Vision four took us into the holy of holies to witness the critical encounter between the messianic Servant and Satan at the throne of God. Christ was typified there by the priestly figure of Joshua, invested with his holy robes, crowned with the golden diadem—seal of the Spirit, granted access among the angels in heaven, and entrusted with the rule over God's courts. Vision five reveals the sequel to Christ's victory over the dragon. We behold him, typified by the royal figure of Zerubbabel, building the house of God in the power of the Spirit, here symbolized by the golden oil flowing into the golden lampstand.
Christ and the Spirit is the theme of both these visions, with Christ the focus in Zechariah 3 and the Spirit central in Zechariah 4. The fifth vision also sustains a close relationship to vision three, its counterpart in the chiastic structure of the seven visions, and to vision one, with which it is paired when the opening and closing triads of visions are construed as in linear parallelism.
Zechariah 4 presents the symbolism of the lampstand and the two olive trees in verses 1-3, with their interpretation in verses 4-10, and then the symbolism of the two olive-branches in verses 11 and 12, with their interpretation in verse 13. Our comments will diverge somewhat from the verse sequence as we develop the themes: I. The Spirit and the Menorah, and II. The Spirit and the Messiah.
I. The Spirit and the Menorah
A. The Spirit as Pattern for the Menorah. 1. Mosaic and Zecharian Menorahs: Menorah is the Hebrew word for the lampstand in the tabernacle.1 The menorah was a stylized tree with central trunk and three branches on either side, all with floral detailing.2 Its material was gold, described as pure, whether in the sense of technical quality or cultic cleanness. Apparently it was constructed by molding a sheet of gold foil over a wooden form (which was necessarily retained and provided stability). The menorah held seven lamps, either one on each of the seven arms or all seven made from the receptacle atop the central shaft by pinching its rim into wick-holders at seven places (a well attested ancient lamp design). The people brought the oil for the lamps, which were trimmed each morning and lit each evening by the priests.
Like the tabernacle menorah, the one in Zechariah's fifth vision has seven lamps (Zech. 4:2). However, nothing is said of side branches.3 If this menorah consisted of only a single pedestal, the seven lamps would be arranged around the bowl on top of it. Each of the seven lamps is itself of the seven-wick design mentioned above, giving a total of forty-nine lamp-lights. But the most remarkable new feature in Zechariah 4 is the two flanking olive trees and the connecting apparatus by which a continuous supply of oil flows from these trees to the menorah lamps, fueling their perpetual flames.
2. Arboreal Theophany and Menorah-Church: In Zechariah 4 it is not the lamps aflame but the two olive trees that represent the divine Presence. Specifically, the trees are a symbolic depiction of the theophanic Glory, associated with the menorah in the tabernacle. The way the olive trees overarch the lampstand from both sides reflects the scene in the holy of holies where the two cherubim of the Glory-Presence spread their wings over the ark of the covenant. The duality of the cherubim and of the olive trees corresponds to the two-pillar formation of the Glory-cloud, itself a representation of the two legs of God as he would take his stand, particularly in judicial actions.4
The presence of the divine Glory among the covenant people was portrayed in Zechariah's opening vision (1:7-17) by the figure of the Lord of Glory with angelic retinue stationed in the midst of the myrtles.5 As seen in the fifth vision under the symbolism of the golden oil of the olive trees flowing into the menorah, the Glory-Spirit is again a divine presence in the midst of, indeed within, God's people. And as in the first vision with its myrtle trees, so here it is a tree, the menorah-tree into which the divine oil flows, that represents the covenant people.
Though fueled by the Spirit-oil, the flames of the menorah lamps are the shining of the covenant community. This is corroborated by the hierophant angel's interpretation of the menorah in terms of the temple, which housed the menorah and performed on a larger scale and more publicly the menorah's function as an illuminating witness to the world (vv. 4-10). Now the temple, though the residence of the divine Glory within, is to be identified with God's people. At the New Testament level the church is the temple, the holy structure of living stones built on the foundation of Christ Jesus to be the habitation of God in the Spirit (Eph. 2:20-22; Heb. 3:6). The menorah is quite directly interpreted as the church when the seven lampstands of John's vision in Revelation 1 are identified as seven churches (Rev. 1:20), and when, conversely, the two prophets representing the witnessing church in the symbolism of Revelation 11 are explained as equivalents of the lampstand of Zechariah 4 (Rev. 11:4). Enhancing the menorah's prefiguration of the new covenant church is its assemblage of forty-nine lights, suggestive of the Jubilee and so pointing to the new covenant (cf. Luke 4:18-21).
3. Menorah, Replica of the Theophanic Glory: Israel's tabernacle-temple (the conceptual equivalent of the menorah in Zechariah 4) and the church temple are distinguishable from their divine Resident. But antecedent to them is the archetypal heavenly temple, which is not distinguishable from God but is God manifested, the effulgence of his Glory. Filling the cosmos, the epiphanic Glory constitutes the architectural space and structure of this divine temple.
Invisible to earthlings now, this Glory-Spirit temple will be unveiled to us in the revelation of the new heavens and earth at the Consummation. At that time the cosmos as a place where the present distinction between dimensions visible and invisible to us will cease to exist as a result of the heightening of our perceptive capabilities through glorification. Then will be realized the beatitude, "they shall see God," the archetypal Glory-temple (cf. Rev. 22:4).
According to Revelation 21:22 there will be no further need of temples in the world of New Jerusalem since God himself is the temple there, his own Glory his holy house (cf. Isa. 66:1; Acts 7:48ff.; 17:24). But while there will no longer be local, symbolic, man-made sanctuaries like Solomon's temple in the consummated cosmos (and such are in fact already obsolete in the present church age), Revelation 21:22 does not mean to deny the perpetuity of the church-temple. Not a temple made by human hands, the church is God-built, a temple created by the Spirit, and God, even though he is his own temple-dwelling, will yet condescend to tabernacle forever in the church-temple. Wondrous this union: we dwell in him, the divine temple, and he dwells in us, the temple he has made (cf. Isa.57:15; 66:2). It is in Christ that we are that temple; indeed, Christ is that temple (cf. Mark 14:58; John 2:19ff.). And Christ, "the Lamb," is mentioned along with the Lord God as the temple in the New Jerusalem. Church-temple and Glory-temple coalesce there.
