About Jesus Steve Sweetman
This Chapter - Chapter 4
Gold Lampstand And The Two Olive Trees (ch. 4:1 - 14)
last vision was meant to be an encouragement for Joshua and then to
verse 1we see that at some point after the last vision Zechariah fell
asleep. The text says that
the angel that had been explaining these things to Zechariah returned
and woke him from his sleep. I’m not sure why there is this
interruption in time at this point in the sequence of visions.
Some Bible teachers try to make something from this.
Some think it represents the church age, but I’m not convinced
we should be reading into this passage in such detail.
verse 2 the angel explaining these visions to Zechariah asks him what he
sees. In verses 2 and 3 we
see what Zechariah sees. The
vision consists of a lampstand with seven lights on it, commonly known
as the Jewish menorah. Above
the lampstand is a bowl full of oil.
From the bowl there are seven troughs that comes from the bowl
into each of the seven lamps on the stand.
The oil flows from the bowl to the lamps
Then, on either side of the lamps and bowl are two olive trees.
From each olive tree is a trough that carries the oil from the
trees to the bowls that subsequently ends up in the lamps.
verse 4 we see Zechariah’s obvious question.
“What are these my lord?”
Note here and elsewhere that Zechariah calls the angel “my
lord.” This is not
suggesting that Zechariah views this angel as Jesus or God.
It’s more of a title of respect, such as the word “sir.”
verse 5 we see the first thing the angel says to Zechariah is framed in
a question. He asks,
“do you not know what these are?”
It is interesting to note that many times in Scripture what is
hard to understand for humans is easy to understand for angels.
The text here seems to suggest that the angel is somewhat
surprised because Zechariah doesn’t understand what he is seeing.
This is understandable since the angel is clearly seeing these
things from a heavenly perspective while Zechariah is seeing them from
an earthly perspective.
simply responds by saying “no.”
7 begins to explain the vision. First
of all the angel says that this is the Word of the Lord and it is
directed towards Zerubbabel. If
you remember, Zerubbabel was the civic leader of the Jews in that day.
The last vision was directed towards Joshua the height priest, and
this one is directed towards Zerubbabel.
message is simple at first. Zerubbabel is to know that it’s “not by
might or by power, but by my Spirit,” says the Lord.
Songs have been written about the truth of this verse.
Although this statement is directed towards the Jews, and
specifically towards Zerubabbel, there is a truth here that we all
should know. Whatever is
done in the service of the Lord should be done with and according to the
Spirit of God, not just our own might and power.
The people of God, both Jews in Old Testament times, and
Christians in New Testament times have failed in this area.
The tendency is ever present with us to fall back on our own
abilities, and not God’s Spirit. The
results are clearly seen in the church of today.
what the angel just said, and from our knowledge of the Bible, it is
clear that the oil in this vision represents the Spirit of God.
verse 7 the angel says, “what are you O mighty mountain?
Before Zerubbabel you will be leveled to the ground.”
There might well have been an old pile of rubbish that had been
sitting by the foundation of the temple that was long since neglected.
The pile of rubble, material from the building of the foundation
that had been sitting there for 18 years, might represent a bigger
mountain. Yet the word
“mountain” or “mountains” in the Bible often refer to Gentile
nations, who often oppose the people of God.
This mountain might well represent Israel’s opposition.
Zerubbabel and the rest of the Jews went back to the building of the
temple, they grew in strength as a people that would have been
noticeable to the peoples around them.
The leveling of the ground is in reference to the rebuilding of
the temple and the city of
believe that all these visions of Zechariah have an end time
significance. I see the
mountain that will be leveled here as the last great empire of the anti-christ,
and once that empire is leveled to the ground, then Jerusalem
will be established with the temple in the millennial rule of Jesus.
