King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Zechariah 4

A vision of a candlestick, with two olive trees. (1-7) Further encouragement. (8-10) An explanation respecting the olive trees. (11-14)

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A vision of a candlestick, with two olive trees

1 And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep.

2 And said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof:

3 And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof.

4 So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my lord?

5 Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.

6 Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.

7 Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.

Further encouragement

8 Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

9 The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you.

10 For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth.

An explanation respecting the olive trees

11 Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof?

12 And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves?

13 And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.

14 Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the LORD of the whole earth.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Again. He had been with Jesus. C. iii. C.

Ver. 2. A candlestick, &c. The temple of God that was then in building; and in a more sublime sense, the Church of Christ. Ch. — Some, with the Jews, apply this to the synagogue: but most explain it of the Church, the lamp denoting Christ, and the seven lights all his pastors; the two olives, Enoch and Elias. Apoc. xi. W. — The angel explains the latter of Jesus and Zorobabel. v. 14. The lights are the same with the angels, (v. 10) and eyes, (C. iii. 9.) subservient to these great men. Perhaps no candlestick of this description ever existed, though it alludes to that of Moses in some respects. Ex. xxxvii. C. — Lamp. Heb. gullah, (H.) a round vessel for oil. M. — It was filled from the two olive-trees, and supplied the seven lights by tubes. H.

Ver. 5. Are? Thou art a prophet, and art thou ignorant? M.

Ver. 6. To Zorobabel. This vision was in favour of Zorobabel, to assure him of success in the building of the temple, which he had begun, signified by the candlestick; the lamp of which, without any other industry, was supplied with oil dropping from the two olive-trees, and distributed by the seven funnels or pipes, to maintain the seven lights. Ch. — Zorobabel might thus be comforted with the assurance that God would protect his Church. W. — Spirit, represented by the eyes. The Messias would receive the fulness of this spirit. Is. xi. 2. C.

Ver. 7. Great mountain. So he calls the opposition made by the enemies of God’s people; which, nevertheless, without any army or might on their side, was quashed by divine Providence. Ch. — It may also mean Sion covered with ruins. — Chief; either the first or the last stone. C. — Equal grace. Shall add grace to grace, or beauty to beauty. Ch. — He shall greatly adorn it. Heb. “when they shall lift it (the stone) up, they will exclaim: Let it be agreeable and loved.” C. — Prot. “He shall bring forth the head-stone thereof with shouting, crying: Grace, grace unto it.” The people filled the air with their cries, when the temple was founded fourteen years before. H. — This second attempt shall be more successful. The temple was finished in four years. 1 Esd. v. 16. and vi. 16. C.

Ver. 10. Little days. That is, these small and feeble beginnings of the temple of God. Ch. — Ye of little faith shall rejoice when you shall behold Zorobabel surmounting all difficulties. C. — Plummet. Lit. “the stone of tin.” He means the builder’s plummet, which Zorobabel shall hold in his hand for the finishing the building. Ch. — The Hebrew style all weights stones, Deut. xxv. 13. C. — Eyes. The providence of God, that oversees and orders all things; (Ch.) or the assistance of the seven chief angels. Tob. xii. 15. Apoc. i. 4. C.

Ver. 12. Branches: the divine and human nature in Christ. W. — They are the same with the two trees, v. 11. C.

Ver. 14. Two sons of oil. That is, the two anointed ones of the Lord; viz. Jesus, the high priest, and Zorobabel, the prince. Ch. — The Hebrews have hot many adjectives. Thus they say, the son of perdition, for the lost son. Sept. “sons of fatness.” Aq. and Th. “of splendour;” two illustrious personages. H. — One was head in religious, the other in civil matters. C. — Both were appointed by God, and co-operated for the welfare of the people, as the church and state ought to act for the common good, and assist each other. H. — Jesus and Zorobabel were to repair the damage done by the Chaldeans. They were assisted by the seven administering spirits. Heb. i. 14. C.