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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.”

He afterwards adds, that he was asked by the angel what he saw. He might indeed have said, that a roll flying in the air appeared to him, but he did not as yet understand what it meant; hence the angel performed the office of an interpreter. But he says, that the roll was twenty cubits long, and ten broad. The Rabbis think that the figure of the court of the temple is here represented, for the length of the court was twenty cubits and its breadth was ten; and hence they suppose, that the roll had come forth from the temple, that there might be fuller reason to believe that God had sent forth the roll. And this allusion, though not sufficiently grounded, is yet more probable than the allegory of the puerile Jerome, who thinks that this ought to be applied to Christ, because he began to preach the gospel in his thirtieth year. Thus he meant to apply this number to the age of Christ, when he commenced his office as a teacher. But this is extreme trifling. I do not feel anxious to know why the length or the breadth is mentioned; for it seems not to be much connected with the main subject. But if it be proper to follow a probable conjecture, what I have already referred to is more admissible — that the length and breadth of the roll are stated, that the Jews might fully understand that nothing was set before them but what God himself sanctioned, as they clearly perceived a figure of the court of the temple.

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