Zechariah 011 – Babylon’s Rising, Pt. 1Zechariah 5:5-11 • Dr. Andy Woods • December 8, 2021 • Zechariah
Zechariah 011 – Babylon’s Rising
By Dr. Andy Woods – 12/08/2021
Let’s take our Bibles tonight, open them to the book of Zechariah chapter 5 and verse 5 and Lord willing we’re going to try to finish the chapter tonight. (hahaha) Verses 5 through 11, I think we can do that.
As you know, we’re in that section of the book of Zechariah which involves his eight night visions:
- Introductory call to repentance (Zech 1:1-6)
- Eight night visions (Zech 1:7–6:15)
- Question and answers about fasting (Zech 7–8)
- Two burdens (Zech 9–14)
So these are visions that he received in one night, if you can believe that, and all of the visions, actually everything in the book of Zechariah is an encouragement to get the returnees to get busy rebuilding the second temple as we’ve talked about.
- Eight Night Visions (Zech 1:7‒6:15)
- Riders & horses among the myrtle trees (Zech 1:7-17)
- Four horns & four craftsmen (Zech 1:18-21)
- Man with the measuring line (Zech 2)
- Cleansing of the High Priest Joshua (Zech 3)
- Lampstand & olive tree (Zech 4)
- Flying scroll (Zech 5:1-4)
- Woman in the basket (Zech 5:5-11)
- Four chariots (Zech 6:1-8)
- Conclusion: crowning of Joshua (Zech 6:9-15)
So, we’ve looked at, in this study, six of the eight visions and tonight we look at the seventh vision. It’s the woman in the basket and here’s a chart that I’ve found in the Bible knowledge commentary that I like to refer to because it just gives you a nice, concise meaning of each vision and so you can kind of look at that and get the birds eye view:
But as you look at the second from the bottom there, it’s the woman in something called the ephah, which we’ll define tonight in chapter 5, verses 5 through 11 and it deals with the removal of Israel’s national sin and rebellion against God.
So, in the prior visions, particularly the one we studied last time, the vision of the flying scroll, it talks about the fact that God cannot bring everything He wants to do in and through Israel until the sin problem within the nation is dealt with. So, it was a pretty intense vision concerning God dealing with the sin problem in Israel. So then you might ask the question: Okay, once the sin is removed from Israel, and we know that’s going to happen in the events of the tribulation when Israel will finally trust in their Messiah, Jesus, who they know as Yeshua. Once that sin is taken away from Israel, where’s it going to go? It’s kind of an interesting question, isn’t it? And the woman in the basket tells you where that sin is going to go. It’s going to conglomerate at a particular geographical area and play a monumental role in the end times. So that’s sort of the direction that we’re going in here as look at the woman in the ephah and so this vision has two parts. The first part is the woman’s identity, verses 5 through 8 and then the second part is the woman’s destination, verses 9 through 11. 3:32
- The Woman in the Ephah – (Zech 5:5-11)
- The Woman’s Identity (Zech 5:5-8)
- The Woman’s Destination (Zech 5:9-11)
So let’s take a look at this, Zechariah chapter 5 and notice, if you will, verse 5 (Zech 5:5), it says: Then the angel who was speaking with me went out and said, Lift up now your eyes and see what this is going forth… I’ll just go ahead and read through verse 8 (Zech 5:5-8), if that’s okay: I said, What is it? And he said, This is the ephah going forth. Again he said, This is their appearance in all the land (and behold, a lead covering was lifted up); and this is a woman sitting inside the ephah. Then he said to me, This is Wickedness! And he threw her down into the middle of the ephah and cast the lead weight on its opening… So, as you look there verse 5 there is your verb of perception “What do you see?” It says there “Lift up your eyes and see what’s going on” and so when we’re introducing this book, I said that’s a very easy way to outline these visions. Every time there’s a verb of perception like “see”, “look”, that’s kind of your clue that we’re starting a new vision. So here you see the exact same pattern and so we’ve got really a brand new vision, the woman and the ephah or the basket, and so he’s asked a question, Zechariah is, by the angel, the interpreting angel: What do you see? You know, lift up your eyes now and see what is going forth.
So Leupold in his commentary says this, so I found this very interesting concerning this verse,
- C. Leupold – H.C. Leupold, Exposition of Zechariah, 103.
“So little is human nature capable of readily appropriating divine revelation that it is not only necessary for God to let the necessary visions appear but also to stimulate the recipient’s attention step by step lest, overcome by the power of the heavenly, he fail to appropriate all that God desires to offer.”
He says: So little is human nature capable of readily appropriating divine revelation that it is not only necessary for God to let the necessary visions appear but also to stimulate the recipient’s attention step by step lest, overcome by the power of the heavenly, he fail to appropriate all that God desires to offer. So here is Ezekiel (sic) in one night receiving these visions and you would think he would be in some kind of holy state, you know, where he could just see it and absorb everything but you’ll notice he has to be prompted step by step. So it sort of speaks of, in our finiteness and in our fallenness, you know, really our… need of enablement to help understand spiritual things and fortunately in the church age today we have the ministry of the spirit of God within us… that it’s illuminating the Scripture to us and I think sometimes we forget how much we need that ministry of illumination because I know how easy it is to try to depend upon your own abilities, your own education, your own speaking style. I mean, after all we have Power Point right? We can learn anything, we think. We’re living in the 21 century, I mean, I even have a Logos program and we kind of lose sight, we kind of start to trust in all these other things and we lose sight of the fact how badly we need the Holy Spirit to prompt and to encourage and to illuminate the Scriptures. So as a human teacher there’s really not much that can be accomplished by myself in a session like this unless the Holy Spirit is alive and at work, illuminating the Scripture to us. So that’s why it’s always good to start with prayers, we do and just sort of, you know, settle the mind against the busyness of life and, you know, keep a short account with the Lord and sort of be in a position now to learn something from the Lord, something that we really cannot do on our own. 7:56
So, Zechariah is sort of prompted, you know, as he is moving into this next.. next vision and then take a look at verse 6 (Zech 5:6), it says: I said, What is it?… So now Zechariah kind of wakes up and he sees this woman in the basket and he wants to know what this is and then you look at the second part of verse 6 and it says: He said, this is the ephah going forth… So what is an ephah? An ephah is like a basket, it sort of symbolizes commerce and Charles Feinberg here says:
Charles L. Feinberg – God Remembers: A Study of Zechariah (Wheaton: Van Kampen, 1950, p. 88.
