Insights With Rabbi Jeff | Zechariah 4

Any study of the book  of  Zechariah  has  to  take  into  account  and  factor  the  history  of  the  Kingdom  and  people  of  Judah  and  Jerusalem  in  the  century  prior  to  the  giving  of  the  prophecy.  The people  had  sinned  so  severely  that  they  had  been  conquered  and  exiled  to  Babylon . A people who  thought  they  would  never  see  foreign  troops  enter  the  city  of  David  and  Solomon  had  seen  it  left  a  pile  of  ruins.  How  traumatic!

Against this  frightening  backdrop, Zechariah, as  reported  in  the  fourth  chapter, has  a  vision  of  the  Menorah  inside  the  Holy  Place, but, with  a  notable  change. The  Menorah , or  Lamp , was  now  flanked  by  two  olive  trees  stretching  their  branches  over  the  Lampstand.

Before going  on  to  discuss  the  vision, it  would  be  wise  to  examine  the  Menorah  itself. The object was made of a  single  block  of  pure  gold  weighing  a  talent. This would have been worth millions of  dollars  in  today’s  terms. It  could not  be  welded  or  bolted; it  was  hammered  into  shape. This  was exacting  work.

Gold itself was symbolic of  purity.  Light represented revelation and salvation.  Altogether, the Menorah stood in  the  Tabernacle, and, later, the  Temple, giving  out  ongoing  light , never  being  allowed  to  burn  out  or  be  extinguished. It reminded the infinite Truth  and  Promise  of  God’s  Word , ultimately  to  be  embodied  in  God’s  ultimate  Truth  and  Revelation , the  Messiah.  Just as the Menorah was made  of  the  purist  gold  hammered  into  shape, so  the  represented  Messiah  would  bring  the  knowledge  of  the  Lord’s  Truth, Light, and  Salvation  by  the  “hammering”  He  would  and  did  experience.  “He will  be  wounded  for  our  transgressions, crushed  for  our  guilts; the  punishment  for  our  well-being  will  fall on Him; and, by  His  stripes, we  will  be  healed.”- Isaiah 53:5 .

That promise of eternal light looked very dim to Zechariah’s age.  We will discuss it  further  in  later  installments, but, remember, it  is  the  Promise  of  Adonai  we  are  discussing .

Rabbi Jeffrey Adler

Rabbi Jeffrey Adler is on the Board of HaShomer and also Rabbi of Sha’arey Yeshua in Indianapolis, IN.