The Word of the Lord to Zechariah

Chapter 4

By the golden candlestick is foreshown the good success of Zerubbabel's foundation, 1-10; by the two olive trees the two anointed ones, 11-14.

1 And the angel who talked with me came back and waked me, as a man who is wakened out of his sleep, 2 And said to me, "What do you see?" And I said, "I have looked, and behold a candlestick, all of gold with a bowl on top of it, its seven lamps, and seven pipes to the seven lamps which were on top of it. 3 And two olive-trees by it: one upon the right side of the bowl and the other upon the left side." 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." 6 Then he answered and spoke to me, saying, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel, saying, 'Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD of hosts. 7 'Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain. And he shall bring forth its head-stone with shoutings, crying, "Grace, grace to it."'"

8 Moreover, the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 9 "The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house. His hands shall also finish it. And you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you. 10 For who has despised the day of small things? For they shall rejoice and see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel. These seven are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth."

11 Then I answered and said to him, "What are these two olive-trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon its left side?" 12 And I answered again and said to him, "What are these two olive branches, which through the two golden pipes, empty the golden oil out of themselves?" 13 And he answered me and said, "Do you not know what these are?" And I said, "No, my lord." 14 Then he said, "These are the two anointed ones who stand by the Lord of the whole earth."


Matthew Henry Commentary - Zechariah, Chapter 4


John Gill's Chapter Summary

In this chapter are contained the vision of a golden candlestick, and of two olive-trees by it, and the explanation thereof. The preparation to this vision, which is the awaking of the prophet, as of a man out of sleep (verse 1); the vision of the candlestick, and olive-trees (verses 2-3). 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 (verses 4-5); 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 (verses 6-10); 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 (verses 11-14).

John Calvin's Prayer for Verses 3:10-4:6:

Grant, Almighty God, that as you shine on us by your word, and show to us the way of salvation, we may with open eyes look on that light; and as we are blind also at mid-day, may you open our eyes, and may the inward light of your Spirit lead us to the light of your word, that we may not doubt but that you alone are sufficient to supply us with all those things which are necessary for the enjoyment of celestial life, that by thus distilling on us frequently and continually you may refresh us, so that the light of faith, which has been once kindled in our hearts by your grace, may never be extinguished, until at length we shall attain to that fullness which has been laid up for us in heaven: and may we thus now in part be satisfied with the measure of knowledge which you have given us, until we shall at length see you face to face, that being thus transformed to your image, we may enjoy the fullness of that glory into which Christ our Lord has been received. Amen.

[v.10] - "These seven" - This is referring to the seven lamps mentioned in verse 2 and asked about in verse 4.

John Calvin's Prayer for Verses 7-14:

Grant, Almighty God, that since Satan at this day sets against us many terrors to cast us down, and we are very weak,— O grant, that with our eyes lifted above we may meditate on that invincible power which you possesses, and by which you can overcome all the hindrances of this world: and then, when nothing in this world but what is contemptible appears to us as capable to confirm and support our faith, may we, by the eye of faith, behold your hidden power, and never doubt but that you will at length perform what the world at this day thinks to be impossible and therefore ridicules; and may we so constantly persevere in this confidence, that every one of us may devote to you his labor to the end, and never faint in the work of promoting the spiritual building, until at length we ourselves shall be gathered, and others shall be gathered through our labors, to offer to you not only spiritual sacrifices, such as you receive now from us, but also to offer to you, together with the angels, eternal sacrifice of praise and triumphant thanksgiving, on seeing perfected what at this day is only weakly begun. Amen.