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FRAMEWORKS: Zechariah 5: Removal of Unrighteousness from the land


v.1-4 The flying scroll

v.5-11 The woman in a basket


[Preliminary Comment: The two parts of this short chapter are complementary; the first declares the Lord's intent to deal with all outstanding wickedness in this now holy land and then having it removed elsewhere. Verses 3 & 4 see the removal of the participants of unrighteousness and from verse 6 on we see the Lord's intent to remove the very presence of such wickedness from the land. It is the Lord's double-sided declaration that this land to which they have returned is not to have any semblance of unrighteousness in it. The Lord had declared previously through His prophets that He would change the hearts of the people in exile before they could return and now He declares that will not let any unrighteous behaviour spring up and prevail.]



v.1-4 The flying scroll


v.1,2 Zechariah identifies a massive flying scroll


v.1   I looked again, and there before me was a flying scroll.

v.2  He asked me, ‘What do you see?'

I answered, ‘I see a flying scroll, twenty cubits long and ten cubits wide.'


v.3,4 The angel explains it brings a curse on the unrighteous in the land


v.3  And he said to me, ‘This is the curse that is going out over the whole land; for according to what it says on one side, every thief will be banished, and according to what it says on the other, everyone who swears falsely will be banished.

v.4  The Lord Almighty declares, “I will send it out, and it will enter the house of the thief and the house of anyone who swears falsely by my name. It will remain in that house and destroy it completely, both its timbers and its stones.”'


[Notes: The enormous scroll carried God's decree of bad for all unlawfulness in the land. It is His declaration that this returned people shall be righteous and if they are not He will deal with them. It is a very explicit warning.]



v.5-11 The woman in a basket


v.5,6 He is then shown a basket representing the wickedness in the land


v.5  Then the angel who was speaking to me came forward and said to me, ‘Look up and see what is appearing.'

v.6  I asked, ‘What is it?'

He replied, ‘It is a basket.' And he added, ‘This is the iniquity of the people throughout the land.'


v.7,8 The wickedness is represented by a woman who is being confined in the basket


v.7  Then the cover of lead was raised, and there in the basket sat a woman!

v.He said, ‘This is wickedness,' and he pushed her back into the basket and pushed its lead cover down on it.


v.9-11 Two women are seen carrying the basket away to Babylonia


v.9  Then I looked up – and there before me were two women, with the wind in their wings! They had wings like those of a stork, and they lifted up the basket between heaven and earth.

v.10  ‘Where are they taking the basket?' I asked the angel who was speaking to me.

v.11  He replied, ‘To the country of Babylonia to build a house for it. When the house is ready, the basket will be set there in its place.'


[Notes: The vision continues, revealing wickedness in the land that the Lord is suppressing and curtailing in order to return it to Babylonia where unrighteousness prevails [implied] and where it will be more at home.]



Continue to Chapter 6