Like the old tabernacle and temple, which were constructed after the heavenly archetypal pattern revealed to their human builders, so the church-temple is made according to the paradigm of the Glory-temple. This is brought out in Zechariah 4 by the way various features of the olive trees and oil, symbol of the Glory-Spirit, are replicated in the menorah, symbol of the church-temple. The menorah turns out to be another of the Bible's numerous parables of the (re-)creation of man in the image of God. Just within Zechariah's visions we have already found this motif in the imagery of the tabernacle-like myrtles of the first vision and in the symbolism of the tabernacle-like high priestly vestments in the fourth vision.6
Most closely related are the treatments of this image-renewal theme in Zechariah 3 and 4. The Spirit and the symbol of oil play a part in both visions. In Zechariah 3, Joshua's holy vestments, themselves replicas of the Glory-Spirit, are crowned by the diadem-stone on the mitre, a seal of the Spirit, a sign of Spirit anointing. Also, by virtue of the anointing during the investiture ritual the high priest was saturated with oil, symbol of the Spirit. Together the anointing and the enrobing in the glory garments was a double portrayal of creation in the image of the Glory-Spirit. Zechariah 4 similarly symbolizes the same concept. Here, the Spirit, by filling the lampstand-community, creates his likeness in it.7
By reason of the gold and gems worked into the high priest's vestments they shone like the theophanic Glory in whose likeness they were fashioned. Of similar but even more radiant appearance is the menorah of Zechariah 4. Again gold is the material but now it is aglow with reflections of the jubilee of flames, themselves an even brighter and more literal copy of the theophanic fire. The likeness of the golden menorah to the Glory-Spirit is highlighted by denoting the oil, symbol of the Spirit, as "the gold" (v. 12). Flowing into the lampstand, the golden oil reproduced its shining golden lustre there.
Replication of the Spirit-likeness in the menorah is also expressed in a sharing of arboreal imagery. Though the tree features of the tabernacle menorah are not explicitly mentioned in the description of the lampstand in Zechariah 4, it is possible that the seven-branched structure and other floral detailing of the familiar Mosaic menorah are simply taken for granted. If not, the arboreal form of Zechariah's lampstand may still be maintained, for the sevenfold cluster of seven-lamp receptacles on top of it may then be seen as modified equivalents of the seven branches of the tabernacle menorah.
As a stylized tree the Zecharian menorah, symbol of the community, matches the two olive trees, symbol of the Glory-theophany. This correspondence is enhanced by the linkage of each of these arboreal symbols with the two golden cherubim. When observing above that it is particularly the manifestation of the Glory in the two-cherubim formation above the ark that is reflected in the two olive trees, we cited their common feature of duality. A further point of connection is that the cherubim in Solomon's temple were carved out of olive wood (1 Kgs. 6:23). The menorah is linked to the same cherubim structure not only by the gold material used in both cases but by a shared mode of fabrication. Within the Exodus legislation the miqshah technique (the molding of metal foil) is mentioned only in the making of the cherubim (25:18; 37:7) end the menorah (25:31, 36; 37:17, 22).8 Revelation 11, appropriating the symbolism of Zechariah 4, carries the correspondence of the menorah to the olive trees a step further. The single menorah there becomes two lampstands (v. 4) and thus a numerical likeness to the two olive trees is added to the other points of correspondence between them.
The Book of Revelation provides another intimation that the menorah-church bears the divine Glory-image when it depicts the Glory-Spirit by symbolism similar to menorah flames. Thus, the seven torches of fire burning before the throne are identified as the seven Spirits (Rev. 4:5).9 The biblical roots of this symbolism can be traced to God's covenant-ratifying appearance to Abraham in the menorah-like form of fire-pan and torch with their ascending columns of flame and smoke (Gen. 15:17). This anticipated the two fiery columns of the Glory-cloud theophany at the exodus, of which the dual cherubim structure, insignia of the Glory-Spirit, was an adaptation, and of which, in turn, the two olive trees of Zechariah 4 were a further adaptation.
Re-creation in the divine likeness is treated in Zechariah's fourth vision from the perspective of its significance for personal deliverance from sin and judgment. What is in view in the fifth vision is the meaning of the church's acquisition of the image of the Glory-Archetype for the performance of its historical menorah-mission of prophetic witness. As we shall see, displaying the divine likeness is a major element in that witness of the church; its form serves its function. This was illustrated in the experience of the Israelite prophets, for whom acquisition of the Glory-Spirit image was an essential part of their formation for office, a concomitant of the Spirit-anointing prerequisite to their witness function.10
B. The Spirit as Power for the Menorah Mission. 1. Menorah: Witness Light: God is light (I John 1:5) and God is truth (I John 1:6; 2:21-23; 5:7, 20),11 the true and living God of Glory, the One (Zech. 14:9). And it pleased him to glorify himself by calling into being a creation to serve as a medium of his luminous self-manifestation, a vehicle of theophanic revelation to creatures, themselves displaying ectypally the likeness of his Glory. The seven eyes of the sevenfold Spirit would take delight in seeing his own archetypal Glory-likeness shining back from the temple of his human images on earth (as well as from his angel-sons in heaven). For mankind this reflective radiating of the light of God would be an exhibiting on a creaturely level of the glory of divine dominion and divine holiness, righteousness and truth. Further, at the promised consummation of this created order the human temple-community was to assume an outward luminosity that reflected the light of the heavenly Spirit-temple. With mankind's eschatological glorification the natural darkness they had experienced in the original cycle of night and day would become a thing of the past. For then the hitherto invisible Glory-light of heaven would become visible, illuminating all the cosmos in perpetual day (cf. Isa. 60:19, 20; Zech. 14:7; Rev. 21:25; 22:5)—the perfected revelation-replication of the God who is light.
