Build and sit

Moses built a tent, and then Yahweh sat on His throne, the glory above the cherubim. Solomon built a house, and then the glory of Yahweh settled on His throne in the debir . Zechariah predicts something novel: A man named “Branch” will build the house of Yahweh, and then the Branch will . . . . Continue Reading »

Departing Antiglory

Michael Stead ( The Intertextuality of Zechariah 1-8 (Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies) ) points to a number of intertexual connections between Ezekiel 1-11 and the vision of Zechariah 5:5-11.  He concludes that the vision of Zechariah is an inversion of the Ezekiel’s vision . . . . Continue Reading »


Zechariah uses the word “lord” or “master” ( adon ) seven times in the first six chapters of his prophecy (1:9, 4:4, 5, 13, 14; 6:4-5).  The word appears in the first, the fifth, and the eighth of Zechariah’s night visions, beginning, middle, end. Five of the . . . . Continue Reading »

House and House

Zechariah’s scroll brings curses to those who “steal” and “swear falsely in My name” (5:3-4).  Those same sins appear together in Leviticus 19, and also, significantly, in Jeremiah 7:9.  There, Jeremiah lists thieves and false swearers among the . . . . Continue Reading »

Scroll with curses

Zechariah’s flying scroll is written with curses.  Another place where curses are written down is Numbers 5, the jealousy test for a woman suspected of adultery.  The verb “cut off” or “purged” ( naqah ) in Zechariah 5:3 is also used in Numbers 5, to describe . . . . Continue Reading »

Just Ephah

The woman Wickedness is carried from the land in an ephah covered with a lead weight (Zechariah 5:6-7).  It is a parodic ark of the covenant, containing a harlot instead of the tablets of the law. Why an ephah?  The Old testament regularly demands that Israel use accurate weights and . . . . Continue Reading »

Double exodus

In Zechariah 5:5-11, a woman named Wickedness is put into an ephah and removed to Shinar, where a temple is built for her.  This is a complex parody of the exodus. Yahweh brought Israel out of Egypt on eagles’ wings; here we have a picture of the wicked being born out of the land by . . . . Continue Reading »

Face of the Land

In Zechariah 5, the prophet sees a scroll flying through the air and is told that it is the “curse that is going forth over the face of the whole land.”   That vision conjures several other passages and scenes in the Bible. The phrase “face of the land” is used . . . . Continue Reading »

First Stone, Head Stone

In his comments on Zechariah 4:7, Stead notes that the adjective connected with stone is unique in the Hebrew Bible.  It looks like a feminine of the common word ro’sh (head) but might also be linked to ri’shon (first, beginning).  Stead opts for “topstone” as a . . . . Continue Reading »

Constructive Might

Bart Bruehler points out in an article from CBQ that the oracle to Zerubbabel in Zechariah 4:7 employs language (“might and power”) typically used to describe military prowess.  Yet Zerubbabel doesn’t lead an army; he organizes a construction project. He is a new Solomon. . . . . Continue Reading »