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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Zechariah 5

Verses 1-11

  1. Intro:
    1. The next 2 visions are: A Flying Scroll & A Woman in a Basket.
      1. Or, “A Flying Squirrel & A Basket Case?(or a Babe in a Basket?)”
      2. Ask: Again, why does God sometimes use such strange symbolism to communicate to us?
        1. They are forceful(the Beast). They communicate quickly(I am the Bread of Life). Can help the memory(how many Virgins were there?). Effective in illustrating(I’m the Vine/Branch). Help in clarifying (He breathed life into Adam; the familiar explains the unfamiliar). Helps in obscuring(parables).
        2. Sometimes they can stand for more than one thing. An Eagle can stand for America…but it also can stand for Germany. (so it depends on its context!)
  2. A FLYING SCROLL! (1-4)
    1. SIN IS REPAID! {Flying Scroll} Vision #6 (1-4)
    2. “I think I saw this on an episode of Twilight Zone?”
    3. What he saw! (1,2)
      1. Here we have a huge Scroll unrolled.
        1. Its dimensions are 30’x15’.
        2. Made of papyrus or leather.
        3. 30’ was the longest length they used, but they were only about 10” wide. (which was sufficient for Isaiah or Genesis)
          1. In Egypt they had 1 scroll 133’x17” wide{Papyrus Horris}
      2. It was an airborne document! - “I see a flying scroll”
    4. What it was! (3,4)
      1. It was written on both sides, each having a separate curse.
        1. Like in Rev.5:1 “And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals.”
      2. Ask: What would be another analogy you could give today of something flying through the air bringing a message, or advertising something?
        1. Banner Tow Planes; or the old Sky writing planes; carrier pigeons; Blimp(w/advertisement); Leaflets over Baghdad.
      3. One side of the scroll read “Thief”, & the other “Perjurer”(swear falsely by My name).
        1. Interesting: this is the 3rd & 8th commandment he names here. {stealing & swearing falsely}
        2. Which as Charles Feinberg noted, they are both in the middle of the tablets of the law!
          1. I picture the 2 tablets with 2 bulls-eyes on them, w/#3 and #8 the red of the bulls-eye.
      4. These curses were because they didn’t carry out God’s commands.
      5. These messages also were equipped with an unerring homing device on them(4a). [smart bomb accuracy]
        1. Example: We do this every day, if you have & use text messages on your cell phone. It says exactly what you want it to say, & goes only to the person you sent it!
    5. What he meant!
      1. This was a reminder that “God’s purifying judgment rest on those who break His written Law.”
      2. If the dimensions mean anything, then as you might remember, they are the exact dimensions of the tabernacles Holy Place.
        1. Thus, our worship(the Holy Place) is only valid if we “carry out His commands”. (i.e.)“To obey is still better than sacrifices.”
      3. God condemns thieves & liars!
        1. He still hates these sins today! Paul writes to the church in Ephesus, “Therefore, putting away lying, "Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor," for we are members of one another.” – “Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.” (Ephesians 5:25,28)
        2. Rev.22:15 “But outside are…and whoever loves and practices a lie.”
        3. Satan is both…“When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.” Jn.8:44
      4. Swearing falsely…Q: How did you get out of jury duty last time?
        Q: What did you say to the last police officer that pulled you over & said you were speeding, or didn’t stop?
      5. Q: Why did he list only 2 of the laws? - My question would be why that many, why not one? (Breaking one is all you need to become lawless!)
        1. Q: If I’m suspended over a cliff by a chain of 10 links, how many links have to break before I fall?
        2. Q: If you’re pulled over by Murrieta’s finest(MPD) Does it help to tell the officer that you “obeyed paying your taxes this year” & “even hadn’t stolen anything lately”?
        3. To break one is to become a lawless person.
      6. Today if the Lord sent a Tow Plane over your head with 2 things written on it…what would they read?
  3. A WOMAN IN A BASKET! (5-11)
    1. ​​​​​​​SIN IS REMOVED! {Woman in a Basket} Vision #7
    2. What he saw! (5-7,9,10)
      1. A basket – Ephah in the KJV. Which was a dry measure(approx. 5 gallons); or a container: basket, jar, or pot.
        1. Saul(Paul) was let down the city wall in one in Acts 9:25.
      2. A lead disk(its lid) – to secure its content.
      3. A woman sitting inside – Kind of like a Genie in a jar.
      4. 2 women w/wings like a stork –
      5. Shinar = Babylon/Chaldea/Iraq.
    3. What it was! (8,11)
      1. The women in the basket represented “Wickedness!”
        1. Note in vs.6 that it symbolized the iniquity of all the people throughout the earth.
      2. Q: Why is a women used to represent sin? – No sexism here.
        1. They are also used as symbols of virtue Prov.7:4 “Say to wisdom, "You are my sister," And call understanding your nearest kin,” [Also the church as a bride!]
        2. Also the stork-like women are positive symbols.
      3. The basket was banished to Babylon, a land of idolatry, an appropriate locale for wickedness – but not Israel, where God chose to dwell w/his people.
        1. After purging the Promise Land of its evil, can it become the “Holy Land!”
    4. What he meant!
      1. At the cross God put away sin! - We either receive His “putting away of our sin”, or He must “put us away”!
      2. Babylon here, being a mini-hell!
      3. Why Babylon? – It was consistent in Scripture as having a dishonorable history.
        1. Its starts back w/Nimrod in “Babel”[ie. tower of](Gk. is Babylon)
        2. It was to keep the people from scattering as God told them to do.
        3. Babylon’s zenith power was during Neb. Reign(604-562bc).
        4. Its decline was I 539 by the capture of the Medes/Persians.
        5. From300bc the city has laid in decay.
        6. Until a man named Saddam Hussein(who they say has portrayed himself as the successor to Neb.)began to rebuild it in 1986.
      4. Also we note in the end times(Rev.17,18) Babylon is represented as “the symbol for the whole world system that caters to the appetites of sinful men & women.”
        1. Babylon is both a city & a system: The same way Wall Street & Madison Ave. are both actual streets, but they also stand for the financial or advertising enterprises.
        2. We have Ecclesiastical Babylon(Apostate Christendom), & Political Babylon(which is Antichrists united empire; the last Gentile world power!)
        3. Eccl. Babylon(The “World Church” in the end times) will be destroyed by Pol. Babylon; & Pol. Babylon will be destroyed by Jesus’ Return!
    5. As this 7th Vision spoke of sin being removed! Q: What sin would you like to send away to Babylon tonight in a basket?
      1. Often times we keep our sins like a “Genie in a Jar”; or as a Pet to be played with from time to time.
      2. Wickedness must be removed as far as possible from home. Permanently sealed up. Left in a distant land.
      3. Often times it is the spirit of wickedness, & not necessarily the act of wickedness we need to battle!
        1. Q: What, or who, do you need to distance yourself from?
        2. Remove it totally, remove it completely, absolutely, wholly, fully, thoroughly, perfectly, utterly, remove it entirely!
    6. Communion: Aaron.
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Zechariah 5". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/zechariah-5.html. 2017.