The Vision of the Ephah" “ (Zechariah 5:5-11)
by Larry Cockerham
The Vision of the Ephah
By Larry Cockerham
In this vision a basket appears (Heb. “ephah) covered with a talent of lead. When the lead talent is removed Zechariah sees a woman sitting inside the basket. He is told that the woman represents wickedness. She is then pushed back inside and the lead covering placed back over the mouth of the basket. Then two women appear with wings like a stork, take the basket and fly away with it. Zechariah asks the angel where the women were taking the basket and is told, "To build it an house in the land of Shinar: and it shall be established, and set there upon her own base" (Zech. 5:11).
What does the vision of the ephah and woman represent? The ephah and talent of lead are commercial symbols that represent godless commercialism and foreshadow commercial Babylon of Revelation chapter eighteen. Concerning the woman that was in the basket, Merrill F. Unger relates, "The woman symbolizes ecclesiastical Babylon (the religious aspects of the Satanic world system), i.e., religionism settled down in and nurtured by ungodly commercialism (cf. the harlot of Rev 17, which represents her in a more developed stage of iniquity)."
Hal Lindsey, in his book, There's A New World Coming, asks the question, "How can the woman sit contentedly in the middle of this economic and commercial system (the ephah) and yet want to escape from it so badly that she has to be restrained?" Lindsey believes that the woman represents ecclesiastical Babylon (the harlot of Rev. 17) and the ephah pictures the revived Roman Empire and its capital Rome.
Somewhere near the middle of the Tribulation period, with her admiration deteriorating, the harlot relocates to the place of her origin, Babylon. There the Antichrist and his ten-nation federation destroy her. Then the capital of the beast, which is Rome (Chapter 18), is destroyed by God Himself at the end of the Tribulation period. Ecclesiastical and commercial Babylon are part of Satan's world system which will ultimately be destroyed upon the Lord's return (Rev. 17:1-18:24).
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