Zechariah 4



The angelI who spokeII with me came againIII

Notes on verse 1a

I “angel” = malak. This is a messenger, an angel, or a deputy of some kind. Can be used for human messengers literally or for prophets, priests, or teachers as messengers of God. Also used for supernatural messengers i.e. angels.
II “spoke” = dabar. This is generally to speak, answer, declare, or command. It might mean to arrange and so to speak in a figurative sense as arranging words.
III “came again” = shub. To turn back, return, turn away – literally or figuratively. Doesn’t necessarily imply going back to where you started from. This is also the root verb for the Hebrew word for repentance “teshubah.”

and wakenedIV me, as oneV is wakened from sleep.VI He saidVII to me, “What do you see?”VIII

Notes on verses 1b-2a

IV “wakened” = ur. This is to arise, lift, exult, or stir. It is to wake in a literal or figurative sense.
V “one” = ish. Perhaps from enosh (human, humankind, mortal); from anash (to be weak, sick, or frail). This is man, husband, another, or humankind.
VI “sleep” = shenah. From yashen (to be languid or go slack; it can mean to sleep, become old or stale, or die). This is asleep.
VII “said” = amar. This is to speak, say, answer, command, promise, report.
VIII “see” = raah. This is to see in a literal or figurative sense so stare, advise, think, view.

And I said, “I seeIX a lampstandX allXI of gold,XII

Notes on verse 2b

IX “see” = hinneh. From hen (lo! Behold! If, though; an expression of surprise). This is to draw attention, show suddenness or surprise, or to emphasize the importance of the coming statement. See! Lo! Behold!
X “lampstand” = menorah. From the same as ner (properly, to glisten; a lamp, light, burner, candle; light literal or figurative). This is a lampstand or candlestick.
XI “all” = kol. From kalal (to complete). This is all or every.
XII “gold” = zahab. Root may mean to shimmer. This is gold or something that has the color of gold like oil. It can also refer to a clear sky – to good weather.

with a bowlXIII on the topXIV of it; there are sevenXV lampsXVI on it, with seven lipsXVII on each of the lamps that are on the top of it. 

Notes on verse 2c

XIII “bowl” = gullah. 15x in OT. From galal (to roll, roll away, wallow, commit, remove; rolling in a literal or figurative sense). This is something round like a basin, bowl, fountain, or globe. It is also the name of a place called Gulloth.
XIV “top” = rosh. This may come a word that means to shake. It is the head, captain, or chief. It can also be excellent or the forefront. It can be first in position or in statue or in time (i.e. the beginning).
XV “seven” = sheba. This is seven or by sevenfold. It can also be used to imply a week or an indefinite number. Symbolically, this is the number of fullness, sacredness, perfection.
XVI “lamps” = ner. Related to “lampstand” in v2. See note X above.
XVII “lips” = mutseqeth. 2x in OT. From yatsaq (to pour out, flow, wash away, or overflow; can imply melting as one does to cast metal; by extension, something being steadfast, stiffened, firmly in place). This is something that was poured in order to be cast as a metal object. So, it could be a pipe, piece, spout, etc.

And by it there are twoXVIII olive trees,XIX oneXX

Notes on verse 3a

XVIII “two” = shenayim. From sheni (double, again, another, second); from shanah (to fold, repeat, double, alter, or disguise). This is two, both, second, couple.
XIX “olive trees” = zayith. This is olive tree, grove, or other parts of the olive tree like the branch or berry.
XX “one” = echad. Perhaps from achad (to unify, continue on a path; figuratively, to gather one’s thoughts). This is the number one, first, united. It can also be alone, altogether, a certain, a few.

on the rightXXI of the bowl and the otherXXII on its left.”XXIII 

Notes on verse 3b

XXI “right” = yamin. May be from yamam (to go or choose the right, use the right hand; to be physically fit or firm). This can mean right hand, right side, or south. Since most people are right-handed, the metaphorical usage of this word presumes that the right hand is stronger and more agile. Thus, it is the instrument of power and action.
XXII “other” = echad. Same as “one” in v3. See note XX above.
XXIII “left” = semol. Perhaps from the same as simlah (mantle, clothes, wrapper); perhaps from semel (image, figure, likeness). This is left, left side, or north as the part that is dark.