“The ephah was the greatest dry measure in use among the Hebrew people.”
The ephah was the greatest dry measure in use among the Hebrew people… So it’s like a basket, it measures things, it sort of represents commerce, business and that kind of thing. So, what Zechariah sees is this woman named Wickedness stuck in this ephah or this basket and as you look at the last part of verse 6 (Zech 5:6), it says: Again he said, This is their appearance in all the land… So land is important because a lot of people think that this is speaking of the whole earth. It really isn’t, it’s dealing with the land of Israel and it’s true that ha’arets, the Hebrew word for land, can refer to the whole earth as in Genesis 1:1 (Gen 1:1): In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth… that’s everything, but that same word ha’arets can also be used of the localized land of Israel and it’s used that way in Zechariah 12, verse 12 (Zech 12:12), in the New Testament it’s used that way in Matthew 2, verse 6 (Matt 2:6) which is quoting the Old Testament and using the word “land” to refer to the land of Judah or the land of Israel. So the reason I reach that conclusion is because this is a book trying to get the returnees to rebuild the temple, temple number two. So it’s dealing with issues that they were facing in that reconstruction project. So that’s how you define words in the Bible. You don’t run off to where else the word is used because words have multiple meanings. You try to examine the word in its context. So as we like to say the three rules of real estate are “location, location, location”. The three rules of Bible Study are… yeah… boy… someone must have drilled that into your head I guess, “context, context, context”. Context gives meanings to words. So here it’s talking about, I think, the land of Israel and as you go off to verse 7, you see this lead covering that’s put over this woman, who’s now stuck in this basket, says verse 7 (Zech 5:7): …and behold, a lead covering was lifted up; and this woman was sitting inside the ephah… So a lead covering meaning a covering that’s heavier than normal. So wasn’t just a basket covering over her, it was some kind of weight that was abnormally heavy which was keeping her stuck inside of this basket and the lead covering is lifted up for a moment, as far as I can tell, just so Zechariah can see what’s inside and he sees this woman inside. So, that raises an interesting question, you know, who is this woman? And notice if you will verse 8 (Zech 5:8), it says: Then he said, This is Wickedness! So the woman has a name and the woman’s name is Wickedness. Now, what I believe is true is the harlot of Revelation 17 (Rev 17), you know, the woman rides the beast. John sees this woman with a golden cup, you know, she’s bedecked in purple and gold, she’s a prostitute, she’s a mother of harlots. John, when she sees her in Revelation 17 (Rev 17), he’s kind of shocked at what he sees and she really represents a city and a system that will dominate the earth in the tribulation period. I believe that’s this same woman here. Most people don’t connect the dots that way, they just study the woman, but I think the woman has an origin and her name is wickedness and she’s the identical woman stuck in this basket with the lead covering. 13:05
Here’s a chart from Mark Hitchcock’s book entitled “The second coming of Babylon” and he shows you the similarities between the woman in the basket and the harlot of Revelation 17 and 18.
In both sections of Scripture, there’s sitting involved. So here the woman is sitting in a basket (Zech 5:7), Revelation 17 and 18 (Rev 17:3,9,15) she’s sitting on many waters and she’s sitting on the beast and she seems to have influence over the beast and the seven mountains or seven hills, better said seven mountains are connected to the beast, but in both sections of Scripture the woman is sitting. In both sections of Scripture, you have an emphasis on commercial activity. An ephah (Zech 5:6-8), as we tried to describe, is a basket for measuring grain and when you look at Revelation 18 (Rev 18:13), there’s a huge emphasis on commerce. In fact, when Babylon falls, the people that weep the loudest were the merchants of the earth. So it’s speaking of an economic empire. In Zechariah 5 (Zech 5:8), the woman’s name is Wickedness, but in Revelation 17 (Rev 17:5), she’s called Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and the Abominations of the Earth. Both sections of Scripture focus on false worship, cause when this woman is let loose, as we’ll see in a minute, she’s going to go build a house (Zech 5:11). The Hebrew word for house is the same Hebrew word used to describe the Davidic temple. So when this woman is let out of the basket, she’s going to basically build in a particular part of the earth a temple, which is religious in nature and in Zechariah 5 (Zech 5:11), as we’ll see, she’s taken to Shinar when she’s let out, which is another name for Babylon and in Revelation 17 and 18 (Rev 17:5)), she’s just called Babylon the Great. So when you look at these similarities, you know, you see that the woman of Revelation 17 is the woman in the basket here in Zechariah 5 and when you look at Zechariah 5 and verse 8 (Zech 5:8), it says: Then he said, behold This is Wickedness!; And he threw her down… the “He” there, probably is either God or the interpreting angel… he threw her down into the middle of the ephah and cast the lead weight on its opening… So it’s like the lead weight is let loose just so Zechariah can see this woman inside and then after he’s seen her, she’s shut right back into the basket and the lead covering is placed over her, or she can’t get out, she’s basically trapped inside until God decides to let her out. 16:20
So, what does all this mean? She’s trapped inside. By the way, here is the quote from Arthur Pink’s book entitled “The Antichrist”:
“The vision or prophecy (Zec. 5) contains the germ which is afterward expanded and developed in such detail in Rev. 17 and 18.” Pink, The Antichrist, 281.
