Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim. 2:15

King James AV1611


The Book of Zechariah
Zechariah was taught by Dr. James Modlish


Lesson Eight
(Chapter 5:5-11)

The preceding vision of (verses 1-4) symbolizes the removal of sin and sinners just prior to the setting up of the Millennial Kingdom. (Verses 5-11) symbolize the removal of the socio-political-economic-religious system, known as Mystery Babylon (Revelation 17:5).

God has promised restoration to the nation Israel, (see Acts 1:6; Joel 2; Isaiah 65; Amos 9). Before the nation is restored, the godless worldly system must be removed from Israel, the world, and destroyed.

Again we are reminded that there is a dual application of scripture here in the chapter. Israel is leaving Babylon, unfortunately they are taking a bit of Babylon with them. The Jews have been taught Babylon's worldly ways. On at least three occasions following release from the captivity, the Jews are reprimanded for their gross materialism, (Haggai 1:2-4; Nehemiah 5:1-5; Malachi 3:8-10).


I. THE EPHAH (5,6):

The ephah is the largest Hebrew dry measure. Grains were measured and traded in this quantity (Exodus 16:36; Leviticus 5:11; Ezekiel 45:11). The ephah is equal to 1.05 bushels. The ephah seems to be connected with the sins mentioned in verses 3 and 4. This would explain, "This is their resemblance..." (appearance). It may be stretching the context a bit, but it appears that there's a bushel basket full of sin presented. If that interpretation is straining the context, this one certainly is not. The ephah represents the worldly political-economic system of trade and commerce. We are warned in (James 5:1-7) that materialism would flourish in the last days. The church at Laodicea was warned of this, (Revelation 3: 17,18); Mystery Babylon is pictured as the materialistic glutton of (Revelation 18).



The talent of lead, like the ephah, is a symbol of business and commerce. Lead was used as a weight to measure ordinary items of trade and for precious metals used as a medium of of exchange. A talent would weigh approximately 75.8 pounds. The root word for talent implies "a circle." Thus, we can surmise that we have a round hunk of lead. For the weight to be proportionate to the ephah, the lead would have to be coin shaped, serving as a lid on the basket.



"...This is a woman that sitteth..."; the woman is found within the ephah (world system), sitting upon the grain (sin, if you please). She's sitting comfortably, you might say enthroned, wallowing in the luxury and pleasure of the ephah and grain.

The woman is called "wickedness." It is not unusual for women to be associated with, or represent "wickedness" in the scriptures, (Revelation 2:20; Matthew 13:33; Revelation 17,18). The woman is Mystery Babylon, enjoying the wealth and luxury of her materialistic, worldly, godless system, (Revelation 18:3,7,9,11,12,14, 15,17,19,23,24). She is described in detail in (Revelation 17:1- 6,9,15,18) and only a religious bigot could fail to discover her identity. She's Rome! She is ecclesiastical "Babylon." To inspect the foundations of this system, see Hislop's The Two Babylons or Babylon Mystery Religion by Ralph Woodrow. The representation of the woman is not limited to the Roman Church itself, for her ideologies and philosophies have infected a broad spectrum of the world's population.

The latter-day ecclesiastical Babylon rides into power and prestige by a church-state union, in which ecclesiastical power employs political power for its own selfish pleasure and ends. Zechariah, rather than seeing the woman seated upon the scarlet colored beast as John did, sees her in the midst of the ephah, the commercial and financial aspects of the world Satanic system.

The lead cover is cast upon the mouth of the ephah so that, through God's direction, she will not escape (Proverbs 5:22). The Roman system has always been a religious-political chameleon, hiding behind her spiritual sovereignty when necessary, and executing her political power when expedient and at liberty to do so.



The two women are probably the most difficult symbols to identify in the chapter. it would appear that these are demonic creatures for these reasons:

A. They are associated with the woman in the ephah.

B. They are protective of her...

C. They transport her to establish her...

D. The stark is an unclean bird according to the Levitical law, (Lev. 11:19; Deut. 14:18) ...

E. Of the sort found in (Isaiah 34:11-15), a picture of tormenting creatures in Hell.

F. Angels are always referred to as men.


V. SHINAR (11):

We first find Shinar in (Genesis 10:10 and 11:2). It is the location of the tower of Babel, better known as Babylon, (Daniel 1:2; Isaiah 11:11).

Some believe that the city of Babylon will be rebuilt in the last days. Others deny this possibility based on (Jeremiah 50:13) that says, "it shall not be inhabited." The double applications in prophecy often conceal the truth that only the real student will discover. Is Jeremiah 50 concerned with contemporary Babylon? Or does the application reach far into the future, as (Jeremiah 51:7,8) would lead us to believe?

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