Glorifying God by reflecting the light of his Glory back to him remains after the Fall the chief purpose of man's light-bearing. Moreover, the full realization of that highest goal through the ultimate glorification of the saints is still the predestined omega-point of human history. But in the interim between the Fall and the Consummation the diffusing of light by God's people serves some partly or totally new purposes as this function is carried out in the spiritual darkness of a fallen world.
One of these partly new objectives was the confrontation of evil. Before the Fall of man on earth a fall had transpired in heaven, so that even in Eden man's displaying of the light of God's image would have been an exercising of God-like dominion and righteousness and a confessing of the Truth over against the dark presence of the devil. Donning the divine image was already a putting on of the armor of light to do battle with the prince of darkness and to overcome him. Radiating light was even then the bearing of a legal witness to the true God in dispute against the tempter, the liar from the beginning. However, though this confrontational aspect of covenant witness is not something altogether new after the Fall, there is this difference, that now the darkness is entrenched and pervasive within mankind. The witness-light must be presented not just in defiance of a would-be usurper and his minions but in the face of conflict with satanic powers that are currently "the rulers of the darkness of this world."
There is also a totally new purpose involved in the luminary function of the righteous in the post-Fall world—it henceforth serves the redemptive objectives of the Covenant of Grace.
The Mosaic-Zecharian menorah symbolizes the diffusing of the light and truth of God by his people, not in the daylight of the original pristine order of creation but in the postlapsarian night. Lit each evening to burn through the night, the menorah in the holy place of the tabernacle was a light shining in the darkness. The Israel of God performs its menorah mission in the darkness of a world blinded by Satan's anti-theology, worshiping in the cult of no-gods. The shining of the menorah-church is a witnessing to the true God of heavenly Glory that has the effect of condemning the counter-claims of the satanic idol, which is a lie and pitch darkness.
This confrontational, anathematizing aspect of the church's witness is brought out in Zechariah 4 when it interprets the menorah mission in terms of the role of the temple, standing on Zion and magnifying the name of Yahweh, the God of heaven and earth, in the face of the great mountain (v. 7). For the great mountain is the hostile imperial power and its idol-cult, lifting itself up as a rival to the mountain of God's temple, as a pseudo-Zion, an antichrist Har-Magedon.
The condemnatory aspect of the menorah mission is again prominent in Revelation 11:1-13. In this adaptation of the Zechariah 4 lampstand imagery, the symbolism of the menorah light is clearly interpreted as the light of truth. For the menorah is identified with God's two prophetic witnesses (vv. 3, 4).12 And the purpose of the menorah mission as seen here in the career of these witnesses is emphatically the bringing of judgment on their enemies. The picture is one of radical opposition. So intense, so demonic is the world's hatred of the exposing, condemning light of the truth (cf. John 3:19, 20), that when the two witnesses have finished their testimony the beast from the abyss kills them and peoples from all the nations celebrate this pseudo-triumph with hellish glee (vv. 7-11).
Maintaining a judicial-apologetic witness against the deceived, unbelieving world is then one dimension of the menorah program. The field of history is a courtroom in which God's people give testimony to his name over against the blasphemies of the idol-worshipers.13 This piercing of the darkness with light, exposing falsehood, anticipates the day of the Lord, when by the brightness of his coming he shall bring to light for judgment all the hidden things of darkness (l Cor. 4:5; cf. Gen. 3:8; John 3:19, 20).
But the menorah mission is also a summoning of the lost to salvation in Jesus Christ. Indeed, it is the primary and proper function of the menorah to serve God's purpose of redemptive grace, that totally new aspect of light-radiating not present before the entrance of sin and death at the Fall. The menorah community is commissioned to proclaim the gospel of him who says: "I am the way and the truth and the life" (John 14:6). "I am the light of the world; he that follows me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life" (John 8:12; cf. 12:46). The true heavenly Light declares to his disciples, renewed after his image, "You are the light of the world" (Matt. 5:14), and he bids them, "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations" (Matt. 28:19).
This gospel-witnessing function of the menorah-people is readily discernible in the situation of the menorah in the tabernacle. It was located between the altar of sacrifice and the mercy seat, a place redolent of atonement and gospel pardon.
The menorah flames illuminated the way to the throne of grace in the holy of holies. In the setting of the Solomonic temple, where there were ten lampstands arranged in two rows on the north and south sides of the holy place (I Kgs. 7:49), the menorah lights themselves actually formed a passageway—from the site of judgment in the court to the Glory-throne beyond the second veil (cf. Heb. 9:2-5), the way from Golgotha to God's holy heaven.
As we have observed, Zechariah 4:4-10 interprets the menorah mission in terms of Zerubbabel's temple building project. The counterpart to that enterprise in the new covenant is the program of building the church, the assignment to disciple those God calls to be living stones in the temple founded on Christ. The menorah mission is mandated by the Lord in the Great Commission.
Both old and new covenant temples are lights of the world set on hills (the old temple quite literally so); they are both lamps put on a stand to shine before men that they might glorify the Father in heaven (Matt. 5:14-16). The mission of the old menorah-temple and that of the new menorah-church alike is to summon men out of all nations to the holy city on Har-Magedon (whether the old earthly, typological Jerusalem or the new heavenly, true Jerusalem), to call them on a faith pilgrimage to the altar of atonement and the throne of grace.14 The mission of the menorah community, old and new, is to light the way to the Father's house.