Pink says: The vision or prophecy of Zechariah 5 contains the germ which is afterwards expanded and developed in such detail in Revelation 17 and 18… So he is drawing the same connection that Mark Hitchcock is drawing in this chart that the woman named Wickedness in Zechariah 5 is the harlot in Revelation 17, but what does the rest of this mean? When she’s taken and she’s thrown into this basket, she’s thrown back in this abnormal weight is placed over the basket where she can’t get out, What does all that talking about? Well, I believe and I’ll give you a few quotes from some commentators, they go this direction. I believe that weight on top of her is the restraining influence of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is very interesting because He, and He is a He, He is a personage as well as deity, that’s why Jesus called the Holy Spirit who was to come, in the upper room he kept calling him “He”. The Holy Spirit has ministries in the church, the Holy Spirit has ministries in the life of the child of God and most of our pneumatology doctrine of the Spirit covers those really well but if you really want a complete understanding of the ministry of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit also has ministries in the world amongst people that are unsaved. So right now, as I speak, the Holy Spirit is convicting every man, woman and child that doesn’t know Christ on planet Earth of sin, righteousness and judgement.
Sin, because they do not believe in Christ and that’s why when you tailor your evangelistic message to the lost, you want to talk about the very thing that the Holy Spirit is already convicting them of. The Holy Spirit is not morally reforming unsaved people, he is convicting them of the only sin that will send them to hell, which is unbelief. Now, after a person gets saved and the Holy Spirit comes inside of them, then He’ll start dealing with us in our sanctification with all kinds of other issues but his primary issue amongst the unsaved is convicting them of sin, righteousness and judgement and the Spirit, Genesis 6, verse 3 (Gen 6:3) was striving with men for a 120 years in the days of Noah before the flood came. So clearly the Holy Spirit has ministries outside the church, outside the life of the child of God in the world and here is another ministry that he’s doing: He is restraining evil. You might want to dial back to our rapture study to get the full teaching on this, cause I don’t think I can do it tonight in limited time but I believe that the Holy… the restrainer here is the Holy Spirit. Paul says (2 Thes 2:6-7): And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who restrains now will do so until he is taken out of the way… The antichrist cannot come on the scene right now, because the spirit of God is restraining the antichrist. That is what is keeping this woman stuck in this basket. 20:28
Charles H. Dyer – Old Testament Explorer, p. 825.
“The woman in Zechariah’s vision represented ‘iniquity’ and ‘wickedness.’ The cover holding the woman captive pictured God’s restraint of evil. As bad as things were in Zechariah’s day, things could have been worse if God had not been restraining evil (see also 2 Thess. 2:7).”
Charles Dyer says: The woman in Zechariah’s vision represented “iniquity” and “wickedness”. The cover holding the woman captive pictured God’s restraint of evil. As bad as things were in Zechariah’s day, things could have been worse if God had not been restraining evil… notice there, he’s quoting 2 Thessalonians 2, verse 7 (2 Th 2:7). Charles Feinberg in his very fine commentary on the book of Zechariah says:
Charles L. Feinberg – God Remembers:A Study of Zechariah (Wheaton: Van Kampen, 1950, p. 90-91.
“The woman of the vision under consideration represents wickedness, as the interpreting angel specifically states, as it will be culminated in the last days. It will be organized both among Israel and the nations of the earth into a colossal confederacy, holding sway religiously over the earth. Nor is this wickedness dormant, for the great laden weight must be cast upon the mouth of the ephah to keep it bound there (II Thess. 2:6–8).”
The woman of the vision under consideration represents wickedness, as the interpreting angel specifically states, as it will be culminated in the last days. It will be organized both among Israel and the nations of the earth into a colossal confederacy, holding sway religiously over the earth. Nor is the wickedness dormant, for the great laden weight must be cast upon the mouth of the ephah to keep it bound there… and notice what he puts in parenthesis, Charles Feinberg, 2 Thessalonians 2, verse 6 and 8 (2 Thess 2:6-8).
So, you know, we’re in all this talk today about, you know, world government and lockdowns and, you know, more and more mandates coming and, you know, one world tracking system. I just came from a conference where they talked more about that than you’ll ever want to know and it scares the daylights out of you listening to all that stuff. We have to understand that even as all of that stuff is happening, it’s not as bad as it could be because God is restraining it. So, I like to think of it this way, if things are like this in the world with a restrainer here, can you imagine what they’re going to be like when the restrainer is removed? You ain’t seen nothing yet. So with everything going haywire in the world right now, the woman is still stuck in this basket and this weight of giant proportions is still on top of her where she can’t get out and that’s a good place for her as far as I’m concerned, but the truth to the matter is.. uhm.. she’s going to be let out. I would take her.. I would take this understanding: When the restrainer is removed and by the way, what causes the restrainer to be removed, anybody know? The rapture of the church. When the rapture of the church occurs, the restraint is gone because the Lord is actually restraining evil now, through the presence of his church on the earth. So you might think: Gosh, my life doesn’t count for anything. Well, the truth to the matter is: Your very presence counts because the Lord is using your presence to hold back the antichrist. Is it kind of like, you know, remember in Genesis 19 (Gen 19), What did God say to Abram or Abraham? If I could just find ten righteous people, I won’t bring judgement. So the presence of the righteous was actually staying the hand of God in terms of judgement. So it’s the same kind of reality here with the restrainer, but the truth to the matter is the days going to come where the restraint is gone because the rapture would have occurred, the woman is going to be let loose and the woman is going to go somewhere. 24:28
- The Woman in the Ephah – (Zech 5:5-11)
- The Woman’s Identity (Zech 5:5-8)
- The Woman’s Destination (Zech 5:9-11)
So you have her identity verses 5 through 8, then you look at the second part of this, verses 9 through 11 and you see her destination. So, notice if you will verses 9 through 11 (Zech 5:9-11), I’ll just read all of these and then I’ll come back and comment on them: Then I lifted up my eyes… Zechariah talking… and looked, and there two women… two women were coming out of the wind… excuse me… coming out with the wind in their wings; and they had wings like the wings of a stork, and they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heavens and I said to the angel who was speaking with me, Where are they taking the ephah? Then he said to me, To build a temple for her… now watch this… in the land of Shinar; and when it is prepared, she will be set there on her own pedestal… So when you look at verse 9 (Zech 5:9), you see actually two women or.. it says: then I lifted up my eyes, then I looked and there were two women… two women were coming out with the wind in their wings and they had wings like the wings of a stork and they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heavens. So, my goodness, who’s carrying this ephah. Thomas Constable says:
Thomas L. Constable – Constable’s online notes on Zechariah, p. 60-61.
