Wicked Fire in a Flying Roll Prophesied in Zechariah 5

Posted by on Oct 29, 2016

There is a number of obscured prophecies in the Scripture and the prophecy in Zechariah 5 of a wicked fire in a flying roll is one of them. 

The flying roll Zechariah saw

We read:

And I lifted up my eyes again and looked and saw a flying roll. And he said to me, “What do you see?” And I answered, “I see a flying roll, twenty cubits long and ten cubits wide”. (Zec 5:1-2)

The flying roll as depicted in the prophecy in Zec 5:1-2 is being seen moving swiftly over the earth. What is peculiar here is the size of the flying roll (precise dimensions of twenty cubits long and ten cubits wide).

And since the size of a roll can be determined only when it is unrolled, we may say that its length and width are only given in order to be seen as such. The text does not say that the roll is flying in a unrolled shape and form, but it simply says that the roll is flying and is twenty cubits long and ten cubits wide. The statement as to the size of the flying roll is unquestionably significant, as we will see further in this study.

And he said to me, This is the curse that goes forth over the face of the whole earth: everyone who is stealing shall go unpunished, on the one side, according to it, and, everyone who has sworn falsely shall go unpunished, on the other side, according to it. I shall send it out, declares Yehovah of hosts, and it shall come into the house of the thief and the house of the one who shall swear falsely by My Name. And it shall remain in the midst of his house and shall consume it, both its timber and stones. (Zec 5:3-4)

The flight of the roll symbolizes the going forth of the curse over the whole land: in Hebrew כָּל־הָאָרֶץ. The words כָּל־הָאָרֶץ could be rendered “the whole earth” because it evidently signifies the whole earth as in Zec 4:10, Zec 4:14, and Zec 6:5. However, it could also refer to any piece of land, as this Hebrew expression is used by the opposition in Zec 5:11, where we read “the land of Shinar.”

If כָּל־הָאָרֶץ is rendered as the whole earth, then its reference to the land of Shinar in Zec 5:11 is out of place. Therefore, the phrase כָּל־הָאָרֶץ must refer to the land of Shinar, not the whole earth.

The flying roll that carries curse to Shinar

Further, this curse that goes forth with the flying roll and falls upon all thieves and false swearers (Zec 5:3) is further defined more precisely in Zec 5:4, as swearing in the name of YHVH for deceit, and refers to the abuse of the name of YHVH for deceit. The flying roll therefore symbolizes the curse which will fall upon sinners throughout the whole land of Shinar, consuming them together with their houses.

And the messenger who was speaking with me came out and said to me, Lift up your eyes now, and see what this is that is going forth. And I said, What is it? And he said, It is an ephah that is going forth. Again he said, This is their appearance throughout the earth: And see, a lead cover lifted up, and this: a woman sitting inside the ephah! And he said, This is wickedness! And he threw her down into the ephah, and threw the lead weight over its mouth. (Zec 5:5-8)

Furthermore, the messenger asked Zechariah concerning what was going forth with the flying roll. He revealed that the flying roll Zechariah saw was carrying an ephah with a lead cover, and what puzzled the prophet there was a woman sitting inside the ephah; this woman the messenger described as wickedness.

The Hebrew word “ephah” is a noun and it is to be understood as an ephah-measure (bushel) in which the grains are all collected together; it should not be understood as a measurement unit, but as a container clearly seen in the context. Therefore “ephah” is a container that is housing something. The cover of lead (Heb. kichar) is a circular plate and we will see below that this is important to keep in mind. 

The lead cover is lifted up and a woman is sitting in the ephah (‘achath does not stand for the indefinite article, but is a numeral, as one living personality, instead of forming a number of individuals). This woman, who was already sitting there and was only seen because the lid was lifted up, is described as רִשְׁעָה rish’ah, or wickedness. The angel throws the woman into the ephah and shuts it with the lead lid to carry her away out of the land.

