Morning Bible Study
The background to Zechariah, like that of Haggai, is
found in the book of Ezra.
After having been captive in Babylon for seventy years, the Jews are given permission to return to Jerusalem and rebuild
their Temple in Jerusalem.
When the Temple construction is stopped, it was Haggai
and Zechariah who began to prophesy and encourage the people to finish the
Temple. (Ezra 5:1-2)
The prophecies of Zechariah are given during the
years of 520-518 BC.
One of the key distinctions of the book of Zechariah is the great amount of
prophecy about the coming Messiah.
Back in chapter one we started to look at a series
of eight “night visions” (1:7) that Zechariah received from God on a single
We are now in the sixth and seventh visions.
5:1-4 The Flying Scroll
:1 Then I turned and raised my eyes, and saw there
a flying scroll.
:1 a flying scroll
I have a video…
Oops. Zechariah saw a flying “scroll”, not a flying squirrel… My bad…
The scroll looked more like this…
:2 And he said to me, “What do you see?” So I answered, “I see a flying scroll. Its length is
twenty cubits and its width ten cubits.”
:2 he said to me
Again, this is Zechariah’s “tour guide” angel, assigned to help him
navigate and understand these “night visions”.
:2 twenty … ten cubits
A cubit is roughly 1 ½ feet long (the length from
a man’s elbow to the tip of his finger).
That means the scroll was thirty feet long, and 15 feet wide.
Okay, the scroll looked more like this…
It was a pretty big scroll.
The measurements are interesting because they are the same measurement as
part of the portable worship center Moses built for the Israelites as they
wandered in the wilderness.
The tent was known as the Tabernacle, and it had
The outer room was called the “sanctuary” or “holy
place”. The inner room was called the “holy of
The “holy place” measured twenty by ten cubits (Ex. 26:16-25)
And you shall make the boards for the tabernacle, twenty
boards for the south side.
The fact that the scroll is the same dimensions as the “Holy Place” might
be a hint that the coming judgment is tied directly to
the holiness of God Himself. Peter
(1 Peter 1:15–16 NKJV) —15 but as He who called you is holy, you
also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”
:3 Then he said to me, “This is the curse
that goes out over the face of the whole earth: ‘Every thief shall be
expelled,’ according to this side of the scroll; and, ‘Every
perjurer shall be expelled,’ according to that side of it.”
:4 “I will send out the curse,” says the Lord of hosts; “It shall enter the
house of the thief And the house of the one who swears falsely by My name. It
shall remain in the midst of his house And consume it,
with its timber and stones.”
:3 this side … that side
The scroll had writing on both sides of it.
:3 Every thief shall be expelled
The first side of the scroll dealt with theft.
The 8th commandment (of the Ten) says,
(Exodus 20:15 NKJV) “You shall not steal.
A thief is someone who takes something that isn’t theirs.
Can people count on you to be trustworthy with something that belongs to
Or do they have to keep an eye on you to make sure
you don’t take something that isn’t yours?
A couple was just finishing their shopping at the mall when they discover
their brand new car has been stolen. They file a
report with the police and a detective drives them back to the parking lot to
look for evidence. To their amazement, the car has been returned, and there’s a note on it that says, “I apologize for taking your
car. My wife was having a baby and I had to hot-wire your ignition and rush her
to the hospital. Please forgive the inconvenience. Here are two tickets to
tonight’s Rolling Stones concert.” Their faith in humanity restored, the couple
attends the concert. But when they return home, they
find their house has been ransacked. On the bathroom mirror is another note in
familiar handwriting: “I have to put my kid through college somehow, don’t I?”
In one of D.L. Moody’s meetings, a burglar by the
name of Burke was gloriously saved. It was hard for
him to get a job. He had a rough time of it. His sin-blurred features were
against him. So he prayed for God to make him a better-looking man so that he
could get a job. He worked in several cities, staying true to Christ. One day
the sheriff sent him word to come to his office. Burke’s heart sank. He said to
himself, “They have some old case against me, but if I am guilty I will tell
them so. I am not going to lie anymore.” When he went to the office, the
sheriff said to him, “Burke, what have you been doing? Do you still have a grip
on the religion you told me about?” “Sheriff,” said Burke, “It has been hard,
but I still have my faith in Christ.” Then the sheriff said, “Burke, I have had
a man shadowing you. I suspected that your religion was a fraud, but I want to
say that I have learned that you are living an honest Christian life. I have
sent for you to offer you a place as my deputy.” Burke accepted the job, worked
hard, and won the respect of good men on every side. One day Moody called on
him in the sheriff’s office. Burke had a sack of precious stones worth $60,000
in his lap. “Mr. Moody,” he said, “You see now what the grace of God can do for
a burglar. These stones were stolen, but the sheriff recovered them and put me
here to guard them.”