2. The Spirit and the Menorah Light: Some have speculated that the middle section of Zechariah 4 (vv. 6b-10a) is misplaced because, allegedly, it is not connected with what precedes. Actually, this word of the Lord addresses itself to the very heart of the preceding symbolism. It interprets the oil, which is obviously, if implicitly, included in the imagery of the menorah and olive trees as described in vv. 1-3, and is explicitly mentioned in the supplementary details of vv. 11, 12 (all already seen by the prophet Zechariah at the outset). It was this golden oil that would have riveted Zechariah's attention, this supernatural provision pouring endlessly from the olive trees in a miraculous mechanism that dispensed with the ordinary human participation, whether by way of contributing the oil for the menorah or tending its flames. This wonder oil, the secret of the perpetual flame, was the spectacular feature of the vision that demanded an immediate explanation (cf. vv. 4, 5). And the Lord's reply to the prophet's query was right to the point: "Not by might nor by power but by my Spirit" (v. 6b). God's Spirit, the Light of life, is the oil, the inexhaustible fuel of the true menorah, the limitless energy source of the ever burning church-lamp (cf. I Kgs. 17:14-16). As source of that Spirit-oil, the olive trees on either side were trees of everlasting life for the people of the menorah (cf. Rev. 22:1, 2).
The Lord's reply went on to apply this truth to the program of building the temple. Here was a current instance demonstrating that Spirit-power is the secret of success in the menorah mission. Despite every adverse circumstance, the project would surely be finished. The day of outwardly unpromising beginnings would be succeeded by a time that witnessed the leveling of the hostile world mountain and the celebration of the elevating of the temple. And it would not in the last analysis be due to the efforts of Zerubbabel and the covenant people that the temple would be completed; the ultimate accomplishing of the mission must rather be attributed to the Spirit. For we are told that "these seven, namely, the eyes of the Lord that run to and fro through the whole earth" (which, according to Revelation 5:6, represent the Spirit) are fixed with joy upon Zerubbabel (v. 10). This signifies that the Lord has authorized the enterprise, that he takes special interest and pleasure in it, and by his Spirit is sovereignly supervising it—the guarantee of sabbatical success.
Those who allege that this section of Zechariah 4 is discontinuous with the opening description of the menorah assert that not until the phrase "these seven" in v. 10b is the subject of the menorah resumed. "These seven" refers then not to the Spirit-oil but to the seven lamps, identifying them as the eyes of the Lord. One objection to this is that something other than the seven eyes must be construed as the subject of the seeing spoken of in v. 10a. But the natural connection between eyes and seeing is obvious. Furthermore, the lamps represent the covenant community, the recipients of the Spirit-oil, and therefore cannot be identified as the seven eyes of the Lord, which represent the Spirit. "These seven" does not refer to the seven lamps in Zechariah 4:2 but to the "seven eyes" in Zechariah 3:9, as Zechariah 4:10c indicates.
Closing (v. 10) on the note it began (v. 6), this section of the vision points again to the Spirit and his universal sovereignty (the seven eyes engaged in judicial surveillance of "the whole earth") as the explanation and guarantee of the final accomplishment of the menorah mission. What must be done to fulfill that mission in the future had been done by the Spirit in the past. Was the creation of a people in the luminous image of God central to that mission? Then remember how the Glory-Spirit in the beginning was the power of the Most High overshadowing the lifeless dust of the earth to quicken the man-creature, so bringing forth a son of God, a replica of the Creator's glory (cf. Gen. 1:2, 26, 27; Luke 3:38). Did the menorah mission entail the bringing low of the high world mountain? Did it require victorious battle against the armies of the satanic beast-power? Then recall how, in the hour when the dragon-power of Egypt threatened to overwhelm the Israelites, the Glory-Spirit vanquished lofty pharaoh and all his military might (Exod. 14:4; Ps. 136:15). It was "from the pillar of cloud and fire" (i.e., the Glory-Spirit theophany) that God looked down upon the Egyptians (Exod. 14:24) and cast chariots, horses, and riders into the depths of the sea, triumphing gloriously (Exod. 14:28; 15:1, 4). That was the "power" by which he brought forth his people out of Egypt (Exod. 32:11). Singing, "Yahweh is my strength and my song" (Exod. 15:2), the Israelites confessed the truth of Zechariah 4:6—salvation is not by human might or power but by God's Spirit. Psalm 33 makes the same confession: "No king secures victory by his massive army, no warrior is delivered by his great strength" (v. 16) . . . "The eye of Yahweh is on those who fear him" (v. 18a) . . . "Our soul waits for Yahweh, our help [or warrior] and our shield is he" (v.20).
"By my Spirit," the power of God in creation and redemption hitherto—that is the word of exhortation and promise to Zerubbabel and all henceforth who are called to the menorah mission.
II. The Spirit and the Messiah
God's presence in the midst of his people is a key theme throughout Zechariah's visions. He is present in the person of the Messiah. This Immanuel presence takes the form of the messianic rider of the red horse, stationed in the midst of the myrtles (vision one); and of the Angel-measurer, who proclaims the evangel, "Behold I come and will dwell in the midst of you" (2:10, 11 [14,15]), and who testifies that his messianic appointment will be validated by his finishing his building mission (vision three). Again in vision four the messianic Angel is present with the covenant community, represented by Joshua the high priest, who is also identified as a type of the messianic Servant. And once more here in vision five, now under the typological figure of Zerubbabel, Messiah is seen participating with his people in the work of restoration. Also, the voice of the Messiah is heard here in the word of the Lord, declaring (as in vision three) that the triumphant completion of his rebuilding commission will confirm his identity as one whom the Lord has sent into the midst of the menorah-community.
Constantly bound up with Messiah's presence is a presence of the Spirit. The mounted rider is attended by agents of the Glory-Spirit, emissaries of the court of heaven symbolized by the horsemen in vision one and by the expert destroyers in vision two. The divine measurer in vision three states (according to the preferable rendering) that he had been sent "with the Glory-Spirit" (2:8 ).15 In vision four the combination of the sign of the Messiah-Servant and the seal of the Spirit suggests the intimate association of the two.16 It is this theme of the interrelationship of the Son and the Spirit as it is developed in the vision of the menorah and its mission that we shall now explore.
