[Note: This author is a pre-Tribulation rapture believer, and this article reflects that view.]
This article is written as a follow-up to “A Combined Interpretive Scenario of Revelation 17 and 18,” which can be found here: https://www.raptureready.com/2020/08/05/a-combined-interpretive-scenario-of-revelation-17-18-by-mark-a-becker/ or https://www.faithwriters.com/article-details.php?id=204830 Please read this article first to get a complete understanding to this study of a possible interpretation of Zechariah 5:5-11.
The above-mentioned article summarizes my belief that the Antichrist will set up his “throne” in a rebuilt Babylon, in modern-day Iraq, after the 10 kings destroy the “Whore of Babylon the Great” and the city where she sits, described in Revelation chapters 17 and 18. I likewise suggest that after the Abomination of Desolation (Daniel 9:27), the Antichrist will also have a base of operations in Jerusalem.
I believe this interpretation of Zechariah 5:5-11 shows the Babylon connection to the Antichrist and his Mark that controls all commerce, human surveillance and tracking, and the enforced worship system of himself as God.
I would like to break down this passage of Scripture into sections and add a commentary to each, in an attempt to make this more easily comprehensible.
First, the passage in its entirety.
“Then the angel that talked with me went forth, and said unto me, Lift up now thine eyes, and see what is this that goeth forth. And I said, What is it? And he said, This is an ephah that goeth forth. He said moreover, This is their resemblance through all the earth. And, behold, there was lifted up a talent of lead: and this is a woman that sitteth in the midst of the ephah. And he said, This is wickedness. And he cast it into the midst of the ephah; and he cast the weight of lead upon the mouth thereof.
“Then lifted I up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came out two women, and the wind was in their wings; for they had wings like the wings of a stork: and they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heaven. Then said I to the angel that talked with me, Whither do these bear the ephah? And he said unto me, To build it an house in the land of Shinar: and it shall be established, and set there upon her own base” (Zechariah 5:5-11).
“Then the angel that talked with me went forth, and said unto me, Lift up now thine eyes, and see what is this that goeth forth. And I said, What is it? And he said, This is an ephah that goeth forth. He said moreover, This is their resemblance through all the earth.”
An “ephah” is a measuring basket used mainly for grain. This conjures up an image of the third seal – the black horse – in Revelation 6:5. This passage uses the measures of wheat and of barley; the same substances measured when using an ephah.
This seems to indicate that the ephah is a symbol for the essential dry foods in a person’s diet, and as a picture of necessary commerce for the sustenance of human life. What’s left of the world economy (which has been decimated by the first three and one-half years of God’s judgment and depopulation) is represented by the ephah.
The phrase, “their resemblance,” is the translation of a single Hebrew word, “ayin,” meaning “an eye.” When taking the literal “an eye” translation, the statement would read, “This is an ephah that goeth forth. This is an eye through all the earth.”
The New English Translation translates it, “This is their ‘eye’ throughout all the earth.”
This is extremely interesting to me. When thinking of an ephah as food commerce that has “an eye though all the earth,” one can’t help but see a picture of Revelation 13:17, “And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark…” The Antichrist’s “eye” will track all buying and selling of basic commodities “through all the earth” by the means of his Mark of The Beast economic system.
“And, behold, there was lifted up a talent of lead: and this is a woman that sitteth in the midst of the ephah. And he said, This is wickedness. And he cast it into the midst of the ephah; and he cast the weight of lead upon the mouth thereof.”
The talent of lead is keeping “a woman” inside the ephah. Some suggest that this is against the will of the woman, but I don’t see anything in the text that confirms this thought. Notice that the woman is “[sitting] in the midst of the ephah.” She isn’t struggling to get out. The imagery is that of the angel pulling the woman out of the ephah to show Zechariah and then casting her back inside and covering up the ephah with a lead weight, where she was already sitting comfortably.
The Hebrew word for “woman” is “ishshah” and is equivalent to the Greek word for woman in the New Testament, which is “gune.” I point this out only to suggest that the words are pointing to the same symbolic entity: that is, they both are referring to a false religious system. We find the Greek word “gune” referring to the Roman Catholic church in Revelation 17, over and over. Women in prophecy are always identified as a religious system (unless specified), and I don’t see any exception to that cohesiveness here.
This is especially confirmed, in the identity of the woman, when the angel says, “This is wickedness.”
This imagery of the woman sitting comfortably inside the ephah, sealed with a lead weight, shows that the basic necessities of economic commerce and a religious system are intricately linked; they are melded together. The Mark of The Beast system will be that of basic sustainable human commerce and worship of the Beast as God, under the all-seeing eye of the Antichrist himself.
