Chapter 5

1And I returned, and I lifted my eyes and saw-and behold!-there was a flying scroll.   אוָֽאָשׁ֕וּב וָֽאֶשָּׂ֥א עֵינַ֖י וָֽאֶרְאֶ֑ה וְהִנֵּ֖ה מְגִלָּ֥ה עָפָֽה:
a flying scroll: Our Sages explained [it] as “double,” and they said that the Torah was written on it. They deduced from here that the world is 1/3,200 of the Torah, as stated in Eruvin (21a). And Jonathan rendered: a flying scroll; i.e., flying in the air. According to the simple meaning of the chapter, it was a scroll of retribution; that was what Ezekiel (2:10) envisioned: “And in it was written lamentations and mourning and woe.”  
2And he said to me, "What do you see?" and I said, "I see a flying scroll, twenty cubits long and ten cubits wide."   בוַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֵלַ֔י מָ֥ה אַתָּ֖ה רֹאֶ֑ה וָֽאֹמַ֗ר אֲנִ֚י רֹאֶה֙ מְגִלָּ֣ה עָפָ֔ה אָרְכָּהּ֙ עֶשְׂרִ֣ים בָּֽאַמָּ֔ה וְרָחְבָּ֖הּ עֶ֥שֶׂר בָּאַמָּֽה:
3And he said to me; This is the curse that comes forth upon the face of the entire land; for, whoever stole was cleared from such as this, and whoever swore was cleared from such as this.   גוַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֵלַ֔י זֹאת הָֽאָלָ֔ה הַיּוֹצֵ֖את עַל־פְּנֵ֣י כָל־הָאָ֑רֶץ כִּ֣י כָל־הַגֹּנֵ֗ב מִזֶּה֙ כָּמ֣וֹהָ נִקָּ֔ה וְכָל־הַנִּ֨שְׁבָּ֔ע מִזֶּ֖ה כָּמ֥וֹהָ נִקָּֽה:
This is the curse: This is [the scroll] in which is written the retribution, the revenge for a false oath. [The scroll] is now coming forth from the Holy of Holies, from before the Shechinah, to walk to and fro upon the face of the entire land; this is the meaning of “its length is twenty, and its width is ten” - as the measure of the entrance to the Temple court and the Temple, through which it shall emerge.  
for whoever stole: until now.  
was cleared from such as this: He was cleared from this retribution, as it delineated on it [i.e., the scroll]. The retribution of individuals who transgressed the Torah was not meted out, but He waited until the measure of all of them was filled, and they all suffered at once with the destruction and the exile. Similarly, everyone who heretofore swore falsely, was cleared of the retribution as delineated in this scroll and was not requited, but from now on…  
4I have brought it forth, says the Lord of Hosts, and it shall come into the house of the thief and into the house of him that swears in My Name falsely. And it shall lodge in the midst of his house and destroy him, and his wood, and his stones.   דהֽוֹצֵאתִ֗יהָ נְאֻם֙ יְהֹוָ֣ה צְבָא֔וֹת וּבָ֙אָה֙ אֶל־בֵּ֣ית הַגַּנָּ֔ב וְאֶל־בֵּ֛ית הַנִּשְׁבָּ֥ע בִּשְׁמִ֖י לַשָּׁ֑קֶר וְלָ֙נֶה֙ בְּת֣וֹךְ בֵּית֔וֹ וְכִלַּ֖תּוּ וְאֶת־עֵצָ֥יו וְאֶת־אֲבָנָֽיו:
I have brought it forth: to walk to and fro in the land and to wreak vengeance upon the thieves and the swearers of falsehoods from now on; and it shall come into the house of the thief, etc.  
5And the angel who was speaking to me came forth, and he said to me, "Now lift up your eyes and see what this is that is coming forth."   הוַיֵּצֵ֕א הַמַּלְאָ֖ךְ הַדֹּבֵ֣ר בִּ֑י וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֵלַ֗י שָׂ֣א נָ֚א עֵינֶ֙יךָ֙ וּרְאֵ֔ה מָ֖ה הַיּוֹצֵ֥את הַזֹּֽאת:
Now lift up your eyes and see: Yet another is coming forth, that will come out from the Holy of Holies.  
6And I said, "What is it?" And he said, "This is the ephah that is going forth." And he said, "This is [the punishment of those] whose eye [gazes] over the entire land."   ווָֽאֹמַ֖ר מַה־הִ֑יא וַיֹּ֗אמֶר זֹ֚את הָֽאֵיפָה֙ הַיּוֹצֵ֔את וַיֹּ֕אמֶר זֹ֥את עֵינָ֖ם בְּכָל־הָאָֽרֶץ:
And I said, “What is it?”: that is coming forth, that you tell me to see?  
And he said, “This is the ephah”: For you will see a sort of ephah with which they measure coming forth.  