I saidXXIV, XXV to the angel who spoke with me,XXVI “What are these, my lord?”XXVII 

Notes on verse 4

XXIV “said” = anah. This is answer, respond, announce, sing, shout, or testify. It means to pay attention, which implies responding and, by extension, starting to talk. Used in a specific sense for singing, shouting, testifying, etc.
XXV {untranslated} = amar. Same as “said” in v2. See note VII above.
XXVI {untranslated} = amar. Same as “said” in v2. See note VII above.
XXVII “lord” = adon. From a root that means ruling or being sovereign. This is lord, master, or owner.

Then the angel who spoke with me answeredXXVIII me,XXIX “Do you not knowXXX what these are?”

I said,XXXI “No, my lord.” 

Notes on verse 5

XXVIII “answered” = anah. Same as “said” in v4. See note XXIV above.
XXIX {untranslated} = amar. Same as “said” in v2. See note VII above.
XXX “know” = yada. This is to know, acknowledge, advise, answer, be aware, be acquainted with. Properly, this is to figure something out by seeing. It includes ideas of observation, recognition, and care about something. It can be used causatively for instruction, designation, and punishment.
XXXI “said” = amar. Same as “said” in v2. See note VII above.

He saidXXXII, XXXIII to me,XXXIV “This is the wordXXXV of the LordXXXVI 

Notes on verse 6a

XXXII “said” = anah. Same as “said” in v4. See note XXIV above.
XXXIII {untranslated} = amar. Same as “said” in v2. See note VII above.
XXXIV {untranslated} = amar. Same as “said” in v2. See note VII above.
XXXV “word” = dabar. Related to “spoke” in v1. See note II above.
XXXVI “Lord” = YHVH. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (to come to pass, become, be). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.

to Zerubbabel:XXXVII, XXXVIII Not by might,XXXIX

Notes on verse 6b

XXXVII “Zerubbabel” = Zerubbabel. Perhaps from zarab (to burn, flow away) + Babel (Babylon or Babel); {perhaps from balal (to anoint, mix, overflow)} OR from Akkadian Bbilim; perhaps from earlier Sumerian name Ca-dimirra (gate of god)} OR from zara (scatter, sow) + Babel (see above) OR from zur (press down) + Babel (see above). This is Zerubbabel, meaning “begotten in Babylon” or “descended of Babylon” or “seed of Babel” or “pressed out of Babel.” See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babylon & https://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Zerubbabel.html
XXXVIII {untranslated} = amar. Same as “said” in v2. See note VII above.
XXXIX “might” = chayil. From chul (to be firm, strong, prosperous; to endure). This is strength, wealth, ability, activity. It can refer to soldier or a company of soldiers as well as goods. It is a force of people, means, or goods. It can speak of valor, virtue, or strength.

nor by power,XL but by my spirit,XLI saysXLII the LordXLIII of hosts.XLIV 

Notes on verse 6c

XL “power” = koach. Root may mean to be firm. This is power, strength, force. It can be literal or figurative, positive or negative. It can also mean capacity or means – what something produces. Additionally, it could refer to some kind of small reptile.
XLI “spirit” = ruach. This is breath, wind, air, cool, spirit. This is wind, which resembles the breath and so this can be used figuratively for life itself or being frail/mortal/impermanent. It can refer to the air of the sky or the spirit.
XLII “says” = amar. Same as “said” in v2. See note VII above.
XLIII “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v6. See note XXXVI above.
XLIV “hosts” = tsaba. From tsaba (to wage war, serve, assemble, fight, perform, muster, wait on). This is a large group of persons (used figuratively for a group of things). It implies a campaign literally as with army, war, warfare, battle, company, soldiers. Can also be used figuratively for hardship or for worship.

