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Commentary On Zechariah Malachi by Jean Calvin

Zechariah 5:9-11

9. Then lifted I up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came out two women, and the wind was in their wings; for they had wings like the wings of a stork: and they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heaven.

9. Et extuli oculos meos et aspexi, et ecce duae mulieres egressae, et Spiritus erat in alis ipsarum, et ipsis alae erant quasi alae milvi (alii vertunt, ciconiam; et mihi magis placet, quanquam parum est momenti;) et extulerunt modium inter terram et inter coelum.

10. Then said I to the angel that talked with me, Whither do these bear the ephah?

10. Et dixi angelo qui loquebatur mecum, Quonam istae deferunt modium?

11. And he said unto me, To build it an house in the land of Shinar: and it shall be established, and set there upon her own base.

11. Et dixit mihi, Ad aedificandum ei domum in terra Sinear; et statuetur et stabilietur illic super basim suam. (Ego potero absolvere paucis verbis hoc vaticinum.)

The Prophet says here that such would be the change of things, that God would in turn afflict the Chaldeans, who had so cruelly treated the chosen people. And this is the reason why I think that iniquity is to be taken for the violent injustice and plunder which heathen enemies had exercised towards the Jews. For when he says that a house would be for iniquity in the land of Shinar, it is as though he had said, |as Judea has been for a long time plundered by enemies, and has been exposed to their outrages, so the Chaldeans in their turn shall be punished, not once, nor for a short time, but perpetually; for God will fix a habitation for wickedness in their land.| We hence see the design of the vision, that is, that when God had mercy on his Church its enemies would have to render an account, and that they would not escape God's hand, though he had employed them to chastise his people.

He says then, that wickedness was taken away, that a house might be made for it, that is, that it might have a fixed and permanent dwelling in the land of Shinar, which means among the Chaldeans, who had been inveterate enemies to the Jews; and as Babylon was the metropolis of that empire, he includes under it all the ungodly who opposed or persecuted the children of God. Why God represents the measure as carried away by women rather than by men does not appear to me, except it was that the Jews might know that there was no need of any warlike preparations, but that their strongest enemies could be laid prostrate by weak and feeble instruments; and thus under the form of weakness his own power would be made evident. The Prophet saw women with wings, because sudden would be the change, so that in one day, as we shall presently see, wickedness was taken away. By the wings of a stork either celerity or strength is indicated. This is the sum of the whole.

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