Zechariah 5:11
And he said to me, To build it an house in the land of Shinar: and it shall be established, and set there on her own base.
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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.To build it an house in the land of Shinar - The name of Shinar, though strictly Babylonia, carries back to an older power than the world-empire of Babylon; which now too was destroyed. "In the land of Shinar" Genesis 11:2 was that first attempt to array a world-empire against God, ere mankind was ye dispersed. And so it is the apter symbol of the antitheist or anti-Christian world, which by violence, art, falsehood, sophistry, wars against the truth. To this great world-empire it was to be removed; yet to live there, no longer cramped and confined as within an Ephah, but in pomp and splendor. A house or temple was to be built for it, for its honor and glory; as Dagon 1 Samuel 5:2-5 or Ashtaroth 1 Samuel 31:10, or Baal 2 Kings 10:23 had their houses or temples, a great idol temple, in which the god of this world should be worshiped.

And it - - "The house," "shall be established" firmly on its base, like the house of God, and it, (wickedness) shall be tranquilly rested on its base, as an idol in its temple, until the end come. In the end, the belief of those of old was, that the Jews would have great share in the antagonism to Christ and His empire. At the first, they were the great enemies of the faith, and sent forth, Justin says, , those everywhere who should circulate the calumnies against Christians, which were made a ground of early persecutions. In the end, it was believed, that antichrist should be from them, that they would receive him as their Christ, the last fulfillment of our Lord's words, "I am come in My Father's name and ye receive Me not; another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive" John 5:43.

11. To build … house in … Shinar—Babylonia (Ge 10:10), the capital of the God-opposed world kingdoms, and so representing in general the seat of irreligion. As the "building of houses" in Babylon (Jer 29:5, 28) by the Jews themselves expressed their long exile there, so the building of an house for "wickedness" there implies its permanent stay.

set … upon her own base—fixed there as in its proper place. "Wickedness" being cast out of Judah, shall for ever dwell with the antichristian apostates (of whom Babylon is the type), who shall reap the fruit of it, which they deserve.

The angel gives him an answer fuller than his question, and first tells the prophet what was to be done with it.

To build it a house, not in mercy, but in judgment, as intending the next deportation should not be, as the first, for seventy years, but for ever. they should never return.

In the land of Shinar; of Babylon, whither many of the Jews fled, and so by voluntary exile fulfilled this prophecy; Whither other’s of them were forced by the Romans.

It shall be established, and set there; there they shall be confined without hope of release.

Upon her own base; not on the foundation of God’s promise and covenant, but the base of their sins. And he said unto me, To build it an house in the land of Shinar,.... That is, in the province of Babylon, as the Targum paraphrases it; for Babel, or Babylon, was in the land of Shinar, Genesis 10:10 whither the Jews were carried captive, Daniel 1:2 Isaiah 11:11, and the bearing of the "ephah" thither may denote the cause of their captivity, the measure of sins filled up by them: though this some understand of the like injuries, oppressions, and vexations, brought upon the Chaldeans in the land of Shinar, which they before exercised towards and upon the Jews; and others of the rejection of wicked men from among the Jews, by Ezra and Nehemiah, transporting them as it were back to Babylon again: others of the dispersion of the Jews by the Romans, who chiefly settled after that in the eastern parts of the world; though indeed the whole world was a land of Shinar, or "shaking out" (n) unto them; they being shook out of their own land, and scattered about everywhere; which dispersion has been long and lasting, notorious and conspicuous; and they are now settled upon their own base, established upon their former principles of legality and self-righteousness, and rejection of the true Messiah; or rather this may be understood of the transfer of the ephah, or whole measure of iniquity, into mystical Babylon. The antichristian church of Rome is called Babylon; she is represented as a sink of sin, a mystery of iniquity, Revelation 17:5 and a house being built for this man of sin, antichrist, denotes the continuance of him; and being established on its own base, shows the false foundation on which the church of Rome is built, and her carnal security. So Cocceius, by the "two women", understands the two kingdoms or powers of antichrist, the civil and ecclesiastical powers; which support the man of sin, lift him up, and give him the highest place in the church, and fix his seat where idolatry and persecution reign, as formerly did in Babylon, in the land of Shinar. Though the whole may very well be applied to the last and everlasting punishment of sin and sinners, when the whole measure is filled up. The end of sin and sinners is death and everlasting destruction. The ephah, and the woman in it, are carried, not upwards to heaven, nor to the New Jerusalem, but to the land of Shinar, the land of shaking; to hell, where are utter darkness, weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth; where a house is built for them, which denotes their continuance there; and which, being established on its own base, shows their punishment shall forever remain; their worm never dies; their fire is not quenched; the smoke of it ascends for ever and ever; their destruction is an everlasting destruction.

(n) "terra excussionis", Menoch ins.

And he said to me, To build for it an house in the land of {l} Shinar: and it shall be established, and set there upon her own base.

(l) To remove the iniquity and affliction that came from Judah because of the judgment, to place it forever in Babylon.

11. To build it a house] The word “it” is feminine (lit. her), and may refer either to the ephah or to the woman, as the words, on her own base, at the end of the verse may also do. It is perhaps simplest to understand the reference in both cases to be to the woman, whose destination was by implication asked in the prophet’s question, Zechariah 5:10. The house may be either a dwelling-place, or possibly a temple, “as Dagon (1 Samuel 5:2-5), or Ashtaroth (Ib. 1 Samuel 5:10), or Baal (2 Kings 10:23), had their houses or temples, a great idol temple in which the God of this world should be worshipped.” Pusey.

in the land of Shinar] i.e. Babylonia, with a reference perhaps to “that first attempt to array a world-empire against God,” which took place in “the land of Shinar.” Genesis 11:2.

it shall be established] i.e. the house.

and set there] Rather, and she (the woman) shall be made to rest there. The whole verse will then read, as in R. V., To build her an house in the land of Shinar: and when it is prepared, she shall be set there in her own place.