And he said, “This is [the punishment of those] whose eye [gazes] over the entire land”: And, after I saw it, he said, “ This is the measure by which punishment was meted out to those whose eyes were over the entire land, to rob and to oppress, to make the ephah smaller and to make the shekel larger; and punishment was meted out to them, a measure for a measure.”  
7And behold! A talent of lead was being lifted, and this one woman was sitting in the midst of the ephah.   זוְהִנֵּ֛ה כִּכַּ֥ר עֹפֶ֖רֶת נִשֵּׂ֑את וְזֹאת֙ אִשָּׁ֣ה אַחַ֔ת יוֹשֶׁ֖בֶת בְּת֥וֹךְ הָֽאֵיפָֽה:
And behold! A talent of lead was being lifted: I saw that a weight [made] of a talent of lead was being lifted off the earth into the air, and I saw further that this one woman was sitting in the midst of the ephah.  
8And he said, "This is Wickedness. " And he cast her into the midst of the ephah, and he cast the lead weight into her mouth.   חוַיֹּ֙אמֶר֙ זֹ֣את הָֽרִשְׁעָ֔ה וַיַּשְׁלֵ֥ךְ אֹתָ֖הּ אֶל־תּ֣וֹךְ הָֽאֵיפָ֑ה וַיַּשְׁלֵ֛ךְ אֶת־אֶ֥בֶן הָֽעוֹפֶ֖רֶת אֶל־פִּֽיהָ:
And he said, “This is Wickedness.”: This woman that you see in the midst of the ephah is the character of the way of wickedness, [the way] in which the wicked deport themselves. And behold, now they are placed in its midst to be punished in the midst of that very measure that they meted out, a measure for a measure.  
And he cast her: Heretofore she had been sitting, but he cast her and knocked her into its midst, symbolizing torments and punishments.  
and he cast the lead weight into her mouth: to weigh her down so that they achieve no more greatness and their voice is no longer heard robbing the poor and needy.  
9And I lifted my eyes, and I saw-and behold!-two women were coming forth with wind in their wings, and they had wings like the wings of the stork. And they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heaven.   טוָאֶשָּׂ֨א עֵינַ֜י וָאֵ֗רֶא וְהִנֵּה֩ שְׁתַּ֨יִם נָשִׁ֚ים יֽוֹצְאוֹת֙ וְר֣וּחַ בְּכַנְפֵיהֶ֔ם וְלָהֵ֥נָּה כְנָפַ֖יִם כְּכַנְפֵ֣י הַֽחֲסִידָ֑ה וַתִּשֶּׂ֙אנָה֙ (כתיב וַתִּשֶׂ֙נָה֙) אֶת־הָ֣אֵיפָ֔ה בֵּ֥ין הָאָ֖רֶץ וּבֵ֥ין הַשָּׁמָֽיִם:
two women were coming forth: from the house.  
the stork: the white dayyah (Hullin 63a), voltur in Old French.  
10And I said to the angel who spoke to me, "Where are they taking the ephah?"   יוָֽאֹמַ֕ר אֶל־הַמַּלְאָ֖ךְ הַדֹּבֵ֣ר בִּ֑י אָ֛נָה הֵ֥מָּה מֽוֹלִכ֖וֹת אֶת־הָֽאֵיפָֽה:
11And he said to me, "To build a house for it in the land of Shinar, and it will be prepared, and they shall place it there on its base."   יאוַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֵלַ֔י לִבְנֽוֹת־לָ֥ה בַ֖יִת בְּאֶ֣רֶץ שִׁנְעָ֑ר וְהוּכַ֛ן וְהֻנִּ֥יחָה שָּׁ֖ם עַל־מְכֻֽנָתָֽהּ:
and it will be prepared, and they shall place it there: And the house shall be prepared, and the ephah shall be placed there with the wicked that are within it.  
there: In that house.  
on its base: On its permanence and on its base. Here He hinted [to Zechariah] that, because of the iniquity of Israel, who measured out [so to speak] with the measure of sins and wickedness, they were punished with the same measure. And there came two nations that ruled together; they were Babylon and the Chaldeans - the army of Nebuchadnezzar - and exiled [Israel] to Babylon where [Israel] stayed fixed on a base, a base that was established for them. That is according to the completion of the seventy years until now, when they returned. This interpretation leans partially toward that of Jonathan. This [phrase] is interpreted in many [other] ways, but they are not satisfactory to me. Our Sages, however, explained and learned from here that the evil inclination was given into the hands of the men of the Great Assembly, and they cast it into a leaden cauldron and covered it with lead, because lead absorbs the sound, as is stated in tractate Sanhedrin (24a) and in tractate Yoma (69b). My interpretation of the kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar as doubled - composed of two nations - I saw in Midrash Psalms (6:2, 18:10), that the following four kingdoms that subjugated Israel were double: Babylon and the Chaldeans, Media and Persia, Greece and Macedon, Edom and Ishmael, and for this reason the Kalir composed (in Piyutim for Shemini Azereth), “It is the fourth; it is the eighth,” concerning Edom.