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Bible Commentaries

F. B. Hole's Old and New Testament Commentary

Zechariah 4



Verses 1-14

A FIFTH VISION follows in chapter 4, which indicated, as we understand it, a further thing needful if the full blessing, revealed to the prophet, is to be securely established; namely, the energy of the Spirit of God. The prophet was shown a golden candlestick supplied with oil, after the fashion of the candlestick that had been in the tabernacle and the temple. On confessing his ignorance as to the meaning of this vision, he was instructed as to its present application. This time the vision concerned not Joshua the religious leader, but Zerubbabel the civil leader of the people, who might be tempted to fall back on purely human things to accomplish what he felt would be right. He is instructed that his resource lay not in 'might', or armed force; nor in 'power', or authority, derived from men, but in the Spirit of the Lord of hosts. Obstacles, like a great mountain, might rise before him, but all would be levelled and the 'headstone' be brought forth with rejoicing, and the cry of, 'Grace, Grace'.

Verses Zechariah 4:8-10, show the application of all this to the immediate task before Zerubbabel. Relying not upon human force or power but upon God, he would be enabled to finish the work of rebuilding the house. It was, as compared with the days of Solomon, a day of small things, but not to be despised on account of that. In verse Zechariah 4:10 the marginal reading is the better. The seven eyes of the Lord, seen in the previous chapter, 'upon one stone', shall rejoice, since they run to and fro through the whole earth, and everything is observed by them.

It is plain then that God gave encouragement through the prophet, and in connection with the two leaders of the people. The two things needed were cleansing as seen with Joshua, and spiritual power as shown to Zerubbabel. And in all this there lay an indication of how God will bring in the ultimate blessing at the end of the age.

The prophet now raises a question as to the meaning of the two olive trees that supplied the oil to the golden candlestick; the very oil itself being spoken of as 'the gold'. The answer was that they represented the two 'anointed ones', or 'sons of oil', that stand before 'the Lord of the whole earth'. In Israel the high priest was anointed, and also the king — David for instance, in 1 Samuel 16:1-23. At that moment Joshua represented the priestly line, and Zerubbabel, the kingly line, though not himself a king. The grace and power of God was to flow through them at that time, in its measure. In full measure it will flow through Christ, when He will sit a Priest upon His kingly throne, as the sixth chapter will tell us. It will then be perfectly clear that all is reached on the basis of grace, and not of law-keeping. Compared with the New Testament, the Old has but little to tell us of the grace of God, but here we have it emphasized. 'Grace, Grace', will indeed be the cry when all is established in the Messiah, anointed both as Priest and King.


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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Hole, Frank Binford. "Commentary on Zechariah 4:4". "F. B. Hole's Old and New Testament Commentary". 1947.

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