Zechariah 5


‘I looked again, and there before me was a flying scroll. He asked me, ‘What do you see?’ I answered, ‘I see a flying scroll, twenty cubits long and ten cubits wide.’ 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. 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.’ Zechariah 5:1-4

The Flying Scroll

In this chapter, Zechariah receives two more visions, which relate to God removing sin from His people. First, he sees a flying scroll, which pictures God judging those who steal and swear falsely. Secondly, he sees a woman in a basket, which pictures God judging the culture of wickedness which is in God’s people.

Since the ‘flying scroll’ originated from God, this tells us that the coming judgment was from God upon those who steal and swear falsely.

Many people understand the ‘flying scroll’, to be the Ten Commandments, since they were written on both sides, Exodus 32:15, and contained these two sins mentioned, Exodus 20:15-16.

The size of the scroll is the same size as the holy of Holies which was located within Solomon’s temple. The measurement of the scroll may symbolise the many curses that were written on it or it may symbolise that people can’t measure the extent and results of their own sin, 1 Samuel 2:3 / Romans 7:7-12.

The word, ‘curse’ is used often in connection with the covenant, Genesis 24:41 / Genesis 26:28 / Deuteronomy 29:12 / Ezekiel 16:59. Notice that the curse is going out over ‘the whole land’, God is going to curse the people who commit these sins and their household.

The land will be cleansed of every thief and liar and God’s judgment would remain on the house in which it entered until there was repentance and thus cleansing.

The Woman In A Basket

‘Then the angel who was speaking to me came forward and said to me, ‘Look up and see what is appearing.’ I asked, ‘What is it?’ He replied, ‘It is a basket.’ And he added, ‘This is the iniquity of the people throughout the land.’ Then the cover of lead was raised, and there in the basket sat a woman! He said, ‘This is wickedness,’ and he pushed her back into the basket and pushed its lead cover down on it. 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. ‘Where are they taking the basket?’ I asked the angel who was speaking to me. 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.’ Zechariah 4:5-11

Zechariah now sees a basket with a woman sitting in it, this represents the iniquity of the land. This woman is personified as wickedness, 2 Chronicles 24:7, and then figuratively speaking is transported to Babylon by the symbol of two other women.

The two women had wings like the wings of a stork, which means the women in Zechariah’s vision had big wings, strong enough to take this basket back to Babylon.

In Bible times women often used baskets to carry out their daily tasks, and so here the angel uses women as the symbolic characters that would carry out the actions of the vision. The symbolism was to women whose task was to carry the basket of wickedness to Babylon.

The idea is simply this, the woman in the basket is the personification of sin, and so, sin is taken out of the land. Sin was taken from the land of God’s people to the land that was representative of sin and idolatry, which is Babylon, Revelation 18:4, or Shinar, as some translations have it, Genesis 10:10.

When the Messiah arrives and His church is established, sin would be removed from His people through the precious blood of Jesus, Romans 8:1-4 / 1 John 1:9.

Coffman, in his commentary, says the following concerning the house.

‘The word, ‘house’ refers to the temple upon which Wickedness will be enthroned. Thus, our vision dramatically emphasizes the vast gulf that separates God’s people from the un-regenerated peoples of mankind. An apostle warned us that the god of this world hath blinded the minds of the unbelieving, 2 Corinthians 4:4, and the concurrent testimony of all ages confirms it as a fact.’

Go To Zechariah 6


"Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."