Zechariah 4

1 The angel who talked with me came again, and wakened me, as a man who is wakened out of his sleep. 2 He said to me, “What do you see?” I said, “I have seen, and behold, a lamp stand all of gold, with its bowl on the top of it, and its seven lamps on it; there are seven pipes to each of the lamps, which are on the top of it; 3 and two olive trees by it, one on the right side of the bowl, and the other on the left side of it.” 4 I answered and spoke to the angel who talked with me, saying, “What are these, my lord?” 5 Then the angel who talked with me answered me, “Don’t you know what these are?” I said, “No, my lord.” 6 Then he answered and spoke to me, saying, “This is the LORD’s word to Zerubbabel, saying, ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD of Armies. 7 Who are you, great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you are a plain; and he will bring out the capstone with shouts of ‘Grace, grace, to it!’” 8 Moreover the LORD’s word came to me, saying, 9 “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house. His hands shall also finish it; and you will know that the LORD of Armies has sent me to you. 10 Indeed, who despises the day of small things? For these seven shall rejoice, and shall see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. These are the LORD’s eyes, which run back and forth through the whole earth.” 11 Then I asked him, “What are these two olive trees on the right side of the lamp stand and on the left side of it?” 12 I asked him the second time, “What are these two olive branches, which are beside the two golden spouts, that pour the golden oil out of themselves?” 13 He answered me, “Don’t you know what these are?” I said, “No, my lord.” 14 Then he said, “These are the two anointed ones who stand by the Lord of the whole earth.”

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1–7

The prophet’s spirit was willing to attend, but the flesh was weak. We should beg of God that, whenever he speaks to us, he would awaken us, and we should then stir up ourselves. The church is a golden candlestick, or lamp-bearer, set up for enlightening this dark world, and holding forth the light of Divine revelation. Two olive trees were seen, one on each side the candlestick, from which oil flowed into the bowl without ceasing. God brings to pass his gracious purposes concerning his church, without any art or labour of man; sometimes he makes use of his instruments, yet he needs them not. This represented the abundance of Divine grace, for the enlightening and making holy the ministers and members of the church, and which cannot be procured or prevented by any human power. The vision assures us that the good work of building the temple, should be brought to a happy end. The difficulty is represented as a great mountain. But all difficulties shall vanish, and all the objections be got over. Faith will remove mountains, and make them plains. Christ is our Zerubbabel; mountains of difficulty were in the way of his undertaking, but nothing is too hard for him. What comes from the grace of God, may, in faith, be committed to the grace of God, for he will not forsake the work of his own hands.

Verses 8–10

The exact fulfilment of Scripture prophecies is a convincing proof of their Divine original. Though the instruments be weak and unlikely, yet God often chooses such, to bring about great things by them. Let not the dawning light be despised; it will shine more and more to the perfect day. Those who despaired of finishing the work, shall rejoice when they see Zerubbabel giving directions what to do, and taking care that the work be done. It is a comfort to us that the same all-wise, almighty Providence, which governs the earth, is in particular conversant about the church. All that have the plummet in their hands, must look up to the eyes of the Lord, have constant regard to Divine Providence, act in dependence on its guidance and submission to its disposals. Let us fix our faith on Christ, and view Him carrying on his work according to his own glorious plan, and daily bringing his spiritual building nearer to completion. (Zec 4:11-14)

Verses 11–14

Zechariah desires to know what are the two olive trees. Zerubbabel and Joshua, this prince and this priest, were endued with the gifts and graces of God’s Spirit. They lived at the same time, and both were instruments in the work and service of God. Christ’s offices of King and Priest were shadowed forth by them. From the union of these two offices in his person, both God and man, the fullness of grace is received and imparted. They built the temple, the church of God. So does Christ spiritually. Christ is not only the Messiah, the Anointed One himself, but he is the Good Olive to his church; and from his fulness we receive. And the Holy Spirit is the unction or anointing which we have received. From Christ the Olive Tree, by the Spirit the Olive Branch, all the golden oil of grace flows to believers, which keeps their lamps burning. Let us seek, through the intercession and bounty of the Saviour, supplies from that fulness which has hitherto sufficed for all his saints, according to their trials and employments. Let us wait on him in his ordinances, desiring to be sanctified wholly in body, soul, and spirit.

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