What is it
In the vision of the ephah local and prophetic elements are to be distinguished. The elements are: an ephah or measure; a woman in the ephah; a sealing weight upon the mouth of the ephah confining the woman, and the stork-winged women whose only function is to bear the ephah and woman away into Babylonia (Shinar). The thing thus symbolized was "through all the land" (Zechariah 5:6).
Symbolically, a "measure" (or "cup") stands for something which has come to the full, so that God must judge it 2 Samuel 8:2; Jeremiah 51:13; Habakkuk 3:6; Habakkuk 3:7; Matthew 7:2; Matthew 23:32. A woman, in the bad ethical sense, is always a symbol of that which, religiously, is out of its place. The "woman" in Matthew 13:33 is dealing with doctrine, a sphere forbidden to her 1 Timothy 2:12. In Thyatira a woman is suffered to teach Revelation 2:20. The Babylon phase of the apostate church is symbolized by an unchaste woman, sodden with the greed and luxury of commercialism.; Revelation 17:1-6; Revelation 18:3; Revelation 18:11-20.
The local application of Zechariah's ninth vision is, therefore, evident. The Jews then in the land had been in captivity in Babylon. Outwardly they had put away idolatry, but they had learned in Babylon that insatiate greed of gain Nehemiah 5:1-9; Malachi 3:8 that intense commercial spirit which had been foreign to Israel as a pastoral people, but which was thenceforward to characterize them through the ages. These things were out of place in God's people and land. Symbolically He judged them as belonging to Babylon and sent them there to build a temple--they could have no part in His. The "woman" was to be "set there upon her own base" (Zechariah 5:11). It was Jehovah's moral judgment upon Babylonism in His own land and people.
Prophetically, the application to the Babylon of the Revelation is obvious. The professing Gentile church at that time condoning every iniquity of the rich, doctrinally a mere "confusion," as the name indicates, and corrupted to the core by commercialism, wealth, and luxury, falls under the judgment of God (Revelation 18.).
Lit. land, i.e. Palestine.