May 13, 2011

Minor Prophets LXXXIX: Flying Scrolls and A Woman In A Basket

Zechariah 5:1-4 and Vision #6: Zechariah sees a flying scroll and is asked what he sees. He answers the obvious, “I see a flying scroll, twenty cubits long and ten cubits wide.” He is then told, “This is the curse that is going out over the whole land; for according to what it says on one side, every thief will be banished, and according to what it says on the other, everyone who swears falsely will be banished.” The Lord then goes on to declare, “I will send it out, and it will enter the house of the thief and the house of anyone who swears falsely by my name. It will remain in that house and destroy it completely, both its timbers and its stones.’”

What is in view here is continued lawlessness in the land. We also see what amounts to spiritual renewal. Lawbreakers are condemned in this vision. The scroll is opened and large…for all to see. It is a clear pronouncement. There are no excuses for not knowing the rules. There is no such thing like we have today that says, “The rules in the Bible, it is unclear”. This requirement of renewal is a call to repentance and for people to get their act straight. Once the scroll is revealed an understood, leave the violators of God’s commandments and precepts open to judgment. The judgment will clearly be a curse and it will destroy the ones it is set upon such as the thief mentioned in this passage. The hope is those that do obey the Lord will be exempt from this curse or judgment. We see the echo of Deuteronomy 28. Blessings for those that obey, curses for those that do not.

Zechariah 5:5-11 and the Vision #7: We see a woman in a Basket. An angel comes and speaks, “Look up and see what is appearing.” She is a symbol of the iniquity of the people throughout the land. She represents wickedness and she is pushed her back into the basket and the lead cover is put back down on it. Zechariah then looks back up and there before me were two women, with the wind in their wings. They had wings like those of a stork, and they lifted up the basket between heaven and earth. Zechariah then inquires where it is being taken. He is told that is being taken to the country of Babylonia to build a house for it. When the house is ready, the basket will be set there in its place.

Jerusalem is being purified. The basket (a measuring basket) and this woman (wickedness) it contains is clearly alluded to the iniquity of the people…and it will be removed to Babylonia. The person is woman because the Hebrew word for wickedness is feminine. A cover of lead to assure a secured content…that could not escape, not for safety. This imagery also goes back to the idea of the flying scroll. Flying because it would precipitate the flying or leaving of those that cannot or would not abide in the statutes of the Lord, just like the stork. Two additional woman would be involved in the basket’s removal. Here we get the impression this basket is quite onerous and heavy or filled with sin and wickedness. The final judgment by Babylon will cleanse the land and sin and wickedness’ removal will set the stage for Christ. The hope or encouragement is obviously that of Christ’s arrival.

Longman, Tremper, and David E. Garland. "The Sixth Vision: The Flying Scroll." The Expositor's Bible Commentary: Daniel-Malachi . Rev. ed. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2006. 763-765. Print

6 comments:

The Animation Empire said...

Yes, but why the 2 women with stork wings? Are they non-literal symbols as well? They must be, or we would have metaphors mixed with literal descriptions. If that's the case, then why 2, why women, and why storks? Thanks!

The Animation Empire said...

I found my answer here: http://www.spiritandtruth.org/questions/64.htm

Good points in that link. Basically, these stork-winged women are not angels or demons. They are symbols like the rest. Storks are unclean birds, so this passage is saying that evil forces are transferring the wickedness. So they could be demons, but the stork-winged women would be symbols of demons and not literal ones (meaning that it's not saying demons are women or have stork wings).

Thanks!

Andy Pierson said...

Hey Animation Empire!

Good Questions. Zecheriah is apocalyptic literature and this type of writing is imfamously hard to interpret and is always a bugger to clarify. I will try my best but this is tough stuff to interpret even for experts and that is why there are often so many varying opinions. For context purposes I will state this:
The seventh vision depicts the removal of wickedness from the land of Judah to Babylon. Sin is symbolized as a woman since wickedness is a feminine word in the Hebrew and she is thrust into an ephah sealed with a lead disc and carried by two women to Babylon.

That being said we need to see the symbolic nature in all this potentially because it is apocalyptic in nature. The "basket that is going forth” was most likely an “ephah,” and would've been too small to hold even a small woman. A fact like this is not significant for apocalyptic literature where it is not necessary for the images, especially those that occur in dreams or visions, to conform in all aspects to reality. Hence the senseless bickering and arguing we see in the church over stuff like this that only causes division. The thing we really need to take away from this imagery is the "personalization" of wickedness", it's source is human. In this case a human female.

