ephah may signify, that there should be a long captivity under the Romans, as there was under that of Shinar or Babylon, by which Rome may here be represented.
Shinar is the old name for Babylon (Gen.11:2). The "house" was a special house where people could worship the false goddess. This vision could mean that the Jewish people would not worship false gods in Jerusalem again. But elsewhere the people would still worship false gods. This vision could also mean that God would remove their evil behavior from their country.
A house or temple was to be built for it, for its honor and glory; as "Dagon" (1 Sam.5:2-5), or "Ashtaroth" (1 Sam31:10), or "Baal" (2 Ki.10:23) had their houses or temples, a great idol temple, in which "the god of this world" would be worshiped (2 Cor.4:4). The house shall be established firmly on its base, like the house of God, and wickedness shall rest on its base, as an idol in its temple, until the end come. SO, SO true of these modern times!
In the end, the Jews would have a big part in the hostility and opposition to Christ and His Kingdom. The lies and slander against Christians, were a ground of early persecutions. It was believed, that the Antichrist should be from them, that they would receive him as their Christ, and was the last fulfillment of our precious Lord's Words. John 5:43 I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. (KJV) . . . BEWARE!! Matthew 24:4-5 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. (KJV) . . . His Words ring SO clear in this modern God-hating world!
Some things about evil Babylon to consider:
Gen.11:1-9 The people in Babylon wanted to reach Heaven without God’s help, like millions today! .
Dan.3:1-30 Babylon tries to lead God’s people astray.
Isa.47:8-15 Babylon is where there is evil and witchcraft.
Rev. chapters 17 and 18 God’s angels destroy the riches of Babylon.
Ex.20:1-8 The Ten Commandments tells us NOT to worship false gods.
The Ten Commandments for Christians:
SUMMARY of verses 8-11:
The woman is identified: “wickedness.” It is appropriate that a woman represent this immoral condition (Gen.3:7). We cannot narrowly define wickedness as to women alone, because ALL people are sinners (1 Ki.8:46; Ps.14:1-3; Jer.17:9; Rom.3:10-11,23; Gal.3:22; 1 Jn.1:8-10). Many say that the woman here represents idolatry but, I think she represents ALL sin and wickedness, the general condition of lawlessness in Jerusalem.
Is the woman dangerous? Absolutely! Why? Because just as soon as the angel interprets her as "wickedness" (vs.8), he slams the heavy cover of lead down on the mouth of the "ephah" to make sure that she does not get away. The angel "cast" the woman into the ephah and then "cast" the lead weight on top. Thus the reason for lead now made clear. The "ephah" is not only a method of transportation, but a cage (prison), in which "wickedness" is to be carried away against the woman's will. Such a prison must have a door that cannot be opened by its occupant. The “weight of lead,” simply means that the cover of an ephah vessel would normally be stone, lead is used here in place of stone.
After this is done the ephah takes wings and begins its flight. The wings are actually those of "two women" and are described as having “stork-like” wings (vs.9). The stork was an unclean bird, one that was not to be eaten because it was an “abomination” (Lev.11:13,19). But it was known as a bird that took very good care of its young. So, there is a contradicting picture here, of an unclean abominable bird, very appropriate considering its mission and cargo, BUT providing the most tender care for its charge as it fulfilled the mandate of the Lord. The same spirit of God that empowered Zerubbabel in temple building (Zec.4:6) was now at work transporting wickedness to her destination.
Heaven precedes Earth in more than 150 Scriptures, but here Earth comes before Heaven. The "ephah" is lifted up “between the earth and the heaven," most likely so the flight can be seen by the prophet. He could see the ephah departing from the earth toward the heavens. A parallel case in which “earth” precedes “heaven” and in which the Spirit is the agent of levitation occurs in (Eze.8:3). There the prophet describes his experience of being lifted up “between earth and heaven” by the spirit. But there, the journey is exactly opposite: Ezekiel is not moving from Jerusalem to Babylon but from Babylon to Jerusalem, where he sees every kind of wickedness in the very Temple of the Lord (Eze.8:5-17). It is this wickedness that must be purged and its practitioners who must be removed from the land.