Here in summary outline is what we shall find. The Son is anointed with the Spirit and he is the anointer with the Spirit. As the Spirit-anointed one, Messiah is himself the model (i.e., perfect) menorah. He is therefore also a model (in the sense of paradigm) for the menorah mission of shedding light in the dark world, the mission-imperative entailed in the menorah identity. Now curiously the menorah mission involves making the menorah. Hence, the Messiah as ultimate executor of the menorah mission is the maker of the menorah, the builder of the church. Expressed in the typological idiom of the fifth vision, Zerubbabel is the builder of the temple (Zech. 4:7-10). Further, in the course of making the menorah, Messiah commands the menorah to fulfill its mission as a light to the Gentiles, the mission which he models,17 and thus to participate in making itself. That is, Christ promulgates the Great Commission. And in order to empower the menorah-church for that mission, which is accomplished not by human might but by God's Spirit, Messiah, the anointed with the Spirit, becomes the anointer with the Spirit. In the symbolism of vision five, he becomes the channel of the oil from the olive trees to the menorah (Zech. 4:11-14). To be the menorah-maker means Messiah is mediator of the Spirit. Christ pours out the Spirit upon the church. He complements the charge of the Great Commission with the charism of Pentecost. So he creates the menorah-church a likeness of the Spirit.
A. Messiah-Anointed with the Spirit: Model for the Menorah. As shown by his designating the Messiah "my Servant the Branch" (Zech. 3:8), Zechariah draws upon Isaiah for his messianic portraiture. And in Isaiah's prophecy, anointing with the Spirit is a hallmark both of the coming branch from David's line (Isa. 11:2) and of the Servant of the Lord (Isa. 42:1; 61:1; cf. Luke 4:18). Now, Spirit-anointing imparts Spirit-likeness18 and, agreeably, in Isaiah 11 the anointing presence of the Spirit of Yahweh on the messianic shoot out of the stock of Jesse endues him with the wisdom and power characteristic of the Spirit (vv. 1, 2). Translated into Apocalypse idiom-the messianic lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David (Rev. 5 :5) is the Lamb with seven horns (power) and seven eyes (wisdom), which are the seven Spirits of God ( Rev.5:6, an allusion to Zech. 4:10).
Also, according to Isaiah, the Anointed of the Lord bears the likeness of the Spirit's radiant splendor, the Glory-light aspect of the Spirit which is replicated in the menorah. To his chosen Servant, on whom he puts his Spirit (Isa. 42:1), the Lord says: "I give you . . . for a light to the Gentiles," to illuminate those in darkness (Isa. 42:6, 7; 49:6; cf. Luke 2:32; Acts 26:22, 23). The advent of this divine prince to occupy David's throne forever is the shining of a great light on the people who walked in darkness (Isa. 9:1, 2 [8:23-9:1]; cf. 60:1-3).
Christ, the true anointed Servant, the true Israel, is the true menorah-light, the perfect likeness of the Glory-Spirit. And as the true menorah, Christ carries out the menorah mission of witnessing to the living God, who has "given him for a witness to the peoples" (Isa.55:4).
Perfect image of the archetypal Glory-Spirit by virtue of his anointing, Christ serves along with the Glory-Spirit as a model which is replicated in the menorah community. Fashioned anew in the likeness of the Anointed one, the members of that community too are God's servants (Isa. 41:8, 9; 44:1, 2), God's witnesses (Isa. 43:10, 12; 44:8), and as such a light to the Gentiles (cf. Acts 13:47; 26:22, 23).
Like Zechariah, Daniel exhibits this same Isaianic complex of themes. After the pattern of Isaiah's suffering Servant, the mashiah nagid, "Anointed-Prince," of Daniel 9:24-27 is cut off to make an atonement for the many, so ratifying the covenant of grace and becoming a covenant of the people. In Daniel 7:13, 14 the Messiah appears as the heavenly son of man, whose parousia with the clouds of heaven is a revelation of him as the perfect image of the Glory-Spirit. All the glory-components that constitute the imago Dei are present here: the glory of dominion over a universal and everlasting kingdom, the glory of holiness prerequisite to his reception and exaltation before the ancient of days at the white throne, and the glory of luminous majesty as one invested with the clouds of Glory.
Also, as in Isaiah and Zechariah there are indications in Daniel that the Messiah is a model that is reproduced in God's people. For the interpretation given of the vision of the son of man identifies the saints of the Most High as participating with him in the glory of his kingdom's dominion (7:18, 22, 27). And in Daniel 12:3 the faithful are likened to the archetypal Anointed one in his specifically menorah character as light and witness. They have been witness-lights who turned many to righteousness, and at their resurrection-glorification they will be radiant lights, replicas of the son of man adorned with the Glory-clouds, shining as the brightness of the firmament, as the stars for ever and ever.
The menorah vision of Zechariah 4 receives explicit canonical exposition in the lampstand symbolism of John's Apocalypse. Our examination of this begins with a brief notice of John's broader use of the metaphor of light for Christ and his mission. In John's Gospel, Christ's identification as light (John 1:4b, 5, 9) is related to his identity as the Logos-declaration of God, the one who shows us the Father (John 1:1, 14a, 18; 3:34; 8:19, 28; 12:49, 50; 14:6-ll, esp. v. 9; 17:8; cf. 1 John 1:2), who is light (1 John 1:5). It is particularly through his advent that the Logos is light. He is light in relation to men (John 1:4).19 He shines as a light among us (John 1:14), in this world and its darkness (John 1:5, 9, 10a). He identifies himself as the light of the world, designed to give opening of eyes to the blind and the light of life to those in darkness (John 8:12; 9:5).