“The prophet next saw ‘two’ other ‘women’ flying through the air with ‘stork … wings.’ Perhaps they were women, and not men, because of the motherly attention they brought to their task. Storks are strong, motherly birds that are capable of carrying loads a long distance in flight. They are also reliable and careful creatures. They were commonly seen in Palestine [Israel] in the spring months, while they were migrating to Europe (Jer. 8:7).”
“The word ‘stork’ (Heb. sida) means ‘faithful one.’ These women would faithfully carry the ephah and its contents to God’s appointed destination. Some believe the ‘two women’ represent agents of evil, perhaps demonic forces. If they were that, however, would they not try to help Wickedness escape? Storks were unclean birds for the Israelites (Lev. 11:19; Deut. 14:18), so these stork-like women were appropriate carriers of the contaminated basket. ‘They lifted up the ephah’ into the air, flying off from earth to heaven with the divine assistance of ‘the wind’ (Spirit, Heb. ruah).”
The prophet next saw two other women flying through the air with stork wings. Perhaps they were women, and not men, because of the motherly attention they brought to their task… That’s interesting… Storks are strong, motherly birds that are capable of carrying loads a long distance in flight… So if you track this from Jerusalem all the way to Shinar, that’s a distance of about 350 miles. They are also reliable and careful creatures. They were commonly seen in the land of Israel in the spring months, while they were migrating to Europe… Constable continues and he says: The word “stork” means “faithful one.” These women would faithfully carry the ephah and its contents to God’s appointed destination. Some believe the two women represent agents of evil, perhaps demonic forces… there’s a lot of interpreters that say that, but Constable says: …If that… If they were that, however, would they not try to help the woman escape from the basket? Storks were unclean birds for the Israelites, so these stork-like women were appropriate carriers of the contaminated basket. They lifted up the ephah into the air, flying off from earth to heaven with the divine assistance of the wind… The wind under their wings. By the way, the word for wind there is “Spirit”, “Ruah” where we get the idea of the Holy Spirit. I’m not sure if it’s the Holy Spirit here or just ordinary wind, but Ruah would cover both meanings and Constable says:
Charles L. Feinberg – God Remembers:A Study of Zechariah (Wheaton: Van Kampen, 1950, p. 91.
“That these women are representative of God’s agents for His purpose is clear from the fact that they have wings. They are like the storks for he has broad pinions and in his annual migration covers great distances.”
That these women are representative of God’s agents for His purpose is clear from the fact that they have wings. They are like the storks for he has broad pinions and in his annual migration covers great distances… Uhm… actually that was not a quote from Constable, that was a quote from Charles Feinberg. 28:27
So, I’m not exactly sure what these birds are, I just know that God has the bird kingdom under his dominion, right? I mean, remember how Elijah was fed with the ravens. It’s like God is not limited by anything, He could use anyone to do anything even these storks and so if God can use anyone to do anything that means I can apply for the job (hahaha), Lord, you can use me too and He can use you and God just does what He wants and so apparently they are agents of God and they lift up the basket and they take her somewhere, 350 miles to the east, Zechariah says: Where is she going? and it specifically says: To the land of Shinar. So they lift up the ephah into midheaven and I think a lot of this is talking about wickedness being taken out of the land of Israel and we know that that’s going to happen in the tribulation period. There’s going to come a moment when the Jewish people under a time of great duress are going to recognize that Jesus or Yeshua really was their Messiah and all of these millennia, these last two thousand years or more, they’ve had it wrong and the whole nation gets saved and you have a scenario where every single Jew on planet earth, by the time you get to the end of the tribulation period, every single Jew is in faith. It’s a national conversion and we’ve never seen anything like that in human history. I mean, could you imagine if the whole city of Sugar Land just in a nanosecond woke up and said: You know? Jesus is the Messiah and every single person in the whole city believed in a second, in a moment and the whole city is born again. I mean, that would be, Wow! I wish they would start with the city council by the way, but that would be like, Wow! I mean, if something like that has never happened for a city, I mean, think of it happening for a whole country. Think of it happening for a whole race, think of it happening for a whole ethnicity and that’s what Isaiah is talking about when he says: Can a nation be… who has heard of such a thing? Can a nation be born in a day? (haha) and that’s just an astounding thing that’s going to happen. 31:24
So if you look back at Zechariah chapter 3, verse 9 (Zech 3:9) it says: For behold, the stone that I have set before Joshua; on one stone were seven eyes. Behold, I will engrave an inscription on it, declares the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day… So, that raises a question: Where is it going? It’s been taken somewhere else and the fact that this woman is taken out of the land of Israel, I think is prophetic of the national conversion, you know, yet future in store for the nation. So, when you look at verse 10 (Zech 5:10), Zechariah says: Where is she going? I said to the angel who was speaking with me, Where are they taking the ephah?… I like the curious nature of Zechariah. I like the fact that he’s always asking questions. What’s that mean? Who’s that? Where is she going? And it’s… I’ve run into a lot of Christians that kind of… they think that they’ve reached a point where they think that they know everything. I’ve heard people say this: I’m not going to go to Wednesday night Bible Study today, I’ve heard all that before and every time… I usually keep my mouth shut when they say that, try to.. not react in the flesh but I do say to myself.. I hope I never become like you, because the Lord… I don’t know about you guys, but the Lord is always teaching me new stuff. Every single time I look at a book I always see things in it that I didn’t see before and if that should stop, that would be a very sad day. So Zechariah is always in this position where he wants to learn, who’s that? Where are they going? What’s going on here? And I hope we keep that sort of childlikeness, you know, in our walk with the Lord. 33:45
