I looked again and saw a flying scroll.
What do you see?” asked the angel.
I see a flying scroll,” I replied. “It's thirty feet long and fifteen feet wide.”*
He told me, “This is the curse that is going out to all the world. Anyone who steals will be purged from society, according to one side of the scroll. Anyone who swears lies under oath will be purged from society, according to the other side of the scroll.”
I have sent the curse out and it will go into the house of the thief and into the house of the one who swears lies in my name, declares the Lord Almighty. The curse will remain in that house, and will destroy it, both the timbers and the stones.”
Then the angel I had been talking to came over to me and said, “Look. What do you see moving away?”§
What is it?” I asked.
What you see moving away is a barrel* full of the sins of everyone in the country,” he replied. Then the lead lid was lifted from the barrel and there was a woman sitting inside. She represents wickedness,” he said, and pushed her back inside, forcing the lead lid shut.
I looked once more and saw two women flying towards me. Their wings looked like those of a stork. They picked up the barrel and flew away, high into the sky.
10 Where are they taking it?” I asked the angel I was talking to.
11 “They're taking it to the land of Babylon§ to build a house for it. When the house is ready, the barrel will be placed at its base.”*
* 5:2 Literally, “Twenty cubits in length and ten cubits in width.” 5:3 Or “cut off.” 5:3 One side of the scroll/other side. This is the commonest understanding of the meaning here, but there are other interpretations. § 5:5 Or “going forth.” * 5:6 Literally, “ephah,” a container for measuring grain; sometimes translated “basket.” However, in this case it obviously needs to be large enough to hold a woman inside (5:7), so the word barrel has been used for translation. 5:6 Septuagint reading. The Hebrew text currently reads “eye,” but this is hard to understand in this context, and the revised reading is only one letter different in the Hebrew. 5:6 The country of Judah. § 5:11 Literally, “Shinar.” * 5:11 “At its base.” Some interpret this to mean the woman who represents wickedness will be worshiped, and that the “house” is actually a temple.