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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.”

Now the Prophet says that wickedness, when first seen, was in mid air, and in a measure; but at the same time he calls the measure the eye of the ungodly, for though wickedness extends itself to all parts, yet God confines it within a hidden measure; and this he designates by eyes, whereby he seems to allude to a former prophecy, which we have explained. For he had said that there were seven eyes in the stone of the high priest, because God would carry on by his providence the building of the temple. So also he says, that God’s eyes are upon all the ungodly, according to what is said in the book of Psalms —

“The eyes of the Lord are over the wicked, to destroy their memory from the earth.”
(Psalm 34:17.)

And this mode of speaking often occurs in Scripture. The meaning then is, that though wickedness spreads and extends through the whole earth, it is yet in a measure; but this measure is not always closed up. However this may be, still God knows how to regulate all things, so that impiety shall not exceed its limits. And this is most true, whatever view may be taken; for when enemies harass the church, though they may be carried along in the air, that is, though God may not immediately restrain their wrongs, they yet sit in a measure, and are ruled by the eyes of God, so that they cannot move a finger, except so far as they are permitted. Let us in a word know, that in a state of things wholly disordered, God watches, and his eyes are vigilant, in order to put an end to injuries. The same also may be said when God gives up to a reprobate mind those who deserve such a punishment; for though he cast them away, and Satan takes possession of them, yet this remains true — that they sit in a measure. They are not indeed shut in; but we ought not, as I have said, to suppose that God is indifferent in heaven, or that sins prevail in the world, as though he did not see them; for his connivance is not blindness. The eyes of God then mark and observe whatever sins are done in the world.

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