The burning lights and the olive trees
1 The angel that talked with me before woke me. I, Zechariah, was like a man who wakes out of his sleep. 2 The angel said to me, ‘What do you see?’ I said, ‘I see a lampstand that is made from gold. It has seven lamps and a bowl on top which contains oil. And it has seven branches that take the oil to each lamp. 3 And two olive trees are standing by the lampstand. One tree is on the right and one tree is on the left.’
4 I, Zechariah, said to the angel that talked with me, ‘What does this light mean, my lord?’
5 He said, ‘Do you not know what these are?’
I said, ‘No, my lord.’
6 Then the angel said to me, ‘The Lord said this to Zerubbabel: “You will need my Spirit. You yourself are too weak. And you do not have enough power.” This is what the Lord Almighty says: 7 “Big mountain, you are no problem. You will become flat ground in front of Zerubbabel. Then he will bring out the last and biggest stone of my house. The people will shout, ‘God bless it! God bless it!’ ” ’
4:6Zerubbabel came from the family of King David. The Jews' enemies took Zerubbabel's father to Babylon. Zerubbabel was born there. He came from Babylon to build the second temple with other people at Jerusalem.
8 Then the Lord's message came to me, Zechariah. He said, 9 ‘Zerubbabel has put down the first stone of my house. He will also finish it.’ Then you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you.
4:9Some people thought that the work on the house of God was not important. But they were wrong. God wanted the people to build his house. The Holy Spirit would help Zerubbabel to finish it.
10 Everyone should know that the day of small things is important.
Men will see Zerubbabel. Then they will sing and they will be happy. They will see him with a line in his hand to measure the walls.
The Lord sees everything in the whole earth. (The 7 lights are the 7 eyes of the Lord.)
11 Then I said to the angel, ‘What are these two olive trees that stand on the right and on the left of the lampstand?’
12 A second time I spoke to the angel, ‘What are these two branches of the olive trees? They are next to the gold pipes and oil comes from those pipes.’
13 The angel replied, ‘Do you not know what these olive trees mean?’
‘No, my lord,’ I said.
14 So the angel said, ‘These are the two men that the Lord of all the earth has chosen to be his servants.’
4:14We think that the two men are Zerubbabel the ruler and Joshua the priest.