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The Lord is still instructing the Prophet by vision. In this Chapter we have the sad judgment threatened to thieves and swearers, under the image of a flying roll. And also by a talent of lead cast into the midst of an Ephah, the wickedness of the earth is described.
"Then I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a flying roll. (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. (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 everyone that sweareth shall be cut off as on that side according to it. (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."
Observe in the opening of this vision, the Prophet is turned from beholding blessed visions, to look at solemn ones. The roll here described must have been very large indeed. And it should seem, that it was intended the Prophet should notice the size of it, for he was able to behold the measure of it. Twenty cubits by ten, is at least ten yards by five. If, as it may be supposed, the design was to impress upon the Prophets mind the greatness and extent of the law, and the awful denunciation of it, to everyone out of Christ, in order to shew the grace of the gospel, nothing could be more striking. The explanation of the angel is in point. This is the curse. Reader! is not the law the ministration of death? Doth it not pronounce a curse upon every soul of man that doeth evil; to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile? Romans 2:9 . In this view, the whole code of the law is like the roll of Ezekiel, when opened; written within and without, and full of lamentations, and mourning, and woe. Ezekiel 2:10 . Hence the law is described, Deuteronomy 27:15-26 . and Deuteronomy 28:15-45 . Hence Peter's account of it, Acts 15:10 . Hence Paul's, Galatians 3:10-11 . Oh! Reader, think what a blessed thing it is, to be able to hear, and enter into the full enjoyment of those sweet scriptures: Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us. And again, God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself--For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. Galatians 3:13 ; 2 Corinthians 5:19 . to the end.
"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. (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. (7) And, behold, there was lifted up a talent of lead: and this is a woman that sitteth in the midst of the ephah. (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. (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. (10) Then said I to the angel that talked with me, Whither do these bear the ephah? (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."
We have here another vision. The Prophet is let to see an Ephah, a Jewish measure, and he is told that this is the resemblance of all the earth; meaning, it should seem that what the Prophet was about to learn from this figure, suited all mankind. The Prophet is next led in vision, to behold a talent of lead, and a woman sitting in the midst of the ephah, and is told that this is wickedness. Probably to denote, that as in the instance of our first parents' transgression, the woman was first in it, sin is now become universal, and pervades the whole race. And it is possible, that the talent of lead, from its ponderous quality, might be meant to shew the total impossibility of our fallen and oppressed nature, ever of itself to arise from under the pressure. By the image of two women, like storks, carrying away the Zaphah to the land of Shinar, might be supposed to teach the thorough removal of wickedness into a land not inhabited; as the iniquity of Israel, on the day of atonement, was taken away. Leviticus 16:22 . I do not presume to account for the figure of two women, which had wings like storks. But if by the former woman, was meant that Eve was the first in the transgression; this might equally apply to the honor of the woman, in that the promise was, she should be saved in the child-bearing of the Redeemer, as that scripture by the Apostle hath it. 1 Timothy 2:13-15 . And in this sense the agreement is just; for as by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 1 Corinthians 15:21 . So also in respect of sin. See Romans 5:15-19 . In respect to the land of Shinar, all we know of it is, that it was a province of Babylon, where the Tower of Babel was built; and Amraphel was king of it in the days of Abraham. See Genesis 11:2 . and Genesis 14:1 . The Prophet Daniel saith, that here was the temple of Nebuchadnezzar's idol, where he put the sacred vessels he took from Jerusalem. Daniel 1:2 .
Reader! we have presented to us in this Chapter under a double vision, the awfulness of sin, and the universal influence of it; for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. Pause over the alarming subject. Think what circumstances of guilt, and an estrangement from God, our whole nature was involved in by the fall! And when you have duly pondered the solemn consideration, then look up for grace from God the Holy Ghost, to contemplate the glorious person, and the wonderful work he wrought in the accomplishment of it, by whom cometh salvation. Precious Lord Jesus! when thou sawest the state of our poor nature, oppressed, and bound with the talent of lead, unable to move, or even cry for help, our whole nature like the Ephah, filled with guilt; then the compassion of thine heart moved thee to fly to our rescue, and by a means so wonderful as the sacrifice of thyself, thou hast taken away our sins, and removed them into a land not inhabited. Hail! thou glorious Benefactor of mankind. May every knee bend before thee, and every tongue confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Amen.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Zechariah 5". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26