The Eighth Vision. The Four Chariots, Zechariah 6:1-8. In this vision four chariots appear to the prophet coming upon the scene, along the valley or defile between two mountains of brass or copper, Zechariah 5:1. The chariots are drawn by horses of different colours, Zechariah 5:2-3. In answer to the prophet’s enquiry, Zechariah 5:4, the Interpreting Angel informs him that these chariots represent the four spirits or winds of heaven, which are coming forth from the immediate presence of God, charged with the commands which He had there laid upon them, Zechariah 5:5. Of three of these chariots, distinguishing them by the colours of the horses which are yoked to them, the angel then announces the destination. Passing by the first chariot to which red horses were attached, he says that the second which had black horses was on its way to “the north country,” the land of Babylon, to be followed thither by the third which was drawn by white horses. The fourth chariot, with its speckled, or piebald horses, was about to visit “the south country,” Zechariah 5:6; but inasmuch as its horses were specially “strong,” their commission was extended, and the whole earth granted them for their course, Zechariah 5:7. Upon this the Interpreting Angel cries aloud to the prophet in the name of Jehovah, that by the mission of these His messengers of wrath, His sore displeasure (chap. Zechariah 1:15) against His enemies and the enemies of His people in the north country is appeased, and His spirit quieted, Zechariah 5:8.Verse 11. - To build it (her) an house. The LXX. refers the pronoun to the ephah, but it seems more natural to refer it to a person, the woman. The feminine gender of the original would apply to either. She is carried away from Judaea to have a permanent dwelling in a land more suited to her. Pusey thinks that possibly a temple may be intended, "a great idol temple, in which the god of this world should be worshipped." In the land of Shinar; i.e. the ideal land of unholiness, where the world power first arrayed itself against God in the attempt at Babel. Septuagint, ἐν γῇ Βαβυλῶνος, (Genesis 11:2, etc.). Shinar, equivalent to Sumer in the Assyrian monuments, denotes Lower or Southern Babylon; Accad, Upper or Northern Babylon. And it shall be established. The house shall be firmly fixed there. Others render, "when it is ready." And set there. The gender shows that the woman is meant, not the house: "And she shall be set there in her own place." Thus from the spiritual Zion all wickedness shall be abolished (Zechariah 3:9) and sent to its own place prepared for the enemies of God and holiness. Doubtless, too, a warning is here conveyed to those Jews who still lingered in Babylon, that they were dwelling in a land accursed of God, and were liable to be involved in the fate which pursues ungodliness. Orelli and some others see in these two visions an analogy to the two goats on the Day of Atonement, of which one was sacrificed for the sins of the people, and the other bore away their iniquity to the demons' abode, the wilderness (Leviticus 16.).

Even the usurers will not escape the judgment. Zephaniah 1:10. "And it will come to pass in that day, is the saying of Jehovah, voice of the cry from the fish-gate, and howling from the lower city, and great destruction from the hills. Zephaniah 1:11. Howl, inhabitants of the mortar, for all the people of Canaan are destroyed; cut off are all that are laden with silver." In order to express the thought that the judgment will not spare any one class of the population, Zephaniah depicts the lamentation which will arise from all parts of the city. קול צעקה, voice of the cry, i.e., a loud cry of anguish will arise or resound. The fish-gate (according to Nehemiah 3:3; Nehemiah 12:39; cf. 2 Chronicles 33:14) was in the eastern portion of the wall which bounded the lower city on the north side (for further details on this point, see at Nehemiah 3:3). המּשׁנה ( equals העיר משׁנה, Nehemiah 11:9), the second part or district of the city, is the lower city upon the hill Acra (see at 2 Kings 22:14). Shebher, fragor, does not mean a cry of murder, but the breaking to pieces of what now exists, not merely the crashing fall of the buildings, like za‛ăqath shebher in Isaiah 15:5, the cry uttered at the threatening danger of utter destruction. In order to heighten the terrors of the judgment, there is added to the crying and howling of the men the tumult caused by the conquest of the city. "From the hills," i.e., "not from Zion and Moriah," but from the ills surrounding the lower city, viz., Bezetha, Gareb (Jeremiah 31:39), and others. For Zion, the citadel of Jerusalem, is evidently thought of as the place where the howling of the men and the noise of the devastation, caused by the enemy pressing in from the north and north-west, are heard. Hammakhtēsh, the mortar (Proverbs 27:22), which is the name given in Judges 15:19 to a hollow place in a rock, is used here to denote a locality in Jerusalem, most probably the depression which ran down between Acra on the west and Bezetha and Moriah on the east, as far as the fountain of Siloah, and is called by Josephus "the cheese-maker's valley," and by the present inhabitants el-Wâd, i.e., the valley, and also the mill-valley. The name "mortar" was probably coined by Zephaniah, to point to the fate of the merchants and men of money who lived there. They who dwell there shall howl, because "all the people of Canaan" are destroyed. These are not Canaanitish or Phoenician merchants, but Judaean merchants, who resembled the Canaanites or Phoenicians in their general business (see at Hosea 12:8), and had grown rich through trade and usury. Netı̄l keseph, laden with silver.
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