“Then lifted I up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came out two women, and the wind was in their wings; for they had wings like the wings of a stork: and they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heaven.”
“Two women,” in keeping with the understanding that women represent religious systems, would indicate two other religions escorting the new religious system of the Antichrist to its destination.
The Antichrist’s system of self-worship actually has two other established religions that are extremely compatible with what he will be setting up, and they each have their respective influences in the Eastern and Western hemispheres of the earth.
The first is Hinduism in the east. The second is the offspring of Hinduism in the west, known as New Age. Both have pantheistic and panentheistic teachings; that all is God, and all is in God. The link between these two “religions” is, of course, meditation, which opens up the meditator to a demonic agent to operate within the psyche through the act of stilling the mind. This technique, invariably, results in demonically influenced doctrines, climaxed with the understanding that he or she is God.
Antichrist will claim to be God (2 Thessalonians 2:4), and I can think of no other religions that will help acknowledge that claim better than these two.
Once the ecumenical uniting of all religions under the Roman Catholic church has been destroyed by the 10 kings (Revelation 17:16-17), and they give their earthly empire to the Antichrist, these two religions, it seems, will unite with Antichrist and “escort” – or promote and back – his brand new Mark of The Beast economic and worship system to the location described in the next verse.
Notice, also, that the ephah was lifted up “between the earth and the heaven.” Again, this symbolism, for me, hearkens to Scripture describing Satan as being “the prince of the power of the air… “(Ephesians 2:2). This is the atmospheric positioning where all of mankind’s satellites orbit and will be the means by which the Antichrist will have “an eye through all the earth” to track all transactions, locations, and activity of every human being on earth.
“Then said I to the angel that talked with me, Whither do these bear the ephah? And he said unto me, To build it an house in the land of Shinar: and it shall be established, and set there upon her own base.”
As most know, the “land of Shinar” is where Nimrod and the peoples of the earth had set up the first worldwide attempt at a unifying governmental, economic, and religious system at the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9).
Although some young-earth Creationists (which I am one) believe the area of the ancient city of Babylon in modern day Iraq was originally under water that soon after the flood, and that Babel was probably in another location nearby, the city of Babylon in Iraq will probably be that city in the “land of Shinar” where the Antichrist will set up shop.
The “house” that is built to set the system up “upon her own base” could very well be a “temple” that will almost assuredly include the surveillance equipment needed for the Antichrist to track every person on earth.
It appears that the False Prophet will set up an image in the rebuilt temple in Jerusalem (Daniel 9:27) after the Antichrist commits the Abomination of Desolation and declares himself God (Revelation 13:11-15 & 2Thessalonians 2:4), and it certainly could be possible that another “image” will be stationed in the “house” in the “land of Shinar” as well.
The question arises: Will there be two “images,” one in Babylon and one in the temple in Jerusalem, or does the Antichrist take the “image” he sets up in Babylon and relocate it to the temple in Jerusalem? It could be either. But I actually see no reason why there couldn’t be two images, whatever the images will, and may, entail. It seems the Antichrist will have a base of operations in both cities during the last three and one-half years of the Tribulation, which I detail a little more in “A Combined Interpretive Scenario of Revelation 17 & 18” – https://www.raptureready.com/2020/08/05/a-combined-interpretive-scenario-of-revelation-17-18-by-mark-a-becker/ or https://www.faithwriters.com/article-details.php?id=204830
The imagery in Zechariah 5:5-11 symbolizes the Antichrist’s Mark of the Beast economic and worship system, melded together as one cohesive unit, the system’s absolute control over the entire earth, and the location this system and Antichrist will operate from.
Even though I believe this to be the correct interpretation, I always like to remind others that, in regard to future prophecy, “I think I’m right – but I could be wrong.”
Future prophecy can be a difficult subject to undertake.
Although we have a much clearer perspective of future prophecy than generations before us, no one will know the exact playing out of the events of God’s prophetic plan this side of the fulfillment of these prophecies.
There are many interpretations and scenarios that have been suggested throughout the years, but the picture will become much clearer and more defined to the prophecy student as time moves on.
But thank our mighty God and Savior, Jesus Christ, that we won’t be here to see the final climax of history, as He will be taking His bride back to the Father’s house to forever be with Him (John 14:1-3). What a glorious day that will be!
Love, grace, mercy, and shalom in Messiah Yeshua, and Maranatha!