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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary
Zechariah 4

 

 

Verse 1

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,

Ver. 1. And the angel that talked with me] {See Trapp on "Zechariah 1:9"}

Came again] After some absence, as it may seem; and a new vision or revelation received from God to be imparted to the prophet.

And waked me, as a man that is wakened, &c.] It fared with the prophet (notwithstanding the former visions) as with a drowsy person; who though awakened and set to work, is ready to fall asleep at it. So Peter, James, and John (those pillars, as they are called, Galatians 2:9), fell asleep at their very prayers, Matthew 26:40, such dull metal are the best men made of; and so weak is the flesh, be the spirit never so willing; so ill disposed is our most noble and immortal part, the soul, to supernal and supernatural employments. Meditation and prayer are the creatures of the Holy Ghost, 1:20; and that we may not run out into extravagancies, or put up yawning petitions, we must watch and pray, Matthew 26:41, yea, watch while we are praying, meditating, &c., against corruption within (the sin that doth so easily beset us, Hebrews 12:1) and temptations without, whether from the world, the things whereof are so near us and so natural to us, or from the devil, who is ever busiest with the best, as flies are with sweetmeats, and with the best part of their best performances, as in the end of their prayers, when the heart should close up itself with most comfort.


Verse 2

Zechariah 4:2 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:

Ver. 2. What seest thou?] The sight was already in sight; but the prophet had not seen it, or noted it, if the angel had not stirred him up to it. If the Lord give us not sight as well as light, if he enlighten not both organ and object too, if he shine not into our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of himself in the face of Jesus Christ, 2 Corinthians 4:5, seeing we shall see, but not perceive; with Hagar, we shall not be able to discern the fountain that is just before us.

I have looked] Carefully viewed the sight. It is expected ut acti agamus; that having a talent of grace we trade with it; that our will, which at first conversion was merely passive, should be afterward active; that we, which once were darkness, but now are light in the Lord, shall walk as children of light, Ephesians 5:8.

Behold a candlestick] That is, the Church, as Revelation 1:20.

All of gold] Pure gold as the candlestick in the tabernacle, Exodus 25:31, which is therefore called the pure candlestick, Leviticus 24:4, Exodus 31:8, noting out the Church’s purity in doctrine and manners. Chrysostom, that golden preacher, testifieth of some saints in his time, that they were puriores caelo, purer than the visible heaven. "Her Nazarites were purer than the driven snow, whiter than milk, ruddier than rubies, their polishing was of sapphire," Lamentations 4:7.

With a bowl] Heb. gullah, an oil glass or oil cruse; a hollow round vessel, quod pariter Latine recte gulam appellas, saith a Lapide; which you may not unfitly call a gullet, or throat; for as the throat receiveth the food and transmitteth it to the stomach, so did this vessel receive the oil to be transmitted to the lamps. It figured Christ, in whom it pleased the Father that all fulness should dwell, Colossians 1:19, for the Church’s use, John 1:16; John 3:34.

And his seven lamps thereon] Signifying the manifold graces and diversity of gifts in the Church by the same Spirit of Christ, 1 Corinthians 12:4; 1 Corinthians 12:6 "For of his fulness we all receive grace for grace," John 1:16.

And seven pipes to the seven lamps] Heb. seven and seven, that is, seven, I say seven, by the figure anadiplosis, a repetition of the same word, saith Sanetius. This is a better gloss than that of those that say the Hebrew text is corrupted; as having two sevens for one. These seven pipes you must imagine to be in the bottom of the bowl, to distribute the oil to each lamp; the grace of Jesus Christ to each Christian, that he may shine as a lamp or luminary in the world, holding forth the word of life, Philippians 2:15-16, as the hand doth the torch, or the watch tower the light, and so the haven, to weather beaten mariners.


Verse 3

Zechariah 4:3 And two olive trees by it, one upon the right [side] of the bowl, and the other upon the left [side] thereof.

