In the last chapter we saw the people who are rejoicing over the rebuilding of the Temple. Now we are going to see the other side and how the Lord will judge them. The measure of sin is filled up and judgment will be executed This is the sixth vision.
v 1…Then I lifted up my eyes again and looked, and behold, there was a flying (denotes spiritual movement, going forth) scroll (an edict holding the curse of God-Deut 27.15-26; 28.15-68).
v 2… And he said to me (the angel), “What do you see?” And I answered, “I see a flying scroll; its length is twenty cubits and its width ten cubits (very large and the scroll was open and could be measured; this corresponds to the dimensions as the pavement of judgment in Solomon’s Temple porch-1 Kings 6.3- and the holy place in the Mishkan; judgment begins in the house of God).”
v 3… Then he said to me, “This is the curse (Deut 27.15) that is going forth over the face of the whole land (Judea); surely everyone who steals will be purged away according to the writing on one side, and everyone who swears (falsely in the name of Yehovah) will be purged away according to the writing on the other side.
v 4… I will make it go forth,” declares the Lord of hosts, “and it will enter the house of the thief and the house of the one who swears falsely by my name; and it will spend the night within that house and consume it with its timber and stones (not remain idle but consume the house and the inhabitants).”
v 5…Then the angel who was speaking with me went out, and said to me, “Lift up now your eyes, and see what this is, going forth (to come into view; this is the seventh vision).”
v 6…And I said, “What is it?” And he said, “This is the ephah (the largest measurement of capacity, about seven gallons) going forth.” Again he said, “This is their appearance (“eye” meaning shape) in all the land,
v 7…and behold, a lead (used in commerce, weights and measures) cover (circular lid) was lifted up; and this is a woman (literally “one woman”- represents the harlot, or sin, because is flattering and deceitful; Proverbs is full of this imagery) sitting inside the ephah.”
v 8…Then he said, “This is wickedness (a name given to Jezebel in 2 Chr 24.7; a new influence over the Jewish people, trade and commerce, symbolized by the ephah. After the captivity, Israel was transforming from an agricultural people to one of merchants. Because of these new occupations, the two sins mentioned in verse 3 developed, theft and perjury. Idolatry was not the problem as it was before the captivity, now it is shameless commercialism not governed by the Torah-Amos 8.5)!” And he threw her down into the middle of the ephah (confined the sin, not allowed to get worse) and cast the lead weight on its opening (to be taken out of the land).
v 9…Then I lifted up my eyes and looked, and there two women (two were required to carry it) were coming out with the wind in their wings (because it will pass through the air by the power of the Ruach Ha Kodesh, which is feminine in Hebrew); and they had wings like the wings of a stork (had large, strong, broad wings; God displays his power), and they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heavens (an idiom meaning “unworthy of both” and judgment; Absalom was suspended by his hair suspended between heaven and earth-2 Sam 18.9).
v 10… And I said to the angel who was speaking with me, “Where are they taking the ephah?”
v 11…Then he said to me, “To build a temple (house) for her (because she was going to dwell there) in the land of Shinar (meaning “shaking out” where Israel was “shaken” out to Babylon/Mesopotamia in exile), and when it is prepared, she will be set there on her own pedestal (a permanent settlement-God is going to remove the sin that caused the captivity from the land).”
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