What are you, O greatXLV mountain?XLVI BeforeXLVII Zerubbabel you shall become a plain,XLVIII

Notes on verse 7a

XLV “great” = gadol. From gadal (to grow up, become great, become wealthy – to advance. The root meaning may be to twist in the sense of the process of growing). This is great, high, bigger, noble, old, marvelous. It can also refer to someone who is powerful or distinguished.
XLVI “mountain” = har. From harar (hill or mountain). This is mountain, hill, hilly region.
XLVII “before” = paneh. From panah (to turn, face, appear). This is face in a literal or figurative sense. It could be face, presence, anger, respect. It can also be used of God to indicate divine favor or presence.
XLVIII “plain” = mishor. From yashar (to be straight, right, even, smooth, or agreeable; figuratively, to make something pleasant or prosperous) This is a level place like a plain. It can also be the proper name of a level place. Figuratively, it can refer to straightness in the sense of justice, equity, fairness, righteousness, or uprightness. It can also refer to a concord.

and he shall bring outXLIX the topL stoneLI amid shoutsLII of ‘Grace,LIII grace to it!’”

Notes on verse 7b

XLIX “bring out” = yatsa. This is to go or come out, bring forth, appear. It is to go out in a literal or figurative sense.
L “top” = roshah. Related to “top” in v2. 1x in OT. From rosh (see note XIV above). This is top or head.
LI “stone” = eben. This is a stone, weight, or mason. It is part of the word “Ebenezer.”
LII “shouts” = teshuah. 4x in OT – 2x in Job, 1x in Isaiah, & 1x in Zechariah. From the same as sho (ruin, desolation, storm; from a root that means rushing over – hence a storm and hence devastation). This is shouting, thundering, loud clamor.
LIII “grace” = chen. From chanan (beseech, show favor, be gracious; properly, to bend in kindness to someone with less status). This is grace, favor, kindness, beauty, precious.

Moreover, the word of the LordLIV cameLV to me, saying,LVI “The handsLVII of Zerubbabel have laid the foundationLVIII of this house;LIX

Notes on verses 8-9a

LIV “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v6. See note XXXVI above.
LV “came” = hayah. Related to “Lord” in v6. See note XXXVI above.
LVI “saying” = amar. Same as “said” in v2. See note VII above.
LVII “hands” = yad. This is hand, ability, power. Hand in a literal sense, but also what one can do or the means by which one does it.
LVIII “laid the foundation” = yesudah. 2x in OT. From yesud (foundation, beginning); from yasad (to establish, appoint, instruct; to set in a literal or figurative sense; also, to sit down together and so to consult or take counsel). This is foundation.
LIX “house” = bayit. Probably from banah (to build, make, set up, obtain children; to build literally or figuratively). This is house, court, family, palace, temple.

his hands shall also completeLX it. Then you will know that the LordLXI of hosts has sentLXII me to you. 10 For whoever has despisedLXIII the dayLXIV of small thingsLXV

Notes on verses 9b-10a

LX “complete” = batsa. 17x in OT. This is to break or cut off, to acquire violently, break ranks, greedy, fulfill. Usually, it means to plunder.
LXI “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v6. See note XXXVI above.
LXII “sent” = shalach. This is to send out, away, send for, forsake. It can also mean to divorce or set a slave free.
LXIII “despised” = buz. 12x in OT. From buz (to disrespect, hate, scorn). This is contempt, laughingstock, shame, or hated.
LXIV “day” = yom. Root may mean being hot. This is the day in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean birth, age, daylight, continually or other references to time.
LXV “small things” = qatan. From qut (grieved, cut off, to detest). This is least, small, young, little one. It is literally smaller whether in amount or size. Figuratively it is smaller in the sense of younger or less important.

shall rejoiceLXVI and shall seeLXVII the plummetLXVIII in the hand of Zerubbabel.

Notes on verse 10b

LXVI “rejoice” = samach. This is to rejoice or be glad. Properly, it is to brighten up in a literal or figurative sense.
LXVII “see” = raah. Same as “see” in v2. See note VIII above.
LXVIII “plummet” = eben + bedil. Eben is the same as“stone” in v7. See note LI above. Bedil is 6x in OT. From badal (to divide, distinguish, select, differ, sever; to divide in a literal or figurative sense). This is something smelted from precious metal – dross, alloy. It can refer to tin or a plummet.

