The Golden Lampstand (Zechariah 4:1-14)
Old Testament prophecies are mysterious and usually not understood until after the events foretold are completed. One of the purposes of the book of Zechariah was to encourage and motivate the people of Judah to complete the rebuilding of the temple.
In this fifth vision of Zechariah, an angel wakes him and asks, “What do you see?” He replies, “A solid gold lampstand with seven channels…and two olive trees,” symbols of the divine resources they need to rebuild the temple.
Zechariah asks the angel to explain the vision and he replies:
“This the word of the Lord to the Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord.”
“The seven are the eyes of the Lord, which range throughout the earth.”
“The two olive trees are “the two who are anointed to serve the Lord of all the earth.”
Scholars consider the seven eyes to represent infinite intelligence. The oil in the lamps is the fullness of God’s power in his Spirit. The two olive trees are Zerubbabel (the prime builder of the temple who is from the royal house of David) and Joshua, the priest.
Prophetic words in the Bible have many layers of meaning. This is a picture not only for Zechariah’s time, but it also points to the coming Messiah who is King and Priest, full of God’s wisdom and power, the One who is the new temple—the place where God dwells in human form.