Zechariah chapter 5

The flying scroll. The basket of wickedness. The two women.

 


 

THE FLYING SCROLL

 

VERSE 1. Then again I lifted up my eyes and saw, and behold, a flying scroll.

I lifted up my eyes and saw. Some translations say “I looked again.”

 

VERSE 2. He said to me, “What do you see?” I answered, “I see a flying scroll; its length is twenty cubits, and its width ten cubits.”

I see a flying scroll. It is 30 feet long and 15 feet wide. Those dimensions are the same as the tabernacle.

It is not rolled up like a scroll. Rather, it us unrolled and spread out.

cubits. A cubit is the length from the tip of the middle finger to the elbow on a man’s arm, or about 18 inches or 46 centimeters.

 

VERSE 3. Then he said to me, “This is the curse that goes out over the surface of the whole land, for everyone who steals shall be cut off according to it on the one side; and everyone who swears falsely shall be cut off according to it on the other side.

according to it on the one side. The people who steal will be judged according to the text on one side of the scroll. The eighth commandment is against stealing (see Exodus 20:15).

according to it on the other side. The people who swear falsely will be judged according to the text on the other side of the scroll. The third commandment is against swearing falsely by (misusing) the name of the Lord (see Exodus 20:7)

This two-sided aspect reminds us of the two tablets of the Law.

And it also reminds us of the Lord Jesus Christ. At the final judgment he will separate all people into two groups:

Matthew 25:32. Before him all the nations will be gathered, and he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.

 

VERSE 4. I will cause it to go out,” says the LORD of Hosts, “and it will enter into the house of the thief, and into the house of him who swears falsely by my name; and it will remain in the middle of his house, and will destroy it with its timber and its stones.”

 

THE BASKET OF WICKEDNESS

 

VERSE 5. Then the angel who talked with me came forward and said to me, “Lift up now your eyes and see what this is that is appearing.”

 

VERSE 6. I said, “What is it?” He said, “This is the efah basket that is appearing.” He said moreover, “This is their appearance in all the land—

efah. An efah is a measure of volume of about 22 liters, 5.8 U. S. gallons, or about 2/3 of a bushel.

the efah basket. This is a measuring basket. It is a large barrel or basket used for a common household measure.

 

VERSE 7. and behold, a lead cover weighing one talent was lifted up—and there was a woman sitting in the middle of the efah basket.”

talent. A talent is about 30 kilograms or 66 pounds.

a woman sitting in the middle of the efah basket. The size of  an efah basket was only about 5.8 U. S. gallons. That is not large enough for an adult human to be inside.

In this vision, the ephah basket was probably greatly enlarged.

efah. An efah is a measure of volume of about 22 liters, 5.8 U. S. gallons, or about 2/3 of a bushel.

 

VERSE 8. He said, “This is Wickedness;” and he threw her down into the middle of the efah basket; and he threw the lead weight on its mouth.

This is Wickedness. The basket represents the iniquity of the people throughout the land.

The sin of the people was that they were consumed with making money.

 

THE TWO WOMEN

 

VERSE 9. Then I lifted up my eyes and saw, and behold, there were two women; and the wind was in their wings. Now they had wings like the wings of a stork, and they lifted up the efah basket between earth and the sky.

there were two women. We are struck by these two unidentified women. They have preposterously awesome miracle powers. And they take away sin.

They remind us of the two witnesses in the Book of Revelation:

Revelation 11:3. I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.

The text in Revelation chapter 11 does not use gendered pronouns. So it is possible the two witnesses in Revelation 11 are these two women.

they had wings. These two women have wings! Perhaps they are angels appearing in female form.

efah. An efah is a measure of volume of about 22 liters, 5.8 U. S. gallons, or about 2/3 of a bushel.

 

VERSE 10. Then I said to the angel who talked with me, “Where are these carrying the efah basket?”

efah. An efah is a measure of volume of about 22 liters, 5.8 U. S. gallons, or about 2/3 of a bushel.

 

VERSE 11. He said to me, “To build her a house in the land of Shinar. When it is prepared, she will be set there in her own place.”

in the land of Shinar. The women transported the ephah of wickedness to Shinar. That is, the country of Babylonia.

Babylon was the place of Israel’s Exile.

 


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ZECHARIAH

CHAPTERS: 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

RESOURCES: Summary, Outline, Memorize

Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.


 

Author: todd

At Explore the Faith, I share insights into the Bible and theological writings. If you like what I write, become my partner by donating. Help me reach the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.