Christ can transform the life of any man who gives Him the chance.
:3 Every perjurer shall be expelled
What is a perjurer?
It’s a person who takes an oath that they are
going to tell you the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth … and
then lies to you.
Verse 4 also refers to this as “the one who swears falsely by My name”.
It’s even worse when the person swears “so help me
God”, and still lies to you.
Commandments #9 and #3 of the Ten Commandments state:
(Exodus 20:16 NKJV) “You shall not bear false witness against your
(Exodus 20:7 NKJV) “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain…
We might not think “lying” is that big of a deal. God doesn’t agree.
(Revelation 21:8 NKJV) But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable,
murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have
their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second
Jesus wants us to be known as men and women who tell
the truth, men and women who mean what they say.
We shouldn’t have reputations as people who
sometimes fudge the truth and feel a need to “swear an oath” to convince people
to believe us.
Jesus told His disciples,
5:37 NKJV) But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and
your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.
Being open and honest with others is a huge part of growing up as a
4:14–15 NKJV) —14 that we should no longer be
children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by
the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking
the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—
The Greek word for “truth” means to be “not covered”. It means being transparent. It means having nothing to hide.
:4 It shall enter the house
Sin is exposed
God promises that the “curse” will find the one who is practicing evil.
The Bible says,
(Numbers 32:23 NKJV) …then take note, you have sinned against the Lord; and be sure your sin will find
Police in Wichita, Kansas, arrested a
22-year-old man at an airport hotel after he tried to pass two (counterfeit)
Your sin will find you out.
Police in Radnor, Pennsylvania, interrogated
a suspect by placing a metal colander on his head and connecting it with wires
to a photocopy machine. The message “He’s
lying” was placed in the copier, and police pressed the copy button each time
they thought the suspect wasn’t telling the
truth. Believing the “lie detector” was
working, the suspect confessed.
Your sin will find you out.
You may think that you are smarter than the
idiots in these stories, but the truth is you can’t
hide your sin from God.
:4 in …
his house and consume it
Disobeying God’s laws brings a consequence.
27:26 NKJV) ‘Cursed is the one who does
not confirm all the words of this law.’
Your sin affects your whole household
This curse will destroy an entire house – timbers and stones.
It reminds me of what was supposed to be done with a house infected with
14:45 NKJV) And he shall
break down the house, its stones, its timber, and all the plaster of the house,
and he shall carry them outside the city to an unclean place.
Leprosy is a great picture of sin – how it deadens,
alienates, and kills those who have it.
Allowing sin to stick around in your life is like inviting a demolition
excavator to your house.
Video – House Demolition
Sometimes we get caught in “private” little sins
that nobody knows about.
We think of it as a “victimless” crime. Nobody gets hurt, so why
worry about it?
The truth is, your sin is affecting those around you
whether you choose to acknowledge it or not.
There’s no avoiding God’s judgment. He sees
everything. He knows everything. And because He is
righteous and just, every wrong will have to be made right.
There’s only one way for us to avoid God’s judgment
and that’s by turning from your sin and turning to Jesus.
He paid the price for our judgment.
3:16 NKJV) For God so loved the world that He
gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but
have everlasting life.
5:5-11 Woman in a Basket
:5 Then the angel who talked with me came out and
said to me, “Lift your eyes now, and see what this is that goes forth.”
:6 So I asked, “What is it?” And he said, “It is a basket that is going forth.” He
also said, “This is their resemblance throughout the earth:
:7 Here is a lead disc lifted up, and this is
a woman sitting inside the basket”;
:6 So I asked, “What is it?”
This is the first time that Zechariah sees something in a vision and doesn’t recognize what it is. The “tour guide” angel has to
tell him that it’s a basket.
:6 a basket that is going forth
The word for “basket” is literally “ephah”, which
can mean basket, but it is also a specific measurement equal to about half a
But that seems kind of small for what’s being held
inside the basket.
