Zechariah sees a vision of a scroll representing God's end-time judgment of people for their sins. And he sees a woman in a basket which is a vision of the rise of Islam. The woman represents wickedness, and equates with the Great Prostitute in Revelation.
Vision Six - The Flying Scroll (v1-4)
Zechariah sees a flying scroll, thirty feet long (literally 20 cubits) and fifteen feet wide (ten cubits). An unidentified speaker tells Zechariah that the scroll represents a curse that is travelling across the whole earth (or land). The dimensions of the scroll imply that it is open as it flies, not rolled up. It has a curse on each side, and the curses are open so that they can be read. On one side is a curse against anyone who steals, and on the other side is a curse against anyone who lies.

Stealing and lying are breaches of the eighth and ninth commandments (Deuteronomy 5:19-20, and Exodus 20:15-16). When God gave Moses the ten commandments, God wrote them on both sides of two stone tablets (Exodus 32:15-16). The scroll contains curses on both sides relating to only two of the ten commandments, but it is likely that the scroll represents God's curse on anyone who breaks his commandments in general. He has simply picked out two laws to represent his commandments as a whole. God's curse on anyone who breaks his law implies a time of God's judgment when he punishes people for their sin. In Deuteronomy 28, Moses pronounced curses on the nation of Israel if they should turn away from God. The scroll seems to be a pronouncement of individual judgment. Zechariah is told that the scroll will land in the house of the sinner and destroy it. This is a picture of devastating judgment that comes suddenly upon the sinner when they are not expecting it.

In Matthew 24:36-44, Jesus used three different analogies to describe the sudden judgment and loss that sinners will suffer at his second coming. In 24:36-39, Jesus likened it to the days of Noah when the flood came suddenly upon people and carried them away. In 24:40-41, he likened it to people being individually targeted for judgment in their place of work, whether out in the field or in the mill grinding grain. In 24:42-44 he likened his coming to that of a thief at night, and added, "If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have been alert and would not have let his house be broken into". There are 3 implications: 1) his coming will take people by surprise; 2) people will suffer great loss; and 3) if they had anticipated his coming they might have acted appropriately to prevent themselves suffering such loss.

Vision Seven - The Woman in a Basket (v5-11)
Zechariah sees a basket of the kind that was used for measuring an ephah of grain. An ephah measured about 5 gallons, or about 20 litres. The basket appears to be leaving Israel (v6) and is being taken to Babylonia (literally 'the land of Shinar'). The basket has a lead covering, and when it is lifted up it reveals a woman sitting inside. Zechariah is told that the woman represents wickedness (v8). She is pushed back down into the basket and covered again with the lead cover. He is also told in verse 6, "This is their eye throughout all the earth". The NET bible notes suggest that the eye represents a demonic counterfeit of God's seven eyes, seen in Zechariah 3:9 and 4:10. In the Septuagint and Syriac texts, the word for 'eye' is the word for 'iniquity', so the NIV translates this statement "This is the iniquity of the people throughout the land". Two women with wings like a stork lift up the basket and take it to Babylonia (v10-11). There they will build a house or temple for this woman, and when it is finished she will be placed their in her own temple.

Given that this is an eschatological vision, the reference to Babylonia should be equated with Daughter Babylon or Mystery Babylon which both represent Edom or Arabia (e.g. Psalm 137, Isaiah 21, Revelation 17-18). The woman who represents wickedness is the same as the 'virgin daughter of Babylon' in Isaiah 47:1, who is the Great Prostitute of Mystery Babylon in Revelation 17. As such, this is a biblical prophecy of the rise of Islam in Arabia. Islam is a counterfeit of the bible's true revelation about God, with Satan masquerading as God in the guise of Allah. The house to be built for her is likely a prophecy of the Kaaba in Mecca. No-one knows exactly when the Kaaba was built. Muslims believe it to have been built by Abraham, but in reality it may well have been built some time after Zechariah's day. The woman properly took up residence in Arabia when Islam arose in the 7th century AD. Islam perfectly embodies the 'antichrist spirit', by denying God as Father and Jesus as the Son of God (1 John 2:22). Therefore, like the woman, it represents wickedness. Islam proclaims a kind of monotheism that denies any kind of plurality within God's nature. Hence, the seven eyes of God are counterfeited with a single eye.

Zechariah's vision of the scroll is a prophecy of God judging individuals for their sin. His vision of the woman in the basket is a prophecy of the rise of a religion that embodies wickedness. In the end times, this is the religion of Israel's enemies, and those who follow it will face God's collective judgment, as illustrated in the many prophecies about God's end-time judgment of Edom and Mystery Babylon, and of the nations surrounding Israel.
Places: Edom, Arabia, Mystery Babylon, Mecca
Symbols: Scroll, Woman in a Basket, Great Prostitute
Tags: Thief in the night, Judgment of individuals, Islam, Great Prostitute
Vision Six: The Flying Scroll
1 Then I turned to look, and there was a flying scroll!
2 Someone asked me, “What do you see?” I replied, “I see a flying scroll thirty feet long and fifteen feet wide.”
3 The speaker went on to say, “This is a curse traveling across the whole earth. For example, according to the curse whoever steals will be removed from the community; or on the other hand (according to the curse) whoever swears falsely will suffer the same fate.”
4 “I will send it out,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “and it will enter the house of the thief and of the person who swears falsely in my name. It will land in the middle of his house and destroy both timber and stones.”

Vision Seven: The Ephah
5 After this the angelic messenger who had been speaking to me went out and said, “Look, see what is leaving.”
6 I asked, “What is it?” And he replied, “It is a basket for measuring grain that is moving away from here.” Moreover, he said, “This is their ‘eye’ throughout all the earth.”
7 Then a round lead cover was raised up, revealing a woman sitting inside the basket.
8 He then said, “This woman represents wickedness,” and he pushed her down into the basket and placed the lead cover on top.
9 Then I looked again and saw two women going forth with the wind in their wings (they had wings like those of a stork) and they lifted up the basket between the earth and the sky.
10 I asked the messenger who was speaking to me, “Where are they taking the basket?”
11 He replied, “To build a temple for her in the land of Babylonia. When it is finished, she will be placed there in her own residence.”