Ver. 3. And two olive trees by it] The two chief branches whereof through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves, Zechariah 4:12, that is, the Spirit of grace infuseth all precious graces (much more precious than gold that perisheth, though it be tried in the fire) into the Church. Hence grace is called the fruits of the Spirit, Galatians 5:22, yea, Spirit, Galatians 5:25. Danaeus’s note here is, though from these two olive trees there was continual oil poured into that burning candlestick that it should never dry up or be put out, yet are not these olives said to be pressed by any man, which notwithstanding, among us, must needs after an ordinary manner be done, that the oil may flow or run from them. Neither is this oil said to flow, nor with toil and labour to be carried from one part or place into another, that there may be always oil for the candlestick; but there stand these olive trees growing, and dropping down oil into the bowl, and this of themselves, without the help or service of any men or oil mills; to show, saith another interpreter, that God’s grace only is sufficient for his Church, to repair and maintain the same without all other means, against all opposition of man; and this is the scope of this vision.


Verse 4

Zechariah 4:4 So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying, What [are] these, my lord?

Ver. 4. What are these, my lord?] Or, Sir; which English word comes from Cyrus, the Persian word for a lord or great prince, as H. Stephanus will have it; others fetch it from κυρος, authority, or κυριος, a lord, and so the word Adoni in the text is usually rendered. Others think our word Sir comes from the French Sieur, whence Monsieur, my lord; as the word Lord from the old Saxon Laford, which cometh of Laef, to sustain; like as the Hebrew Adonai, from Eden, a foundation or pillar, that sustaineth the whole building. It is written sometimes with Camets, or long a, in the end, and then it is proper to God (as having the vowels of Jehovah), and is given to him 134 times in the Old Testament. Sometimes it is written with Pathach, or short a, and then it is applied to the creatures, as here to the angel: Hinc Hispanorum Don, saith Drusius.

What are these] The prophet had been before warned by the angel to behold and heed the vision. This he had done, and yet was to seek of the sense and meaning of it; as a man may look on a trade and never see the mystery of it; or look on the hand dial, and never understand the curious clock works within. None can understand the mystery of Christ but such as have the mind of Christ, 1 Corinthians 2:7; 1 Corinthians 2:11; 1 Corinthians 2:16, such as are spiritually rational and rationally spiritual; such as are taught of God, and conducted by his Spirit into all truth, John 16:13. No understanding God’s riddles but by ploughing with his heifer, as I may say. This the prophet here knew; and therefore applies himseff to the angel for information; so did Daniel, Daniel 8:15; Daniel 9:22.


Verse 5

Zechariah 4:5 Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.

Ver. 5. Knowest thou not what these be?] Thus preparation is made to the ensuing interpretation of the vision by this dialogue; that we might give better heed to that manifold wisdom of God made known to and by the Church; wherein the very angels themselves are great students and daily proficients, Ephesians 3:10. Docent proficiendo, et docendo proficiunt. The best of men know not so much as they might have known. "Are ye also ignorant of these things" (saith our Saviour to the twelve)? "are ye also without understanding?" Matthew 15:16 : what? know you not, six different times in one chapter, 1 Corinthians 6:2-3; 1 Corinthians 6:9; 1 Corinthians 6:15-16; 1 Corinthians 6:19 And how doth the apostle disgrace and shame his Hebrews for their dulness and doltishness, Hebrews 5:12. It was expected, it seems, by the angel here, that Zechariah, a master in Israel, should have known more than he did of the meaning of this candlestick, by Moses’s ancient candlestick. For the godly of those times did not believe those rites and ceremonies of the law did of themselves please God, or that they were dumb shows and insignificant, Hebrews 9:1-13, but they acknowledged them to be figures; the truth and signification whereof was to be sought in Christ. The ceremonial law was indeed their gospel.

