Zechariah Chapter Five


Read Zechariah 5:1-4 – The Flying Roll


v.11Then I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a flying roll.”


            This is the sixth vision seen by Zechariah.  What kind of a roll is Zechariah seeing?  It isn’t a pastry or roll made of dough but rather a scroll, a roll upon which men of that day recorded events and wrote the word of God.  Ezekiel describes one this way:


Ezekiel 2:9And when I looked, behold, an hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein;”


v.2And 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.”


            When the angel asks Zechariah what he is seeing he replies that he sees “A FLYING ROLL” and gives us the dimensions of it as “TWENTY CUBITS” by “TEN CUBITS” or by our system of measurement about thirty by fifteen feet.  This would be a very large scroll, not one that could be handled by a man and with space to record many things and the next verse tells us what is to be recorded.


v.3Then 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.”


            The roll represents God’s record of part of the sins of the world.  One side contains the names of those who steal, the other side contains the names of those who swear falsely.  This curse will exist or “GOETH FORTH” over the face of the “WHOLE EARTH” to all those who practice sin.


v.4I 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.”


            Swift and sure destruction is promised to those who are recorded on this roll; why?  Because they practice the things that God hates:


Proverbs 6:16-18These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:  17A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,  18An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,”


One of the commandments that was given to Israel in addition to “THOU SHALT NOT STEAL” (Exodus 20:15) was:


Leviticus 19:12And ye shall not swear by my name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD.”


And this is among the sins included in God’s final admonition to Judah before the close of the Old Testament:


Malachi 3:5And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts.”


And then Malachi continues in verse 6 “FOR I am THE LORD, I CHANGE NOT…”


Read Zechariah 5:5-11 – The Woman in an Ephah


v.5Then 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.”


            The angel now tells Zechariah to “LIFT UP NOW THINE EYES” as he wants to reveal to him the seventh of his visions.


v.6And 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.”


            Zechariah recognizes the object that the angel points out to him as an ephah.  Now who can tell me what an ephah is?  An ephah is a dry measure.  One source lists it as equal to a little over a bushel in today’s measurements; the other to about ¾ of a bushel.

            The angel goes on to tell Zechariah is that the ephah is a “RESEMBLANCE” that goes through all the earth.  What do we find in the world in abundance?  Sin.


v.7And, behold, there was lifted up a talent of lead: and this is a woman that sitteth in the midst of the ephah.”


            This ephah that Zechariah was shown was sealed or had a lid that kept it closed that was made up of a talent of lead.  How much does a talent of lead weigh?  Using the Hebrew weights and measures in my study Bible it is calculated to be about 114.5 pounds.

            When the lid or talent of lead is lifted off the ephah then Zechariah sees a woman sitting in it.  Then he tell us what the woman represents.


v.8And 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.”


            This woman represents wickedness; so she is placed in the ephah, in a container and controlled and the lid fitted from 114.5 pounds of lead.  Wickedness, sin entices, deceives and the woman is pictured in many places, especially in the writings of Solomon, as having and using these capabilities.


Proverbs 6:24-26To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman.  25Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids.  26For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adultress will hunt for the precious life.”


Zechariah and the Jewish people are warned to avoid sin, to avoid wickedness as they have been made captive by God.


v.9Then 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.”


            Next Zechariah sees two women, very strange women perhaps in that they had wings like the wings of a stork.  They were obviously servants of God because they take the ephah and carry it away between heaven and earth; i.e. they flew away carrying the sealed ephah with wickedness inside.


v.10-11Then said I to the angel that talked with me, Whither do these bear the ephah?  11And 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.


            So Zechariah asks the angel where the women are taking the ephah.  They answer is that they are taking it to the land of Shinar where they are going to build the woman a house and that is where she will make our base or her place of being.

            What is the significance of Shinar?  The answer is in Genesis chapter 10 that we studied in that book.  Shinar was the land of a grandson of Ham:


Genesis 10:8-10And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth.  9He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD.  10And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.”


            So what happened in Shinar that would be related to the source of the sins of mankind after the flood?  It was the first record we have of the rebellion of men against God after the earth was destroyed.  After the flood it was God’s purpose was for mankind to spread over the entire earth and inhabit it.  But man concentrated in Shinar and built a great city and tower, the tower of Babel.  We remember the story, how God visited them and seeing their intent; confused their language so that they did scatter across the globe as he had intended.

            So wickedness is given a place, symbolically the same place where it had originated after the flood.


William L. Schwegler, Sunset church of Christ, Shreveport, Louisiana; Sunday Morning Adult; August 16, 2009