Nimrod and his followers devised a plan for dwelling in the city of Babel and settling in the land of Shinar.
“And they said, ‘Come let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.’” Genesis 11:4
To avoid being scattered was exactly opposite of God’s intent for mankind to replenish the earth.
Of course God’s immutable plan became reality.
“So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city.” Genesis 11:8
The deserted city was named ‘Babel’ which has several meaningful synonyms including ‘mingle,’ ‘gate to god,’ and ‘confusion.’
But as we’ll see, God wasn’t done with the land of Shinar, or the deserted city.
As history progressed, three world kingdoms had come and gone beginning with Egypt, then Assyria, and Babylon.
Shortly after Babylon’s demise in 539 BC the prophet Zechariah issued a proclamation relative to the land of Shinar which would occur in the future.
And so it was, an angel had just revealed to Zechariah that in a far off day Israel would be cleansed of evil, and the evil doers would be ‘cut off’ from the land.
Zechariah observed something departing (going forth) from the land. He inquired to the angel as to what it was that he was seeing.
“…and he (angel) said, ‘it is a basket that is going forth.’”
The departing basket was more specifically an ephah which is a bulk measuring container which holds approximately two-thirds bushels. On the top of the ephah was a lead cover to contain the contents of the ephah.
The lead cover represented a large round coin weighing approximately a talent, or 100 lbs.
Thus the ephah with its lead cover represented commerce. Then the angel lifted the lead cover and revealed the contents of the ephah.
“Here is a lead disc lifted up, and this is a woman sitting inside the basket (ephah).” Then he said, ‘this is Wickedness!’ And he thrust her down into the basket, and threw the lead cover over its mouth.”
Then Zechariah saw two women lifting up the basket between earth and heaven, and he asked the angel where the women were carrying the basket.
“And he said to me, ‘To build a house for it in the land of Shinar; when it is ready, the basket will be set there on its base.’” Zechariah 5:11
The ‘house’ represents a temple or palace which would be built in the future in the land of Shinar. The basket (ephah) would be set on its own base when the predetermined time arrives.
The prophecy indicates that the future commercial center of the world will be established where ancient Babel was, i.e. the land of Shinar, presently known as Iraq.
The woman in the ephah is described in the final book of the Bible.
And again, it is an angel that is talking, this time to John.
“Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.’” Revelation 17:1-2
The ‘wicked woman’ in the ephah described by Zechariah is now identified as the great harlot at the end of days. She will be destroyed by the ten nations of anti-Christ’s final world empire.
The angel continues to explain the mystery to John.
“And the ten horns (nations) which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate…for God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast (anti-Christ).” Revelation 17:16-17
The question is then, who will miss her the most?
“And the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her, for no one buys their merchandise anymore.” Revelation 18:11
That presents another question; what will be the priority of the nations in the end of days?
Walt Thrun @ figtreeweek70.com
For more, see my latest book “Looking Backward from the Future: …Until Messiah the Prince”