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Read Introduction to Zechariah

 

1 Now the angel who talked with me came back and wakened me, as a man who is wakened out of his sleep. 2 And he said to me, “What do you see?” So I said, “I am looking, and there is a lampstand of solid gold with a bowl on top of it, and on the stand seven lamps with seven pipes to the seven lamps. 3 Two olive trees are by it, one at the right of the bowl and the other at its left.” 4 So 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 and said to me, “Do you not know what these are?” And I said, “No, my lord.”

 

Chapter four begins Zechariah’s fifth vision. Verses 1-4 describe the vision of the gold lampstand and two olive trees. This vision aims to encourage Zerubbabel, Joshua the high priest, and Zechariah to complete the temple.

4:1

Now the angel who talked with me came back and wakened me, as a man who is wakened out of his sleep.

The interpreting angel woke Zechariah to reveal another vision while he was awake. This shows that the prophet was not sleeping or dreaming the vision. He was fully awake.

4:2

And he said to me, “What do you see?” So I said, “I am looking, and there is a lampstand of solid gold with a bowl on top of it, and on the stand seven lamps with seven pipes to the seven lamps.

The “lampstand” was a column that supported seven lamps. This solid gold lampstand had seven pipes feeding into each lamp, making 49 channels for oil to flow. The idea that there would always be sufficient oil for the lampstand.

The “bowl” was to hold oil for the lamp. It functioned as a reservoir above the lamps so that the oil would flow gradually to the lamps.

The illusion here is to something like the lampstand of the tabernacle and temple (Ex 25:31-40). The light of the lampstand represented God’s glory and His presence in Israel. It also depicts Jesus as the light of the world.

4:3

Two olive trees are by it, one at the right of the bowl and the other at its left.”

Olive oil was the fuel for lamps. Trees directly fed oil to the lampstand through “seven pipes.”

4:4

So I answered and spoke to the angel who talked with me, saying, “What are these, my lord?”

Zechariah’s questioning response is again repeated in verse 12. The angel delayed the answer two times to focus on the answer in verse 14.

4:5

Then the angel who talked with me answered and said to me, “Do you not know what these [the olive trees] are?” And I said, “No, my lord.”

The angel expected Zechariah to know the meaning of the vision, but the prophet responded that he did not.

PRINCIPLE:

Israel was to be the repository of God’s Word.

APPLICATION:

The original purpose for the nation Israel was to be a light-bearer of God’s character and work, a witness to other nations (Deut 32:8; Ezek 5:5). She was a repository of God’s revelation.

Today the church is the repository of God’s Word, but she is failing to proclaim it fully. The Bible should be a shining light to both Christians and non-Christians. The church is a light in a very dark world.

The lampstand may represent Christ, and the oil typifies the Holy Spirit.

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