Zechariah (Ch 5-6)

Zechariah Chapter 5 concerns two visions regarding the cleaning of God’s people. The first is of a flying roll, which signifies the curse of God; the other is the vision of an ephah, and a woman sitting in it, and a talent of lead cast upon the mouth of it, which signified wickedness.

Zechariah 5

1 Then I turned, and lifted up mine eyes and looked, and behold, a flying scroll. — after an interval of some time, then Zechariah turned and lifted up his eyes and looked: behold a flying roll, a book-scroll or parchment of great size or consisting of many large leaves fastened together;

— a parallel scene of what Ezekiel saw, in Ezekiel 2, “and in it was written lamentations and mourning and woe.”

And I saw, and behold, a hand stretched out to me, and behold, in it was a scroll of a book.
And he spread it out before me, and it was inscribed before and behind, and there was written upon it lamentations and murmuring and woe. Ezekiel 2:9-10

And he said unto me, “What seest thou?” And I answered, “I see a flying scroll. The length thereof is twenty cubits and the breadth thereof ten cubits.” — and the angel said unto Zechariah, What seest thou? And Zechariah answered, I see a flying roll, a parchment loose or unrolled moving through the air; the length thereof is twenty cubits and the breadth thereof ten cubits, the dimensions approximately ten yards by five yards.

Then said he unto me, “This is the curse that goeth forth over the face of the whole earth; for every one who stealeth shall be cut off as on this side according to it, and every one who sweareth shall be cut off as on that side according to it. — without waiting for a question on the part of the prophet, then said the angel unto Zechariah, This is the curse that goeth forth over the face of the whole earth, as written on the roll; 

— for whosoever that steal shall be cut off as on this side according to it, and anyone that has taken a false oath shall be cut off as on that side according to it, that is, the sinners who refuse to repent, who persist in their wickedness, must be cut off and removed;

— pretty much similar to what Ezekiel saw: of written lamentations and mourning and woe.

‘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.’” — the Lord will bring it forth, namely, the curse and the judgement with it, 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, these two classes of sinners being named as representatives of all unrepentant transgressors; 

— and it shall remain in the midst of his house, lodging there, dwelling there permanently, and shall consume it with the timber thereof and the stones thereof, not leaving a vestige of it. These words are properly expressive of the curse and of the punishment of God upon these form of deliberate transgression; which would be like a consuming fire upon anyone and everyone who steal and swear falsely;

— Rashi: I have brought it forth: to walk to and fro in the land and to wreak vengeance upon the thieves and the swearers of falsehoods from now on; and it shall come into the house of the thief; and a saying goes: “a man that swears much shall be full of iniquity, and the plague shall not depart from his house,” and “if a man swears in vain, he shall not be innocent or justified, for his house shall be full of calamities.”

Then the angel who talked with me went forth and said unto me, “Lift up now thine eyes and see what is this that goeth forth.” — then the angel that talked with Zechariah, who acted as the interpreter of all these visions went forth so that there was a pause in the revelations of the Lord and said unto Zechariah, ‘Lift up now thine eyes and see what is this that goeth forth,’ appearing before his eyes, something that Zechariah should observe very closely.

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.” — and Zechariah asked, What is it? for Zechariah evidently did not recognize the object at once. And the angel said, ‘This is an ephah that goeth forth,’ the ephah being a dry measure corresponding roughly to our peck. The object in the vision was evidently a receptacle having the shape of an ephah, and the ephah was chosen because it was often called the measure of unrighteousness and of deceits;

— the angel said further, ‘This is their resemblance through all the earth,’ literally, ‘this their eye in all the land,” that is, this is the object of their gaze, all eyes are centered upon it.

And behold, there was lifted up a weighty piece of lead, and this is a woman who sitteth in the midst of the ephah. — and behold there was lifted up a talent of lead, a great round piece, weighing about a hundred pounds; and this is a woman that sitteth in the midst of the ephah, the female personification of wickedness held within the ephah by the great weight.

