“Then I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a flying roll . . . the length thereof is twenty cubits, and the breadth thereof ten cubits.” (Zechariah 5:1-2)
The large “flying roll” pictured for Zechariah is 30 feet long and 15 feet wide, signifying the enormity of its purpose. Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Zechariah all speak of a roll in terms of judgment that is coming on Israel and Babylon (Jeremiah 36:2; Ezekiel 2:9-10).
This roll contains the curse that goes forth over the “face of the whole earth” (Zechariah 5:13)—a phrase that is only used five other times in all of Scripture: God warns Noah of the coming Flood (Genesis 6:7), the population under the leadership of Nimrod rebels at the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:4), God sends the plague of locusts on Egypt (Exodus 10:15), the vast empire of Greece destroys and overcomes Persia (Daniel 8:5), and a day will come “on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth” (Luke 21:35).
The parallel to the scroll with the seven seals in Revelation is striking. Revelation 6:1-8 tells of the four horsemen who carry out the judgment of the first four seals that parallel the ninth vision of Zechariah (6:1-8). Revelation 6:12-17 describes the “great earthquake” that is parallel to the earthquake foretold by Haggai (2:6-7, 21-23). Revelation chapters 6–10 describe the judgments that impact both the planet itself and the population.
Zechariah’s roll judges those who steal and swear and will be “cut off.” The implication is that those unfit for the people of God will be “cleansed” from the final kingdom. Since the obvious purpose of these visions is to give assurance of the ultimate victory of God, we can be confident that “God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:14). HMM III
From Days of Praise