So, where is she going? The answer is given there in verse 11, look at the first part of verse 11 (Zech 5:11): Then he said to me, To build a temple for her in the land of Shinar… So the word for temple, I’m reading out of the NASB, some of your English translations may say something a little different, it might say house but the Hebrew word used here is “Bayit” which means temple. It is the same word used to describe the temple that David wanted to build for God, remember that? In 2nd Samuel 7 (2 Sam 7:12-16)? God I want to build a temple for you and God says: No, you’re not going to build a temple for me, I’m going to build a temple for you, it’s called the Davidic covenant. It says: He shall build a house… I’ve got it underlined there for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever… that’s our word, that’s the Davidic covenant which we know is spiritual in nature in the sense that it will be a literal temple in Jerusalem one day during the millennial kingdom. Verse 16 (2 Sam 7:16), it’s God says: Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever… So there’s house, bayit, I think it’s how you say that in Hebrew, uhm… which is the word for temple and that’s our same word here in Zechariah chapter 5, verse 11 (Zech 5:11). So this woman is let out of this basket, she goes to the land of Shinar and Shinar is going to become a religious authority. It will be just as spiritual in a pagan sense as is the spirituality that God offers through the Davidic covenant, because we know that Satan is a counterfeit, right? Satan is very spiritual, we understand that, right? Satan loves religion. I mean the Pharisees, you know, it’s interesting Jesus seems to get along with everybody, have you noticed that in the Gospels? (hahaha) He doesn’t get along well with the most spiritual people, you know, the spiritual leaders of the nation. So just because something is religious or spiritual doesn’t mean it’s of God. I mean, hell itself this evening as I speak is filled with very spiritual people. 1st Timothy 4, verse 1 (1 Tim 4:1) talks about in the last days they will follow doctrines of demons. You say doctrines? We’re the only people that have doctrines, as Christians. No, the demons have doctrines also and they sound very spiritual and they sound… you know, if you didn’t have the Holy Spirit inside of you, you would think, Gosh this has to be real, cause it sounds so religious and that’s how the devil works. He’ll create a program that’s as close to God’s program as possible but he’ll stay a millimeter away from it, where it’s not the truth, but a lot of people think it’s the truth because it sounds so spiritual and after all it gives me the liver quiver of the day. I mean, reading my astrological projections and charting my day through the stars or whatever. That makes a lot of people feel good and to be frank with you, if I didn’t know Christ personally, God knows, maybe I’d be wrapped up in that stuff too, but it’s a very spiritual enterprise. Satan here is building a very spiritual enterprise. He’s building a temple just like God is going to have a millennial temple and.. uhm.. he’s building here what we would call the new world order. The new world order is a one world system of economics, politics and religion that excludes God. It’s exactly what Nimrod was building in Genesis 11 (Gen 11), before God disrupted the language and the builders couldn’t cooperate with each other. So the new world order, for it to work, it has to have… it’s a three legged stool and you see all of these at the Tower of Babel. There’s an economic leg, there’s a political leg, because it was a city, and there’s a religious leg to it. That’s why in our Pastors Point of View show I like to quote the Pope a lot, because the Pope, I believe, is the… in this generation, the spiritual voice of the new world order, because everything the politicians are talking about in terms of the new world order, if you listen to the Pope very carefully, the Pope says the exact same thing but he sounds so spiritual when he says it. I mean, he even uses the Bible when he’s quoting new world order ideas. 39:25
So that’s what I think the significance of this woman is. She’s named Wickedness, she’s in a basket representing commerce and so she is going to build a political, economic and religious system in the land of Shinar. Now, why would Zechariah go into this? Because what’s his whole purpose in writing this book is God is giving him these visions. He wants the returnees to rebuild the second temple. So it’s an explanation that, look at what God’s going to do with your temple efforts. He’s going to turn it into something magnificent to the point where Israel is going to be reborn in a day and wickedness itself is going to be exported out of the land of Israel, back to where it all started on the plains of Shinar. So therefore, since God has this great purpose for the temple, get busy building it, so he’s giving them a vision of the future to motivate them in the present. I think that’s why Zechariah is bringing all this stuff up, but the last part of the verse, obviously from my perspective is the most important or the most interesting part of it, it says (Zech 5:11): Then he said to me, To build a temple for her in the land of Shinar… it’s very specific… and when it is prepared, she… that’s the woman named Wickedness… will be set there on her own pedestal… So the restrainer is removed, the lead covering is removed, the woman gets loose out of the basket, she goes back to the land of Shinar which is where false religion started and she’s given her own place there, she’s given her own pedestal there and she builds a temple there of a satanic spiritual quality. 41:32
So the big question is, well, what do we mean by Shinar? Shinar, the first time Shinar is mentioned in the Bible is Genesis 10, verse 10 (Gen 10:10) and this is who this woman represents:
- Woman (wickedness)
- Ephah (commerce)
- House (Temple-2 Sam 7; religion)
- Shinar (Gen 10:10; 11:2; Dan 1:2)
Wickedness, commerce and religion, the three legged stool, reconstructed in the land of Shinar as the capital. So the first time Shinar is mentioned is in Genesis 10, verse 10. Shinar is mentioned in the Bible six times and it always means the same thing. Shinar is a technical word meaning a word that always means the same thing every time it’s used. Very rarely in language do you have a word that always means the same thing but Shinar does. So, Charles Feinberg says:
Charles L. Feinberg – God Remembers:A Study of Zechariah (Wheaton: Van Kampen, 1950, p. 91.
“The first mention of Shinar in the Bible is in Genesis 10:10. (It is found in all six other times: Gen. 11:2; 14:1, 9; Isa. 11:11; Dan. 1:2; and here). In all instances where it occurs it is used as a definite geographical designation. Strictly speaking it covers more than Babylon but is it is employed to denote this land.”