And I lifted up my eyes, and looked and saw two women, coming with the wind in their wings. And they had wings like the wings of a stork, and they lifted up the ephah between earth and the heavens. Then I said to the messenger who was speaking to me, Where are they taking the ephah? And he said to me, To build a house for it in the land of Shin’ar. And it shall be established and set there on its own base. (Zec 5:9-11)

Then the ephah with the woman in it is carried away through the air by two women. The two women who carried it with the wind had wings of a stork. Why are we given to know the bird unless to tell us that a stork has broad wings.

Hence, we may deduce that the purpose of the two women is to transport the woman in the ephah from an unspecified land to the land of Shinar, since it will be natural for two women to carry a container holding it at both sides.

And since the container is part of the flying roll, and the two women lifted it up on the broad wings, we also deduce that the women and the wings are part of the flying roll, too. The wings are filled with wind, that they may be able to carry their burden with greater velocity through the air on a high altitude.

Now, the statement in Zec 5:11 should draw our attention: to build a house for it in the land of Shinar. What is the “it” in the phrase? It is the woman in the container. The building of a house indicates that the woman is to be stationed there permanently on firm foundations, since the Hebrew word מְכֻנָה mechunah means a firmly established building, like made of stones. The land in which the woman of wickedness is carried away is the land of Shinar where she is to permanently dwell in.

This is the obscured description of the woman that was sitting in a container carried by the flying roll on broad wings.

After having done a verse-by-verse analysis of the entire chapter, let us proceed farther in this matter and decode the prophetic message Zechariah received.

The land of Shinar is the easiest to define and we start with it.

This name can be identified with Bavel, as its use can be seen in Gen 10:10, Gen 11:2, Gen 14:1, Gen 14:9, according to which, Shinar is the land in which Nimrod founded the first empire of the world, and where the human race built the tower of Bavel. However, Shinar is not to be taken only geographically as an epithet applied to Mesopotamia, but also as wickedness and evil, referring also to the last empire of wickedness and evil, which will form itself into a Babylon of the last days of Ezekiel 38 and 39. Therefore, Shinar can easily be identify as the land of Iraq and Iran nowadays.

The second element in the prophecy is the flying roll.  We should know that a roll is a cylinder because this is the natural shape and form of a roll, however, its size of twenty cubits long and ten cubits wide is given when unrolled.

We know that there are two types of cubits used in the Scripture: the cubit of a man (Deu 3:11) is a measure of distance from the elbow to the fingertips, aka the short (anthropological) cubit, and the cubit of the Sanctuary, aka the long (architectural) cubit being a cubit and a handbreadth.

The Tabernacle and the First Temple were built according to cubits of “the former measure” (2Ch 3:3), the long cubit or the ancient measurement, which, according to Eze 40:5 and Eze 43:13, was a handbreadth longer than the civil cubit of the time of the captivity. The long cubit is given as approximately 52.5 cm and the short cubit as about 45 cm. Hence, we learned, the size of the flying roll is given according to the cubit of the Sanctuary, that is 52.5 cm or 0.525 m.

The flying roll is 20 cubits long which equals 10.5 m. The width (unrolled) of the flying roll is 10 cubits (5.25 m), or according to the formula of circumference of circle (C = π • d), the diameter of the flying roll will be 1.67 m. In other words, the flying cylinder is 10.5 m long and 1.67 m wide.

Having said all that, we are coming to the point in our study of  decoding the most intriguing element in the prophecy: the mysterious “woman” in an ephah.

This cylinder that Zechariah calls “a flying roll” for the lack of a better word carries a container made of lead whose load is “a woman” called “wickedness” that can consume the wicked with their houses of stones and concrete.

Now, the most important of these words is the Hebrew word for “woman” אִשָּׁה ishah. Ishah is a feminine form of אִישׁ ish, meaning a man. The Hebrew word for fire is אֵשׁ eysh, hence we see that these two words spell and sound similar. What is the connection between “woman” and “fire”?

The Hebrew word for fire is אש eysh, written without the vowel points. Derived from this two letter parent root is the three letter child root איש ish meaning “man.”

To rediscover this relationship between “fire” and “man” let us consider the “creation” of fire by man.