And I said, No, my lord] An ingenuous confession of his ignorance; and this was far better than to plead for it (as many today), or to pretend more skill than he had; that he at least might seem to be somebody. Ignorantiam meam non ignoro, saith Origen. Though I know little else, yet this I know, that it is but little that I know. And not only in innumerable other things am I ignorant, saith Austin; but even in the very Scriptures also, my chief study, multo plura nescio quam scio, I am to seek many more things than I understand. Surely, saith Agur, I am more brutish than any man, and yet he had commerce with Ithiel and Ucal; Proverbs 30:1, and have not the understanding of a man, sc. of a man in Christ. I neither learned wisdom (though taught it) nor have the knowledge of the holy, that is, of the angels, as Daniel 4:13; Daniel 4:17; Daniel 8:13. Zechariah here saw himself far short of the holy angel that talked with him; and therefore desireth to be taught by him.


Verse 6

Zechariah 4:6 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.

Ver. 6. This is the word of the Lord] That is, this hieroglyphic contains the mind of God in it. This is the interpretation of the vision, neither so concise nor obscure, ut Oedipode sit opus (as a Lapide after Ribera here saith), that it can hardly be understood. For who seeth not by the opposition here made between human help and divine, that in building and beautifying his Church with safety and salvation God will make bare his own holy arm; and do the work alone, or by the weakest means against the strongest resistance? Thus, then, have we (saith Mr Pemble) in three words the scope of this whole vision. That as the making and maintaining of this candlestick and his lamps was without the art and cunning of man, by means supernatural; so God’s Spirit, without and above all human helps, should suffice for the rebuilding and preservation of the material temple and true Church.

Unto Zerubbabel] The Tirshatha, or chief magistrate, Ezra 2:63, called also, as it is thought, Sheshbazzar, Ezra 1:8. He was a type of Christ; to whom also God the Father here speaketh concerning his Church to be gathered by the preaching of the gospel.

Not by might, nor by strength] As Mahomet in the East and the Spaniard in the Indies; but by the power of his Spirit, that great wonder worker, whereby the people fall under him, Psalms 45:5, and strongholds are cast down before him, 2 Corinthians 10:4, as once the walls of Jericho. Thus he unwalled all the children of Sheth, Numbers 24:17, viz. by the foolishness of preaching; and thus he still rideth upon his white horses, his ministers, conquering and to conquer, Revelation 6:2. Britannorum inaccessa Romanis loca Christo subdita sunt (Tertull.). The Romans could never subdue this nation, but Christ could. The Germans and other western people embraced the Christian religion in the year 772, when the Mahometan impiety wasted the East. God’s Spirit is irresistible, compared to the wind, John 3:8, to a mighty rushing wind, Acts 2:2, that bears all before it, therefore called a spirit of power, 2 Timothy 1:7, of counsel and of might, Isaiah 11:2, and therefore here fitly opposed to an army, and to the arm of flesh, to all human power and policy whatsoever, though the gates of hell come to their help.

