VII. THE VISION OF THE EPHAH VESSEL
Verses 5 through 11 describe the vision of the ephah vessel, which is the measuring vessel, a container able to hold one ephah, used for purchasing and selling in business.
A. Its Appearance in All the Land
"Then the angel who spoke with me went forth and said to me, Lift up now your eyes and see what this is that goes forth. And I said, What is it? And he said, This is the ephah vessel that goes forth; and he said, This is their appearance in all the land" (vv. 5-6). A large percentage of the world’s population is engaged in business or commerce. The appearance of business is not that bad; rather, in all the land commerce seems to have a proper appearance. But as we will see, actually today’s commerce is totally wicked.
B. A Woman Sitting within the Ephah Vessel
"This is a woman sitting within the ephah vessel. Then he said, This is Wickedness" (vv. 7b-8a). This reveals that the woman sitting within the ephah vessel signifies the wickedness contained in commerce, such as covetousness, deceit, and the love of mammon. The seller loves money and tries to get money out of the buyer’s pocket; the buyer also loves money and tries to obtain the things he wants at a low price, thereby saving money.
The vision in Zechariah 5 corresponds to that of Babylon the Great in Revelation 18. These visions show us that in the sight of God the wickedness contained in commerce is a kind of idolatry and fornication. Business is an adulterous woman desirous of making money.
C. A Lead Cover Thrown
over the Opening of the Ephah Vessel
In Zechariah 5:7 and 8 we see that a lead cover, a lead weight, is thrown over the opening of the ephah vessel. This signifies the restriction of the wickedness in commerce by God’s sovereignty. Wickedness is hidden and concealed in international trade. If commerce, especially international trade, could be restricted, the whole earth would be holy.
D. Two Women Going Forth
"Then I lifted up my eyes and I saw, and behold, there were two women going forth" (v. 9a). The one woman becoming two women signifies the double effect of commerce once it becomes free of the restriction.
(Life-Study of Zechariah, Chapter 6, by Witness Lee)