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ch. 5:1-4    ch. 5:5-11

The Flying Scroll (ch. 5:1 - 4)


In verses 1 and 2 Zechariah sees a flying scroll.  The angel asks him what he sees.  Zechariah replies by saying that he sees a flying scroll that is 30 feet long and 15 feet wide.  This is one very large scroll that is flying through the air.


In verse 3 the angel gives a partial explanation of the vision.  He says that the scroll represents God’s judgment.  We see this idea of a scroll representing God’s judgment in the book of Revelation as well. 


The angel tells us that the scroll has writing on both sides of it.  On one side we see that every thief will be banished from the land.  Then, according to the other side of the scroll, everyone who swears  falsely will be banished from the land. 


Since the vision appears to be directed to Israel , the “land” spoken of here is probably the land of Israel. 


In verse 4 God Himself speaks.  He says that everyone who is a thief and swears falsely will be visited by this scroll and this scroll will remain with them until he and his house will be destroyed.


There are many speculations to why just two of many sins are spoken of here that are judged.  I think they are simply representative of all sin. 


You might notice that the sin of swearing is clarified in verse 4.   It is swearing falsely by God’s name.  This means that those Jews who say they represent God, and don’t, will be judged accordingly.  The sin is not simply telling a falsehood.  It is actually misrepresenting God Himself, something that the Jews were doing and Christians and the church does all the time.


Futurists believe that this judgment spoken of here is what is also known as Jacob’s Trials, that is, the time of the Great Tribulation, those last seven years of this present age where Israel is judged, and along with this judgment, the rest of the world is judged.


The Woman In A Basket (ch. 5:5 - 11)


In verse 5 we see the angel that is explaining and showing Zechariah these visions say, “look up and see what this is that is appearing.”   The wording suggests that as one vision disappears, another vision appears, and that is really how it was.  Zechariah saw all these visions in one night.


In verse 6 Zechariah asks, as he has been doing, “what is this?”  None of these visions seem to be understood by Zechariah. 


Also in verse 6 the angel says what Zechariah sees and gives a simple explanation.  The first thing we see in the vision is a “measuring basket”, or an “ephah” as the Jews would call it.  This basket was slightly larger than our bushel basket.


The simple explanation is that this basket holds the iniquity of the people in the land. 


In verse 7 we see that this basket had a led covering that was opened, and once opened a woman could be seen in the basket.


In verse 8 the angel tells Zechariah that “this is wickedness”.  The word “this” refers to the woman.  The woman represents wickedness, as women often do in Scriptural visions.  It appears that once the led top was opened, the woman rose and wanted out, but that angel pushed the top down so the woman could not get out.


In verse 9 we see the next part of this vision.  There were two other women that stood outside the basket.  They picked the basket up and held it between heaven and earth.  These women had wings, which might suggest that they were some type of angelic being.


In verse 10 Zechariah asked the angel explaining these things where the two women were taking this basket. 


The explaining angel answers by saying the basket with the evil woman was being taken to the country of Babylonia .  The KJV uses that word “Shiner” instead of Babylonia.  “Shiner” was not really the city of Babylon , but the region around Babylon.  It was a region, not a city.


The angel continues by saying that a house was being built for this basket, and when it was ready, the basket would be put into this house. 


The vision ends with no further explanation.  Like many prophecies, the explanation is left for us to figure out.  Jesus, in John 14 spoke of the things He said.  He said that His followers would have a hard time understanding the things He spoke about, but when the time came for those things to be fulfilled, they would remember and then they would understand and believe.  This is the way it is with many prophecies of the Bible.  We might have an idea what they mean, or maybe no idea at all, but there will come a time when we will understand them.


I believe the meaning of this vision is somewhat clear.  We know a couple of things right off the bat.  We know that the basket represents iniquity of the people in the land and the woman in the basket represents wickedness.  We also know that two other winged women take the basket to the region of Babylonia for this basket and woman to find a home that is specially built for her.


If we want to take a Futuristic approach to this vision, we would say that the region of Babylonia might well be the last great world empire that is actually called Babylon in the book of Revelation.  The woman in the basket who is very wicked might well be the anti-christ.  Since the woman is a person in the vision, she might well be a real person in reality, thus the anti-christ is a logical fulfillment of the woman. Yet before the anti-christ arrives in Babylonia , things must be prepared for him.  He does not do the preparation himself.  But once things are ready for him to appear on the scene, he is lifted into his place of authority. The two winged women are most likely evil women as well. 


At the time of the end, the last great world power just doesn’t come into existence over night.  There is time period where it is rising to a world power as any other world power rises over time.  But once this power is well established, the anti-christ will come in and take charge.

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