Zechariah wants to know the destination of the "flying ephah," and learns from the angel that it is Shinar (Babylon). There the stork-like women will build "wickedness" a house, and when it is finished they will settle her there. Shinar is an ancient name for Babel (Gen.10:10), and Babel is Babylon.
Any reference to Shinar is the same as reference to Babylon, for that wicked city becomes the very embodiment of independence of and resistance to God and His sovereignty. It was at Babylon, that the proud rebels built a great tower, the purpose of which was to frustrate God’s mandate to “be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth” (Gen. 1:28; 9:1). The men of Babylon had said, “Let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad upon the surface of the whole earth” (Gen. 11:4). From that time on, Babylon became synonymous with proud and arrogant human independence, the very fountainhead of a life without God society, both in political and religious beliefs, which continues to this day.
The leader of the campaign of eastern kings against Canaan and Abraham was “Amraphel king of Shinar” (Gen.14:1). This was the first act of aggression against the people of the Lord by a hostile power. But not until the rise of the Neo-Babylonian empire under Nabopolassar in 627 B.C. was it evident that the ancient archenemy of the Lord in days of old would rear his ugly head in history and in end time events in a mighty effort to challenge the purposes of God on salvation on Earth through His elect people (Gen.12:2-3). Isaiah, writing a century before Nabopolassar, brought forth prophecies in which he set forth the role and destiny of Babylon (Isa.13-14). Her coming judgment, he said, was nothing less than an expression of the fearful day of the Lord (Isa.13:6), a day of cruel war and cosmic chaos. Proud Babylon would be overthrown just as Sodom and Gomorrah were in days gone by (Isa.13:19). The Lord would then have compassion on His own people (Isa.14:1) and through the Medes and Persians (Isa.13:17) would deliver them from captivity (Isa.14:2) and reduce Babylon to the depths of Hell (Isa.14:3-20). It is Isaiah who describes the king of Babylon as saying: “I will exalt my throne above the stars of God” (Isa.14:12-13), a clear memory of the human arrogance in the Tower of Babel. Throughout the prophecies Isaiah and Jeremiah, there is a "feminine" description of Babylon (Isa.21:9; 47:1; Jer.50:11-13; 51:30,53,55,58,60,64). Revelation also see Babylon as feminine: (Rev.14:8; 16:19; 17:5).
The Passages in Isaiah and Jeremiah there are both historical and eschatological (for the end times). Often it is difficult to separate them, but, it is not necessary, because Babylon . . . be it in the past, present, or future, is the example of wickedness, hostility and disobedience to all the goodness of God.
But, to Zechariah, Babylon’s (Shinar) role reaches out to the future, for by 520 B.C. she had fallen and had been swallowed up by the irrepressible and close-by Persian Empire. This is no doubt one reason he does not use the name Babylon in the "ephah vision" preferring Shinar instead (vs.11). Shinar besides taking the theme of Babylon (Zec.2:7; 6:10), has been God's adversary way back to the very beginning (Gen.10:10; 11:4).
It is also very important for us to see what the Book of Revelation says about Babylon. In his vision, the great apostle John saw Babylon fall, “she who made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication” (Rev.14:8). She is the “great harlot,” the “mother of the harlots and of the abominations of the earth” (Rev.17:1,5). More importantly, she is “the great city that reigns over the kings of the earth” (Rev.17:18). It shows the wicked church, "the whore," sitting on "a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns" (the Antichrist, Rev.17:3).
BUT . . . she shall be destroyed in ONE day (one hour), however (Rev.18:8,10,19) . . . a destruction so hopelessly destroyed that it is compared to the casting of a huge millstone into the sea, from which it can never be retrieved (Rev.18:21).
Zechariah regards Shinar or Babylon as the seat of horrible, sinful, rebellion against God. The "wickedness" in the ephah vision was to be taken to Shinar, for it was to return to where it belongs. It had come from Babylon, and was leading God’s people, to their destruction and captivity at her hands. But in the day of restoration, the Lord shall remove ALL wickedness from His land and force it to return to where it came from!
Book of Zachariah
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