As for the “women with wings like storks” that carry the basket away… The Hebrew word for “stork” is hasıda, meaning “faithful one” and is similar to the Hebrew word for “grace” or "hesed". The faithful one, the stork winged womena may symbolize God’s gracious removal of sin and iniquity from His people...frankly, due to the apocalyptic nature of this passage it may not even refer to actual entities as we would understand them...Strange passage for sure...hope this helped

Andy Pierson said...

I just went back and read your links after responding. Looks as if the man in your link and I came to the same type of conclusion seperately. When dealing with Jewish apocalyptic literature I recommend you read this book to brush up on the styles and genres in prophecy:

http://souljournaler.blogspot.com/2011/01/book-review-plowshares-and-pruning.html

Suzuki33 said...

thank you. also understand that the woman is not wicked
look at the WHOLE VISION as a wicked thing
see it this way
its wicked to shove a woman and enclose her up
that's the wickedness
"this is wickedness" and THEN she was SHOVED into a basket with a lead disc
Solomon says "my spouse is enclosed, open to me my beloved "but she would not" (she cant)
she gets scapegoated.. for what she CANT respond to is all its saying
she gets the JUDGEMENT so she is not wicked..it was the imagery describing what is woicked! putting her "in a box" having OUTER thoughts TOWARDS someone you don't know is wicked
she will write on a two sided scroll,liars on one side and thieves on the other,so she isn't wicked,she represents him!! he said this act of judgement she completes by being locked up is for HIS NAME! by it he sees "those who swear falsely by my name" in a sense she seems protected

Suzuki33 said...

as the woman says in song of Solomon... let Solomon touch me,he is black and I am black,...but my beloved (who was not present with her) is 'white and ruddy' her 'soul' loves that one..
in the flip side
Solomon as black says he also has a beloved not present(afar off) and calls her lily,white...
but she will "not open to him" so he becomes enraged.. and calls her "enclosed and sealed up"
but it was the black woman who says she enclosed and boarded up her "little sister" for being too young.."what shall we do for our sister in the day she is to be claimed she has no breasts" (does not breed,or too young to breed) as usual in all these verses the woman in question is never ever asked her own feeling or opinion on the matter (like daughter zion) she is talk "at" all through bible in rage..but never listened to.... so she is enclosed as a pressure cooker indeed.... (will remain in every house until it is consumed timbers and all/exposing liars and thieves) for Judah's cast off wife is the "house the lord loves" a desecrated sanctuary..............she is "how YOU 'think' of her and it exposes you... same as new testament says about a female heart "yea and a sword will pierce your heart also and will DETERMINE the THOUGHTS of MANY" people start to 'hate her'for that (for their own sins) and she "starts sweet and ends bitter" "this is zion for whom no one cares" of all the children she bore NOT ONE held her hand" it says she is abused and scapegoated throughout.. and goes to hell and takes 'double punishment for sins'(others sins it says,they run in and out of her and let her take the punishment it says) and much more...angry with her even if she didn't do anything..
daughter zion you who 'drained the cup of the lords wrath to its dregs" they expect her to be on a replay and recycle of this for them.... and pass her around... using her.. as it says "THEY SAID to you "get you down! and you DID! you laid your back flat as the ground for them to walk on, 'never again' will you be called gentle and delicate daughter, rise up and thresh (she is given power)..truly.. human behavior to this very day.....people feel her NOW in her 'pressure cooker" where they must tell the truth..............they hate it sure..but she does too..and they refuse to just say that ......sorceress deceived all nations...God will MAKE ALL nations hate the whore to achieve HIS purpose...."fear not daughter zion they do not perceive I am gathering them all to the threshing floor,whoever does attack you will fall for your sake" that's all pretty clear. a father protects his daughter from attackers. "daughter who is my people" "why is there no healing for the daughter who is my people?" "captive daughter zion,take the yoke off your neck" she is captive...."fear not daughter zion salvation comes to you, as your KING coming to you (the woman) lowly and meek and on a donkey (humility) and having salvation.. salvation is the man coming to the woman lowly and meek and humble it says (breaking curse in genesis) "no longer will you call me baal (master) but you will call me ishi (husband) she exposes then some 'liars' who claim messiah has come.. and they are bride saved YET still perpetuate the curse (man rule over as master) its a LIE then....see?thats why she will feel and judge "this one and that one" as a liar .... "it will be said this one and that one were born in her.. the UNMarried woman,who never gave birth..(not subject to curse of marriage etc.. (too young)as too many men don't want for their daughters what they want for wife etc..so they are found liars.she can tell. we all can by now! abuse is abuse and lies are lies.but attacking her gets you destroyed.

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