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Bible Commentaries
Zechariah 5

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-4



Verses 1-4:

The Flying Roll Or Scroll, 8th Vision

Verse 1 tells of a flying roll or scroll that Zechariah turned to look upon in his eighth vision. The roll represents the written word of man, or of God, as presented Ezra 6:2; Jeremiah 36:2; Jeremiah 36:4; Ezekiel 3:1-3. It was made of papyrus, or dressed skin, that was used for writing upon, before paper was known. It contained the words of the curse of the law of the Lord against sin, and was open that all might see or read, Deuteronomy 27:15-26; Deuteronomy 28:15-68; Ezekiel 2:9.

Verse 2 relates the angel’s inquiry of Zechariah concerning what he saw. To this inquiry he replied that he saw a flying or open roll of twenty cubits (30 ft.) length and ten cubits (15 ft.) width. The term "roll" or "volume" is used of the law. The dimension of the roll was the same as that of the temple porch, where the law was usually read to the people, where its large size indicates that it was authoritative in judgment and contained the curses for sin in the theocracy; For the law can only curse, v. 3; Galatians 3:10-14.

Verse 3 recounts the angel’s explanation of curses that were written on the scroll, for all who lived in the land. On one side was the curse, for those who stole his neighbor’s property, as expressed Exodus 20:15; and on the other side of the scroll the curse was written that every one who repeatedly sware should be cut off or put to death, Exodus 20:7; Exodus 32:15; 1 Kings 14:10; Ezekiel 24:11. One side described man’s moral duty toward his fellow man, and the other revealed his duty of reverence toward and obedience to God, or the certainty of punishment for disobedience, Hebrews 10:18-19; Malachi 4:6; Romans 2:15.

Verse 4 warns that the Lord will curse, with a destroying judgment, all in the land who engage in the sacrilege of theft, either from their neighbors, or by withholding the tithe of the land from the support of the Levites, as described, Jeremiah 10:13; Nehemiah 13:10; Malachi 3:8. To withhold from God’s servants, or the use of His program of worship and service of tithes and offerings, is here described as robbing God. Those guilty of such reflect a covetous and fraudulent heart. And having covenanted to serve God and His work, they perjure themselves in withholding tithes and offerings from Him, Malachi 3:5; Proverbs 30:9. The curse sent upon the house or residence of the covetous theft and fraudulent professor would cause God to send a plague of leprosy within the house, so that it would become so unclean that the wood and stone of it would be required to be burned, as set forth Leviticus 14:45; 1 Kings 18:38.

Verses 5-11

The Ninth Vision

Verse 5 indicates that the interpreting angel had withdrawn from Zechariah, after an explanation of the flying roll vision, to receive a new vision and revelation from the Divine angel to communicate to the prophet Zechariah, Hebrews 1:14. The communicating angel then asked him to look again, and see what it was that now became visible to him, in this new vision.

Verse 6 explains that Zechariah asked the angel to explain what it was that he saw so that he might be Divinely accurate in what he should later preach and prophecy to the Jewish remnant, who were called upon to rebuild the temple of God. The angel explained that the central object in the vision was an ephah, a Hebrew dry measure of 7 1/2 gallons or about a bushel, Amos 8:5. The angel further declared that this was their resemblance through all the earth, meaning all the land of Palestine. The ephah represented the sins of the Jews, in the eyes of the people, Ezekiel 1:4-5; Ezekiel 1:16.

Verse 7 then describes a talent of lead (125 lb.) a round lid lifted from the ephah, to reveal a woman sitting in the midst of the ephah, or measuring container, shut up like a captured wild beast. The woman in the ephah was a personification of wickedness that was about to be removed from Judea. Wickedness is compared to a woman in her unclean state, Proverbs 2:16; Proverbs 5:3-4.

Verse 8 further states that this is wickedness or fruit of the wicked one, the Devil, 2 Thessalonians 2:3. And he cast it (or her), the woman of the vision, into the midst of the ephah, and put the 125 pound troy weight lid on the container to secure her punishment, Proverbs 5:21; Proverbs 15:3; Jeremiah 16:17; Hebrews 4:13.

Verse 9 recounts the testimony of Zechariah’s vision of two women flying in the wind, like a stork, descending to take the wicked woman in the ephah, as a bird picks up its prey to fly away to consume it. Two wicked ones were employed for one was not enough, to bear her away in the ephah. As two anointed witnesses stand before the Lord to do His work and will, Zechariah 4:14, so two wicked, winged women execute His Divine purpose in removing the embodiment of wickedness from Judea to Babylon, the land of idolatry and false religions, as expressed Revelation 17:3-5, where the vile woman rides a scarlet colored beast, full of the blasphemy. Upon her forehead was written "mystery Babylon the great, the mother of harlots," the abomination of the earth. In a bad ethical sense a woman is a symbol of that which is religiously out of place, as set forth Matthew 13:33; 1 Timothy 2:12; Revelation 2:20; Revelation 17:1-6; Revelation 18:3; Revelation 18:11-20.

Verse 10 relates Zechariah’s request that the angel explain where these winged women were to carry the ephah, with the woman in it. If the vision was to be given to the people, Zechariah wanted to tell it like it was, be ready to answer any skeptical or serious inquiry of the people of Judah, 1 Peter 3:15; 2 Timothy 2:15; John 5:39.

Verse 11 discloses the angel’s reply to Zechariah’s inquiry. The answer was that the winged, wind-born-stork-like women were to bear the ephod with the woman in it, to build an house, a permanent place for her, and set her down upon her own base in Shinar, or ancient Babylon, the epitome of ancient Babel that was destroyed by the Lord, Genesis 10:10; Genesis 11:1-9; Isaiah 11:11; Daniel 1:2. It represents heathen idolatrous religions that oppose the Messiah, Jesus Christ as the only savior and mediator for sin between God and men; It is later personified in the scarlet woman, mother of harlots and spiritual harlotry, who teach her people to address their prayers to idolators, lifeless gods, and or dead, so-called saintized people; Who "know not anything that is being said or done, under the sun," back on earth; Therefore they can not hear any prayer, even if and when wrongly addressed , Ecclesiastes 9:5-6; Acts 4:12; Colossians 3:17; 1 Timothy 2:5. Prophetically, Babylon of the Revelation seems to embrace Roman Catholicism, with many of her harem of religious prostitutes who have rejected Jesus Christ as the only savior and intercessor and have invented to themselves other intercessory, mediator-gods, like: 1) so-called saints of Roman Catholicism, 2) Mary Baker Eddy of so-called Christian Science, 3) Joseph Smith of so-called Latter Day Saints, 4) James Rutherford and Charles Tisdale Russell of the so-called Jehovah Witness, whose end shall be in an eternal hell, though many of them deny its existence, Psalms 9:17.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Zechariah 5". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/zechariah-5.html. 1985.
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