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