In ancient times, fire was made with a “bow drill” and tinder. Man pressed tinder to form a ball, then with one hand held the handle while the other hand moved the bow back and forth in a sawing motion. This action caused the rod to spin back and forth on the fireboard. The friction of the two woods rubbing also created heat causing the dust to become very hot. After a short time the smoke began to rise from the heated dust. Then the fire maker blew air to kindle the fire.

Now, let us compare it to the Creation story, as we read both descriptions in parallel: as the Creator has made the man, and as a fire maker makes a fire.

The Creator: And Yehovah Elohim pressed the man from the dust of the ground and puffed into his nostrils the breath of life and the man became a living soul. (present author’s literal translation of Gen 2:7)

The Fire maker: And the fire maker pressed the tinder from the dust and he puffed into the tinder his breath and the tinder became a living fire: אש eysh.

From the creation story we know that the woman was made from man. From the above comparison the Creator made the man like the fire maker made the fire. Therefore, we see that the creation of fire אש eysh is like the creation of the woman אִשָּׁה ishah.

The Hebrew word for “woman” is אִשָּׁה ishah and being a feminine form of אִישׁ ish, a man, is related to fire, in the same manner as man is related to fire. If we take the vowel points out of אשָּׁה, woman, and אֵשׁ, fire, we will see that they are like one and the same, as אשָּׁה ishah is a feminine form of אש eysh (letter hey as a suffix at the end of the word makes the word feminine).

If this is so, we can make the supposition that in the prophecy “fire” is implied and if we indeed replace “woman” with “fire” it will make much more sense than a woman sitting in a basket. For the translators, the idea of a woman sitting in a basket makes no more sense than a fire in a basket. 

Therefore, we see that a cylinder carries a leaden container whose payload is the fire of wickedness that consumes everything. This container is carried away through the air by two more fires (women) that have wide spread wings whose only purpose is to transport the wicked payload from an undisclosed land to the land of Shinar (Iraq and Iran) where it will be stationed in a firmly established concrete building.

The Iranian threat that causes fear in the land of the living

What could all that possibly mean?

The present author could not think of anything else other than a ballistic missile (a flying roll) of some type capable of carrying a nuclear payload (wicked fire) in a leaden warhead (ephah). This missile is delivered from an unspecified country to the land of Shinar, that is Iraq and Iran, today, in order to be stored in heavily fortified concrete buildings, i.e. silos.

Now, let us look at the specifications of the Iranian ballistic missile Shahab-1 below and see if we can find any similarities with the flying roll carrying a wicked fire in Zechariah 5.

Scud-B and Scud-C flying roll in Zechariah

Scud-B and Scud-C flying rolls in Zechariah

The Shahab-1 is an Iranian variant of the Russian SS-1C Scud B.

Originated from: Soviet Union, North Korea

Alternative names: Scud B, R-17, SS-1C. 

Warhead (leaden): High explosive, chemical, biological, nuclear

The rest is left up to the reader to figure out, but here is the hint: North Korea’s export of nuclear technology for Iran is not news any more nowadays. It is proven that the rogue regime in North Korea not only has sold know-how of nuclear warheads to Iran, but also the technology to build Iranian ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile) programs capable of reaching Israel and beyond.

What North Korea gets in exchange is the so-needed oil from Iran. Whether North Korea is the unspecified land in the prophecy, is a mere speculation on the part of the present author. But the fact is that Israel was behind the destruction of the North Korean nuclear reactor (a wicked fire in a basket) in Syria, the Iranian proxy.

But one thing is certain: Shinar is Iran. And that Iran might have received ready-to-use nuclear warheads from North Korea should not surprise anyone. The mullahs might have taken the shortcut to acquire nuclear warheads directly from North Korea instead of developing their own. Undoubtedly, this would save them time in a brilliant move to bypass the porous “Iran nuclear deal” of Barak Hussein Obama. The continuation of this article is in the article “The Iranian Threat that Causes Fear in the Land of the Living.”

For more insight on the end-time prophecy, please, visit Prophecy Insight and Part II The Last Kingdom of the present author’s book Reckoning of Time.


May we merit seeing the coming of our Mashiach speedily in our days.