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Zechariah 5:1-4

Context
Vision Six: The Flying Scroll

5:1 Then I turned to look, and there was a flying scroll! 5:2 Someone asked me, “What do you see?” I replied, “I see a flying scroll thirty feet long and fifteen feet wide.” 1  5:3 The speaker went on to say, “This is a curse 2  traveling across the whole earth. For example, according to the curse whoever steals 3  will be removed from the community; or on the other hand (according to the curse) whoever swears falsely will suffer the same fate.” 5:4 “I will send it out,” says the Lord who rules over all, “and it will enter the house of the thief and of the person who swears falsely in my name. It will land in the middle of his house and destroy both timber and stones.”

1 tn Heb “twenty cubits…ten cubits” (so NAB, NRSV). These dimensions (“thirty feet long and fifteen feet wide”) can hardly be referring to the scroll when unrolled since that would be all out of proportion to the normal ratio, in which the scroll would be 10 to 15 times as long as it was wide. More likely, the scroll is 15 feet thick when rolled, a hyperbole expressing the enormous amount and the profound significance of the information it contains.

2 tn The Hebrew word translated “curse” (אָלָה, ’alah) alludes to the covenant sanctions that attend the violation of God’s covenant with Israel (cf. Deut 29:12, 14, 20-21).

3 sn Stealing and swearing falsely (mentioned later in this verse) are sins against mankind and God respectively and are thus violations of the two major parts of the Ten Commandments. These two stipulations (commandments 8 and 3) represent the whole law.



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