The first mention of Shinar in the Bible is in Genesis 10:10. It is found in all six other times: Genesis 11:2; Genesis 14:1, Genesis 14:9; Isaiah 11:11; Daniel 1:2; and here. In all instances where it occurs it is used as a definite geographical designation. Strictly speaking it covers more than Babylon… Babylon is the city 58 miles south of Baghdad but Shinar, yes, it covers that city, but it’s a slightly larger area because it denotes not just the city of Babylon but it denotes Babylonia. What is Babylonia? What is Shinar?
The Greeks called it Mesopotamia. Meso between, you recognize potamia as in the Potomac in our country river, potamia plural rivers, meso middle, potamia rivers… between the rivers. Between the Euphrates and between the Tigris. In other words, it represents modern day Iraq. It’s the exact part of the world where the Tower of Babel was built in. We know that from Genesis 11, verse 2. Concerning the tower of Babel, Genesis 11, verse 2 (Gen 11:2) says: It came about as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there… It is the exact part of the world that the children of Israel were taken away into the seventy year captivity. Daniel 1, verse 2 (Dan 1:2) explains that the children of Israel, Judah, was taken to Shinar. That’s exactly where they went. They went from Jerusalem into the land of Shinar, 350 miles to the east, that’s where Daniel had his prophecies of the future. That’s also where Ezekiel had his prophecies of the future. Those are our two exilic prophets.
So, it’s biblical speaking, a pretty key piece of geography to understand and so, what this is talking about is evil is taken out of Israel and it’s put back to where it started in the land of Shinar. 45:15
Charles L. Feinberg – God Remembers:A Study of Zechariah (Wheaton: Van Kampen, 1950, p. 93.
“Now, the prophet Zechariah foretells that in the last days all wickedness, with idolatry particularly in mind (see Matt. 12:43–45), that will be existent in Israel at that time will go back forcibly to the place of its origin, Babylon, the great apostate religious system. Such is the meaning of being settled on her own base. When we come to the book of Revelation all of this is clearly set forth in chapter 17 and 18. Not only the evil in Judaism, but that in Christendom as well, will wind up and culminate in that abominable system called mystical or mystery Babylon. The greatest sin in Israel, even wickedness itself, was idolatry. It will come to it’s settled abode at the very place of its inception (Rev. 18:24).”
Charles Feinberg says: Now, the prophet Zechariah foretells that in the last days all wickedness, with idolatry particularly in mind, that will be existent in Israel at that time will go back forcibly to the place of its origin, Babylon, the great apostate religious system. Such is the meaning of being settled on her own base. When we come to the book of Revelation all of this is clearly set forth in Revelation 17 and 18. Not only the evil in Judaism, but that in Christendom as well, will wind up and culminate in that abominable system called mystical or mystery Babylon. The greatest sin in Israel, even wickedness itself, was idolatry. It will come to its settled abode at the very place of its inception… What started in Babylon?
The mother-child system started in Babylon. This comes from Alexander Hislop’s book “The Two Babylons” where he’s piecing together Babylonian tradition and he tries to come up with an explanation as to what they were actually worshiping at the Tower of Babel, which was a real city but the headquarters of a very real religion. I mean, what religion were they caught up in? They weren’t caught up in the true God, because they had rejected Him. In fact, God said: Spread out! Remember? After the flood, Genesis 9, verse 1 (Gen 9:1), they said: No, we’re going to come together and we’re going to build the new world order because after all, we’re in this together, right? Gosh! I’ve heard that somewhere before! And what they’re building is this worship of the mother and the child, so Nimrod who’s the prototype of the antichrist, whose name means rebellion, according to Hislop, was married to a woman named Semiramis and the two of them had a child by the name of Tammuz. Tammuz was killed by a wild animal and satanically brought back to life through satanic powers, much like the resurrection of the antichrist from the dead, Revelation 13 and this so impressed everybody that they started to worship the mother and the child. They started to worship Semiramis and Tammuz and when God confounded the language, this system spread into the whole world. It’s just the names changed from place to place but Hislop has found remnants of it in every single culture and in every civilization. In fact, you mention Hislop around Roman Catholics and you get ready for a fighting match because Hislop’s point is the Mary and Jesus of Roman Catholicism is not the Mary and Jesus of the Bible. Now, in this room we all understand that, right? Their Mary is someone you pray to, it’s not someone you respect, I mean, we all respect Jesus’ mother, but you’re actually praying to her? She’s someone that stayed a perpetual virgin, even though the Bible clearly said Jesus had half-brothers so there’s obviously something going on with Mary in Roman Catholicism that’s very, very different than the Bible and the Jesus of Roman Catholicism is different. Roman Catholicism basically teaches to be justified before God, you have to have faith and works together and you know that’s heretical, right? That goes against everything the Bible says. So Jesus and Mary, I call it Mariolatry, where Mary is like a intermediary between God and man and that’s a problem because my Bible says there’s one mediator between God and men, the men Christ Jesus cause it’s only one God man, but they put Mary in this weird place and so, Hislop says: Where did that come from? It came from this mother-child system, it went right into Roman Catholicism. It went into Assyria, it went into Pheonicia. It’s just when it went into Roman Catholicism, it took on the names Mary and Jesus. I mean, Satan wouldn’t do that, would he? Would he actually steal biblical names to promote a false religious system that sends people to hell? Well, as I tried to explain, this is a spiritual enterprise that this woman is building, you know, in the land of Shinar. 50:25
Larkin, The Book of Revelation, 151.
“The river Euphrates, on which the city of Babylon was built, was one of the four branches into which the river that flowed through the Garden of Eden was divided, and Satan doubtless chose the site of Babylon as his headquarters from which to sally forth to tempt Adam and Eve. It was doubtless here that the Antediluvian apostasy had its source that ended in the flood. To this centre the ‘forces of Evil’ gravitated after the Flood, and ‘Babel’ was the result. This was the origin of the nations, but the nations were not scattered abroad over the earth until Satan had implanted in them the ‘Virus’ of a doctrine that has been the source of every false religion the world has ever known.”