“These seven are the eyesLXIX of the LordLXX that rangeLXXI through the wholeLXXII earth.”LXXIII 

11 Then I saidLXXIV to him,LXXV “What are these two olive trees on the right and the left of the lampstand?” 

Notes on verses 10c-11

LXIX “eyes” = ayin. This is eye in a literal or figurative sense so eye, appearance, favor, or a fountain (the eye of the landscape).
LXX “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v6. See note XXXVI above.
LXXI “range” = shut. 13x in OT. This is to rove around, push forth, go back and forth. It can also refer to a rower as one who travels around.
LXXII “whole” = kol. Same as “all” in v2. See note XI above.
LXXIII “earth” = erets. Root may mean to be firm. This is earth, ground, field land, or country.
LXXIV “said” = anah. Same as “said” in v4. See note XXIV above.
LXXV {untranslated} = amar. Same as “said” in v2. See note VII above.

12 And a second timeLXXVI I saidLXXVII to him,LXXVIII

Notes on verse 12a

LXXVI “second time” = sheni. Related to “two” in v3. See note XVIII above.
LXXVII “said” = anah. Same as “said” in v4. See note XXIV above.
LXXVIII {untranslated} = amar. Same as “said” in v2. See note VII above.

“What are these two branchesLXXIX of the olive trees that pour outLXXX the oilLXXXI 

Notes on verse 12b

LXXIX “branches” = shibboleth. 19x in OT. From the same as shobel (the train of a skirt that flows after a woman). This is an ear of grain or corn, a branch, a stream or flood. It was also a word the Gileadites used to test the fugitives in Judges 12:6.
LXXX “pour out” = ruq. 19x in OT. This is to pour out in a literal or figurative sense. It can mean to arm, draw out, cast out, or empty.
LXXXI “oil” = zahab. Same as “gold” in v2. See note XII above.

through the two goldenLXXXII pipes?”LXXXIIII, LXXXIV 

Notes on verse 12c

LXXXII “golden” = zahab. Same as “gold” in v2. See note XII above.
LXXXIII “pipes” = tsanteroth. 1x in OT. Perhaps from the same as tsinnur (root may mean to be hollow. This is a gutter, pipe, or waterspout. It can also mean modest); from the same as tsinnor (gutter, modest, pipe, water spout). It may mean pipes or tube.
LXXXIV An alternate suggestion for translating this verse: “What are the two spikes of the olive trees, which are in the hands of the two pressers of ‘gold’ – the ones who express the ‘gold’ from (the olives) on them?” Here, “gold” is figurative for oil. The expression, then, means “olive oil pressers.” This suggestion was made by Al Wolters in “The Meanings of Ṣantĕrôt (Zech 4:12)” in the Journal of Hebrew Scriptures Vol 12, Article 1, 2012, p. 11-12. See https://jhsonline.org/index.php/jhs/article/view/16439

13 He saidLXXXV to me,LXXXVI “Do you not know what these are?”

I said,LXXXVII “No, my lord.”LXXXVIII 

Notes on verse 13

LXXXV “said” = amar. Same as “said” in v2. See note VII above.
LXXXVI {untranslated} = amar. Same as “said” in v2. See note VII above.
LXXXVII “said” = amar. Same as “said” in v2. See note VII above.
LXXXVIII “lord” = adon. Same as “lord” in v4. See note XXVII above.

14 Then he said,LXXXIX “These are the two anointedXC onesXCI, XCII who standXCIII by the LordXCIV of the whole earth.”

Notes on verse 14

LXXXIX “said” = amar. Same as “said” in v2. See note VII above.
XC “anointed” = yitshar. From tsahar (to press oil or glisten). This is fresh oil, anointed. It is oil as that which is burned to make light; used figuratively to talk about anointing.
XCI “ones” = ben. Related to “house” in v9. From banah (see note LIX above). This is son, age, child. It is son in a literal or figurative sense.
XCII Literally “children of oil.” The word for “anointed” (yitshar) is different from the word for “anointed” (mashiach) that is also used for “messiah.”
XCIII “stand” = amad. This is to stand up in a literal or figurative sense. So it can be establish, continue, endure, take a stand, act, be a servant, stand still, remain, stand against an enemy.
XCIV “Lord” = adon. Same as “lord” in v4. See note XXVII above.

Image credit: “Menorah of Zechariah” from the Bíblia de Cervera, c. 1300.

You May Also Like

Leave a Reply