Zechariah 5:5 - 7:3

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

INTRODUCTION:

 

We are in the process of seeing eight visions Zechariah had in one night. The difference between a person who has a dream and a person who has a vision is that the person who has a dream is asleep; whereas, the person having a vision is awake.

 

We have already seen the first six visions.

 

            1.   The Vision of the Horses and Riders, 1:7-17

 

It shows God’s anger against the nations and blessing on restored Israel.

 

            2.   The Vision of the Four Horns and Four Carpenters, 1:18-21

 

It shows God’s judgment on the nations that afflict Israel.

 

            3.   The Vision of the Surveyor, 2:1-13

 

It shows God’s future blessing on restored Israel.

 

            4.   The Vision of Joshua the High Priest, 3:1-10

 

It shows Israel’s future cleansing from sin and reinstatement as a priestly nation.

 

            5.   The Vision of the Golden Candlestick, 4:1-14

 

It shows Israel as the light to the nations under Messiah, the King-Priest.

 

            6.   The Vision of the Flying Scroll, 5:1-4

 

It shows the severity and totality of divine judgment on individual Israelites.

We continue with –

  II.     The Visions of Zechariah (continued), 1:7 - 6:15

            G. The Vision of the Woman in the Ephah, 5:5-11

 

5:5-11 – (RSB) In this vision a woman sitting in a ephah (like a barrel and large enough for the woman to sit in, though an ephah was normally only three-fifths of a bushel) with a lead cover represents wickedness. She is banished appropriately to Shinar (Babylon; cf. Gen. 11:2; Rev. 17:3-5).

 

Why Babylon? It is where humanity organized against God.

 

Genesis 11:1-91 And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. 2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. 3 And they said one to another, Go to, [i.e. come] let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. 4 And they said, Go to, [i.e. come] let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. 5 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. 6 And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. 7 Go to, [i.e. come] let us go down, and there confound [i.e. confuse] their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. 8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city [i.e. stopped building the city]. 9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel [i.e. Babel means “confusing”]; because the LORD did there confound [i.e. confuse] the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.

 

Revelation of Jesus Christ 17:3-53 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. 4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: 5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

 

This vision in Zechariah 5 signifies the removal of wickedness from the land of Israel to the land of Babylon where it will be dealt with.

 

IZechariah 5:5 – Then the angel that talked with me went forth, and said unto me, Lift up now thine eyes, and see what is this that goeth forth.

 

Zechariah 5:6 And I said, What is it? And he said, This is an ephah that goeth forth. He said moreover, This is their resemblance [i.e. their appearance] through all the earth.

 

Zechariah 5:7 And, behold, there was lifted up a talent of lead [i.e. a cover of lead]: and this is a woman that sitteth in the midst of the ephah.

 

Zechariah 5:8 And he said, This is wickedness. And he cast it into the midst of the ephah; and he cast the weight of lead [i.e. the lead cover] upon the mouth thereof.

 

The woman in the ephod is identified as wickedness personified. It suggests that wickedness must be removed from the land.

 

Zechariah 5:9 Then lifted I up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came out two women, and the wind was in their wings; for they had wings like the wings of a stork: and they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heaven.

 

5:9 – (RSB) two women. Either agents of God or forces of evil.

 

Zechariah 5:10 Then said I to the angel that talked with me, Whither do these bear the ephah [i.e. where are they carrying the ephah]?

 

Zechariah 5:11 And he said unto me, To build it an house in the land of Shinar [i.e. Babylon]: and it shall be established, and set there upon her own base [i.e. upon its own pedestal].

 

5:11 – (RSB) Evil, removed from Israel, was taken (appropriately) to Babylon, land of idolatry.

Zechariah 6

 

  II.     The Visions of Zechariah (continued), 1:7 - 6:15

            H. The Vision of the Four Chariots, 6:1-8

 

6:1-8 – (RSB) A vision of God’s judgment on the nations of the world, especially focusing on Babylon (the north country, v. 8), which revolted three years later and was devastated and depopulated by the Persians (cf. 2:6-7). The vision may also depict the final subjugation of the world, especially “Babylon,” during the Tribulation (cf. Rev. 11:15; 18:21).

 

Zechariah 2:6-9 – Ho, ho, come forth, and flee from the land of the north, saith the LORD: for I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the heaven, saith the LORD. 7 Deliver thyself, O Zion, that dwellest with the daughter of Babylon. 8 For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye. 9 For, behold, I will shake mine hand upon them, and they shall be a spoil to their servants [i.e. plunder for their slaves]: and ye shall know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me.

 

Revelation of Jesus Christ 18:21 And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.

 

The vision of the four chariots speaks of God’s judgment during the tribulation on the nations north and south of Israel.

 

Zechariah 6:1 And I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came four chariots out from between two mountains; and the mountains were mountains of brass [i.e. of bronze].

 

Bronze seems to symbolize divine judgment against sin.

 

Zechariah 6:2 In the first chariot were red horses; and in the second chariot black horses;

 

Zechariah 6:3 And in the third chariot white horses; and in the fourth chariot grisled and bay horses [i.e. strong dappled horses].

 

Zechariah 6:4 Then I answered and said unto the angel that talked with me, What are these, my lord?

 

Zechariah 6:5 And the angel answered and said unto me, These are the four spirits of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth [i.e. in the presence of the Lord of all the earth].

 

6:5 – (RSB) The four chariots are explained as instruments of divine judgment (spirits of the heavens).

