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Zechariah Chapter 4
2 Olive Branches - One Golden Bowl - 7 Lamps
compiled by Rachel Cory-Kuehl, December 22, 2018
Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted
In a vision, the prophet Zechariah is shown two olive branches, both dripping oil into a golden bowl. The oil we know from many other passages, represents the Holy Spirit which is imparted to those especially anointed of God. Kings and priests were anointed with oil during the consecration ceremony for their office (Exo 29:7, Exo 30:30-33, Exo 40:13-15, 1Sam 10:1, 1Sam 15:1, 1Sam 16:2-13, 1Ki 1:34, 1Ki 19:15, 1Ki 19:16, Psa 23:5).
Exodus 29:7 [Instruction to Moses concerning Aaron] “And you shall take the anointing oil, pour it on his head, and anoint him.”
Psalm 133:2 “It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down on the beard, the beard of Aaron, running down on the edge of his garments.”
1 Samuel 16:13 “Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward.”
NOTE: Healed lepers also were anointed with oil, symbolizing the miracle of healing comes only through the Spirit of God. Like priests, healed lepers were to devote themselves fully to serve the LORD (Leviticus Chapter 14). In the New Testament, James instructed the elders to anoint the sick in the name of the LORD (James 5:14). The oil used for this later anointing would not have been the special “holy oil” from the Temple.
The LORD called Israel’s name “Green Olive Tree” (Jeremiah 11:16). Two “olive branches” must therefore represent two tribes of Israel, or two individual Israelites who occupy significant roles within Israel, both of whom were anointed with oil.
1. Zerubbabel - Ruler/Governor - a Son of David descended from Solomon.
2. Joshua - the High Priest (from the tribe of Levi)
This would have meaning for Zechariah at that time. He was longing to see the Temple of the LORD restored with its priesthood, and Israel established in “the land” with a rightful king.
Zechariah 4:9 “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; His hands shall also finish.”
Zechariah 6:11-13 “Take the silver and gold and make a crown, and set it on the head of the high priest, Joshua son of Jozadak. 12 Tell him this is what the LORD Almighty says: 'Here is the man whose name is the Branch, and he will branch out from his place and build the temple of the LORD. 13 It is he who will build the temple of the LORD, and he will be clothed with majesty and will sit and rule on his throne. And he will be a priest on his throne. And there will be harmony between the two.’” (NIV)
Both king and High Priest would build the Temple of the LORD. Zerubbabel the ruler and Joshua the High Priest, would build the Temple. Notice the High Priest Joshua, would “sit and rule on his throne”. Under the law, the High Priest had no “throne”. Only the anointed king - the Son of David, was allowed to sit within the Temple court.
Zerubbabel the ruler, and Joshua the High Priest, together typify Jesus Christ - the one future priest/king. Just as the oil of priestly anointing and the oil of royal anointing are combined in the one golden bowl, so priest and king are combined in Jesus the Christ. He is the king/priest of “the order of Melchizedek” (Heb 6:20). The peace or “harmony” would be “between them both” (between priest and ruler) because one man would become both king and High Priest. His name would be Joshua (Jesus), and He would build the Temple of the LORD.
As Zerubbabel and Joshua rebuilt a physical Temple for the LORD. Jesus Christ would build the spiritual Temple - His church (Israel redeemed), symbolized by the seven branched lamp stand - one body with many branches (Revelation 1:12, 13, 20). Christ himself is the “cornerstone” of that Temple.
Comment: In the Tabernacle of Sinai, and later in the Temple of Solomon, the vessel used for pouring oil into the lamps of the Menorah (lamp stand) was made of solid gold (Exo 25:29, Dan 5:2). See also http://www.templeinstitute.org/gallery_49.htm, for some great pictures.
From the golden bowl, the oil flows to the 7 lamps. Zechariah’s vision, symbolizes the Spirit by which the indwelling of the church - His Temple - is accomplished.
Zechariah 4:6 “‘Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of Hosts.”
Ephesians 2:19 “Now, therefore, you [Gentiles] are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.”
The “household of God” - His church - grows into “a holy temple” filled with His Spirit. This “temple” is made up of human beings. The foundation is apostles and prophets (all human beings). The “chief cornerstone” is Christ Himself - who became a man.
1 Corinthians 3:16 “Do you not know that you are the Temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”
2 Corinthians 6:16 “For you are the Temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.’”
1 Peter 2:5 “You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
The glorified Christ would become the one “golden bowl” through which the Spirit of God would flow to His church. He would baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire.
Matthew 3:11 “I [John] indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Mark 1:11, Luke 3:16, John 1:33).
1 Corinthians 15:45 “And so it is written, ‘The first man Adam became a living being.’ The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.”
We pray this study will prove a blessing.
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