Zechariah 5:5 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.
In these verses Zechariah was given vision number 9. An angel spoke with him here. He told Zechariah to lift up his eyes and notice what was there. Zechariah was given very strange visions and God wanted to make sure he was paying attention to each one. Zechariah was not being entertained here. He was being shown things that were very important for him as well as to record for all generations beyond his time.
In verse 6 Zechariah admitted he did not know what this vision is about. The angel informed him that it was an ephah that went forth from God. An ephah was a unit of dry measurement in Bible times. It was approximately comparable to our bushel of grain.
The Hebrew word translated as “resemblance” has the meaning of “eye” or as “fountain” pertaining to “the eye of the landscape”. The implication in our text is that God is observing what is taking place. Nothing is hid from God. As we continue to observe what is happening in the Middle East and as we see the West and even Europe changing course in just a couple of weeks, it is important to take note. God knows where this current conflict will end, He knows every detail along the way. We are learning things daily. We can see some similarities to Bible prophecy and it is important to study God’s Word to be able to be aware of what God is doing.
In verse 7 Zechariah saw a talent of lead and a woman that was sitting in the midst of the ephah. We do not know for sure what the lead was for, but verse 8 will give us some further information on it. Verse 8 tells us what the meaning of this symbolism was. It is wickedness. God saw the corruption that was taking place and He was showing Zechariah this. We see that the lead seems to be the seal that would close up the ephah.
God was going to deal with the wickedness and He was going to close it in. Wickedness has been a problem in the world since the fall of man. We know that God saw the wickedness that was permeating society in Genesis 6. He dealt very severely with it in the following chapters. At the end of that worldwide flood, He reminded man that outward actions cannot change the heart of man. The heart of man can only be changed by God and when it is changed in salvation, it needs to be further purified by God.
God has also had His message proclaimed to each generation. He has not stopped the wickedness. He has exposed it and He has warned against it, but He has not stopped it. God does not want robots. He wants people to choose to follow Him.
As this vision progressed verse 9 tells us that Zechariah saw two women coming out of the ephah. These two women had wings and they looked like a stork. It is important to note that God does not identify these women as angels. As we have mentioned before, the Bible always depicts angels as male.
These women would take the ephah and lift it up between earth and heaven. This ephah was not stationary. It was moveable, and could be symbolic of the judgment of the entire earth and not just Israel.
In verse 10 Zechariah wanted to know where the women were taking the ephah. In verse 11 he was told they were taking it to build a house in Shinar. Shinar was another name for Babylon. It also referred to a province in Babylon.
Ezekiel was raised up as a prophet during the Babylonian captivity. We also know that Babylon will be alive and well during the time of the Tribulation. It will be known for its corruption. It will be wealthy and it will be morally corrupt. This certainly fits the description given in our text regarding the contents of this ephah.
We are told here that this house in Shinar will be established and it will be set upon its own base. Babylon was the first of four world empires. It fell to the Medes and Persians during the time of Daniel. As we have noted before, these prophecies of Zechariah seem to point to a future event. The book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ points out that Babylon will be in place during the Tribulation time. It will be destroyed by the Lord Jesus Christ at that time. It will have quite an impact on life during the Tribulation. The world will be in shock when they see her fall.
The world is hooked on financial affairs. Our current government has racked up quite a huge deficit. They have no intention of addressing this problem. Inflation has hit our nation and it is causing trouble for many people. The government makes noise as to how they are doing to address this situation, but in reality they caused the problem with their foolish, but intentional spending. There is no accountability in government and thus they will continue to govern in the same irresponsible manner. The saga of the “ArriveCan” app is a prime example of the corrupt nature of our government.
It does not matter what kind of promises our governments make. They cannot fix the mess they have brought about. Modern day governments are very good at causing problems, but they are clueless in fixing the problems. The opposition parties make much noise as to how they would fix things if they were in power, but they just make noise. When there is a change of government, the new government does not throw out the corruption of the previous government. They just build on it in a different way.
As we see throughout Scripture, the solution is to turn to God and trust in Him. He is not corrupt. He is wise and holy. We often remind those who listen of the need to turn to God. That is not a broken record with a stuck needle. It is the fact of what the Bible stresses.
As Zechariah reveals these visions, God is showing him and the nation of Israel of that time, as well as all consecutive nations that He is the hope of man.
Psalm 31:24 Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.
Those who trust in the true God, as Zechariah did, have a true hope. They are not just wishing things would get better. They know they will get better for the child of God. Those who are saved do not have their hope in this world. That is a fleeting hope. It does not exist. Some past generations have done quite well, materially, on this earth. The evidence of what we see now suggests that the future does not look very good for this earth. God knows the details. We can speculate, but that will not help. We can get some direction as we study God’s Word.
The vision we have looked at today speaks of a temporary situation. Babylon will not be for ever. However, the God of the Bible is for ever. His salvation which is provided through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ is sure. We can be blessed as we trust in the true God on a daily, moment by moment basis.