 

Zechariah 6:6 The black horses which are therein [i.e. which are in it (i.e. in the vision)] go forth into the north country; and the white go forth after them; and the grisled [i.e. the dappled] go forth toward the south country.

 

(BKC) The north country refers to Babylon whose invasions came on Israel from the north. The south . . . refers to Egypt. . . . God’s wrath, after being executed on the wickedness transplanted to Babylon . . . will then come to rest.

 

Zechariah 6:7 And the bay [i.e. the strong horses] went forth, and sought to go that they might walk to and fro through the earth: and he [i.e. the Lord] said, Get you hence [i.e. Go], walk to and fro through the earth. So they walked to and fro through the earth.

 

Zechariah 6:8 Then cried he [i.e. the Lord] upon me [i.e. Then He called to me], and spake [i.e. spoke] unto me, saying, Behold, these that go toward the north country have quieted my spirit [i.e. have given my spirit rest] in the north country.

 

6:8 – (RSB) spirit here means “anger,” as in Judg. 8:3 and Prov. 16:32.

 

Judges 8:3 God hath delivered into your hands the princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb: and what was I able to do in comparison of you? Then their anger was abated toward him, when he had said that. [It refers to the anger of the men of Ephraim because Gideon had not called them to fight against the Midianites which almost resulted in a civil war.]

 

Proverbs 16:32 He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.

 

            I.   The Crowning of Joshua, 6:9-15

 

Zechariah 6:9 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

 

Zechariah 6:10 Take of them of the captivity, even of Heldai [i.e. called “Helem in v. 14], of Tobijah, and of Jedaiah, which are come from Babylon, and come thou the same day, and go into the house of Josiah the son of Zephaniah;

 

6:10 – (RSB) them of the captivity. Jews whose residence continued to be in Babylon, but who had come to Jerusalem on a visit to bring an offering for the building of the Temple.

 

Zechariah 6:11 Then take silver and gold, and make crowns, and set them upon the head of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest;

 

6:11 – (RSB) crowns. A composite crown (the verb in v. 14 is singular) made up of several circles. The crown was placed on Joshua; no crown was placed on Zerubbabel.

 

Zechariah 6:12 And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD:

 

Zechariah 6:13 Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.

 

6:12-13 – (RSB) The crowning of Joshua foreshadowed the crowning of Messiah, who at His second coming will build the (millennial) temple and unite the offices of King and Priest in one Person, like Melchizedek (Gen. 14:18-20).

 

Genesis 14:18-2018 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. 19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: 20 And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he [i.e. Abram] gave him [i.e. Melchizedek] tithes of all.

 

Zechariah 6:14 And the crowns shall be to Helem, and to Tobijah, and to Jedaiah, and to Hen the son of Zephaniah, for a memorial in the temple of the LORD.

 

6:14 – (RSB) The crown was given to the delegation from Babylon (v. 10), perhaps to be placed by them in the Temple when completed.

 

Zechariah 6:15 And they that are far off shall come and build in the temple of the LORD, and ye shall know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you. And this shall come to pass, if ye will diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God.

 

6:15 – (RSB) In the Millennium Gentiles will join in building that Temple. . . .

Zechariah 7

 

 III.     The Questions Concerning Fasts, 7:1 - 8:23

            A.  The Fasts, 7:1-3 

 

(BKC) Nearly two years after the night visions (December 7, 518 B.C.) . . . and about halfway through the period of temple rebuilding (520-516) Zechariah gave four messages. Three of the messages were introduced by “the word of the LORD Almighty came to me” (7:4; 8:1; 8:18). The second message was introduced similarly: “The word of the LORD came again to Zechariah” (7:8). These messages were given in response to a delegation that came to Jerusalem to ask whether the nation should continue to fast in remembrance of Jerusalem’s destruction. The delegates were evidently Jews (in spite of their foreign names, apparently acquired in Babylon) who came from Bethel . . ., the Israelite city 12 miles north of Jerusalem that had been the center of apostate worship for the Northern 10 tribes of Israel. . . .

 

Zechariah 7:1 And it came to pass in the fourth year of king Darius, that the word of the LORD came unto Zechariah in the fourth day of the ninth month, even in Chisleu;

 

7:1 – (RSB) fourth year ... fourth day ... ninth month = Dec. 7, 518 B.C., nearly two years after the eight night visions.

 

Zechariah 7:2 When they had sent unto the house of God Sherezer and Regemmelech, and their men, to pray before the LORD,

 

7:2 – (RSB) The people of the town of Beth-el sent this delegation to Jerusalem to worship and ask about the national fasts.

 

Zechariah 7:3 And to speak unto the priests which were in the house of the LORD of hosts, and to the prophets, saying, Should I weep in the fifth month, separating myself, as I have done these so many years?

 

7:3 – (RSB) The question was this: Since the Temple was being rebuilt, was it now necessary to keep the fast in the fifth month, which commemorated the burning of the first Temple by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C. (Jer. 52:12-13)?

 

Jeremiah 52:12-1312 Now in the fifth month, in the tenth day of the month, which was the nineteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar [This is not a typographical error. This is the way Jeremiah spells the name of Nebuchadnezzar.] king of Babylon, came Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, which served the king of Babylon, into Jerusalem, 13 And burned the house of the LORD, and the king’s house; and all the houses of Jerusalem, and all the houses of the great men, burned he with fire.

 

(BKC) The question raised by the Bethelites implied a desire to discontinue the self-imposed religious observance of fasting in the fifth month (July-August, the month Ab), which commemorated the burning to the ground of the city and the temple by Nebuchadnezzar. . . .