Zechariah 5:10
Then said I to the angel that talked with me, Whither do these bear the ephah?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
5:5-11 In this vision the prophet sees an ephah, something in the shape of a corn measure. This betokened the Jewish nation. They are filling the measure of their iniquity; and when it is full, they shall be delivered into the hands of those to whom God sold them for their sins. The woman sitting in the midst of the ephah represents the sinful church and nation of the Jews, in their latter and corrupt age. Guilt is upon the sinner as a weight of lead, to sink him to the lowest hell. This seems to mean the condemnation of the Jews, after they filled the measure of their iniquities by crucifying Christ and rejecting his gospel. Zechariah sees the ephah, with the woman thus pressed in it, carried away to some far country. This intimates that the Jews should be hurried out of their own land, and forced to dwell in far countries, as they had been in Babylon. There the ephah shall be firmly placed, and their sufferings shall continue far longer than in their late captivity. Blindness is happened unto Israel, and they are settled upon their own unbelief. Let sinners fear to treasure up wrath against the day of wrath; for the more they multiply crimes, the faster the measure fills.There came out two women - It may be that there may be no symbol herein, but that he names women because it was a woman who was so carried; yet their wings were the wings of an unclean bird, strong, powerful, borne by a force not their own; with their will, since they flew; beyond their will, since the wind was in their wings; rapidly, inexorably, irresistibly, they flew and bore the Ephah between heaven and earth. No earthly power could reach or rescue it. God would not. It may be that evil spirits are symbolized, as being like to this personified human wickedness, such as snatch away the souls of the damned, who, by serving them, have become as they. 9. The agents to carry away the "woman" are, consistently with the image, "women." God makes the wicked themselves the agents of punishing and removing wickedness. "Two" are employed, as one is not enough to carry such a load [Maurer]. Or, the Assyrians and Babylonians, who carried away idolatry in the persons, respectively, of Israel and Judah [Henderson]. As two "anointed ones" (Zec 4:14) stand by the Lord as His ministers, so two winged women execute His purpose here in removing the embodiment of "wickedness": answering to the "mystery of iniquity" (the Septuagint here in Zechariah uses the same words as Paul and "the man of sin," whom the Lord shall destroy with the spirit of His mouth and the brightness of His coming, 2Th 2:3, 7, 8). Their "wings" express velocity. The "stork" has long and wide wings, for which reason it is specified; also it is a migratory bird. The "wind" helps the rapid motion of the wings. The being "lifted up between heaven and earth" implies open execution of the judgment before the eyes of all. As the "woman" here is removed to Babylon as her own dwelling, so the woman in the Apocalypse of St. John is Babylon (Re 17:3-5). Then, when I saw the ephah, woman imprisoned, and lead too, on the wings of those two women in motion,

said I, Zechariah, Whither, to what place, and how far, do these bear the ephah? not as a nurse carrieth the child, but as criminals are carried to punishment.

Then said I to the angel that talked with me;.... This the prophet said after he had seen the "ephah" come forth; the woman, wickedness, cast into it, and the talent of lead upon her; and the two women lifting up the ephah between heaven and earth:

Whither do these bear the ephah? he neither asks what the ephah signified, nor who were the women that bore it, but only whither they bore it.

Then said I to the angel that talked with me, Whither do these bear the ephah?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Zechariah 5:10Zechariah 5:9. "And I lifted up my eyes, and saw, and behold there came forth two women, and wind in their wings, and they had wings like a stork's wings; and they carried the ephah between earth and heaven. Zechariah 5:10. And I said to the angel that talked with me, Whither are these taking the ephah? Zechariah 5:11. And he said to me, To build it a dwelling in the land of Shinar: and it will be placed and set up there upon its stand." The meaning of this new scene may easily be discovered. The ephah with the woman in it is carried away between earth and heaven, i.e., through the air. Women carry it because there is a woman inside; and two women, because two persons are required to carry so large and heavy a measure, that they may lay hold of it on both sides (תּשּׂנה with the א dropped; cf. Ges. 74, Anm. 4). These women have wings, because it passes through the air; and a stork's wings, because these birds have broad pinions, and not because the stork is a bird of passage or an unclean bird. The wings are filled with wind, that they may be able to carry their burden with greater velocity through the air. The women denote the instruments or powers employed by God to carry away the sinners out of His congregation, without any special allusion to this or the other historical nation. This is all that we have to seek for in these features, which only serve to give distinctness to the picture. But the statement in Zechariah 5:11 is significant: "to build it a house in the land of Shinar." The pronoun לה with the suffix softened instead of לּהּ, as in Exodus 9:18; Leviticus 13:4 (cf. Ewald, 247, d), refers grammatically to האיפה; but so far as the sense is concerned, it refers to the woman sitting in the ephah, since a house is not built for a measure, but only for men to dwell in. This also applies to the feminine form הנּתחה, and to the suffix in מכנתהּ. The building of a house indicates that the woman is to dwell there permanently, as is still more clearly expressed in the second hemistich. הוּכן refers to בּית , and is not to be taken hypothetically, in the sense of "as soon as the house shall be restored," but is a perfect with Vav consec.; and hūkhan, the hophal of kūn, is not to be taken in the sense of restoring, but, in correspondence with mekhunâh, in the sense of establishing or building on firm foundations. Mekhunâh: the firmly established house. In this the woman of sin is brought to rest. The land in which the woman of sin carried away out of the holy land is permanently to dwell, is the land of Shinar. This name is not to be identified with Babel, so as to support the conclusion that it refers to a fresh removal of the people of Israel into exile; but according to Genesis 10:10 and Genesis 11:2, Shinar is the land in which Nimrod founded the first empire, and where the human race built the tower of Babel which was to reach to the sky. The name is not to be taken geographically here as an epithet applied to Mesopotamia, but is a notional or real definition, which affirms that the ungodliness carried away out of the sphere of the people of God will have its permanent settlement in the sphere of the imperial power that is hostile to God. The double vision of this chapter, therefore, shows the separation of the wicked from the congregation of the Lord, and their banishment into and concentration within the ungodly kingdom of the world. This distinction and separation commenced with the coming of the Messiah, and runs through all the ages of the spread and development of the Christian church, until at the time of the end they will come more and more into outward manifestation; and the evil, having been sifted out by the judicial power of God and His Spirit, will form itself into a Babel of the last days, as Ezekiel 38 and 39 clearly show, and attempt a last struggle with the kingdom of God, in which it will be overcome and destroyed by the last judgment.
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