Also, as the text says, “then He will bring out the
capstone…” The word
“He” refers to God. Most
scholars agree that the “capstone” is Jesus, who will rule from
verses 8 and 9 we see the Lord God saying that Zerubbabel laid the
foundation to the temple and because of his leadership the temple will
be completed and “then you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent
believe the word “me” refers to Zechariah.
The text shows this to be true.
Beyond this, I think this also could be a reference to Jesus,
that is, “then you (Israel
in the last days) will know that God has sent me (Jesus).
verse 10 a question is asked. It
is, “who despises the day of small things?”
I believe this is Zechariah speaking, as it carries on from verse
9. The small thing spoken of
here is the foundation of the temple.
It is small and insignificant in relation to the temple that
would be built.
also in verse 10 Zechariah says that “men will rejoice when they see
the plumb line in the hands of Zerubbabel.”
This is meant to be an encouragement to Zerubbabel and the rest
last part of verse 10 says, “these seven are the eyes of the Lord
which range throughout the earth.”
The words “these seven” refer back to the seven lights on the
lampstand as seen in verse 2. I
believe it is the angel saying this to Zechariah. Even
though the last two verses were spoken by Zechariah, which includes this
present verse, it makes better sense that the angel is saying these
words, and that might well be why the NIV has these words in brackets.
angel thus tells us who the seven lamps refer to.
They refer to the “eyes of God.”
So does this mean that God has seven eyes.
We’ve seen the number seven earlier in Zechariah and elsewhere.
In chapter 3, verse 8 and 9 we see the seven eyes mentioned.
I believe as I’ve stated in chapter 3 that the seven eyes are
either, the seven spirits of God, or the sevenfold Holy Spirit of God.
I tend to view these eyes as the seven fold Holy Spirit of God.
When this term is used, both translations are appropriate, so the
reader has to determine which way to understand the term.
I believe there is just one Holy Spirit. This is clearly seen in
the New Testament. The Holy
Spirit is always referred to as a “he”, not a “them.”
here and in chapter 3 we see part of the work of the Holy Spirit is to
go out over the face of the earth. Part
of His job is to convict people of their sin.
Another aspect of His work is to empower
the believer. Another
aspect of His job is to be the eyes of God, as this verse clearly
verse 11 Zechariah asks the explaining angel what the two olive trees
are. Then in verse 13
Zechariah gets a bit more specific.
He asks about the two olive tree branches that pour oil into two
pipes that flows into the bowls.
So this is the picture. You
have the lampstand with seven lamps.
Above the seven lighted lampstand is a bowl full of oil that is
fed through two pipes that go to two branches that are connected to two
olive trees on each side of the lampstand.
verse 13 the angel replies once again, “do you not know?” Again,
angels are surprised at mankind’s ignorance.
in verse 13 Zechariah responds to the angel by saying that he did not
know what these things mean.
14 tells us that the two branches are two “who are anointed to serve
the Lord.” At this point
I’m not sure if Zechariah would have understood the angel’s answer.
The obvious question is, “who are these men, and what are their
been much speculation to whom these two anointed men are.
Many Futurists point to the two men in Revelation who prophesy
outside the temple gates. For
those who make this connection, then the question is asked, “who are
these men?” Some say the
two witnesses in Revelation are Moses and Elijah, which I tend to lean
to at the moment. But there
are many other names that could be suggested as well.
this verse specifically refer to these two witnesses in the book of
Revelation? Many Futurists
are convinced that this is prophetic of these two witnesses.
That could well be the case.
people view the two olive trees as Zerubbabel and Haggai.
If that is so, then you need to first interpret this vision as in
the present, that is, in Zechariah’s day, and that is most likely the
first meaning of this vision. Yet
with most visions in Old Testament times there is a future prophetic
sense as well.
vision was specifically directed towards Zerubbabel as we’ve noted
above. Since he was the
civil leader of
seven-fold lampstand represents Israel. The lights or flame on the
lamps might represent Jesus or the Holy Spirit.
It’s pretty clear that the oil represents the Holy Spirit.
If this is so, and if this is a picture of end time