God’s holy law reveals the righteous wrath of God against those who by swearing,
affront God’s majesty and who by stealing, set aside their neighbor’s rights.
1 Then I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a flying roll.
2 And he said unto me, What seest thou? And I answered, I see a flying roll; the length thereof is twenty cubits, and the breadth thereof ten cubits.
3 Then said he unto me, This is the curse that goeth forth over the face of the whole earth: for every one that stealeth shall be cut off as on this side according to it; and every one that sweareth shall be cut off as on that side according to it.
4 I will bring it forth, saith the LORD of hosts, and it shall enter into the house of the thief, and into the house of him that sweareth falsely by my name: and it shall remain in the midst of his house, and shall consume it with the timber thereof and the stones thereof.
5 ¶ Then the angel that talked with me went forth, and said unto me, Lift up now thine eyes, and see what is this that goeth forth.
6 And I said, What is it? And he said, This is an ephah that goeth forth. He said moreover, This is their resemblance through all the earth.
7 And, behold, there was lifted up a talent of lead: and this is a woman that sitteth in the midst of the ephah.
8 And he said, This is wickedness. And he cast it into the midst of the ephah; and he cast the weight of lead upon the mouth thereof.
9 Then lifted I up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came out two women, and the wind was in their wings; for they had wings like the wings of a stork: and they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heaven.
10 Then said I to the angel that talked with me, Whither do these bear the ephah?
11 And he said unto me, To build it an house in the land of Shinar: and it shall be established, and set there upon her own base.
Zechariah 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Zechariah 5:1-11 – The Vision of the Flying Roll
This huge sheet of parchment, 30 by 15 feet, was covered with the solemn curses of the Law, on one side against the thief and on the other against false-swearing. The young community was notorious for these two sins. They brought the dry-rot with them, Zechariah 5:4. Their commercial life also, represented by the ephah, was full of wickedness. But it was to be eliminated. The swift stork wings would bear it away. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Zechariah 5:10—Then said I to the Angel that talked with me, Wither do these bear the ephah?
The first vision of this chapter denounces those who had sinned against the first and second tables of the law; the record of their sin would be written in unmistakable syllables, and would consume the houses of evil-doers with dry-rot (Zechariah 5:4). But the second vision is most consolatory. A woman who symbolizes the wickedness of the land is thrust into an immense ephah, and covered with a leaden weight, and then is borne away from the Holy Land by two women in whose wings are strength and speed. Its destination was Babylon; thence had come the principal forms of iniquity, with which the chosen people were cursed, and thither would they return. But what encouragement to every pious Jew to know that the wickedness which had brought God’s judgments on the land was removed beyond recall!
This choice is presented to every one of us:—If we refuse to confess our sin, it eats out our heart and life, as cancer and consumption do the fiber of life. If, on the other hand, we confess, and seek the grace of the Holy Spirit, our iniquity will be purged, and the power of sin broken. With swift and sure salvation will God come to our relief, and the chains that bind shall drop from off us like wreaths of hoarfrost before the sun. What though the tendency and possibility of sin remain yet within us; yet the thrall of wickedness is abolished. However many the dark transgressions of the past, when sought for, they cannot be found; and whatever the temptation without, and the frailty within, we are learning to abhor that which is evil, and cleave to that which is good. So our path mounts up on a stairway of light to the gates of everlasting day. “Awake to righteousness, and sin not” (1 Corinthians 15:34). —Our Daily Homily