In the terms of Zechariah's fifth vision, Christ as Logos-light performs the menorah mission. He, the Word of God, speaks the words of God whose word is truth (John 17:17; cf. 14:6). These words are the words of eternal life (John 6:68; cf. 63) which he gives to his disciples (John 3:34; 14:10; 17:8)to evoke faith in God, who delivers from the judgment and transports believers from death to life (John 5:24; cf. 4:14, 41; 6:63, 68; 8:51). The light of the Logos is a witness-light shining to bring those without the knowledge of God to the light of the knowledge of God radiating from him, the image of God (John 1:10b, 14b; 12:35, 36, 46; cf. 2 Cor. 4:4-6), the glory of Israel and a light to the Gentiles. The Logos-Lamb is the lamp (Rev.21:23).
Further, the Logos-light is an archetypal model for the menorah, a light that is replicated in believers. He is the true, the heavenly light (John 1:9; cf. 1 John 2:8); they become "sons of light" (John 12:36; cf. Matt. 5:14-16). Illustrative of this reproduction of the Logos as the menorah or witness-lamp is John the Forerunner-herald, the witness to the true light (John 1:6-8, 15, 19ff.), the lamp that lit the way to the Lamb (John 5:35).
There are two passages in the book of Revelation where Zechariah's lampstand imagery is taken up by John, and in both the idea is clearly conveyed that the model of the glorified Christ is being replicated in the menorah-church. In the opening vision, the heavenly son of man, his countenance like the sun, his eyes like flames of fire, appears in the midst of the radiant lampstand churches. Lights in the world, they are fashioned in the likeness of their glorious Lord, the archetype light of the world (Rev. 1:12-20; cf. 21:11).
In Revelation 11 (esp. v. 4), the most explicit reference to Zechariah's fifth vision, the menorah symbolism is applied to the two prophet figures representing the church. An extensive parallel between the nature and historical course of the missions of Christ and the prophet-menorah community directs attention to the way the church is being formed in the Lord's menorah image. "As their [the two prophets'] career unfolds in verses 3-12, the reader cannot miss the similarity of its pattern to that of Jesus' ministry. A time of proclamation and signs, issuing in Satanic opposition and the violent death of the witnesses in the great city, 'where also our Lord was crucified' (so verse 8 adds, making the parallelism explicit), is followed by the resurrection of the martyrs and their ascension in a cloud."20
As the canonical connections of Zechariah 4 reveal, the Spirit-anointed one of whom the prophet speaks is the model for the menorah-community and its world mission. Christ is the kerux who issues his evangel-command to all afar off and so sets the pattern for the church in fulfilling the Great Commission.21 The identification of Messiah's people by the symbol of the menorah indicates that the kerux-likeness of the Light of the world is being reproduced in them. In the midst of a crooked and perverse generation they "are seen as lights in the world, holding forth the word of life" (Phil. 2:15, 16). So is fulfilled the eternal purpose of him who works all things after the counsel of his will: "For whom he foreknow he also foreordained to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren" (Rom. 8:29).
B. Messiah-Agent of the Spirit: Masterbuilder of the Menorah. The menorah epitomizes the temple and accordingly in Zechariah 4 the menorah's mission is expounded in terms of a building of the temple. To build the temple—to make the menorah—is the historical task of the menorah. Since Messiah provides the model for the menorah-church and its mission, he is the maker of the menorah, the masterbuilder of God's temple-church. A typological picture of this is given in Zechariah's fifth vision under the figure of Zerubbabel engaged in the rebuilding of the Jerusalem temple (Zech. 4:7-10).
Zechariah 4:6-10 is a double oracle of Yahweh, with introductory formulae in verses 6a and 8. Each oracle contains three sections, the two sets paralleling each other to produce an A.B.C//A'.B'.C' pattern. The B-sections pose challenging questions to the antagonists and gainsayers (vv. 7a and 10a), and the C-sections refer to the temple building activity of Zerubbabel, each reference involving the symbolism of a stone (vv. 7b and l0b). The A-sections present the primary affirmation, an assurance that the house of God will be built. Verse 6b attributes success in this enterprise directly to God's Spirit. Verse 9 focuses on the royal messianic agent of the Spirit. It declares that "the hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house and his hands shall finish it" (v. 9a). It also states that completion of this mission will attest that he (the messianic Angel who speaks here in the first person is "Zerubbabel") is indeed the Anointed agent of the Spirit, the Christ of God: "You will know that Yahweh of hosts has sent me unto you" (v. 9b).
1. Temple-building: Crown and Covenant: (a) Crown Construction: Building a temple is a royal task. We shall presently trace the biblical history of this royal enterprise back to the first Adam, but it will suffice here to cite the temple Zerubbabel was rebuilding. Planned by king David, executed by king Solomon (cf. Ezra 5:11), the Jerusalem temple was clearly crown construction. The incorporation of the commission to build the temple in a covenant that was predominantly a confirmation of the perpetuity of David's royal dynasty emphasizes the peculiarly royal nature of temple building (2 Sam. 7:13a; I Chr. 17:12; cf. Psalm 132). Such a commission indeed validated the appointed builder's right to the crown (cf. 1 Chr. 28:5-7).
In the extrabiblical accounts of temple building in the ancient world the same situation obtains: it is the king who plays the main role. He was not merely titular director of the project but took an active part, especially in key symbolic rites. How important such projects were for the king's reputation is indicated by the inclusion of this function among the royal titles, as well as by the celebration of temple building in royal documents. The peculiarly royal responsibility for various other major construction projects, particularly cities, is also evidenced by references to such achievements in summaries of royal reigns.22
In keeping with the royal status of temple builders, Zerubbabel, the one selected as the type of Christ the masterbuilder in Zechariah 4:6-10, was a scion of David's dynasty. He and the high priest Joshua are a complementary typological pair in visions four and five. Together they prefigure Messiah's dual office and function as priest-king. Since there is a royal dimension to the high priest's office, which is reflected in the crowning of Joshua and the association of the Branch title with him in vision four and again in the episode of Zechariah 6:9-15 (which, moreover, speaks of the Branch as building the temple), the choice of the Davidic Zerubbabel instead of Joshua as the messianic type in vision five is significant. It points up the fact that however the high priest might be associated with the monarch in the project (cf. Hag. 1:12, 14; 2:2, 4), temple building is properly and distinctly the function of the king (cf. Hag. 2:21, 23).
