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Sixth Vision: The Flying Scroll


Again I looked up and saw a flying scroll. 2And he said to me, “What do you see?” I answered, “I see a flying scroll; its length is twenty cubits, and its width ten cubits.” 3Then he said to me, “This is the curse that goes out over the face of the whole land; for everyone who steals shall be cut off according to the writing on one side, and everyone who swears falsely shall be cut off according to the writing on the other side. 4I have sent it out, says the L ord of hosts, and it shall enter the house of the thief, and the house of anyone who swears falsely by my name; and it shall abide in that house and consume it, both timber and stones.”

Seventh Vision: The Woman in a Basket

5 Then the angel who talked with me came forward and said to me, “Look up and see what this is that is coming out.” 6I said, “What is it?” He said, “This is a basket coming out.” And he said, “This is their iniquity in all the land.” 7Then a leaden cover was lifted, and there was a woman sitting in the basket! 8And he said, “This is Wickedness.” So he thrust her back into the basket, and pressed the leaden weight down on its mouth. 9Then I looked up and saw two women coming forward. The wind was in their wings; they had wings like the wings of a stork, and they lifted up the basket between earth and sky. 10Then I said to the angel who talked with me, “Where are they taking the basket?” 11He said to me, “To the land of Shinar, to build a house for it; and when this is prepared, they will set the basket down there on its base.”

The angel shows in this chapter, that whatever evils the Jews had suffered, proceeded from the righteous judgment Of God; and then he adds a consolation — that the Lord would at length alleviate or put an end to their evils, when he had removed afar off their iniquity. Interpreters have touched neither heaven nor earth in their explanation of this prophecy, for they have not regarded the design of the Holy Spirit. Some think that by the volume are to be understood false and perverted glosses, by which the purity of doctrine had been vitiated; but this view can by no means be received. There is no doubt but that God intended to show to Zechariah, that the Jews were justly punished, because the whole land was full of thefts and perjuries. As then religion had been despised, as well as equity and justice, he shows that it was no wonder that a curse had prevailed through the whole land, the Jews leaving by their impiety and other sins extremely provoked the wrath of God. This is the import of the first part. And, then, as this vision was terrible, there is added some alleviation by representing iniquity in a measure, and the mouth of the measure closed, and afterwards carried to the land of Shinar, that is, into Chaldea, that it might not remain in Judea. Thus in the former part the Prophet’s design was to humble the Jews, and to encourage them to repent, so that they might own God to have been justly angry; and then he gives them reason to entertain hope, and fully to expect an end to their evils, for the Lord would remove to a distance and transfer their iniquity to Chaldea, so that Judea might be pure and free from every wickedness, both from thefts and acts of injustice, by which it had been previously polluted. But every sentence must be in order explained, that the meaning of the Prophet may be more clearly seen.

He says, that he had returned; 5454     Some, such as Piscator, Drusius, Dathius, Newcome, and Henderson, think that the verb [שוב] is used here adverbally, which is sometimes the case, and render the sentence, “And I lifted up mine eyes again.” The Septuagint, Jerome, and our version, have rendered it, “I turned,” that is, from one vision to another, or from one direction to another. “Returned” seems not so suitable.—Ed. and by this word this vision is separated front the preceding visions, and those also of which we have hitherto spoken, were not at the same time exhibited to the Prophet, but he saw them at different times. We may hence learn that some time intervened before the Lord presented to him the vision narrated in this chapter. He adds, that he raised up his eyes and looked; and this is said that we may know that what he narrates was shown to him by the prophetic Spirit. Zechariah very often raised up his eyes though God did not immediately appear to him; but it behaved God’s servants, whenever they girded themselves for the purpose of teaching, to withdraw themselves as it were from the society of men, and to rise up above the world. The raising up of the eyes then, mentioned by Zechariah, signified something special, as though he had said, that he was prepared, for the Lord had inwardly roused him. The Prophets also, no doubt, were in this manner by degrees prepared, when the Lord made himself known to them. There was then the raising up of the eyes as a preparation to receive the celestial oracle.

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