Wesley's Notes on the Bible
Then I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a flying roll.
5:1 A flying roll - A volume, or book spread out at large, flying in the air, swiftly.
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.
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.
5:3 This - This roll or book containeth the curse, due to sinners. The whole earth - Either the whole land of Judea, or all the world, wherever these sins are found. According to it - According to the threats inscribed thereon. Sweareth - Profanely, or falsely.
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.
5:4 It shall enter - This curse shall come with commission from me. It shall remain - It shall stick close to them and theirs like Gehazi's leprosy. And the stones - Nothing shall remain, as when both the timber and stones of a house are consumed.
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.
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.
5:6 He - The angel. An ephah - A measure which held about three bushels. Goeth forth - Out of the temple. Their resemblance - This is an emblem of this people everywhere. Thus there is limited time and measure for them, while they sin, and are filling the ephah with their sins, they will find that the ephah of wrath is filled up also, to be poured out upon them.
And, behold, there was lifted up a talent of lead: and this is a woman that sitteth in the midst of the ephah.
5:7 And behold - Here is another part of this vision. Lifted up - Brought thither to cover it. A talent - A piece of lead of a talent weight, as large as the mouth of the ephah. A woman - A woman, the third in the vision. Perhaps this vision was purposely obscure, least a plain denunciation of the second overthrow of the state and temple, might discourage them from going forward in the present restoration of them.
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.
5:8 This - This woman represents the wickedness of the Jews. He cast it - The angel cast down this woman. On the mouth - And so shut her up, to suffer the punishment of all her sins.
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.
5:9 There came out - From the same place whence the ephah came. Their wings - They had wings, like the wings of storks, large and strong, and flew before the wind with great swiftness. The judgments came thus flying, and so bore away with them those that were incorrigible.
Then said I to the angel that talked with me, Whither do these bear the ephah?
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.
5:11 To build - Not in mercy, but in judgment. Of Shinar - Of Babylon whither many of the Jews fled, and others of them were forced by the Romans. Set there - There they shall be confined without hope of release. Her own base - They are settled upon the lees of their own unbelief: their wickedness is established on its own bases.