(b) Divine Commission and Covenant: Divine commissioning is a conspicuous feature of accounts of royal temple construction in the Bible and elsewhere in the ancient world. In the extrabiblical accounts the decision of the gods was expressed in a command to build revealed to the chosen royal builder through dreams or omens, or possibly through a prophet. At times a king might take the initiative but he must secure divine approval through mantic means before proceeding. Divine commission provided necessary legitimation and carried assurance of success. According to the biblical narratives, the erection of holy dwellings for God is likewise a matter of divine mandate, and if, as in the case of David, the human king conceives the purpose to build, the Lord's approval must first be sought (2 Sam. 7:1ff.; 1 Kgs. 5:5; 8:17ff.; cf. Ps. 132:2ff.).
Throughout the biblical history of temple building the divine commission is more specifically a covenantal commission; the building mandate is incorporated in the terms of a particular covenant. The following sketch of this history to Zechariah's day will seek to indicate primarily how the project is in each case a covenantal commission and a royal enterprise. Subsequently we will supplement this by observing how the several accounts consistently include the features of conquest as prelude to construction and of temple building as an imitation of creation.
The relevant biblical accounts are found to belong to a standardized Near Eastern literary pattern used in narrating temple building events from at least the second millennium on. It will be useful to present in summary at this point the several main topics in this thematic structure. This may be done by identifying them within the record of the construction of Solomon's temple.23
Standard elements included: the decision and commission to build (1 Kgs. 5:15-19); the acquisition of building materials (1 Kgs. 5:15-26) and drafting of craftsmen (1 Kgs. 5:13ff.; 7:13); description of the temple and its furnishings (1 Kings 6 and 7) with statement of completion as specified (1 Kgs. 6:9, 14, 38); dedication end deity's entry of his residence (1 Kgs. 8:1-11, 62-66); dedicatory prayer (1 Kgs. 8:12-61); blessings and curses (1 Kgs. 9:1-9). There are further significant details in the biblical accounts, like the divine provision of an exemplar, that also belong to the common pattern.
(i) Adam and the Covenant of Creation: God is the original temple builder, the builder of the heavenly Glory-temple. His epiphanic Glory constitutes the ultimate temple; God is his own temple. The Glory-filled cosmos is a royal house of the divine King, with heaven his throne and earth his footstool. On earth, the Creator made a microcosmic copy of the Glory-temple in the form of the garden of Eden, with its mountain of God, the throne site of a visible, localized projection of the heavenly Glory-Spirit.
The creation "week" saw the beginning of another kind of divine dwelling as God brought forth creatures made in the likeness of the Glory-Spirit temple. By the provisions of the Covenant of Creation man was commissioned to enter into the process of constructing this people-temple. As the Creator fathered Adam as a son in his image (cf. Luke 3:38), Adam was to father sons in his likeness (cf. Gen. 5:1-3). Through the ongoing procreative multiplying of humanity the human temple would be produced, each new person another "living stone" in the growing holy edifice.
Envisaged as the consummation of the covenant order was a human temple transfigured into a radiant replica of the archetypal Glory-temple. Glorification, that final step in the construction of the temple, would be an act of the Creator. But meanwhile the cultural mandate of the covenant called on man to participate in this temple building by multiplying his kind, so producing the global community of mankind, God's people-temple. Embodied as it was in a royal mandate to subdue and occupy the earthly domain, this assignment to build the people-temple was also a royal commission. The covenantal service of temple building was a function of kingship. At the same time, since the temple is a house of prayer and worship, it is evident that performing the cultural task of the king served the purposes of the priest's cultic functioning. The telos of the kingdom is that God may be all in all.
Because the history of man in Eden terminated abruptly in the Fall, the narrative of the Covenant of Creation contains only the commissioning of the human king to his part in building the people-temple, not the other elements that round out the accounts of redemptive temple construction. However, the Genesis prologue does record the Creator's work of constructing the cosmic temple, a project that was brought to completion. Though this temple building was unique in being the work of God alone and the account of it does not, therefore, exhibit precisely all the usual features of the standard temple building accounts, the essential components are nevertheless present, mutatis mutandis.
Though there is no commissioning of a human king, there is the divine decision to build, registered in the succession of divine fiats.24 Though there is no conscription of laborers or acquisition of materials, there is the creative word of God which by itself effects all, producing all the materials, doing all the work. And the other major components of the standard pattern are quite plainly present. Within the six-day schema the process of construction is delineated and the form and furnishings of the temple are described. The record of the seventh day contains the statement of the completion of the project and the approval of the work as in accord with the divine plan and exemplar; the celebration of the enthronement of the deity within the temple and its dedication to him; and, in the instituting of the Sabbath ordinance, a declaration of sanctions. The creation prologue of Genesis is then actually the archetypal temple building account.25 To portray the building of later temples after this pattern was to identify these redemptive projects as acts of (re)creation (a theme we shall return to below).
(ii) Noah and the Ark Covenant: The story of Noah's building of the ark fits into the present survey, for the ark was a temple structure. It was designed to be a copy of the cosmic temple made by the Creator. Its three stories correspond to the cosmos conceptualized as divided into the three levels of the heavens, earth, and the sphere under the earth. Its window corresponded to the window of heaven and its door to the door of the deep (cf. Gen. 7:11).26 The ark's temple identity is corroborated by the reflection of its architecture in the Mosaic tabernacle and the Solomonic temple. Their structure too reproduced the three story pattern of the cosmos both in their horizontal floor plan and in their vertical sectioning.27 Note also the three-storied side chambers of the temple. In addition, the temple had the features of the door and upper window, and it shared the ark's vertical dimension of thirty cubits.