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. — and the angel said, ‘This is wickedness,’ false doctrine, godlessness personified. And the angel cast it into the midst of the ephah, thus preventing her escape; and he cast the weight of lead upon the mouth thereof, this acting as a cover keeping her shut up within the measure.

Then I lifted 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. — fascinated by a further wonderful thing that happened, then lifted Zechariah up his eyes and behold, there came out two women, and the wind was in their wings, aiding them in their movement forward as they carried the ephah;

— for they had wings like the wings of a stork; and they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heaven, carrying it along very quickly, away from the Holy Land.

10 Then said I to the angel who talked with me, “Whither do these bear the ephah?” — then said Zechariah to the angel who talked with him, “Where do these bear the ephah?”

11 And he said unto me, “To build it a house in the land of Shinar; and it shall be established, and set there upon her own base.” — and the angel said unto Zechariah, ‘To build it an house in the land of Shinar,’ typical from olden times as the land of rebellion against the Lord;

— that is, in the province of Babylon, as the Targum paraphrases it; for Babel, or Babylon, was in the land of Shinar; Genesis 11:1-9; and it shall be established and set there upon her own base; representative of the ungodly world, a mystery of iniquity, Revelation 17:5; wickedness was to have its place, to be forever excluded from the kingdom of the Lord.

Zechariah 6

1 And I turned, and lifted up mine eyes and looked, and behold, there came four chariots out from between two mountains, and the mountains were mountains of brass. — and Zechariah turned and lifted up his eyes and looked, there came four chariots out from between two mountains, the location of the vision being somewhere in the mountainous country near Jerusalem, very likely between Mount Zion and the Mount of Olives; and the mountains were mountains of brass, firm and immovable.

In the first chariot were red horses, and in the second chariot black horses, — in the first chariot, harnessed to it were red horses; and we would assigned them as signifying war and bloodshed; but the angel never elaborate further what the red horses are;

— Gill says: by these “red horses” must be designed the Babylonians and Chaldeans, so called because their soldiers were clothed in red, and their chariots were like flaming torches;

 — red horses may signify bloody times, a fiery execution of wrath, Revelation 6:4; and in Isaiah 63:1-4

1 Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments (with his garments stained crimson in other translations) from Bozrah, this that is glorious in His apparel, traveling in the greatness of his strength? “I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save.”

Why art thou red in Thine apparel, and Thy garments like him that treadeth in the wine vat?

“I have trodden the wine press alone; and of the people there was none with Me. For I will tread them in Mine anger and trample them in My fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon My garments, and I will stain all My raiment.

For the day of vengeance is in Mine heart, and the year of My redeemed is come. Isaiah 63:1-4

— and in the second chariot black horses, the color of misfortune, of mourning, and of death;

and in the third chariot white horses, and in the fourth chariot grizzled and bay horses. — and in the third chariot white horses, implying joy and victory; and in the fourth chariot grizzled and bay horses Cf Revelation 6:8.

Then I answered and said unto the angel who talked with me, “What are these, my lord?” — then Zechariah answered and said unto the angel, What are these?

— my lord (‘āḏôn not Yehovah יְהֹוָה) so the angel appeared as an ordinary angel to Zechariah.

And the angel answered and said unto me, “These are the four spirits of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth. — and the angel answered Zechariah, ‘These are the four spirits of the heavens,’ the four winds as the instruments of the Lord’s will, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth. Cf Psalms 104:4Psalms 148:8. The agency of the winds in the work of destructive judgement is mentioned also elsewhere in the Bible Cf Revelation 7:1.

The black horses which are therein go forth into the north country, and the white go forth after them, and the grizzled go forth toward the south country. — the black horses which are therein, that is, the chariot drawn by these horses, go into the North country, where the great world-powers, Assyria and Babylon, were situated; 

— and the white go forth after the North, too, victory following death and destruction; but the grizzled go toward the South country, where Idumea, Edom and Egypt were situated.