So, Clarence Larkin basically says in his commentary that when God confounded the language, it was the source of idolatry. It was a virus that has been… end of the quote here… has been the source of every false religion the world has ever known and even before that happened, the fall happened, which affected the whole human race negatively, right? Where did the fall take place? In the garden of Eden. Have you ever asked yourself, where was the garden of Eden? I don’t know if we know exactly because I don’t know how much the flood has altered the topography of the world but I do know this, that in Eden, it mentions the Euphrates and the Tigris and I would kind of think that the Euphrates and Tigris that they named after the flood was sort of close in proximity toward the original garden of Eden was.
So, the fall of man happened in Shinar, if I’m right on that. Not dogmatic on it, not going to start a new church over it, but I think probably the garden of Eden was in modern day Iraq too. So all evil spread to the whole world from Babylonia or Shinar or Mesopotamia and then came along the tower of Babel that spread the whole mother-child system into the world from that same part of the world and Zechariah is seeing evil returning back to where it started.
So a lot of people, when they study prophecy are very convinced that we’re supposed to keep our eye on Rome in the west and Rome is not a bad thing to keep your eye on, but I think we miss a lot of times that really a part of the world to also keep an eye on is Babylon in the east and for some reason that aspect of prophecy has been neglected. I don’t fully get why, but it has. Beyond that, we have prophecies in Isaiah 13 and 14 (Isa 13-14) that have never been fulfilled, concerning the destruction of Babylon.
- Day of the Lord (Isa 13:6-9)
- Cosmic disturbances (Isa 13:10-13)
- Global judgment (Isa 13:11-12)
- Sodom and Gomorrah (Isa 13:19)
- Complete and final desolation (Isa 13:20-22)
- Universal peace and rest (Isa 14:5-8)
- Israel’s regeneration (Isa 14:1-4)
Man has never been made scarcer than gold. Isaiah predicted that when Babylon falls, Arab would not pitch his tent there any longer, there’s a picture of an Arab pitching his tent in Babylon in 1908.
ARAB TENT HOME at Babylon 1899-1908 – “It will never be inhabited or lived in from generation to generation; Nor will the Arab pitch his tent there” (Isaiah 13:20)
Jeremiah 50 and 51 (Jer 50-51) says the exact same thing.
- Sudden destruction (Jer 51:8)
- Complete destruction (Jer 50:3, 13, 26, 39-40; 51:29, 43, 62)
- No reuse of building materials (Jer 51:26)
- Believers flee (Jer 50:8; 51:6, 45)
- Israel’s regeneration (Jer 50:2, 4-5, 20; 51:50)
It describes the destruction of Babylon in a way that’s never happened in history because when Babylon fell in the past, she fell by surprise to the Persians. Herodotus talks about that:
Herodotus, Histories, 1:191 (450 B.C.)
“…he (Cyrus) conducted the river by a channel into the lake…and so he made the former course of the river passable by the sinking of the stream. When this had been done, the Persians who had been posted for this very purpose entered by the bed of the river Euphrates into Babylon, the stream having sunk so far that it reached about to the middle of a man’s thigh…those Babylonians who dwelt in the middle did not know that they had been captured…”
Cyrus who conquers Babylon boasts about that:
James Pritchard – The Ancient Near East Texts Relating to the Old Testament, 315-16.
Without any battle… sparing Babylon… any calamity….I am Cyrus…king of Babylon….When I entered Babylon…under jubilation and rejoicing…troops walked around Babylon…in peace, I did not allow anybody to terrorize (any place) of the [country of Sumer] and Akkad. I strove for peace in Babylon…and in all his (other) sacred cities….I returned to (these) sacred cities on the other side of the Tigris, the sanctuaries of which have been in ruins for a long time, the images which (used) to live therein and established for them permanent sanctuaries.
I (also) gathered all their (former) inhabitants and returned (to them) their habitations. Furthermore, I resettled… unharmed, in their (former) chapels, the places which make them happy. May all the gods whom I have resettled in their sacred cities ask daily Bel and Nebo for a long life for me…all of them I resettled in a peaceful place… ducks and doves,…I endeavoured to fortify/repair their dwelling places . . .
and when Babylon falls, she’ll never be inhabited again and yet here’s a list of things on the screen of things happening in Babylon after she fell to the Persians.
Babylon’s History After 539 B.C.
- Herodotus gives Babylon’s measurements (450 B.C.)
- Alexander the Great visits and dies in Babylon (323 B.C.)
- Seleucus seizes Babylon (312 B.C.)
- Strabo pronounces Babylon’s hanging gardens as one of “seven wonders of the world” (25 B.C)
- Babylonians present on Pentecost (Acts 2:9)
- Talmud promulgated from Babylon (A.D. 500)
- Haukal mentions Babylonian village (A.D. 917)
- Babylon known as “Two Mosques” and “Hilah” (A.D. 1100)
Things that are happening in Babylon today, I mean she’s never been completely and finally and totally and utterly desolated the way Isaiah and Jeremiah predict.
Dr. John Walvoord – The Nations in Prophecy, 63-64
“As far as the historic fulfillment is concerned, it is obvious from both Scripture and history that these verses have not been literally fulfilled. The city of Babylon continued to flourish after the Medes conquered it, and though its glory dwindled, especially after the control of the Medes and the Persians ended in 323 B.C., the city continued in some form or substance until A.D. 1000 and did not experience a sudden termination such as anticipated in this prophecy.”
