Zechariah Chapter Four


Read Zechariah 4:1-10 – The Golden Candlestick


v.1  And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep.”


            The angel that had visited and spoken with Zechariah before now visits him again, this time rousing him out of a deep sleep.  In scripture it is not unusual for God’s messengers to bring visions during the night or in dreams.  One example is the vision of Jacob in Genesis 28 and another is found in:


Daniel 8:18Now as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground: but he touched me, and set me upright.


But in the case of both Daniel and Zechariah the angel didn’t appear in a dream but rather woke them up and made sure that they were awake and functioning before delivering their message.  He does the same with Zechariah:


v.2And 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:”


            The angel has Zechariah describe what he sees and he describes a candlestick similar to that designed by God for the tabernacle and temple:


Exodus 25:31And thou shalt make a candlestick of pure gold: of beaten work shall the candlestick be made: his shaft, and his branches, his bowls, his knops, and his flowers, shall be of the same.”


            This vision is a continuation of the knowledge that God wants revealed at this time concerning the coming of Christ.  The candlestick that is shown to Zechariah is described as representing the church.  The source of the light provided by the lamps is from God, it is the word of God and the light of the world.  The number seven, as we know from prior studies, represents completeness or perfection.  The seven lamps are continuously supplied with the means of generating light by seven pipes from a central source, described as a bowl.  The bowl is supplied with the source of fuel needed continuously without being tended by any man, because the fuel comes from God.  The seven lamps then would represent all of the congregations of the church standing as the light of life in the world.


v.3And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof.”


            In order to supply the candlestick with the necessary fuel, two olive trees are shown, one on each side of the bowl.  These are similar to the two witnesses described in Revelation 11:4.


v.4-5So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my lord?  5Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.”


            In these two verses we have a simple question and answer exchange between Zechariah and the angel.  Zechariah asks “WHAT ARE” these things, more probably inquiring about the significance of these things that he is seeing rather than what they are physically.  This brings to mind that when we hear the word of God and want to “see” what is being communicated sometimes we must ask questions as Jesus did of the doctors of the law in Luke 2:46.


v.6Then 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.”


            The angel did not answer Zechariah’s question directly as the complete mystery was not ready to be revealed as yet.  Instead the angel makes his vision an application to the work to be done by Zerubbabel.  The first thing that God wants Zechariah and Zerubbabel to understand that all of these things concerning both Jesus and church to come will not be accomplished by means of the power or might of men, cities or nations, “BUT BY MY SPIRIT”.  This is similar to the prophecy by Hosea back at the very beginning of our study of the minor prophets where he wrote:


But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the LORD their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen.” Hosea 1:7


Zerubbabel would accomplish the purpose for which God had called him but only with complete reliance and faith in God.  Likewise, we today cannot and will not accomplish God’s purposes for us without our complete reliance upon and faith in God.


v.7Who 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.”


            The faith that Zerubbabel must have is the same faith that Jesus promises his disciples in a verse that some of us might be able quote:


Matthew 21:21Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.”


With our faith in God and God’s help we can indeed accomplish things that as men we would not be able to accomplish without that faith.

            The prophet says “HE SHALL BRING FORTH THE HEADSTONE”, speaking of Zerubbabel.  But is he talking about the foundation of the temple or another foundation?  Some commentators say that Zechariah is talking about the temple, others say the church.  If the temple we know that the foundation of the physical temple had already been laid and construction was underway even as this is being written.  If the church; then the application is that the temple or house of God that Zerubbabel is rebuilding will, as we know, be the place or source where the “HEAD OF THE CORNER” the beginning of the foundation of the church would be laid.  Since the corner stone of the temple had already been laid and that Zerubbabel had been promised by Haggai that through his seed the Messiah would come, we must make the spiritual application.  This prophecy refers to the coming of Christ.


Psalms 118:22The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.”


I Peter 2:7Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,”


v.8-9Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,  9The 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.”


            As a sign of that this angel was indeed sent by God he tells Zechariah that Zerubbabel who has laid the foundation of the house of God will also finish his house.  In application of the physical temple we find that was indeed the case:


Ezra 6:15And this house was finished on the third day of the month Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king.”


So just about four years after this great house was started it is finished.

            When we view Zerubbabel as a type of Christ, being a ruler, priest and prophet we can also draw a parallel between the finishing the physical house of God and the spiritual house of God.  The Hebrew writer describes Jesus as:


Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2


It is also through Zerubbabel that the spiritual of God is completed.


v.10For 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.”


            As the house of God is constructed the people will rejoice to “SEE THE PLUMMET IN THE HAND OF ZERUBBABEL”, as he leads the work.  Those who are true believers will always rejoice to see the work of the Lord being done, whether it is by their leaders or by others among our brethren.  As the work is done they and we also are reminded that the “EYES OF THE LORD” looks over and measures the work just as the writer reminds Judah in:


II Chronicles 16:9For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.”


Read Zerubbabel 4:11-14 – The Two Olive Trees


v.11-12Then 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? 12And 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 now asks the angel two questions.  First of all what is the significance of the two olive trees that stand upon each side of the golden candlestick.  Secondly we now see something that had not been described before, two olive branches supply the fuel to the central bowl of the candlestick through two golden pipes.


v.13-14And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.  14Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the LORD of the whole earth.”


            Those that apply this vision to the physical construction of the temple interpret these two olive trees, these “TWO ANOINTED ONES” to represent Zerubbabel the ruler and Joshua the high priest of God.

            Again we see this vision as applying to the coming of the church, the house of God.  The “TWO ANOINTED ONES” then apply to Jesus Christ, the ruler and high priest of the house of God and the Holy Spirit the Comforter whom Jesus sent to his disciples with the spiritual oil of light.  The first being Word of God which is the light of the world today; the one whose “FULNESS HAVE ALL WE RECEIVED” John 1:16.  And the second being the one that would:


Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” John 16:13


William L. Schwegler, Sunset church of Christ, Shreveport, Louisiana; Sunday Morning Adult – August 9, 2009