And the bay went forth and sought to go, that they might walk to and fro through the earth.” And he said, “Get you hence, walk to and fro through the earth.” So they walked to and fro through the earth. — and from the South the bay spread forth and sought to go that they might walk to and fro throughout the earth, visiting all the countries of the world with terrible wars and bloodshed, with death and destruction; and he said, Get you hence, walk to and fro through the earth. So they walked to and fro through the earth, carrying out the Lord’s command upon the various nations.

Then cried he unto me, and spoke unto me, saying, “Behold, these who go toward the north country have quieted my spirit in the north country.” — then cried the angel in great excitement to Zechariah and spoke unto him, saying in the name of the Lord, Behold, these that go toward the North country, and after executing God’s judgement on them, have quieted My Spirit in the North country, and was satisfied with the extent of the punishment inflicted upon them. It is clear that the angel is speaking of all the enemies of the Lord would be overthrown, in order that His kingdom may be safely established.

And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,

10 “Take from them of the captivity — even from Heldai, from Tobijah, and from Jedaiah, who have come from Babylon — and come thou the same day and go into the house of Josiah the son of Zephaniah. — take the exiles living in Babylon, who had come up to Jerusalem at that time, from Heldai, Tobijah, and of Jedaiah, who have come from Babylon, as a committee of the Jews residing at Babylon.

11 Then take silver and gold and make crowns, and set them upon the head of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, — then take silver and gold, evidently of the precious metals sent by the Jews of Babylon, and make crowns, a double crown or one of several bands, and set them upon the head of Joshua, the son of Josedech, the high priest, as a type of the combined priesthood and kingdom which shall be conferred upon the Messiah;

12 and speak unto him, saying, ‘Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, “Behold the Man whose name is The Branch! And He shall grow up out of His place, and He shall build the temple of the Lord. — and speak unto Zechariah, saying, Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Behold, the man whose name Is The BRANCH, and He shall grow up out of His place, Jeremiah 33:15, as a root out of a dry ground, Isaiah 53:2, and He shall build the Temple of the Lord, the real Sanctuary of Yehovah, the Kingdom of the New World;

— the Targum paraphrases the words, “behold the man Messiah is his name;” the Jews interprets this passage of a divine Person; who is the Son of God by whom no other than King Messiah could have meant;

13 Even He shall build the temple of the Lord; and He shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon His throne. And He shall be a priest upon His throne; and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.”’ — even the Branch shall build the Temple of the Lord, accomplishing His great work in spite of the lowliness of His origin; and He shall bear the glory, being adorned with kingly glory and honor, and shall sit and rule upon His throne as the true King of His Kingdom; 

— and He shall be a Priest upon His throne, uniting in His person the offices of king and of priest; and the counsel of peace shall be between them both, the two offices being united in one person. Psalms 110.

14 “And the crowns shall be for Helem and for Tobijah and for Jedaiah, and for Hen the son of Zephaniah, for a memorial in the temple of the Lord. — and the crowns shall be for a memorial in the Temple of the Lord so that future generations would be reminded of the example of others before them.

15 And those who are far off shall come and build the temple of the Lord, and ye shall know that the Lord of hosts hath sent Me unto you. And this shall come to pass if ye will diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God.” — and they that are far off, like the men who had in this case brought their offerings, shall come and build the Temple of the Lord, representatives of various nations joining in the upbuilding of the Lord’s great spiritual Temple, His holy Kingdom, 

— and ye shall know that the Lord of hosts hath sent Me unto Zechariah, as the Messiah Himself says, John 3:16. And this shall come to pass, if ye will diligently obey the voice of the Lord, your God, this being added by way of admonition lest anyone deliberately lose the blessings which are offered in and by the coming of the Messiah. Thus the establishment and growth of the Kingdom of God.

~ by Joel Huan on January 8, 2022.

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