Scripture reading – Zechariah 5; Zechariah 6

Continuing our study of Zechariah’s eight visions, we come to the sixth scene described as “A Flying Scroll” (5:1-4). The seventh vision was of “A Wicked Woman in a Basket” (5:5-11); and the eighth and final vision was one of “Four Horse Drawn Chariots” (6:1-8). I will limit today’s devotional to Zechariah 5, and consider only the sixth vision.

The Sixth Vision: A Flying Scroll (5:1-4)

Having been awakened from sleep (4:1), the prophet turned and beheld what he described as “a flying roll” (5:1). The angel who inquired of Zechariah in earlier visions, asked, “What seest thou?” (5:2) Then, the prophet answered, saying, “I see a flying roll; the length thereof is twenty cubits, and the breadth thereof ten cubits” (5:2b).

The word “roll” was in fact a very large scroll, measuring roughly 15 feet tall and 30 feet wide. Given the dimensions, this scroll was certainly no ordinary scroll (which were roughly 18 inches tall, by as much as 20 feet long, and rolled out as the reader studied its words). Though Zechariah described the dimensions of the scroll, he did not know its meaning.

The angel then revealed what was written in the scroll, saying, “This is the curse [judgment] 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 [by the name of the LORD] shall be cut off as on that side according to it” (5:3). Zechariah 5:4 expanded on the initial revelation (5:3), and the LORD declared, “4I will bring it [the curse by the way of the commandments] 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).

The Interpretation of the Vision (5:3-4)

Though Zechariah found only two of the Ten Commandments written on the scroll (Exodus 20); we can be assured all ten of the commandments were recorded there. It is not disclosed why the vision considered only the eighth commandment, “Thou shalt not steal” (Exodus 20:15), and the third commandment, “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain” (Exodus 20:7). However, the purpose of the vision is stated, for the scroll [God’s Word and Commandments] was not limited to the Jewish people, but was to go forth from the LORD and “over the face of the whole earth” (5:3).

The Application of the Vision (5:3-4)

The influence of the Commandments on the laws and governance of mankind is undeniable. They are the moral basis of man’s relationships with God (Exodus 20:1-12), and with mankind (Exodus 20:13-17). Every nation that has embraced the Law of God is blessed, but those nations that reject the Commandments are cursed (5:3). Though a man and nation might reject the commandments of the LORD, they are not spared its judgment.

Entering the house as a “flying roll,” the Law remained “in the midst of [the] house” (5:4). Though men might dismiss the weight of the Law of God, we will not be excluded from its judgment.

Closing thoughtBreak the Law of God and you will surely “be cut off” (5:3, 4).

Copyright © 2022 – Travis D. Smith

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