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Zechariah 4:11 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— 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?
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— 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?
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Then I said to him, “What are these two olive trees on the right of the lampstand and on its left?”
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Then I answered, and said to him, What [are] these two olive-trees upon the right [side] of the candlestick and upon its left [side]?
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And I answered and said unto him, What are these two olive-trees on the right of the lamp-stand and on its left?
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Then responded I, and said unto him,—What are these two olive-trees, upon the right of the lampstand, and upon the left thereof?
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And I answer and say unto him, 'What [are] these two olive-trees, on the right of the candlestick, and on its left?'
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— And I answered, and said to him: What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick, and upon the left side thereof?
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Then answered I, and said vnto him; What [are] these two oliue trees vpon the right [side] of the candlesticke, and vpon the left [side] thereof?
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And I answered, and said to him, What are these two olive-trees, which are on the right and left hand of the candlestick?
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— 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?

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Then answered 6030
{6030} Prime
A primitive root; properly to eye or (generally) to heed, that is, pay attention; by implication to respond; by extension to begin to speak; specifically to sing, shout, testify, announce.
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
I, and said 559
{0559} Prime
A primitive root; to say (used with great latitude).
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
unto x413
(0413) Complement
(Used only in the shortened constructive form (the second form)); a primitive particle, properly denoting motion towards, but occasionally used of a quiescent position, that is, near, with or among; often in general, to.
him, What x4100
(4100) Complement
A primitive particle; properly interrogitive what? (including how?, why? and when?); but also exclamations like what! (including how!), or indefinitely what (including whatever, and even relatively that which); often used with prefixes in various adverbial or conjugational senses.
[are] these x428
(0428) Complement
Prolonged from H0411; these or those.
two 8147
{8147} Prime
(The first form being dual of H8145; the second form being feminine); two; also (as ordinal) twofold.
olive trees 2132
{2132} Prime
Probably from an unused root (akin to H2099); an olive (as yielding illuminating oil), the tree, the branch or the berry.
upon x5921
(5921) Complement
Properly the same as H5920 used as a preposition (in the singular or plural, often with prefix, or as conjugation with a particle following); above, over, upon, or against (yet always in this last relation with a downward aspect) in a great variety of applications.
the right 3225
{3225} Prime
From H3231; the right hand or side (leg, eye) of a person or other object (as the stronger and more dexterous); locally, the south.
[side] of the candlestick 4501
{4501} Prime
Feminine of H4500 (in the original sense of H5216); a chandelier.
and upon x5921
(5921) Complement
Properly the same as H5920 used as a preposition (in the singular or plural, often with prefix, or as conjugation with a particle following); above, over, upon, or against (yet always in this last relation with a downward aspect) in a great variety of applications.
the left 8040
{8040} Prime
A primitive word (rather perhaps from the same as H8071 (by insertion of א) through the idea of wrapping up); properly dark (as enveloped), that is, the north; hence (by orientation) the left hand.
[side] thereof?
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Zechariah 4:11-12

_ _ Zechariah three times (Zechariah 4:4, Zechariah 4:11, Zechariah 4:12) asks as to the two olives before he gets an answer; the question becomes more minute each time. What he at first calls “two olive trees,” he afterwards calls “branches,” as on closer looking he observes that the “branches” of the trees are the channels through which a continual flow of oil dropped into the bowl of the lamps (Zechariah 4:2), and that this is the purpose for which the two olive trees stand beside the candlestick. Primarily, the “two” refer to Joshua and Zerubbabel. God, says Auberlen, at each of the transition periods of the world’s history has sent great men to guide the Church. So the two witnesses shall appear before the destruction of Antichrist. Antitypically, “the two anointed ones” (Zechariah 4:14) are the twofold supports of the Church, the civil power (answering to Zerubbabel) and the ecclesiastical (answering to Joshua, the high priest), which in the restored Jewish polity and temple shall “stand by,” that is, minister to “the Lord of the whole earth,” as He shall be called in the day that He sets up His throne in Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:9; Daniel 2:44; Revelation 11:15). Compare the description of the offices of the “priests” and the “prince” (Isaiah 49:23; Ezekiel 44:1-46:24). As in Revelation 11:3, Revelation 11:4, the “two witnesses” are identified with the two olive trees and the two candlesticks. Wordsworth explains them to mean the Law and the Gospel: the two Testaments that witness in the Church for the truth of God. But this is at variance with the sense here, which requires Joshua and Zerubbabel to be primarily meant. So Moses (the prophet and lawgiver) and Aaron (the high priest) ministered to the Lord among the covenant-people at the exodus; Ezekiel (the priest) and Daniel (a ruler) in the Babylonian captivity; so it shall be in restored Israel. Some think Elijah will appear again (compare the transfiguration, Matthew 17:3, Matthew 17:11, with Malachi 4:4, Malachi 4:5; John 1:21) with Moses. Revelation 11:6, which mentions the very miracles performed by Elijah and Moses (shutting heaven so as not to rain, and turning water into blood), favors this (compare Exodus 7:19; 1 Kings 17:1; Luke 4:25; James 5:16, James 5:17). The period is the same, “three years and six months”; the scene also is in Israel (Revelation 11:8), “where our Lord was crucified.” It is supposed that for the first three and a half years of the hebdomad (Daniel 9:20-27), God will be worshipped in the temple; in the latter three and a half years, Antichrist will break the covenant (Daniel 9:27), and set himself up in the temple to be worshipped as God (2 Thessalonians 2:4). The witnesses prophesy the former three and a half years, while corruptions prevail and faith is rare (Luke 18:8); then they are slain and remain dead three and a half years. Probably, besides individual witnesses and literal years, there is a fulfillment in long periods and general witnesses, such as the Church and the Word, the civil and religious powers so far as they have witnessed for God. So “the beast” in Revelation answers to the civil power of the apostasy; “the false prophet” to the spiritual power. Man needs the priest to atone for guilt, and the prophet-king to teach holiness with kingly authority. These two typically united in Melchisedek were divided between two till they meet in Messiah, the Antitype. Zechariah 6:11-13 accords with this. The Holy Spirit in this His twofold power of applying to man the grace of the atonement, and that of sanctification, must in one point of view be meant by the two olive trees which supply the bowl at the top of the candlestick (that is, Messiah at the head of the Church); for it is He who filled Jesus with all the fullness of His unction (John 3:34). But this does not exclude the primary application to Joshua and Zerubbabel, “anointed” (Zechariah 4:14) with grace to minister to the Jewish Church: and so applicable to the twofold supports of the Church which are anointed with the Spirit, the prince and the priest, or minister.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Zechariah 4:11-14

