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Zechariah 4:1-7

Context
Vision Five: The Menorah

4:1 The angelic messenger 1  who had been speaking with me then returned and woke me, as a person is wakened from sleep. 4:2 He asked me, “What do you see?” I replied, 2  “I see a menorah of pure gold with a receptacle at the top and seven lamps, with fourteen pipes going to the lamps. 4:3 There are also two olive trees beside it, one on the right of the receptacle and the other on the left.” 3  4:4 Then I asked the messenger who spoke with me, “What are these, 4  sir?” 4:5 He replied, “Don’t you know what these are?” So I responded, “No, sir.” 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,’ 5  says the Lord who rules over all.”

Oracle of Response

4:7 “What are you, you great mountain? 6  Because of Zerubbabel you will become a level plain! And he will bring forth the temple 7  capstone with shoutings of ‘Grace! Grace!’ 8  because of this.”

1 tn See the note on the expression “angelic messenger” in 1:9.

2 tc The present translation (along with most other English versions) follows the reading of the Qere and many ancient versions, “I said,” as opposed to the MT Kethib “he said.”

3 sn The vision apparently describes two olive trees providing olive oil by pipes to a large basin atop the menorah. From this basin two pipes extend to each of the seven lamps of the menorah, for a total of fourteen pipes in all. See vv. 11-12.

4 sn Here these must refer to the lamps, since the identification of the olive trees is left to vv. 11-14.

5 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).

6 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”).

7 tn The word “temple” has been supplied in the translation to clarify the referent (cf. NLT “final stone of the Temple”).

8 sn Grace is a fitting response to the idea that it was “not by strength and not by power” but by God’s gracious Spirit that the work could be done (cf. v. 6).



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