16. (a) What did Zechariah next see happen to the ephah container? (See opening image 3.) (b) Where do the women with wings take the ephah container?
16 Next on the scene appear two women who have strong wings like those of a stork. (Read Zechariah 5:9-11.) How different these women are from the woman in the container! These women use their powerful wings to swoop in and lift up the container containing “Wickedness.” Where are they taking her? Wickedness is deposited in “the land of Shinar,” or Babylon. Why, though, would they take the container to Babylon?
17, 18. (a) Why is Shinar the “proper place” for “Wickedness” to reside? (b) What should be our resolve regarding wickedness?
17 To the Israelites of Zechariah’s day, Shinar would be a fitting place for Wickedness to be confined. Zechariah and his fellow Jews could confirm that Babylon was a place of wickedness in their day. Having grown up amid the filthy and idolatrous ways of this city, they had to fight every day to resist the spirit of that pagan world. What a relief this vision must have brought them—a guarantee that Jehovah would keep pure worship clean!
18 However, the vision also reminded the Jews of their responsibility to maintain the purity of their worship. Wickedness cannot and will not be allowed to creep into and dwell among Jehovah’s people. After we have been brought into the protective and loving care of God’s clean organization, we have the responsibility to help maintain it. Are we moved to keep our “house” clean? Wickedness in any form does not belong in our spiritual paradise.