Then the angel who was speaking to me came forward and said to me, "Look up and see what is appearing." I asked "What is it?" He replied,"It is a basket." And he added,"This is the iniquity of the people throughout the land." Then the cover of lead was raised, and there in the basket sat a woman!
He said,"This is wickedness," and he pushed her back into the basket and pushed its lead cover down on it. Then I looked up--and there before me were two women, with the wind in their wings! They had wings like those of a stork, and they lifted up the basket between heaven and earth. "Where are they taking the basket?" I asked the angel who was speaking to me. He replied "To the country of Babylonia to build a house for it. When the house is ready, the basket will be set there in its place."
Zechariah 5:5-11, NIV
This obscure passage is one of my favorite prophetic passages. It tells us so much in a simple vision, and dovetails perfectly into Revelation. A person living when this was written, would understand the meaning of the basket and the women with stork wings. The two women are an old symbol of commerce. Today we might use dollar signs.
The basket, or ephah, was a unit of measure. The woman in the basket is described. She is wickedness. The prophet asks where she will be taken and is told, to Shinar, or Babylonia.
This is so important. Though Martin Luther called Rome "Babylon" it was a term of derision, not a geographical term. Many interpret Babylon as Rome, and the Vatican. Even the old Duay Catholic Bible's notes do so. I'm afraid this is what is called a self-reference complex. Everything is not about their church or any church for that matter.
No, the simple, direct, interpretation is the answer. In the later days, commerce will carry wickedness to Babylon, just as the book of Revelation says.
What about the lead weight? The woman is imprisoned until it is time for her to come out. A place is being built for her. When this place is complete, out she comes. It is really quite simple.
I find this prophecy so important because it not only tells us of a future union of commerce and wickedness, it tells us of where the hub of this activity will be--Babylon. Many feel this has already occurred, but as Al Jolson used to say, "You ain't seen nothing yet."