Governor starts rebuilding Temple
Z’s vision of a lampstand1The angel who talked with me earlier woke me up, just like you’d wake up anyone else. 2He said, “What do you see here?” I said, “I see a gold lampstand. It has a bowl on top. And I see the seven lamps that provide the light. Each lamp has spout for the wick. 3I see the lampstand also has pictures of two olive trees, one on the left side of the bowl and one on the right.”
4I asked the angel, “Sir, what is this about?” 5The angel said, “You don’t understand?” I said, “No sir, I don’t.”
6He answered, “It’s a message from God to Zerubbabel. Here’s the message: ‘You won’t accomplish what you’re doing because of your physical strength, or your military might. Instead, depend on the power of the Spirit of the LORD—the LORD of all. 7Mountains won’t get in Zerubbabel’s way. He’ll sweep them away, flat as a coastal plain. He’s going to finish his work and crown it with a capstone. When he does, everyone will say, “Thank you, Lord.’”
This won’t be a tiny temple8Then the LORD came to me with another message. He said:
9“Zerubbabel built the foundation of Jerusalem’s new Temple. And he’ll finish what he started. When he does, people will know that the LORD of everyone has sent you, Zechariah. 10As for those folks who complain about how small the Temple looks in the beginning, wait until they see Zerubbabel get busy with a plumb line at the walls.
So, the seven lamps of the LORD will flood the world in light.”
Two who stand with God11Then I asked, “Why did you put two olive trees on the lampstand?” 12I added, “And what are those two branches? The ones that extend from the trees and feed into gold pipes that distribute olive oil to the seven lamps?”
13He said, “Don’t you know what they are?” I said, “No sir, I don’t have any idea.” 14He said, “They are the two I’ve chosen to stand beside me, the Lord of this world.”
The bowl probably held olive oil, to feed the seven individual lamps below.
The Hebrew word for “spout” is mûṣāqâ, It can also mean a channel or pipes through which the bowl of oil on top feed the lamps.
Zerubbabel, a descendant of King David, led the first wave of Jews home to Israel after the nation spent 50 years exiled in what is now Iraq. Babylonians had conquered the nation and destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple in 586 BC. Fifty years later, Persians from what is now Iran conquered Babylon and freed Jews and other political prisoners. Persians didn’t allow Zerubbabel to serve as Israel’s king, but they appointed him governor of what became the province of Judah in the territory that became known as Palestine. Today, Israelis and Palestinians live there.
Jews faced many obstacles as they rebuilt their capital of Jerusalem and other cities. For one, the locals didn’t want to see the Jews reclaim their homeland. Settlers had moved in and lived here for a full generation, when the Jews were in exile in Iraq.
The response is one word in the original language of Hebrew: hen. It’s a happy thumbs up of a word. It could translate as: favor, approval, grace, kindness, charm, pleased with. “Hallelujah” might fit the feel of what’s happening, too.
Builders use a plumb line to measure a wall, to make sure it rises straight up. If it starts to tip sideways, builders have to tear it down and do it right.
The two are literally, “sons of oil,” meaning they have been anointed with oil as a sign that they’ve been chosen by God. Kings and priests were anointed with oil at the beginning of their service to the people. Some Bible scholars—perhaps most—say the two “I’ve chosen” were Zerubbabel, Israel’s political leader, and Joshua, the high priest and spiritual leader. Yet, the passage doesn’t mention Joshua. Other guesses about who the “chosen two” might represent: Zechariah and Haggai, who were prophets at the time; angels such as Gabriel and Michael; or Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
- Sorry, there are currently no questions for this chapter.