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Zechariah Four

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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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,

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:

seven lamps thereon. Contrast the candlestick in the tabernacle (Exodus 25:31-40).

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.

two olive trees. The “two olive trees” are said by the angel to represent “the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth” (Zechariah 4:14), and are commonly identified by expositors as Joshua and Zerubbabel. They may have been so interpreted by the people of Jerusalem, whom Zechariah was encouraging to build the temple, but this could not have been the primary meaning (according to Revelation 11:3-4). Zerubbabel and Joshua, with their great ministry of building God's temple, were actually types of two great witnesses, said to be still “standing before the God of the earth” five hundred years later in John's day (Revelation 11:3-4), and who will be given “power” to “prophesy” for 3½ years to the whole world during the future tribulation period. As to their identity, standing in God's presence for 2500 years, then to be sent to prophesy, die and be resurrected on earth in the last days, see the notes on Revelation 11:3-12. There it is indicated they must be Enoch and Elijah, the only two men in history who ascended to heaven without dying in their natural bodies (Genesis 5:24; Hebrews 11:5; 2 Kings 2:11).

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

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.

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.

nor by power. This assurance would encourage the governor to proceed with the building of the temple, regardless of the great opposition the project had generated. The promise likewise should encourage Christians in every future time not to rely on political power, strength of numbers or human stratagems to do the work of God, but on God's Spirit. The New Testament frequently stresses this great truth (e.g., 1 Corinthians 1:26-31).

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.

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

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.

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.

small things. Though the new temple was small in relation to the former temple (Haggai 2:3; Ezra 3:12), it was a necessary beginning and its ramifications would eventually encompass the whole world. No work done in the name of Christ as led by His Spirit in harmony with His Word is trivial in the eyes of God, for He can use small things to accomplish great things.

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?

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?

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

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