Not by might, nor by strength, &c.] These two words some take to be synonymous; Mercer saith that the former signifieth stout and noble acts, the latter importeth power and faculty of doing those acts; and is the same as δυναμις in Greek. By the spirit of God we are to understand his power, providence, and grace, 2 Thessalonians 2:8, Isaiah 11:4-9, whereby he helpeth his people with a little help, Daniel 11:34, that through weaker means they may see his greater strength. Thus he helped David against Goliath, and the Israelites against the Philistines often; but especially then, when unarmed they marched with their slings and plow staves and hooks and forks, and other instruments of their husbandry, against a mighty and well furnished enemy, and returned laden both with arms and victory. Sometimes, again, God helpeth his without any visible help, as when he destroyed Sennacherib’s army by an angel, swept away Sisera’s army by the river Kishon, and the Saracens and Persians by the river Euphrates, in the days of Theodosius (smitten with a panic terror, they ran headlong into the river, and were drowned, to the number of 100,000), for whom also the winds fought in that famous battle against Maximus; as both winds and waves did for us against the invincible navy. The Church alone deserveth to be styled invincible, that hath the Lord of hosts to be her champion, who hath armies above and armies beneath (as the Rabbis well observe). 2. General troops, as his horse and foot soldiers, ready pressed; legions of angels, millions of other creatures. The curtains of the tabernacle embroidered with Cherubims signified the service and protection of the Church by the angels. Let the Pope be the sun and the emperor the moon (as the canonists style them), yet the sun must not smite the Church by day nor the moon by night; but the stars in their courses must fight against Sisera, and both the Pope’s bull and the emperor’s thunderbolt tend exceedingly to the furtherance of the Reformation begun by Luther. Whereupon Scultetus makes this observation, Ecce tibi adimpletum Psalmicum illud, Psalms 54:3. Behold that of the psalmist made good. "He shall send from heaven and save us from the reproach of him that would swallow us up. Selah." God shall send forth his mercy and his truth. He shall; but when will he? may some say. First, when his people in distress cry aloud, I came for thy word, Daniel 10:12. He will come, but he will have his people’s prayers lead him. Secondly, when his enemies blaspheme and insult, saying, Where is now their God? when Rabshakeh (a renegade Jew, as the Rabbis report him) shall jeer at Hezekiah’s prayers as an empty business, an airy nothing, as words of the lips only; whereas counsel and strength are for the war (thus some read that text, Isaiah 36:5). Thirdly, when the Church is at lowest, and all seems lost and desperate; when the enemy is above fear, and the Church below hope; when she is talking of her grave, like Israel at the Red sea; then is God’s season to set in; it is his glory to help at a dead-lift, to begin where we have given over, to relieve those that are forsaken of their hopes, to come when we can scarcely find faith upon the earth. God sees when the mercy will be in season. When his people are low enough, and the enemy high enough, then usually appears the Church’s morning star; then Christ came leaping and skipping over the mountains of Bether, all impediments that might seem to hinder (as sins of his people, oppositions of his enemies), and make the Church’s mountain to be exalted above all mountains, mole hills in comparison to her.


Verse 7

Zechariah 4:7 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.

Ver. 7. Who art thou, O great mountain?] So the enemies seemed to themselves set aloft, and overtopping the low and poor estate of those feeble Jews, as they called them, Nehemiah 4:2. But the virgin, daughter of Zion, despiseth them here, and laugheth them to scorn; she shaketh her head at them, and saith, Whom hast thou reproached and blasphemed? Isaiah 37:22. It is good for thee to meddle with thy match, and not to exalt thyself against the Holy One of Israel, who is more "glorious and excellent than those mountains of prey. The stouthearted are spoiled, they have slept their sleep" (such as Sisera did): "and none of the men of might have found their hands," Psalms 76:4-5, when once they fell into the punishing hands of the living God. He will soon level these lofty mountains, Jeremiah 51:25. Babylon is called a destroying mountain seated upon a rock; yet God will level, and lay it low enough.

