Considerable disagreement exists over the meaning of the ephah vision of Zech 5:5–11. I propose to read the ephah vision as a verbal replication of a common motif known in ancient Near Eastern tradition, represented in both text and image, of deities accompanied by winged hybrid creatures, or Mischwesen, who function as attendant creatures of the deity. In the resulting interpretation, I argue that the theme of the vision in Zechariah is a deportation of an Israelite goddess to Babylon, where a temple is established for her, all of which is accomplished by her attendant creatures. The ephah vision thus reflects the removal of the goddess and the totality of her cult from the Jerusalem temple. I conclude by offering a few thoughts on the rhetorical implications of the image–text dynamic in play in this reading of the vision.


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pp. 871-891
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