Zechariah 5: A Flying Scroll And A Basket Of Wickedness.

The flying scroll was exact in dimension or size, and purpose-a curse against thieves on one side, and perjurers on the other. This was a book not unlike that which was seen by Ezekiel (2:9-10), or of John in Revelation (5ff.). It is also echoed by the final verses of the old covenant scriptures, a word of warning that if His people would not heed the law-word of the covenant that the LORD of hosts would “strike the earth with a curse” (Mal. 4:6 Cf. Mal. 3:5 Mal. 3:5). That is the end in view, and it can be traced back to the time of the exodus, and the first books of the old covenant-the Law, and other prophets (v. 4 Cf. 8:17; Ex. 20:7, 15-16; Lev. 14:34-35; 19:11-12; Dt. 5:19-20; Is. 48:1; Jer. 5:2).

Zechariah then sees a basket, on the move, signifying the same judgment against the wicked (v. 6). Inside the basket was a woman called “Wickedness”! Then a lead disc or stone was lifted up to cover the basket with the woman inside (vv. 7-8). The Hebrew word for basket here is “ephah, a measuring container, and so elsewhere” (NGSB p.1471). In other words, the basket took the name of what it measured inside, signifying that a full measure of wickedness had been reached. Then he also saw two other women who came who “had wings like the wings of a stork, and they lifted up the basket between earth and heaven,” acting as covenantal witnesses as it were (v. 9 Dt. 4:26; 30:19).

We should also not lose sight of the fact that the stork was considered an “abomination,” a bird not to be eaten (Lev. 11:19). The LORD also said through Jeremiah, that unlike the stork who knew it’s time, His own covenant people could not discern the consequential time of judgment on their wickedness as a curse in the covenantal relationship (8:7 Cf. Vv. 4ff.). The prophet would eventually ask where they were taking the basket (v. 10). Zechariah was told that the basket was going to “the land of Shinar” (v. 11b, that is, Babylon-Gen. 10:10; Is. 11:11; Dan. 1:2-NGSB p.1472).* However, before it could “be set there on its base” (v. 11c), a house had to be built (v. 11a Cf. Jer. 29:28).

* “This older word for Babylon is used possibly to evoke the Tower of Babel as a symbol of opposition to God (Gen. 11:2. Shinar, not Jerusalem, is the appropriate place for iniquity, since Jerusalem is the dwelling place of the Holy One of Israel” (Ibid. p.1472).

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