They shall become a plain] A champaign, that before seemed impossible, inaccessible. Christ’s enemies shall be in that place that is fittest for them, the lowest, that is, the footstool of Christ; when the Church, as it is the highest in God’s love and favour, so shall it be highest in itself. Gaudeo quod Christus Dominus est; alioqui totus desperassem, writes Miconius to Calvin upon the view of the Church’s enemies. Glad I am that Christ reigns; for else I had been utterly hopeless (Melch. Ad.). O pray, pray, saith another saint; for the Pope of Rome and his conventicle of Trent are hatching strange business. The comfort is that he that sitteth in heaven seeth them; the Lord above them hath them in derision. For in the thing wherein they deal proudly, God is above them; and his will shall stand when they shall dung the earth with their dead carcases. Sciat Celsitudo Tun, &c. Let your Highness know (saith Luther in a letter to the Duke of Saxony) that things are otherwise ordered in heaven than they are at Augsbourg; where the Emperor Charles V had made a decree to root out the reformed religion out of Germany. But soon after the Turk broke into Hungary and the borders of Germany; so the Caesar had somewhat else to do than to persecute the Protestants. So the primitive persecutors fondly inscribed upon the public pillars, Deleto Christianorum nomine, that they had blotted out the name of Christ and his religion from under heaven; but this they could never effect with all the power of the whole empire. They found and complained that the Church might be shaken and not shivered; concuti non excuti, as 2 Corinthians 4:8-9. Facundi sunt Martyrum cineres, the very ashes of the martyrs were fruitful, and their blood prolific. The Church conquers even when she is conquered; Christ overcame as much by patience as by power. The people of Rome (saith one), saepe proelio victus, nunquam belle, they lost many battles, but were never overcome in a set war; at the long run they crushed all their enemies. Bellarmine somewhat boasteth the like of the Church of Rome, that she was never worsted in any set battle by the Protestants. But if he had lived till these late years he would have known it otherwise, and indeed he could not be ignorant of that famous Bellum Hussiticum, as they called it in Germany, and the many fields fought and won by the Huguenots in France, &c. And if at any time the Church lose the day, Victa tamen vincet. conquored yet conquorers, Christ hath his stratagems, as Joshua had at Ai; he seems sometimes to retire, that he may return with greater advantage. Certain it is, he will thresh the mountains and beat them small before his Zerubbabels; he will make the hills as chaff, Isaiah 41:15.

And he shall bring forth the head stone thereof with shoutings, saying, Grace, grace unto it] i.e. He shall hold out to lay the very last stone of this new building with joy, and with general acclamations and well wishes. There was a promise for it long before, Isaiah 44:28. This Zerubbabel was not ignorant of; as neither of that which followeth, Isaiah 45:1-2, that, for the effecting of that promise, God would go before him to make the crooked place straight, to break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron, i.e. to take away all rubs and impediments. There is the like promise in the New Testament, and it may be a singular encouragement to those that go on to build the tower of godliness, to prepare a tabernacle in their hearts for the Holy One of Israel, that he may dwell in them and walk in them, the gates of hell shall never prevail against them, since Christ, as another Samson, hath flung them off their hinges, hath destroyed the devil’s works, and laid the top stone of his spiritual temple with shouting, saying, Grace, grace unto it. The meaning is, saith an interpreter, that the angels, the faithful, and all creatures, rejoicing at Christ’s kingdom established in the world, shall desire God the Father to heap all manner of blessing and happiness upon it, see Psalms 118:26 (Diodati). Or, they shall acknowledge and preach, that the Father hath laid up in him all the treasures of his grace and gifts of his Spirit. It is the observation of another reverend man, preaching upon this text, that when we preach human wisdom and foresight we should fall down and cry (as we are here taught), Grace, grace unto it; we are not to cry up Zerubbabal, Zerubbabel, any man or means whatever; but to exalt the free grace of God, the work of which alone it is and hath been. Zerubbabel should bring forth the head stone (as master builders used to do the first and last stone), and the people should magnify God’s mere free grace; and acknowledge that he was marvellous in their eyes. Thus that learned preacher (Mr Thomas Goodwin, Fast sermon before Parliament Apr. 27, 1642); who also by the lighted candlestick here understandeth full perfecting and finishing of the temple, and restoring the worship of God within it unto its full perfection of beauty and brightness. By the two olive trees, Zerubbabel with the elders, and Joshua, high priest, with the other priests that sat before him, as Zechariah 3:8 cf. Ezra 6:14 cf. Psalms 52:8. These are said to empty golden oil, that is, their estates and pains for the finishing of costly work; and likewise because it was done in sincerity of heart, therefore it is called golden or pure oil. Further, these eminent ranks and sorts of persons that should give their assistance to this work are called sons of oil, Zechariah 4:14 marg., as being fruitful and affording plenty of it. Thus, Isaiah 5:1, a fruitful hill and fertile soil is in the original (as here) called a son of oil.


Verse 8

Zechariah 4:8 Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

Ver. 8. Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying] This is a confirmation of the former comfort and a seal of the former promise; all which was but little enough by reason of the people’ s distrust and infidelity. Against which the prophet here produceth his warrant, God’s own word; q.d. "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation." "This is a pillar and ground of truth." {See Trapp on "1 Timothy 3:15"}


Verse 9

Zechariah 4:9 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.

