And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep. 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 are upon the top thereof: And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof.So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my lord? Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.
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. 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. Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 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.
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. 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? 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?
And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord. Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.(Zechariah 4)
In the last 4 visions, the prophet Zechariah saw the future Glory of Jerusalem. The city of the great King had been razed, the walls shattered, the temple violated, and the people of Israel had come under the harsh roe of Gentile “horns”, powers, which would humble, scatter and degrade them.
There is no indifference in the Most High, to the deep humiliation, loss and suffering of Judah, Jerusalem and Israel. As Isaiah revealed, “In all of their affliction He is most definitely afflicted”, even in their furthest captivity, the Angel of the LORD stood among the people typified in the vision as a lowly Haddasah bush, partially submerged in a flooded ravine.
But God gave the prophet “good and comfortable Words” to proclaim over Jerusalem. The “Horns” which had scattered and humbled them would be overthrown by “Craftsmen” who would “fray them”.
God himself was and is jealous for Jerusalem and would once gain dwell in the midst of her, being a fiery defensive wall to her, and a sanctifying fire in the midst of the city. As a result of God taking residence again in Jerusalem, would be that many among the nations would be “joined to the LORD”, for Jerusalem and the people which she represents, would be re-instated to her Priestly role.
How could the deeply sinful backslidden people be restored again, in the sight of a Holy God? The answer to this question comes in the third vision, in which Zechariah saw a High Priest named Jehoshua bearing the sins of the Nation before God, and also bearing the reproach of Satan as a substitute representative , until the wrath of God was satisfied. Then the the Prodigal nation would be re-clothed in the garment of holiness, and re-crowned with the Priestly turban.
In this vision Zechariah sees in a vision, a representative again of Israel’s two “Anointed Ones”, the high Priest Joshua, and King, Zerubbabel.
I must make a correction, Zerubbabel, a direct descendent of King David, was actually the Governor, in the days of the return from the captivity. He should have been the King, but his role was reduced, as a consequence of the curse of Jeconiah His ancestor, a son of David and one time King of Judah,
Thus saith the LORD, Write ye this man [Jeconiah] childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah.(Jeremiah 22:30)
Thus after the captivity, and the return from the exile, Zerubabbel, the son of David, was now reduced, as a vassal governor answerable to a Gentile Power, for the curse of Jeconiah was in operation. The very name Zerubabbel is a sign of Jewish humiliation, it is not a dignified Hebrew name as in the rest of the line of David, rather His is a foreign name, it means “seed of Babel”, or perhaps “Sown in Babel”.
“In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, in the first day of the month, came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet unto Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah,”(Haggai 1:1)
But this diminished Governor/King, as well as Joshua the High Priest, were given the task by God of of restoring the destroyed Temple, and restoring the true worship in the Holy Land. Together they serve as types of Christ; Joshua as the High Priest bearing the sins o the people, and to Zerubabbel, the Governor/King, are made definite Messianic promises,
“Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah , saying, I will shake the heavens and the earth;
And I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the heathen; and I will overthrow the chariots, and those that ride in them; and the horses and their riders shall come down, every one by the sword of his brother.
In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, saith the LORD, and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the LORD of hosts.” (Haggai 2:21 -23)
Everything seemed diminished in the ruined Jerusalem that the exiles returned to, the city was reduced, the rebuilt temple was less in stature then the temple destroyed by the Babylonians, the Kingship was reduced to a mere vassal governorship, and the nation greatly reduced, and vulnerable on every side.But God was standing with them.
The vision is of a Candlestick, or a candelabra as in the Holy Place of the Temple, and the two Olive trees, with lines which feed into the Candleabra, supplying unending oil for Worship and Revelation.
The Candlestick, is the symbol of the role of Israel as the Witness to the Gentiles, to the glory of the only true God.Israel was the original “city on a hill” in the Sermon on the Mount. In the same sermon, Jesus warned Israel of the danger of “putting a lamp under a bushel basket”. God would not allow the Nation to obscure the Light he had committed unto them by their sin and unbelief.
Thus The Lamp was taken away from them in 70 Ad and has been and that stripping of position as a witness was memorialized for all of the world to see on the arch of Titus in base relief for all of the world to see.
In the church age, aka the time of the Gentiles, the Candlestick has become decentralized, for we see Christ stand among the 7 Lampstands, and the Light of God is diffused through a people who were not a people.
But Zechariah sees the Lampstand again restored, and the Light will again shine out of Jerusalem, Zion shall be restored again, and the Light shall shine once again out of Jerusalem, thus fulfilling the witness of all of the Prophets,
Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side.(Isaiah 60:1-4)
There are two Olive Trees, the “anointed ones who stand before the Lord of the whole earth” continually feeding that Divine lamp, the oil by which the heavenly light shines.
I know of multiple possibilities to the identities of these two anointed, for I believe that some apocalyptic prophecies have multiple layers of fulfillment,
- Zerubabel the Governor and Joshua the high Priest, were “anointed” as representative King and Priest.
- These two offices would be joined in one in the Messiah, the anointed One, the ultimate and final witness to God.
- Israel and the Church have both been designated to be witnesses to Jahweh, For Isaiah told Israel, “Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.” Isaiah 43:10 – and so also did Jeshua tell the church in Acts 1, “You shall be my witnesses…” .
- There are two individuals who will emerge in the last of the last days, who answer to Zechariah 4, in Revelation 11. They will duplicate the ministry of Elijah and Elisha, and confront AntiChrist openly, until God allows them to be killed in public, and to lay on display to the joy of the godless earth. But the earth and those who dwell on it shall be dismayed, when God calls them back to life and raptures them shortly before the final judgment. This also shall be witnessed to by the whole world.
And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. And after three days and an half the spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.(Revelation 11:3-12)