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Thursday, June 20th, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Zechariah 4

Old & New Testament Restoration CommentaryRestoration Commentary

Verses 1-14

Zec 4:1-14

Zechariah’s Fifth Divine Vision (Zechariah 4:1-14)

“And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep. And he said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have seen, and, behold, a candlestick all of gold, with its bowl upon the top of it, and its seven lamps thereon; there are seven pipes to each of the lamps, which are upon the top thereof; and two olive-trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof. And I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my Lord?” (Zechariah 4:1-4).

The word “again” indicates that this is not the first time the prophet has been awaken this night and showed a vision. The angel asks Zechariah, “what seest thou?” Zechariah saw a candlestick holder of gold that occupied seven lamps (i.e., candles). Each of the lamps had seven pipes coming out of them. At the top of this candlestick holder and seven lamps was a bowl. One olive tree was planted on both the right and left sides of the candlestick holder. As Zechariah views the vision he asks the angel, “What are these, my Lord?”

“Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, Knowest thou not what these are? And I said, No, my lord. Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of Jehovah unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith Jehovah of hosts” (Zechariah 4:5-6).

The angel seems somewhat surprised that Zechariah did not understand the vision. The angel then explains to Zechariah that the vision is a message to Zerubbabel that the temple would not be built by might or power of men but rather by the Spirit of Jehovah. It seems that Zerubbabel had become discouraged and the Lord is giving him words of encouragement through the prophet.

“Who art thou, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain; and he shall bring forth the top stone with shoutings of Grace, grace, unto it” (Zechariah 4:7).

Zerubbabel is to be assured that all mountains of deterrents to the building process would be removed. The discouraged hearts due to the seemingly smallness of the foundation, lack of materials, surrounding nations such as the Samaritans, and any other “great mountain” of discouragement shall be removed and Zerubbabel will bring forth the final stone to complete the building process and shouts of joy or grace will be sung. By God’s grace any and all things of this life that we may view as mountainous difficulties can be removed (cf. Philippians 4:13) (see study # 8; God Encourages the Downtrodden).

“Moreover the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying, The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that Jehovah of hosts hath sent me unto you. For who hath despised the day of small things? For these seven shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel; these are the eyes of Jehovah, which run to and fro through the whole earth” (Zechariah 4:8-10).

A prophetic statement regarding the completion of the temple of Jehovah God is made. The angels state that the vision of the candlestick means that the temple will be completed by Zerubbabel. When the temple is complete all will know that the source of this prophecy was indeed divine (cf. Isaiah 46:9 ff). What this ought to teach us is that when the same Lord foretold of Zerubbabel’s part in the latter spiritual house (i.e., the church through Jesus Christ) that it too would indeed (and it has) come to pass.

The angel asks a question, “Who has despised the day of small things?” Though the building of the temple may seem to be an insignificant event it truly was not. While the eyes of Jehovah God are throughout the earth tending to the smallest matters that His great plan to redeem man from the consequences of their sins was being worked out. Truly God is in control over all things. Each small event was an act of God’s sovereignty and His gracious care for the eternal well-being of man.

“Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive-trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof? And I answered the second time, and said unto him, What are these two olive-branches, which are beside the two golden spouts, that empty the golden oil out of themselves? And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these are? And I said, No, my lord. Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth” (Zechariah 4:11-14).

More details of the initial vision are now given. Zechariah has seen branches of the olive trees extending to the bowl atop of the candlestick in which a perpetual source of golden oil is being supplied to the candlesticks for light (apparently 49 pipes come out of the main bowl and in groups of seven they are extend to each candlestick providing fuel). Zechariah asks the angel the significance of these trees and branches and once again the angel seems to be surprised that Zechariah does not know. The angel tells Zechariah that the two olive trees that are supplying the perpetual golden oil for the lamps are “two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.” Suffice it to say at this point in our study that the two anointed ones mentioned hear can be no other than Joshua the high priest and Zerubbabel the governing authority among the Jews in Judea. The high priest and king (ruler of the people) stand by the Lord of the whole earth. These two, i.e., Zerubbabel and Joshua, are thereby types of the Christ to come. They carry out God’s immediate purpose of building the temple and Christ, as the priestly king, would carry out Jehovah’s eternal purpose.

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on Zechariah 4". "Old & New Testament Restoration Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/onr/zechariah-4.html.
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