The prophecies in the book of Zechariah seemingly have connections with future ones in Revelation, but they are cryptic enough that correlating them is a challenge. One that is certainly associated in some manner is that of the woman in the basket. The angel gives the prophet a vision and this interchange in Zechariah 5:6-8 ensues:
And I said, “What is it?” He said, “This is the basket that is going out.” And he said, “This is their iniquity in all the land.” And behold, the leaden cover was lifted, and there was a woman sitting in the basket! And he said, “This is Wickedness.” And he thrust her back into the basket, and thrust down the leaden weight on its opening.
There are several key phrases here:
- Going out
- Iniquity in all the land
- Leaden cover
- A woman
The idea here is that iniquity went forth from a very special or unique place of origin and reached a large, circular region – perhaps the entire earth. The woman Zechariah sees could be a wife, but may in this sense be a pagan old enough for marriage, who is also an adulteress or harlot. The basket represents the typical measurement of an ephah. So much is contained in it, but no more. Wickedness is exactly that: it is moral wrong that is contrary to the things and character of God. Overall, the amount of evil is a certain amount that God allows to spread worldwide, but no more, as it is all under His control.
What occurs next in Zechariah 5:9-11 is fascinating:
Then I lifted my eyes and saw, and behold, two women coming forward! The wind was in their wings. They had wings like the wings of a stork, and they lifted up the basket between earth and heaven. Then I said to the angel who talked with me, “Where are they taking the basket?” He said to me, “To the land of Shinar, to build a house for it. And when this is prepared, they will set the basket down there on its base.”
The angel had thrust the woman back in the basket and kept her there with a leaden cover. Two women transport her to the land of Shinar to a house they will build for the basket. Throughout Scripture, we never see that angels actually have wings. Popular culture has always portrayed them with wings, but nothing textual indicates they have them. Who or what are these two women? The wind is indicative of either the Spirit of God (Hebrew: ruach), or it can also mean an animating, ungodly spirit that is vain and empty. The women take the basket with the woman, who represents great iniquity, to Shinar which is Babylon, where it is given a dwelling place where it will be cast down and left. There is the idea that both a throne is involved and a prison. Overall, it appears that Babylon is the seat of evil for the entire world that will also become its dungeon.
With this possible interpretation we turn to Revelation 18 with John’s vision of end-times Babylon. This is indeed a wicked place from which the Beast System New World Order arises that envelops the entire world, and from which the harlot One World Religion has come. Its evil is beyond description because of the unclean spirits that dwell there, and its riches are immense. From this place has come forth all the culmination of iniquity and depravity in the world. It is the source of great transgressions against God as Revelation 18:24 indicates:
“And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints,
and of all who have been slain on earth.”
Surely the Wickedness portrayed in Zechariah’s vision is encapsulated in what John describes for this terrible place of violence and corruption that has infected the entire earth and all of mankind. But the news is good! A time is coming when all the evil that issues forth from this place will be cut off, just as Revelation 18:21 describes:
Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying,
“So will Babylon the great city be thrown down with violence,
and will be found no more;
God’s sovereignty will prevail. Those who inhabit Babylon, whether physically or literally, will receive their due punishment. It is why all who wish to disassociate with this Beast System are warned in Revelation 18:4-5:
Then I heard another voice from heaven saying,
“Come out of her, my people,
lest you take part in her sins,
lest you share in her plagues;
for her sins are heaped high as heaven,
and God has remembered her iniquities.”
Anyone still remaining on the earth who wishes to turn to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior must do so before this final judgment is heaped upon all those who have propagated the evil which has consumed the world. God gives one final opportunity to mankind before he brings down the final millstone of destruction.
Throughout Scripture we see the mercy of God toward His creation of man even as He warns of that which is coming as punishment for all who reject Him. Everyone has a choice. We can turn to the Lord and accept His overflowing love or turn from Him and receive eternal condemnation.
This time is rapidly approaching. How gracious God is that He shows these things to come and does all in His power to call us to Himself!