Zechariah 4

The Minor Prophets  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented
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What’s a lampstand?

Exodus 25:31–40 ESV
“You shall make a lampstand of pure gold. The lampstand shall be made of hammered work: its base, its stem, its cups, its calyxes, and its flowers shall be of one piece with it. And there shall be six branches going out of its sides, three branches of the lampstand out of one side of it and three branches of the lampstand out of the other side of it; three cups made like almond blossoms, each with calyx and flower, on one branch, and three cups made like almond blossoms, each with calyx and flower, on the other branch—so for the six branches going out of the lampstand. And on the lampstand itself there shall be four cups made like almond blossoms, with their calyxes and flowers, and a calyx of one piece with it under each pair of the six branches going out from the lampstand. Their calyxes and their branches shall be of one piece with it, the whole of it a single piece of hammered work of pure gold. You shall make seven lamps for it. And the lamps shall be set up so as to give light on the space in front of it. Its tongs and their trays shall be of pure gold. It shall be made, with all these utensils, out of a talent of pure gold. And see that you make them after the pattern for them, which is being shown you on the mountain.
1 Kings 7:49 ESV
the lampstands of pure gold, five on the south side and five on the north, before the inner sanctuary; the flowers, the lamps, and the tongs, of gold;
The image of a lampstand has shifted for me from the leg lamp of a Christmas story to the weird glass 70s lamp we got from my grandmother to now always picturing a menorah. This lampstand was part of the tabernacle and then part of the temple as we just saw.
Now with that question answered before it’s risen let’s read our first section of Zechariah 4.
Zechariah 4:1–4 ESV
And the angel who talked with me came again and woke me, like a man who is awakened out of his sleep. And he said to me, “What do you see?” I said, “I see, and behold, a lampstand all of gold, with a bowl on the top of it, and seven lamps on it, with seven lips on each of the lamps that are on the top of it. And there are two olive trees by it, one on the right of the bowl and the other on its left.” And I said to the angel who talked with me, “What are these, my lord?”
Description of lamp - what do you think ?
Olive oil is generally what was used as the oil for lamps at this time, and even up to present day which would be an obvious thought about an olive tree and lamp being tied together conceptually.
So what the heck does this mean Zechariah asks.
Zechariah 4:5 ESV
Then the angel who talked with me answered and said to me, “Do you not know what these are?” I said, “No, my lord.”
I think Zechariah obviously knew what all the items were but he’s asking what this is - slightly on the spectrum questions that get answered literally because the thought isn’t about it’s meaning it’s about the question - allusion
So what’s actually the answer here?
Zechariah 4:6–7 ESV
Then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts. Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain. And he shall bring forward the top stone amid shouts of ‘Grace, grace to it!’ ”
Wait is anyone else lost how did we get here? Why have we jumped to something else entirely it seems? It’s been a little while since we heard the name anyone remember who Zerubbabel is? - Governor / political power
In our previous vision of Chapter 3 it was all about Joshua the high priest this seems to now be pointing entirely to Zerubbabel. I think the 4th and 5th vision here are our climax in the midst of the visions and between the se two leaders we’ll have the complete plan for the future that builds the temple and sees God’s people back in their land being blessed as we see in further verses.
What does a mountain mean? If you have a mountain in your life what does it mean to you? What have we seen mountain mean in other Bible prophecies?
Isaiah 40:4 ESV
Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain.
The capstone or top stone is a completion of the temple.
Things still don’t really make sense and we need to get through to the end to put that all together.
Zechariah 4:8–9 ESV
Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also complete it. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you.
The physical work is done at the direction of Zerubbabel, and now we know that it will be finished and at the worst in the lifetime of Zerubbabel. This speedy completion will also be a sign that God was at work.
Zechariah 4:10 ESV
For whoever has despised the day of small things shall rejoice, and shall see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. “These seven are the eyes of the Lord, which range through the whole earth.”
We see the rejection and sadness of the small things - like in Hag 2.3-4
Haggai 2:3–4 ESV
‘Who is left among you who saw this house in its former glory? How do you see it now? Is it not as nothing in your eyes? Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, declares the Lord. Be strong, O Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land, declares the Lord. Work, for I am with you, declares the Lord of hosts,
where we talked about how sad it was that these people who knew how awesome the old temple looked were still there to see a not so glorious temple be erected in the place of it’s former physical glory. The plumb line will be held up and all will pass the inspection so to say.
Then we get what seems like a non - sequitur in the second half of verse 10 about 7 eyes. It seems to be a bit out there and I don’t think scholars agree on what they think it means. I can see how it represents omniscience of God knowing everything going on around the world.
The final question.
Zechariah 4:11–14 ESV
Then I said to him, “What are these two olive trees on the right and the left of the lampstand?” And a second time I answered and said to him, “What are these two branches of the olive trees, which are beside the two golden pipes from which the golden oil is poured out?” He said to me, “Do you not know what these are?” I said, “No, my lord.” Then he said, “These are the two anointed ones who stand by the Lord of the whole earth.”
lit - two sons of oil
The two leaders in view of visions 4&5
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