Every one that stealeth - and every one that sweareth - It seems that the roll was written both on the front and back: stealing and swearing are supposed to be two general heads of crimes; the former, comprising sins against men; the latter, sins against God. It is supposed that the roll contained the sins and punishments of the Chaldeans.
Over the face of the whole earth - primarily land, since the perjured persons, upon whom the curse was to fall Zechariah 5:4, were those who swore falsely by the name of God: and this was in Judah only. The reference to the two tables of the law also confines it primarily to those who were under the law. Yet, since the moral law abides under the Gospel, ultimately these visions related to the Christian Church, which was to be spread over the whole earth. The roll apparently was shown, as written on both sides; the commandments of the first table, in which perjury is forbidden, on the one side; those relating to the love of our neighbor, in which stealing is forbidden, on the other. Theodoret: “He calleth curse that vengeance, which goeth through the whole world, and is brought upon the workers of iniquity. But hereby both prophets and people were taught, that the God of all is the judge of all people, and will exact meet punishment of all, bringing utter destruction not on those only who live ungodly toward Himself, but on those also who are unjust to their neighbors. For let no one think that this threat was only against thieves and false-swearers; for He gave sentence against all iniquity. For since all the law and the prophets hang on this word, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and thy neighbor as thyself,” He comprised every sort of sin under false swearing and theft. The violation of oaths is the head of all ungodliness. One who so doeth is devoid of the love of God. But theft indicates injustice to one‘s neighbor; for no one who loves his neighbor will endure to be unjust to him. These heads then comprehend all the other laws.”
Shall be cut off - Literally, “cleansed away”, as something defiled and defiling, which has to be cleared away as offensive: as God says, “I will take away the remnant of the house of Jeroboam, as a man taketh away dung, until it be all gone” (1 Kings 14:10, add 1 Kings 21:21), and so often in Deuteronomy, “thou shalt put the evil away from the midst of thee” (Deuteronomy 13:5 (6 Heb.); Deuteronomy 17:7; Deuteronomy 19:19; Deuteronomy 21:21; Deuteronomy 22:21, Deuteronomy 22:24; Deuteronomy 24:7), or “of Israel” Deuteronomy 17:12; Deuteronomy 23:22, and in Ezekiel, “I will disperse thee in the countries and will consume thy filthiness out of thee” Ezekiel 22:15. Set it empty upon the coals thereof, that the brass of it may be hot and may burn, and the filthiness of it may be molten, that the scum of it may be consumed” Ezekiel 24:11.
The accounts of every business, the details of every transaction, pass the scrutiny of unseen auditors, agents of Him who never compromises with injustice, never overlooks evil, never palliates wrong. Ed 144.1
“If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice, ... marvel not at the matter: for He that is higher than the highest regardeth.” “There is no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves.” Ecclesiastes 5:8; Job 34:22. Ed 144.2
“They set their mouth against the heavens.... And they say, How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the Most High?” “These things hast thou done,” God says, “and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes,” Psalm 73:9-11; 50:21. Ed 144.3Read in context »