So, what do you do with those prophecies? You say, well, you know what? If God means what He says and says what He means, Babylon has to come back to life as a city and a system over planet Earth so she can be destroyed exactly the way God said in Jeremiah 50 and 51 and Isaiah 13 and 14. 54:26
Now, people laugh at that and they say: Well, you’re taking it too literally. That’s all hyperbole, don’t you understand that? But what do you do with Zechariah chapter 5? How could Zechariah chapter 5 not be fulfilled when it was written in 519 BC? That’s 20 years after historic Babylon fell. So even if you allegorize away the pre-exilic prophecies of Isaiah 13 and 14 and Jeremiah 50 and 51 and just pretend that those really don’t mean what they say and most of academia says that, you have no explanation for this prophecy here because this prophecy here was written 20 years after Babylon fell, what are you going to do with that? Because this prophecy here says a woman is going to be let out of this basket and she’s going to be deposited in Shinar where she’s going to have a temple built and her pedestal is going to be set up. It’s part of the equation, you know that almost gets completely ignored. Uhm… I was going to give you a lot of stuff tonight on current events but I see I’m running out of time, but very fast. Babylon is also the area of the world where most of the world’s oil supply is:
Boy, that would be a swell place to set up the antichrist kingdom. You control the whole world if you control the oil right? You see headlines like this constantly: Iraq celebrates naming Babylon a UNESCO World Heritage Site:
Iraq Celebrates Naming Babylon a UNESCO World Heritage Site – QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA of Times of Israel – July 6, 2019
“BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq on Friday celebrated the UNESCO World Heritage Committee’s decision to name the historic city of Babylon a World Heritage Site in a vote held in Azerbaijan’s capital, years after Baghdad began campaigning for the site to be added to the list…The 4,300-year-old Babylon — now mainly an archaeological ruin and two important museums — is where dynasties have risen and fallen since the earliest days of settled human civilization. King Hammurabi wrote his famous code of laws in Babylon, while Nebuchadnezzar sent his vast army from the city to Jerusalem to put down an uprising and bring the Jews back as slaves.”
Here’s a couple of professors from the Army War College saying: You know we need to get the UN out of New York City, which I say: Amen, get that thing out of our country and then they’re talking about where they going to move the UN:
“Want Middle East Stability? Move UN to Iraq”
“The idea of moving U.N. headquarters seems to resonate with many….Where should it go? Try Iraq…In order to maintain its fledgling democracy, Iraq needs international commitment, an inducement to stop factional violence, and a stable form of income not subject to the terrorists’ reprisals…New York is an expensive city, and representation at the U.N. is currently a costly endeavor…The remaining big spenders should have a positive effect on the Iraqi job market and improve the overall economy of the entire region, which might in turn reduce the tendency …”
Cynthia E. Ayers and David W. Cammons, “Want Middle East Stability? Move UN to Iraq,” Newsweek, April 9, 2007, posted at: Http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/postglobal/needtoknow/2007/04/want_middle_east_stability_mov.html
I don’t know if these two are believers or not, I don’t know if they understand what we’re reading here but they’re talking in this article and they say: Yeah, why don’t we move it to Iraq, that’s a great place for the UN. Wow! Uhm… cities in that part of the world are built overnight like Neom in Saudi Arabia
A Prince’s $500 Billion Desert Dream: Flying Cars, Robot Dinosaurs and a Giant Artificial Moon
“Saudi Arabia’s crown prince turned to U.S. consultants for help imagining a massive new city-state in a barren section of his kingdom. What emerged was a Jetsons-style world of automation. SHARMA, Saudi Arabia—This seaside corner of northwest Saudi Arabia is so barren that the only abundant resources a group of consultants could identify were sunlight and ‘unlimited access to salt water.’ But Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman didn’t see a wasteland when he landed in his helicopter here a few years ago. He saw the future — and hatched a plan for a $500 billion city-state to cover 10,000 square miles of rocky desert and empty coastline to attract the ‘world’s greatest minds and best talents’ to the world’s best paying jobs in the world’s most livable city.”
Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. You realize how fast the city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, which is not that far from Iraq, was built?
It was built just lickety-split. So we’re living in a time period where cities come up overnight and I think that same kind of thing is about to happen concerning the city of Babylon. Now, this is new. Have you guys heard of this? The Abrahamic House? The three houses of Abraham? You know like… how we have the Abraham Accords? We now have the Abrahamic House, or Houses. Why do they keep picking the name Abraham? Because Abraham in their mind unites the three faiths of the earth, right? Judaism, Islam and Christendom. That’s why they’ve selected the name Abraham and they have these three houses built.
This also is in the United Arab Emirates, not that far from Babylon:
And so, you can see that we’re living in a time period where, very quickly the religious center of the world is going to move into the Middle East. It’s going to move into Iraq. Obviously the United Arab Emirates is not Iraq but it sure is a lot closer to Iraq than Rome. So, I don’t know… just… I’ve wrote a book on this, if you’re interested: “Babylon”:
That’s why I have all this extra information on Babylon and I was going to call it “Babbling on about Babylon” but Babylon, the Bookends of Prophetic History, if you’re interested in that. So, now that you guys are depressed let’s close in prayer (hahaha) Uhm, I just think this stuff is really neat that we’re living in a time period where history has finally caught up to the time period God says. I mean, soon and very soon, you know how that song goes: Soon and very soon we’re going see the king. Here is another chorus that we could add and this is why they don’t let me do music in this Church. I don’t even know how to make this into a song: Soon and very soon that woman is going to be let out of the basket and she’s going to go right back to where she started all the trouble to begin with, and she’s going to build this temple and this city and this system in the land of Shinar. So hope you found that a little bit interesting. Maybe, kept you awake more than normal.
Uhm, next week, if you show up here and our church is empty, you’ll think you missed the rapture because we won’t be in this room, we’ll be in the Fellowship Hall doing the Gingerbread House Competition and then, the next two Wednesdays, we’re not meeting right? So we’re coming back to meet on January 5th and we’re going to start with Zechariah 6 verses 1 through 8 so you have four weeks to read eight verses. Can you guys handle that? All right, and so we’ll pick this up in January assuming the rapture doesn’t happen between then and now. Alright, well, this time we’ll let people go…