Ver. 9. The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands] Here the scope of this stately vision is plainly held forth, and without a parable. What the Scripture speaketh darkly in one place it speaks plainly in another. The Rabbis have a saying, that there is a mountain of sense hanging upon every apex of the word of God. They have also another saying, Nulla est obiectio in lege, quae non habet solutionem in latere, i.e. there is not any doubt in the law, but may be resolved out of the law. Zerubbabel is both founder and finisher of the temple. Those that will have it not to be finished till about the sixth year of Darius Nothus make him to be very long lived; and tell us that God granteth to one a longer life than ordinary, because he hath something to be done by them (Pemble, of the Persian Monarchy). The distrustful Jews began to despise those small beginnings of a building; and to despair of ever seeing it perfected, by reason of those mountains of opposition they met with, and thought they should never dig down or get over. The work shall be done, saith God, and Zerubbabel, how unlikely soever, shall do it. Believe the prophets and ye shall prosper. It shall never be said of Zerubbabel, as of the foolish builder, "This man began, but could not finish," Luke 14:30; or, as a foreigner, seeing Christ Church in Oxford, said to it, Egregium opus; Cardinalis iste instituit collegium, et absolvit culinam. A pretty piece of work! A college begun, and a kitchen finished. It was God that set Zerubbabel to work; and he doth not use do things to halves. He is Alpha and Omega, the beginner and ender, the author and finisher, Hebrews 12:2 "I am confident of this very thing," saith Paul, "that he that hath begun a good work in you will perform it," Philippians 1:6. And, "faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it," 1 Thessalonians 5:24. And, "the Lord will perfect that which concerneth me" (saith David); "forsake not the work of thine own hands," Psalms 138:8. Look upon the wounds of thine hands, and despise not the works of thine hands, said Queen Elizabeth. Thus if men pray in the Holy Ghost, keep themselves in the love of God, and look for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life; they shall be builded up in their most holy faith, whereby Christ shall dwell in their hearts, as in his holy temple, 1:20-21.

And thou shalt know] Thou, Zechariah, shalt know, that the

Lord of hosts hath sent me] His angel, as his internuncio, see Luke 1:19. Or, thou Zerubbabel shalt know, that I, Zechariah, come not to thee of mine own mind, but on God’s message, and am therefore to be believed. When Ehud told Eglon he had a message from God, though he were a heathen and a fat unwieldy man, he stood up to receive it, 3:20, though that message was a messenger of death, a dagger. in his bowels. Should not we hearken to the Father of spirits, and live? Hebrews 12:9; should the consolations of God be small with us? Job 15:11. Should we, instead of wrestling with God by prayer (so putting his promises in suit), wrangle with him, by cavilling objections? Ipse dixit it spoke for itself, among Pythagoras’ scholars went current; if their master said it it was enough; and shall we that are taught of God not give the like credit to our Master in heaven? shall we not yield him the obedience of faith?


Verse 10

Zechariah 4:10 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.

