Attention!
Partner with StudyLight.org as God uses us to make a difference for those displaced by Russia's war on Ukraine.
Click to donate today!

Bible Commentaries

Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Zechariah 4

Verses 1-7

ZECHARIAH - CHAPTER 4

THE SEVENTH VISION

Verses 1-7:

The Golden Candlestick And The Two Olive Trees

Verse 1 relates that the angel that had talked with Zechariah, ch. Zechariah 1:8, came to him and waked him again, much as a man is awakened out of sleep. He seems to have been in a state of happy slumber, ecstatic in dozing over what he had just seen and heard in vision six, when he was aroused and told that there was more for him to see, to hear, and to share of God’s future purpose for his people, 1 Corinthians 2:9; Ephesians 3:10.

Verse 2 opens with the angel’s inquiry of Zechariah to tell him what he saw, a thing he was later to tell to his people, and write for you and me. To the inquiry Zechariah responded that he had seen a candlestick or chandelier of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and seven lamps or branches on the candlestick, with seven pipes to the seven lamps to furnish them oil to burn, to give forth light. The description is similar to that of the Mosaic tabernacle, symbolizing first the Jewish worship and second that of the church later, Exodus 25:32; Exodus 25:37; Matthew 5:14-16; Philippians 2:15. The number seven denotes sufficiency of the Holy Spirit’s power to every believer, given in fullness, not by measure, a little at a time, John 3:34.

Verse 3 asserts that Zechariah also saw two olive trees, located one on either side of the candlestick, furnishing oil, media through which the Spirit gave light to the world, Revelation 11:3-4. These two olive trees seem to represent the future purpose of God to receive full glory through: 1) Israel’s kingdom restoration, and 2) the church of Jesus Christ, our Lord’s two institutional witnesses or Witness bearers, Isaiah 43:10; Isaiah 44:8; John 15:16; John 15:27; Acts 1:8.

Verse 4 relates Zechariah’s request that the angel of the Lord explain to him the meaning of what he had seen in this seventh vision. He simply conceded that he had been shown prophetic matters that he himself did not fully understand, even as angels saw and heard matters of Divine revelation that they did not understand, but desired to look into, 1 Peter 1:10-12. We too are to search the Scriptures, assured that the Holy Spirit and informing angelic help is available to help us, 1 Corinthians 2:12-13; 1 Corinthians 2:16; Romans 8:14-16; Romans 8:26-27; Hebrews 1:14.

Verse 5 declares that the angel of the Lord that had awakened him, responded to his request for an explanation of the meaning of what he had beheld. The angel asked, do you not understand what these really are, or what they symbolize? The angel did not ask him this, either for information, or to humiliate him, but to motivate him to reflect on the mystery, hidden in their symbolism, of God’s purpose to receive glory through both Jews, the old olive tree, and through the church, called from among the Gentiles as a people for His name sake, and as His light reflector, in this and all future ages, Luke 1:17; Luke 15:14; Ephesians 3:3-6; Ephesians 3:8-10; Ephesians 3:21; Matthew 5:14-16. To the angel’s inquiry this prophet replied that he did not grasp the meaning of the candlestick and two olive tree vision.

Verse 6 then affirms that the angel explained to him that the meaning of it was that of which Zerubbabel the governor had formerly testified. It was that Divine redemption and restitution existed, neither by physical might nor by physical power, but by or through the Spirit, as witnessed by the Lord (Jehovah) of hosts, Haggai 2:15; Zechariah 12:10; Malachi 2:15.

Verse 7 challenges Babylon as a great or destroyed mountain, that could not stand against Zerubbabel of Judah, but would be brought down like a flat plain. God will bring forth, in His own time, the headstone and capstone of grace and full glory to the Redeemer, Hebrews 12:2. A victory accompanied with shouting by the redeemed, Psalms 118:22; Luke 1:14; Matthew 21:9; Revelation 19:1-6.

Verses 8-10

Zerubbabel To Finish Restoration Of Temple

Verses 8-10:

Restoration Pledged

Verse 8 once again certifies that what Zechariah heard, spoke, and wrote, as related in this book, was by or from the Lord, Divine inspiration, 2 Peter 1:21; Psalms 119:160; 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

Verse 9 pledged that as surely as Zerubbabel’s hands had laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord’s house, that certain it was that the Lord would sustain him in finishing it. By the fulfillment of this prophecy, in the renewal of the temple building and its certain completion, Zechariah assured the people that they would be confirmed in the knowledge that the Lord had sent him to prophecy to them. The temple, then begun, was finished in the sixth year of the reign of Darius, on the third day of the month Adair, Ezra 4:15. What the angel announced to Zechariah 2:9. Zechariah did preach to the people to motivate them in building the temple, as the center of their national worship and pride.

Verse 10 asks, who has despised or taken lightly the day of small things? a short time, Ezra 3:12; Haggai 2:3. Because the angel further announces that these of Judah shall rejoice (come to rejoice), and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel, as he directed and provided the material things for the rebuilding of the temple. The work was done with the seven eyes of the Lord, meaning the watchcare or watchful eye of the Lord, who watches over all the earth, guarding or protecting him in the temple building program, Zechariah 3:9; Psalms 11:4; Psalms 33:18; Proverbs 15:3; See also 1 Corinthians 16:9.

Verses 11-14

The Two Olive Trees Explained

Verses 11-14:

On Either Side Of The Candlestick

Verse 11 relates Zechariah’s inquiry of the angel that had awakened him for an explanation of the two olive trees that stood on each side of the golden candlestick, on the left and on the right side, to furnish oil, or energy for the lights, v. 3. Three times he asked the angel for an explanation, v. 4, 11, 12, before he received an answer. Each time his question became more minute.

Verse 12 repeats the inquiry of the meaning of the "olive branches", formerly called trees, which emptied their golden olive oil through the golden pipes into the lampburning place proper, v. 2. The olive oil in its purity was gold in appearance as it furnished energy for the burning candlestick flames.

Verse 13 relates the angel’s asking Zechariah once again whether or not he understood the meaning of what he saw in the vision, to which he replied, "No, my Lord." He needed the aid of

that Holy Spirit, and this helping angel to assure him of the Divine meaning, 1 Corinthians 2:10-14; Hebrews 1:14.

Verse 14 gives the angel’s explanation that these are or represent the two anointed ones who stood before the Lord of the whole earth. Let it be considered that these two anointed witnesses involved in the purpose of God, in the redemption and restoration of the earth, though represented by many anointed prophets, priests, and lawgivers, as Joshua the priest and Zerubbabel, have their ultimate fulfillment in and through "The house that Moses built program of anointed worship," and the "house that Jesus built," the church, His two olive trees, institutional witnesses, Acts 1:8; Acts 2:1-4.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Zechariah 4". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/zechariah-4.html. 1985.