_ _ Enough is said to Zechariah to encourage him, and to enable him to encourage others, with reference to the good work of building the temple which they were now about, and that was the principal intention of the vision he saw; but still he is inquisitive about the particulars, which we will ascribe, not to any vain curiosity, but to the value he had for divine discoveries and the pleasure he took in acquainting himself with them. Those that know much of the things of God cannot but have a humble desire to know more. Now observe,

_ _ I. What his enquiry was. He understood the meaning of the candlestick with its lamps: It is Jerusalem, it is the temple, and their salvation that is to go forth as a lamp that burns; but he wants to know what are these two olive-trees (Zechariah 4:11), these two olive-branches? Zechariah 4:12. Observe here, 1. He asked. Note, Those that would be acquainted with the things of God must be inquisitive concerning those things. Ask, and you shall be told. 2. He asked twice, his first question having no reply given to it. Note, If satisfactory answers be not given to our enquiries and requests quickly, we must renew them, and repeat them, and continue instant and importunate in them, and the vision shall at length speak, and not lie. 3. His second query varied somewhat from the former. He first asked, What are these two olive-trees, but afterwards, What are these two olive-branches? that is, those boughs of the tree that hung over the bowl and distilled oil into it. When we enquire concerning the grace of God, it must be rather as it is communicated to us by the fruitful boughs of the word and ordinances (for that is one of the things revealed, which belong to us and to our children) than as it is resident in the good olive where all our springs are, for that is one of the secret things, which belong not to us. 4. In his enquiry he mentioned the observations he had made upon the vision; he took notice not only of what was obvious at first sight, that the two olive-trees grew, one on the right side and the other on the left side of the candlestick (so nigh, so ready, is divine grace to the church), but he observed further, upon a more narrow inspection, that the two olive-branches, from which in particular the candlestick did receive of the root and fatness of the olive (as the apostle says of the church, Romans 11:17), did empty the golden oil (that is, the clear bright oil, the best in its kind, and of great value, as if it were aurum potabileliquid gold) out of themselves through the two golden pipes, or (as the margin reads it) which by the hand of the two golden pipes empty out of themselves oil into the gold, that is, into the golden bowl on the head of the candlestick. Our Lord Jesus emptied himself, to fill us; his precious blood is the golden oil in which we are supplied with all we need.

_ _ II. What answer was given to his enquiry. Now again the angel obliged him expressly to own his ignorance, before he informed him (Zechariah 4:13): “Knowest thou not what these are? If thou knowest the church to be the candlestick, canst thou think the olive-trees, that supply it with oil, to be any other than the grace of God?” But he owned he either did not fully understand it or was afraid he did not rightly understand it: I said, No, my Lord, how should I, except some one guide me? And then he told him (Zechariah 4:14): These are the two sons of oil (so it is in the original), the two anointed ones (so we read it), rather, the two oily ones. That which we read (Isaiah 5:1) a very fruitful hill is in the original the horn of the son of oil, a fat and fattening soil. 1. If by the candlestick we understand the visible church, particularly that of the Jews at that time, for whose comfort it was primarily intended, these sons of oil, that stand before the Lord of the whole earth, are the two great ordinances and offices of the magistracy and ministry, at that time lodged in the hands of those two great and good men Zerubbabel and Joshua. Kings and priests were anointed; this prince, this priest, were oily ones, endued with the gifts and graces of God's Spirit, to qualify them for the work to which they were called. They stood before the Lord of the whole earth, to minister to him, and to receive direction from him; and a great influence they had upon the affairs of the church at that time. Their wisdom, courage, and zeal, were continually emptying themselves into the golden bowl, to keep the lamps burning; and, when they are gone, others shall be raised up to carry on the same work; Israel shall no longer be without prince and priest. Good magistrates and good ministers that are themselves anointed with the grace of God and stand by the Lord of the whole earth, as faithful adherents to his cause, contribute very much to the maintaining and advancing of religion and the shining forth of the word of life. 2. If by the candlestick we understand the church of the first-born, of true believers, these sons of oil may be meant of Christ and the Spirit, the Redeemer and the Comforter. Christ is not only the Messiah, the Anointed One himself, but he is the good olive to his church; and from his fulness we receive, John 1:16. And the Holy Spirit is the unction or anointing which we have received, 1 John 2:20, 1 John 2:27. From Christ, the olive tree, by the Spirit, the olive branch, all the golden oil of grace is communicated to believers, which keeps their lamps burning, and without a constant supply of which they would soon go out. They stand by the Lord of the whole earth, who is in a special manner the church's Lord; for the Son was to be sent by the Father, and so was the Holy Ghost, in the time appointed, and they stand by him ready to go.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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Geneva Bible Translation Notes

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Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance

Zechariah 4:3 And two olive trees by it, one upon the right [side] of the bowl, and the other upon the left [side] thereof.
Revelation 11:4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
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Zc 4:3. Rv 11:4.

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