Zechariah 5

Chapter 5

5:1  Then I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a flying roll.

flying roll

A "roll," in Scripture symbolism, means the written word whether of God or man Ezekiel 6:2 ; Jeremiah 36:2 Jeremiah 36:4 Jeremiah 36:6 etc: Ezekiel 3:1-3 . Zechariah's eighth vision is of the rebuke of sin by the word of God. The two sins mentioned really transgress both tables of the law. To steal is to set aside our neighbor's right; to swear is to set aside God's claim to reverence. As always the law can only curse ( Zechariah 5:3 ); Galatians 3:10-14 .

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.


Lit. land, i.e. Palestine.

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.

What is it

In the vision of the ephah local and prophetic elements are to be distinguished. The elements are: an ephah or measure; a woman in the ephah; a sealing weight upon the mouth of the ephah confining the woman, and the stork-winged women whose only function is to bear the ephah and woman away into Babylonia (Shinar). The thing thus symbolized was "through all the land" (v.6).

Symbolically, a "measure" (or "cup") stands for something which has come to the full, so that God must judge it 2 Samuel 8:2 ; Jeremiah 51:13 ; Habakkuk 3:6 Habakkuk 3:7 ; Matthew 7:2 ; 23:32 . A woman, in the bad ethical sense, is always a symbol of that which, religiously, is out of its place. The "woman" in Matthew 13:33 is dealing with doctrine, a sphere forbidden to her 1 Timothy 2:12 . In Thyatira a woman is suffered to teach Revelation 2:20 . The Babylon phase of the apostate church is symbolized by an unchaste woman, sodden with the greed and luxury of commercialism. ; Revelation 17:1-6 ; Revelation 18:3 Revelation 18:11-20 .

The local application of Zechariah's ninth vision is, therefore, evident. The Jews then in the land had been in captivity in Babylon. Outwardly they had put away idolatry, but they had learned in Babylon that insatiate greed of gain Nehemiah 5:1-9 ; Malachi 3:8 that intense commercial spirit which had been foreign to Israel as a pastoral people, but which was thenceforward to characterize them through the ages. These things were out of place in God's people and land. Symbolically He judged them as belonging to Babylon and sent them there to build a temple--they could have no part in His. The "woman" was to be "set there upon her own base" ( Zechariah 5:11 ). It was Jehovah's moral judgment upon Babylonism in His own land and people.

Prophetically, the application to the Babylon of the Revelation is obvious. The professing Gentile church at that time condoning every iniquity of the rich, doctrinally a mere "confusion," as the name indicates, and corrupted to the core by commercialism, wealth, and luxury, falls under the judgment of God (Rev. 18.).


Lit. land, i.e. Palestine.

5:10  Then said I to the angel that talked with me, Whither do these bear the ephah?


(See Scofield "Hebrews 1:4") .

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.


i.e. Babylonia. Daniel 1:2