Scripture reading – Zechariah 5-7

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


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

Having awakened from sleep (Zechariah 4:1), the prophet turned and beheld what he described as “a flying roll” (Zechariah 5:1). The angel who inquired of Zechariah in earlier visions asked, “What seest thou?” (Zechariah5:2) Then, the prophet answered, saying, “I see a flying roll; the length thereof is twenty cubits, and the breadth thereof ten cubits” (Zechariah 5:2b).

The word “roll” was, in fact, a very large scroll, measuring roughly 15 feet tall and 30 feet wide. Given the dimensions, the scroll was undoubtedly no ordinary scroll (the average is approximately 18 inches tall, as much as 20 feet long, and rolled out as the reader studies its words). Zechariah described the dimensions of the scroll, but he did not know its meaning.  

The angel then revealed what was written in the scroll and said, “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 [i.e., by the name of the LORD] shall be cut off as on that side according to it” (Zechariah 5:3).

Zechariah 5:4 expanded the initial revelation (Zechariah 5:3). The LORD declared, “4I will bring it [the curse by 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” (Zechariah 5:4).

The Interpretation of the Vision

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

Though Zechariah identified only two of the Ten Commandments written on the scroll (Exodus 20), we can be assured all ten 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 Lordthy God in vain,” Exodus 20:7). However, the purpose of the vision was 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” (Zechariah 5:3).

Closing thought –

Today’s Scripture reading continues through the balance of Zechariah 5 and Zechariah 6-7, and I encourage you to continue your study in those chapters. I will conclude this Bible study with a few observations from Zechariah’s vision of the flying scroll.

A debate regarding the Ten Commandments and their placement in public school classrooms has recently been revived in political debates. I would like to see the Commandments restored in the public domain but, more importantly, taught in our churches.

The Ten Commandments’ influence on humanity’s laws and governance is undeniable. They are the foundation of the laws of many Western nations, especially the United States. They are the moral basis of man’s relationships with God (Exodus 20:1-12) and 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 (Zechariah 5:3). Though a man and nation might reject the commandments of the LORD, they are not spared its judgment.

In Zechariah’s vision, the “flying roll” entered the house and remained “in the midst of [the] house” (Zechariah 5:4). We might dismiss the weight of God’s Law; however, we will not be excluded from its judgment.

Copyright © 2024 – Travis D. Smith 

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