4:6 Therefore he told me, “These signify the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by strength and not by power, but by my Spirit,’ 1 says the Lord who rules over all.”
4:7 “What are you, you great mountain? 2 Because of Zerubbabel you will become a level plain! And he will bring forth the temple 3 capstone with shoutings of ‘Grace! Grace!’ 4 because of this.” 4:8 Moreover, the word of the Lord came to me as follows: 4:9 “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundations of this temple, 5 and his hands will complete it.” Then you will know that the Lord who rules over all has sent me to you. 4:10 For who dares make light of small beginnings? These seven eyes 6 will joyfully look on the tin tablet 7 in Zerubbabel’s hand. (These are the eyes of the Lord, which constantly range across the whole earth.)
1 sn It is premature to understand the Spirit here as the Holy Spirit (the third Person of the Trinity), though the OT prepares the way for that NT revelation (cf. Gen 1:2; Exod 23:3; 31:3; Num 11:17-29; Judg 3:10; 6:34; 2 Kgs 2:9, 15, 16; Ezek 2:2; 3:12; 11:1, 5).
2 sn In context, the great mountain here must be viewed as a metaphor for the enormous task of rebuilding the temple and establishing the messianic kingdom (cf. TEV “Obstacles as great as mountains”).
3 tn The word “temple” has been supplied in the translation to clarify the referent (cf. NLT “final stone of the Temple”).
5 tn Heb “house” (so NAB, NRSV).
6 tn Heb “these seven.” Eyes are clearly intended in the ellipsis as v. 10b shows. As in 3:9 the idea is God’s omniscience. He who knows the end from the beginning rejoices at the completion of his purposes.
7 tn This term is traditionally translated “plumb line” (so NASB, NIV, NLT; cf. KJV, NRSV “plummet”), but it is more likely that the Hebrew בְּדִיל (bÿdil) is to be derived not from בָּדַל (badal), “to divide,” but from a root meaning “tin.” This finds support in the ancient Near Eastern custom of placing inscriptions on tin plates in dedicatory foundation deposits.