:6 This is their resemblance
throughout the earth
Other translations have “iniquity” or “sins” instead of “resemblance” –
(Zechariah 5:6 NLT)
…it’s filled with the sins of everyone throughout the land.”
:7 a lead disc lifted up
The basket has a heavy round lid made of lead.
The angel lifts up the lid to allow Zechariah to peek inside the basket.
:7 a woman sitting inside the basket
Stranger and stranger
:8 then he said, “This is Wickedness!” And he thrust her down into the basket, and threw the lead
cover over its mouth.
:8 This is Wickedness!
This woman is the personification of wickedness.
:8 threw the lead cover over its mouth
This wickedness isn’t asleep, it needs a heavy lid
on the basket to keep it in check.
It reminds me of what Paul told the Thessalonians about the antichrist and
the last days:
2:7 NKJV) For the mystery of lawlessness is
already at work; only He who now restrains will do
so until He is taken out of the way.
There is something at work in the world that actively
keeps the antichrist in check until the proper time. We think it’s the
work of the Holy Spirit through the church that holds back the antichrist, and
when the church is taken from the earth, the antichrist will let loose.
:9 Then I raised my eyes and looked, and there were
two women, coming with the wind in their wings; for they had wings like the
wings of a stork, and they lifted up the basket between earth and heaven.
:9 two women … the wings of a stork
The stork is one of the birds considered “unclean”, so a good Jewish boy wouldn’t hunt them and eat them. (Lev. 11:19)
Some see these flying women as good angels who are keeping guard on
Others see them as bad angels since their wings are
described as those from an “unclean” bird.
:9 they lifted up the basket
These two flying women come swooping down, pick up the basket, and fly off.
These winged women are the first ever air born package delivery service. I
wonder if they delivered it over night?
Maybe we could call these winged women “Wickedness Drones”.
:10 So I said to the angel who talked with me,
“Where are they carrying the basket?”
:11 And he said to me, “To build a house for it in
the land of Shinar; when it is ready, the basket will be set there on
:11 the land of Shinar
Shinar – “country of two rivers”
This is the ancient name for the territory later known as Babylon (Gen.
It’s the land that the Jews have just been freed
from, where they had been captive for seventy years …
(Daniel 1:2 NKJV) And the Lord
gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some
of the articles of the house of God, which he carried into the land of Shinar
to the house of his god; and he brought the articles into the treasure house of
:11 when it is ready
In Zechariah’s day, the empire of Babylon has already fallen to the Medes
This vision can’t be talking about
Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon, because that was already in decline in Zechariah’s
It speaks of a Babylon of the future, when it is “ready”.
:11 set there on its base
There will be some sort of “house” built, a “base” for this woman known as
The apostle John sees this “woman” at her destination.
NKJV) —1 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked
with me, saying to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot
who sits on many waters, 2 with whom the
kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were
made drunk with the wine of her fornication.” 3
So he carried me away in the
Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting
on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven
heads and ten horns. 4 The woman was arrayed in purple and
scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her
hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. 5 And on her
forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON
THE GREAT, THE MOTHER
OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH 6 I saw the woman, drunk with the
blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement.
As we worked our way through Revelation a few years ago, we talked about
this woman known as “Babylon the Great”.
The woman is riding a beast with seven heads and ten
horns, and we know from Rev. 13 that this beast is the antichrist and his
We believe the antichrist’s kingdom is some form of a revived
Roman Empire. (Dan. 2, 7)
Some have seen the reference to Babylon in Revelation as being a reference
to geographical Rome with its reference to sitting on “seven hills” (Rev. 17:9)
Others would hold that it is actually Babylon in Iraq that
will be rebuilt.
The woman would seem to be some sort of religious perversion that will
permeate the end times, and have a connection with the antichrist.
While some think this religious perversion is some sort of last days religion, others have made quite a case for it being
the Roman Catholic Church. (see my Rev. 17 notes).
Ready or not
There will be a day, very, very soon when an immense wickedness will be
unleashed on this world and will deceive many.
God will even “help” people to follow the lie because they have made a
conscious effort to not follow the truth.
2:11–12 NKJV) —11 And for this reason God will send
them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they
all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in
There is one way to be sure to not fall for this coming
wickedness, and that is to believe the truth about Jesus.
14:6 NKJV) Jesus said to him, “I am the way,
the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
The last days “Babylon” will be destroyed when
Jesus comes back.
He will destroy wickedness. He will
rule and reign.
Are you with Him or against Him?