Again I lifted my eyes and saw, and behold, a flying scroll! 2 And he said to me, “What do you see?” I answered, “I see a flying scroll; its length is twenty cubits, and its breadth ten cubits.” 3 Then he said to me, “This is the curse that goes out over the face of the whole land; for every one who steals shall be cut off henceforth according to it, and every one who swears falsely shall be cut off henceforth according to it. 4 I will send it forth, says the LORD of hosts, and it shall enter the house of the thief, and the house of him who swears falsely by my name; and it shall abide in his house and consume it, both timber and stones.” Zech. 5:1-4
If we had not seen the previous visions where Judah was to be restored to glory, and the Lord Himself reigning in Jerusalem, this vision would give us great dread. Like the sword of Damocles, this scroll hangs over the entire land and casts a large, ominous shadow. This is an unmistakable message; repent or face judgment.
The scroll contained a curse and a warning to one side for those who are stealing and one side for those who are swearing falsely using the name of the LORD as an oath, at the same time presenting false information. Being written on both sides is reminiscent of a legal document. On it are just two of the ten commandments: no stealing, and on the other side: no taking the LORD’s name in vain. So, it is a call to turn to the LORD in repentance.
As a warning, the scroll is a reminder of the covenant that the Israelites made with the LORD in the desert to “do all that is written”.
“So, Moses came and called the elders of the people, and set before them all these words which the LORD had commanded him. And all the people answered together and said, ‘all that the LORD has spoken we will do.” Ex 19:7-8
As a curse, the scroll is an accusation to all who transgress the law. The guilty will be cut off, and executed, from Israel according to the words on the scroll. [Ps 147:15; Isa 55:10-11; Heb 4:12-13]. The curse is eternal banishment.
Ex 20:7 “you shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain; for the LORD shall not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.”
Ex 20:15 “you shall not steal.”
The LORD of hosts causes this enormous scroll to be visible to all who are dwelling in Judah. It is very large, approximately thirty feet long and fifteen feet wide. No one escapes having seen what is written, none will be excused.
As it flies about, it seeks the homes of the wicked to consume or utterly destroy all that is in them, both timber and stones. Nothing of wickedness will remain.