4 The angel who explained the visions woke me from what seemed like sleep. 2 Then he asked, “What do you see?”
“A solid gold lampstand with an oil container above it,” I answered. “On the stand are seven lamps, each with seven flames. 3 One olive tree is on the right side and another on the left of the oil container. 4 But, sir, what do these mean?”
5 Then he asked, “Don’t you know?”
“No sir,” I replied.
6 So the angel explained that it was the following message of the Lord to Zerubbabel:[a]
I am the Lord All-Powerful. So don’t depend on your own power or strength, but on my Spirit. 7 Zerubbabel, that mountain in front of you will be leveled to the ground. Then you will bring out the temple’s most important stone and shout, “God has been very kind.”[b]
8 The Lord spoke to me again and said:
9 Zerubbabel laid the foundation for the temple, and he will complete it. Then everyone will know that you were sent by me, the Lord All-Powerful. 10 Those who have made fun of this day of small beginnings will celebrate when they see Zerubbabel holding this important stone.[c]
Those seven lamps represent my eyes—the eyes of the Lord—and they see everything on this earth.
11 Then I asked the angel, “What about the olive trees on each side of the lampstand? What do they represent? 12 And what is the meaning of the two branches from which golden olive oil[d] flows through the two gold pipes?”
13 “Don’t you know?” he asked.
“No sir, I don’t,” was my answer.
14 Then he told me, “These branches are the two chosen leaders[e] who stand beside the Lord of all the earth.”
4.6Zerubbabel: Governor of Judah (see Haggai 1.1).
4.10important stone: Or “measuring line (with a stone attached to the end).”
4.12golden olive oil: The Hebrew text has “gold,” which possibly refers to the color of the olive oil as it flows through the gold pipe.
4.14chosen leaders: The Hebrew text has “people of oil.” In ancient times prophets, priests, and kings had olive oil poured over their heads to show that they had been chosen (see 1 Samuel 10.1; 16.13).
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