King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Zechariah 5

The vision of a flying roll. (1-4) The vision of a woman and an ephah. (5-11)

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The vision of a flying roll

1 Then I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a flying roll.

2 And he said unto me, What seest thou? And I answered, I see a flying roll; the length thereof is twenty cubits, and the breadth thereof ten cubits.

3 Then said he unto me, This is the curse 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 shall be cut off as on that side according to it.

4 I will bring it 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.

The vision of a woman and an ephah

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.

6 And I said, What is it? And he said, This is an ephah that goeth forth. He said moreover, This is their resemblance through all the earth.

7 And, behold, there was lifted up a talent of lead: and this is a woman that sitteth in the midst of the ephah.

8 And he said, This is wickedness. And he cast it into the midst of the ephah; and he cast the weight of lead upon the mouth thereof.

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.

10 Then said I to the angel that talked with me, Whither do these bear the ephah?

11 And he said unto me, To build it an house in the land of Shinar: and it shall be established, and set there upon her own base.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Eyes of the soul. M. — Volume. That is, a parchment, according to the form of the ancient books, which, from begin rolled up, were called volumes. Ch. — Such are still used in the synagogues. They were usually written only on one side. C. — Sept. have read e at the end of megilla, and render “a scythe,” (H.) indicating chastisement. Aquila and Th. have Diphtherea, and Sym. Kephalis. S. Jer. — The latter denotes the roller H. to which the parchment was sewed. M. — The former signifies a book written on vellum, particularly that in which the poets say Jupiter marks the sins and punishments of mankind. The prophet saw a volume of this nature. C. — The sins of the people, and the punishment designed for them, were described. It appeared flying, to shew that the decree came from heaven. S. Chrys. Il. xxvii. ad pop. W.

Ver. 2. Cubits, alluding to Judea, which was twice as long as it was broad. M. — Many explain this vision and that of the woman, (v. 7) of the Jews, (C.) after S. Jerom. H. — But is seems rather to denote the Chaldeans, whose sentence had been long pronounced, and who were punished by the Persians, and by the Greeks, as by two women. If we understand the Jews, their iniquity was chastised by the Assyrians and Chaldeans. C.

Ver. 3. In like. Prot. “shall cut off as on that side standing to it.” H.

Ver. 4. Thief. Nabuchodonosor is often so styled. S. Jer. iv. 7. This title comprises all the injuries done to man, as he that sweareth falsely refers to those where God’s honour is concerned (C.) more immediately. H.

Ver. 6. Vessel. Heb. epha. C. — Eye. This is what they fix their eye upon, or this is a resemblance and figure of them, viz. of sinners. Ch. — Prot. “resemblance.” H. — This is their picture. C. — Sept. “wickedness;” aunom. H. — U is often mistaken for i. S. Jer. Yet here the Sept. seems equally intelligible, v. 8. H.

Ver. 7. Talent, or weight, (H.) called a stone, v. 8. — Vessel, like the idol Canopus.

Ver. 8. He cast. Heb. (C.) according to Theodot. (S. Jer.) “She cast herself into the epha,” &c. H.

Ver. 9. Women. They often represent nations; and here the Jews understand the Medes and Greeks, who punished the Chaldees. S. Jerom rather thinks that the Assyrians and Chaldeans are meant, carrying away Israel and Juda. Yet the former supposition seems preferable, as the woman in the vessel signified the wickedness of Babylon. — Kite. Moderns have, “stork:” the true sense is uncertain. C. — The Jews became blind and hardened on account of their avarice and perjuries. W.

Ver. 11. the land of Sennaar, where Babel or Babylon was built; (Gen. ix.) where note that Babylon, in holy writ, is often taken for the city of the devil, (that is, for the whole congregation of the wicked) as Jerusalem is taken for the city and people of God. Ch. — Antichrist will begin his reign at Babylon. W. — Yet this is not clear. H. — The Chaldeans are driven from the countries which they had seized, and confined to their own territory, by the Persians and Greeks; or, if we explain it of the Jews, many of them remained at Babylon, and did not return to defile their own country. Only those whose hearts were touched by God returned. 1 Esd. i. 5. C. — Sennaar means “excussion.” The Jews have been driven by the Chaldees and Romans into all parts. M.