Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.

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ZACHARIAS - Chapter 5

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Zacharias v.

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 1. Eyes of the soul. (Menochius) --- Volume. That is, a parchment, according to the form of the ancient books, which, from begin rolled up, were called volumes. (Challoner) --- Such are still used in the synagogues. They were usually written only on one side. (Calmet) --- Septuagint have read e at the end of megilla, and render "a scythe," (Haydock) indicating chastisement. Aquila and Theodoret have Diphthera, and Symmachus Kephalis. (St. Jerome) --- The latter denotes the roller (Haydock) to which the parchment was sewed. (Menochius) --- The former signifies a book written on vellum, particularly that in which the poets say Jupiter marks the sins and punishments of mankind. The prophet saw a volume of this nature. (Calmet) --- The sins of the people, and the punishment designed for them, were described. It appeared flying, to shew that the decree came from heaven. (St. Chrysostom, Il. xxvii. ad pop.) (Worthington)

Ver. 2. Cubits, alluding to Judea, which was twice as long as it was broad. (Menochius) --- Many explain this vision and that of the woman, (ver. 7) of the Jews, (Calmet) after St. Jerome. (Haydock) --- But is seems rather to denote the Chaldeans, whose sentence had been long pronounced, and who were punished by the Persians, and by the Greeks, as by two women. If we understand the Jews, their iniquity was chastised by the Assyrians and Chaldeans. (Calmet)

Ver. 3. In like. Protestants, "shall cut off as on that side standing to it." (Haydock)

Ver. 4. Thief. Nabuchodonosor is often so styled. (St. Jerome iv. 7.) This title comprises all the injuries done to man, as he that sweareth falsely refers to those where God's honour is concerned (Calmet) more immediately. (Haydock)

Ver. 6. Vessel. Hebrew epha. (Calmet) --- Eye. This is what they fix their eye upon, or this is a resemblance and figure of them, viz., of sinners. (Calmet) --- Protestants, "resemblance." (Haydock) --- This is their picture. (Calmet) --- Septuagint, "wickedness;" unom. (Haydock) --- U is often mistaken for i. (St. Jerome) Yet here the Septuagint seems equally intelligible, ver. 8. (Haydock)

Ver. 7. Talent, or weight, (Haydock) called a stone, ver. 8. --- Vessel, like the idol Canopus.

Ver. 8. He cast. Hebrew (Calmet) according to Theodotion, (St. Jerome) "She cast herself into the epha," &c. (Haydock)

Ver. 9. Women. They often represent nations; and here the Jews understand the Medes and Greeks, who punished the Chaldeans. St. Jerome rather thinks that the Assyrians and Chaldeans are meant, carrying away Israel and Juda. Yet the former supposition seems preferable, as the woman in the vessel signified the wickedness of Babylon. --- Kite. Moderns have, "stork:" the true sense is uncertain. (Calmet) --- The Jews became blind and hardened on account of their avarice and perjuries. (Worthington)

Ver. 11. The land of Sennaar, where Babel or Babylon was built; (Genesis ix.) where note that Babylon, in holy writ, is often taken for the city of the devil, (that is, for the whole congregation of the wicked) as Jerusalem is taken for the city and people of God. (Challoner) --- Antichrist will begin his reign at Babylon. (Worthington) --- Yet this is not clear. (Haydock) --- The Chaldeans are driven from the countries which they had seized, and confined to their own territory, by the Persians and Greeks; or, if we explain it of the Jews, many of them remained at Babylon, and did not return to defile their own country. Only those whose hearts were touched by God returned, 1 Esdras i. 5. (Calmet) --- Sennaar means "excussion." The Jews have been driven by the Chaldeans and Romans into all parts. (Menochius)

Bible Text & Cross-references:

The vision of the flying volume, and of the woman in the vessel.

1 And I turned, and lifted up my eyes: and I saw, and behold a volume flying.

2 And he said to me: What seest thou? And I said: I see a volume flying: the length thereof is twenty cubits, and the breadth thereof ten cubits.

3 And he said to me: This is the curse, that goeth forth over the face of the earth: for every thief shall be judged, as is there written: and every one that sweareth, in like manner shall be judged by it.

4 I will bring it forth, saith the Lord of hosts: and it shall come to the house of the thief, and to the house of him that sweareth falsely by my name: and it shall remain in the midst of his house, and shall consume it, with the timber thereof, and the stones thereof.

5 And the angel went forth that spoke in me: and he said to me: Lift up thy eyes, and see what this is, that goeth forth.

6 And I said: What is it? And he said: This is a vessel going forth. And he said: This is their eye in all the earth.

7 And behold, a talent of lead was carried, and behold, a woman sitting in the midst of the vessel.

8 And he said: This is wickedness. And he cast her into the midst of the vessel, and cast the weight of lead upon the mouth thereof.

9 And I lifted up my eyes, and looked: and behold, there came out two women, and wind was in their wings, and they had wings like the wings of a kite: and they lifted up the vessel between the earth and the heaven.

10 And I said to the angel that spoke in me: Whither do these carry the vessel?

11 And he said to me: That a house may be built for it in the land of Sennaar, and that it may be established, and set there upon its own basis.