In this chapter we have another comfortable vision, which, as it was explained to the prophet, had much in it for the encouragement of the people of God in their present straits, which were so great that they thought their case helpless, that their temple could never be rebuilt nor their city replenished; and therefore the scope of the vision is to show that God would, by his own power, perfect the work, though the assistance given to it by its friends were ever so weak, and the resistance given to it by its enemies were ever so strong. Here is, I. The awakening of the prophet to observe the vision (Zec 4:1). II.
The vision itself, of a candlestick with seven lamps, which were supplied with oil, and kept burning, immediately from two olive-trees that grew by it, one on either side (Zec 4:2, Zec 4:3). III. The general encouragement hereby intended to be given to the builders of the temple to go on in that good work, assuring them that it should be brought to perfection at last (Zec 4:4-10). IV. The particular explication of the vision, for the illustration of these assurances (Zec 4:11-14).
Gill adds…The vision of the candlestick, and olive trees, is in Zec 4:2. The candlestick is described by the matter of it, gold; and by the parts of it, its bowl, lamps, and pipes; and the olive trees by their situation; the explanation of which is at the request of the prophet, he not knowing what they meant, Zec 4:4 when it is observed to him, that this represents, under the type of Zerubbabel building the temple, the building of the Gospel church by Christ; and which is done and finished, not by might or power of man, but by the Spirit, notwithstanding all opposition, and contempt of it, to the great joy of many, who observe the grace of God, and his providential care and goodness, in it, Zec 4:6 and upon the prophet’s inquiring the meaning of the two olive trees, which he was ignorant of, he is told that these are the two anointed ones that stood by the Lord of the whole earth, Zec 4:11.
Also note the allusions to what we will later find in John’s written in the Book of Revelation.
A Vision of a Golden Lampstand
Zec 4:1 And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep,
Zec 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 areupon the top thereof:
Zec 4:3 And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left sidethereof.
Zec 4:4 So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my lord?
Zec 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.
Zec 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.
Zec 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.
Zec 4:8 Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Zec 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.
Zec 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.
Zec 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?
Zec 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?
Zec 4:13 And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.
Zec 4:14 Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.