Zechariah 5:3 MEANING

Zechariah 5:3
Verse 3. - This is the curse. The roll contained the curse written upon it on both sides. (For the curse of fled upon guilty nations, comp. Isaiah 24:6; Daniel 9:11.) Earth; land; for Judaea is meant. The curse was ready to fall on all who might come under it by their transgressions. This would be a warning also to exterior nations. Every one that stealeth...every one that sweareth. Thieves and perjurers are especially mentioned as incurring the curse. Perjury is a chief offence in one table of the Law, theft in the other; so these sins may stand for all offences against the Decalogue (comp. James 2:10, etc.). But probably they are named because they were particularly rife among the returned Jews. Daring their long sojourn in Babylon they had engaged in commercial pursuits and had fallen into the lax morality which such occupations often engender. These bad habits they had brought with them and practised in their new home (comp. ch. 8:17, and note there). Shall be out off as on this side according to it; Revised Version, shall be purged out on the one side (margin, from hence) according to it; Ewald, "driven hence like it." The reference is to the two sides of the roll, answering to the two tables of the Decalogue. Sinners shall be i.e. utterly consumed, cleansed away, i.e. according to the tenor of the roll. The Vulgate has judicabitur; the LXX., ἕως θανάτου ἐκδικηθήσεται "shall be punished unto death." That sweareth; i.e. falsely, as is plain from ver. 4; Septuagint, πᾶς ὁ ἐπίορκος, "every perjurer."

5:1-4 The Scriptures of the Old and New Testament are rolls, in which God has written the great things of his law and gospel; they are flying rolls. God's word runs very swiftly, Ps 147:15. This flying roll contains a declaration of the righteous wrath of God against sinners. Oh that we saw with an eye of faith the flying roll of God's curse hanging over the guilty world as a thick cloud, not only keeping off the sunbeams of God's favour, but big with thunders, lightnings, and storms, ready to destroy them! How welcome then would the tidings of a Saviour be, who came to redeem us from the curse of the law, being himself made a curse for us! Sin is the ruin of houses and families; especially the doing hurt to others and false witness. Who knows the power of God's anger? God's curse cannot be kept out by bars or locks. While one part of the curse of God ruins the substance of the sinner, another part will rest on the soul, and sink it to everlasting punishment. All are transgressors of the law, so we cannot escape this wrath of God, except we flee for refuge to lay hold on the hope set before us in the gospel.Then said he unto me, This is the curse,.... So the law of Moses is called, because it has curses written in it, Deuteronomy 27:15 which curse is not causeless, but is according to law and justice; it is from the Lord, and is no other than the wrath of the Almighty; and, wherever it lights, it will remain and continue for ever. Vitringa, on Isaiah 24:6 says, this is the curse which Isaiah there prophesies of, which had its accomplishment in the times of Antiochus; but there the prophet is speaking, not of the land of Judea, but of the antichristian states.

That goeth forth over the face of the whole earth: over the whole land of Judea, and the inhabitants of it, for their breach of the law, contempt of the Gospel, and the rejection of the Messiah; and which had its accomplishment when wrath came upon them to the uttermost, in the destruction of their nation, city, and temple; and is the curse God threatened to smite their land with, Malachi 4:6 and this curse also reaches to the whole world, and the inhabitants of it, who lie in wickedness; and to all sorts of sinners, particularly those next mentioned:

for everyone that stealeth shall be cut off as on this side, according to it; as it is written and declared on one side of the roll:

and everyone that sweareth shall be cut off as on that side according to it; as is written and declared on the other side of the roll; which two sins of theft and false swearing, the one being against the second, and the other the first table of the law, show that the curse of the law reaches to all sorts of sins and sinners; to all who do not keep it in every respect: and, indeed, to all but those who are redeemed from it by the blood of Christ; and that it is proportioned according to a man's sins: and those two are particularly mentioned, because they are sins which prevailed among the Jews at the time Christ was on earth. Theft did, both in a literal and figurative sense, Matthew 23:14 and so did vain swearing, Matthew 5:33.

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