Ver. 10. For who hath despised the day of small things?] Nay, who had not? The generality of the Jews were clearly guilty, Ezra 8:13, and are therefore here justly, reproved. As Naaman once looked on God’s Jordan with Syrian eyes, and so slighted the notion of washing therein; so these distrustful Jews despised the small beginnings of this great work, and the little likelihood of ever bringing it to any good upshot. "Is it not in your eyes as nothing?" saith Haggai, Haggai 2:3. They seemed only to grieve at it; but God construeth it for a downright contempt; for he judgeth otherwise of our carnal affections than we ourselves, and will have us to know that his thoughts are not our thoughts, neither are his ways our ways, Isaiah 55:8. Out of meanest principles he many times raiseth matters of greatest moment; that his own immediate hand may the more appear. The kingdom of heaven was at first but as "a grain of mustard seed," Matthew 13:32. The stone cut out of the mountain without hands, as if it had dropped out, or been blown down thence, became a mountain, and filled the whole earth, Daniel 2:34-35. The cloud that rose as little as a man’s hand, soon after muffled the whole heaven. God put little thoughts into the heart of Ahasuerus concerning Mordecai, but for great purposes. Who would ever have thought, that out of Abraham, now as good as dead, should have come the Messiah? or that out of the dry root of Jesse should come the Branch spoken of in the former chapter? Who would have imagined that going forth only with his bow, Revelation 6:2, and arrows, Psalms 45:5, the foolishness of preaching, he could conquer in three hundred years the whole Roman empire? that by Huss, a goose, and Luther, a swan, such strange things should have been done in Bohemia and Germany? that by a scruple cast into Henry VIII’s mind about his marriage with Catharine of Spain by the French ambassador (who came to consult with him of a marriage between the Lady Mary and the Duke of Orleans, second son to the King of France), whether Mary were legitimate, &c., the Pope should be cast off here, and reformation wought by so weak and simple means, yea, by casual and cross means? this, saith one, is that miracle which we are in these times to look for.

For they shall rejoice] Or, but they shall rejoice, or, nay, they shall reioice, nay, they shall see, viz. that which they despaired of ever seeing, and were therefore much cast down about the perfection of the work, and its glorious accomplishment. And this shall be surely effected by God’s powerful and watchful providence, called here those

seven eyes of the Lord, which run to and fro through the whole earth] Called elsewhere the seven Spirits of God, Revelation 5:6; Revelation 1:4, and God’s Spirit here, Zechariah 4:6, so guiding and managing all affairs and occurrences that all the rays and beams of providence issuing from those eyes might be seen to meet in the accomplishment of this, as their ultimate aim and scope. {See Trapp on "Zechariah 3:9"}


Verse 11

Zechariah 4:11 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?

Ver. 11. Then answered I, and said unto him] No mean measure of understanding would content the prophet; but he is still inquiring and encroaching upon the angel. So doth Moses upon God, Exodus 33:18-23 He had not been long out of the mount, but he is asking God to show him his glory; which when he had seen, yet he resteth not satisfied, but must have more, and yet more: so David, though deep learned, is ever and anon at it, Teach me thy statutes. Spiritual learning is infused by degrees; our hearts are as narrow mouthed vessels, and God delights often to hear us. Whither I go thou canst not come now; but thou shalt afterwards, John 13:7. Then shall ye know, if ye follow on to know, Hosea 6:3; provided that ye beg and dig, Proverbs 2:3-5, and beat, as the fowl doth the shell to get out the fish; and be discontentedly contented till ye come to see as ye are seen, a spe ad speciem, &c. from faith to sight.


Verse 12

Zechariah 4:12 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?

Ver. 12. What be these two olive branches, &c.] {See Trapp on "Zechariah 4:3"} {See Trapp on "Zechariah 4:7"}


Verse 13

Zechariah 4:13 And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these [be]? And I said, No, my lord.

Ver. 13. Knowest thou not what, &c.] {See Trapp on "Zechariah 4:5"}


Verse 14

Zechariah 4:14 Then said he, These [are] the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.

Ver. 14. These are the two anointed ones] Heb. sons of oil. {See Trapp on "Zechariah 4:7"}

That stand by the Lord of the whole earth] Because by the candlestick and utensils of the temple and type of the Church, which is at Christ’s right hand, Psalms 45:4. as he at his Father’s right hand, Romans 8:34. He is with all his to the end of the world; and it is a part of his joy that we shall be one day where he is. This Lord of the whole earth, sovereign over all; but takes delight only in such as (Esther like) he purifies and perfumes for royal use; and these he loveth so affectionately as never any Lord did his subjects, Zechariah 3:1-7 "He loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob," Psalms 87:2.

 


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Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Zechariah 4:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/zechariah-4.html. 1865-1868.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, November 16th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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