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The Prophet is still in the relation of the visions of God. A golden candlestick, and two olive trees, are made emblems of the Church. Zerubbabel is introduced as a type of the Lord Jesus.
Zechariah 4:1 "And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep, "
There is a great beauty in the manner in which this vision was opened to the Prophet. He tells us, that, the angel who talked with him, came again and awakened him, as from sleep. The Reader will perhaps recollect, without my reminding him, that Isaiah, prophesying of the Lord Jesus, speaks of the same awakenings. See Isaiah 50:4 . It should seem, that the faculties of the Prophet had been so exercised by the former visions, as to have occasioned their suspension. Thus the disciples were drenched with sleep at Christ's transfiguration, and at his agony. Luke 9:32 ; Matthew 26:40 . Reader! it is blessed to have the renewings of the Holy Ghost. Titus 3:5 . It must be the work of the Spirit to kindle afresh the grace of his own giving. Daniel experienced this. Daniel 10:9 .
"And said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof: (3) And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof. (4) So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my lord? (5) Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord. (6) Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. (7) Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it. (8) Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, (9) The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you. (10) For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth."
Under the similitude of a candlestick, perhaps is meant the Church of Christ, and being all gold shows the value of it in the Lord's sight. Indeed, what can be more valuable, than what Christ purchased with his blood? The seven lamps, and seven pipes, may perhaps have an allusion to the several gifts of the Holy Ghost. In the account John gives of the glorious vision of heaven, he tells us, that there were seven lamps of fire, burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. By which I apprehend is meant, the various influences of God the Holy Ghost, in his diversity of operations. Revelation 4:5 .
And the two olive trees, perhaps, had this further allusion, that as they supplied all that was needed to the candlestick, so it needed no aid, nor help, from man. And the words of the angel, that talked with the Prophet, appear to be a full explanation of the vision to this amount. As the candlestick contained the candle of the Lord, and was wholly lighted, fed, and kept up, not by might nor power, but by the Spirit of the Lord; so the Church of Christ hath no aid, nor help, from itself, or foreign assistance. Christ is the life, and light of his Church, and the glory of his people forever.
The mountain here spoken of, seems to be one general figure for all the mountains, and hills of difficulty, which oppose the Church of Jesus. And Zerubbabel is not the son of Shealtiel, spoken of by Haggai 2:2 . but evidently the Lord Jesus Christ; at whose very presence all the enemies of the Gospel will be punished with everlasting destruction. 2 Thessalonians 1:9 .
There is a great beauty in the reiteration of the word grace; intimating, if I mistake not, that as grace begins the work in the heart, so grace alone concludes it. Indeed, it can be nothing but grace all the way; daily grace, hourly grace, and all from the Lord. Reader! by the way, do let us remark from hence, what is continually taught in the word of God, not only in this scripture, but in all scripture, but which takes the whole life to learn; namely, that the progress of grace is to know more our own nothingness, and Christ's all-sufficiency. Those who talk of inherent holiness in themselves, talk of what they never feel. They may amuse themselves on those points, by bell, book, and candle; but in real attainments, it were to contradict scripture, to say they know any such thing. Reader! depend upon it, as this blessed passage in the Prophet saith, the same Almighty hands of our glorious Zerubbabel, who laid the foundation of his spiritual house in the heart, the same can alone finish it. And this becomes the sure, indisputable testimony, both of his own divine person, and the finished glory of his work and offices, and the authority of the Father in him. Oh! precious truths of a precious Saviour! Hebrews 12:2 ; Revelation 22:13 .
"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? (12) And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves? (13) And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord. (14) Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth."
These verses seem to be but a continuation of one and the same vision. Perhaps, in allusion more particularly to the great and continued work of God the Holy Ghost in the Church, without whose blessed influence, to use the figure of this vision, it may be said, the candlestick cannot continue to burn, nor give her light. All the provision made by God our Father, purchased and secured to us by our Lord Jesus Christ, depends still for efficacy in the heart of every individual believer, from the sweet and gracious influences of God the Holy Ghost. Oh! blessed Spirit, grant to both Writer and Reader, those gracious, sweet anointings of thine, that having an unction from thee, we may know all things. 1 John 2:20 .
Hail! thou great, thou glorious Holy One, that art the true Zerubbabel of thy Church and people! Truly, in thee, Lord, and in thy strength, every mountain shall be made low, and the crooked strait, and the rough places plain. Thou, blessed Jesus, art the little stone, cut out without hands. But, by thine own sovereignty and power, thou hast broken in pieces every empire that opposed thy way, and art thyself become a great mountain, and art filling, and wilt fill the earth. Oh! Lord, give grace both to him that writes, and him that reads, to keep in view our nothingness, and thy all-sufficiency. To thee alone, may we both be continually looking, convinced that nothing is done, or can be done by our might, or by our power, but by the Spirit of the Lord. And do thou, blessed Lord, so reign in us, and over us, and guide and direct through all, that at length the head-stone may be brought forth with shoutings, crying grace, grace unto it. Even so. Amen.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Zechariah 4". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26