Further, the narrative of the building of the ark exhibits in a comprehensive way that complex literary form conventionally employed in biblical and extrabiblical accounts of temple building. It begins with the divine decision that the chosen human agent should build the ark. This purpose is disclosed as a covenantal commission with a divine commitment to prosper the undertaking (Gen. 6:13ff.). Other standard elements are the description of the ark and its occupants, the design being given by divine revelation (Gen. 6:14ff.); the acquisition of materials (Gen. 6:14) and the assembling of the furnishings, here in the form of the representatives of the plant, animal, and human spheres that occupied this holy cosmic kingdom structure (Gen. 6:18ff. and 7:1ff.); the statement that the ark was built according to specifications and completed (Gen. 6:22); date formulae (Gen. 7:6, 11, 13); and the dedication of the ark-kingdom (Gen. 8:20), followed by a declaration of future sanctions.28
Constructing the ark-temple was a covenantal project. The commission to build the ark is given within the divine revelation in which the actual term berith, "covenant," first appears in the Bible (Gen. 6:18). In fact, the verses containing the commission and the covenant declaration (vv. 14 and 18 respectively) occupy parallel positions in the literary structure of the flood account.29 Implicit but unmistakable in the commission thus equated with the covenant is a commitment on the part of the Lord, the divinely sanctioned commitment that qualifies this arrangement to be called "covenant". In commanding Noah to make the ark (v. 14) the Lord was covenanting to prosper the enterprise. This becomes more explicit in verse 18 where there is an immediate association of the two; God's promise to fulfill this covenant is at once followed by further details of the commission, instructing Noah to enter the ark to be kept alive when God brings his judgment on the rest of the world (v. 17).30 The commission to build the ark-temple was then clearly a covenantal commissioning.
The ark was crown construction, for Noah had royal status within the kingdom-typology of this covenantal event.31 Within the holy bounds of the theocratic ark-world Noah's role was a redemptive resumption of Adam's royal position and prospects under the Covenant of Creation. He was king of that temple-kingdom, with all the creatures placed under his rule, with the creation and all its tempestuous forces made subservient to his honor and blessing. Royal dominion as experienced by Noah in the ark-theocracy exceeded what Adam enjoyed as an original endowment of the creation covenant; it was a symbolic equivalent of the lordship Adam was to secure as a reward for success in his probationary mission. Noah's kingship was thus prophetic of the kingship of Jesus, the second Adam, who accomplishes the act of probation-righteousness and thereby attains the position of glory and honor where all things have been effectively put in subjection under his feet (Heb. 2:6-9). It was the ark-covenant that invested Noah with this royal dignity and it was as type of the messianic King, the masterbuilder of the church-temple, that Noah was commissioned to build the ark-temple.
(iii) Moses and the Old Covenant: The interrelation of the tabernacle and the covenant mediated through Moses at Sinai is patent. Construction of this divine dwelling was the immediate, major assignment stipulated for the vassal community of Israel in this covenant. A house of God is already mentioned (Exod. 23:19) within the account of the ratification of the covenant (Exodus 19-24), which is at once followed by the detailed prescriptions for the tabernacle (Exodus 25-31) and by the narrative of its actual construction (Exodus 35-40). This amounted to a record of the confirmation and inauguration of the covenant order, for the tabernacle was the supreme expression of God's covenant relationship to Israel. Even the interruptive episode of the golden calf (Exodus 32-34) attests in its negative way to the correlation of the tabernacle and covenant by showing how the loss of covenant status (through Israel's covenant-breaking) meant the loss of God's Presence and the forfeiture of his tabernacle-residence in their midst.32
Like the narrative about Noah's ark-temple, Exodus 25-40 exhibits the pattern of the common Near Eastern temple building accounts, including the following elements: the divine decision to build revealed as a covenantal commission to Moses (Exod. 25:1, and mediated by him to the people (Exod. 34:29-35:19); the prescriptive description of the tabernacle and its furnishings (Exod. 25:10ff.), along with its priesthood and their accoutrements (Exod. 28:1ff.)—a human replication of the tabernacle, affording an intimation of the living people-temple to be built by the messianic masterbuilder; the heavenly exemplar (Exod. 25:9, 40); the acquisition of materials (Exod. 25:3-7; 35:4-29; 36:3-7) and the securing of expert craftsmen (Exod. 35:30-36:9); the actual building process (Exod. 36:8-40:33) with notice that all was completed according to specifications (Exod. 39:32, 42, 43; 40:16, 19, 21, 23, 25, 27, 29, 32, 33); the blessing on the people (Exod. 39:43; cf. Lev. 9:22, 23); the dedication by symbolic anointing (Exod. 40:9-16; cf. 30:22-23; cf. Lev. 8:10; Numbers 7) and by the entry of God's Glory into his holy house (Exod. 40:34; cf. 29:44; Lev. 9:23, 24).33
Though the covenant stipulation to build the tabernacle was given to the covenant community as a whole and the entire nation, especially its gifted artisans, was engaged in the work, it was more particularly a divine commission to Moses as mediator of the covenant program. Completion of it all is attributed to him (Exod. 40:33). Building the house of God was, therefore, in the case of the tabernacle once again crown construction. For Moses was the shepherd-king of God's flock, the one set as royal ruler over the entire theocratic community (cf. Num. 12:7; Heb. 3:2).
(iv) Solomon and the Davidic Covenant: We have already seen that the biblical narrative of the building of the Solomonic temple is an outstanding example of the conventional Near Eastern literary form used for such affairs. This episode is also a classic instance of temple building as a task for kings, the project having been proposed by king David and carried out by king Solomon. And here again there is a close correlation of temple building and covenant. The Lord's approval of David's proposal, revealed through the prophet Nathan, was incorporated in and was a central feature of a divine covenant of grant (2 Sam. 7:4ff.; 23:5; Ps.89:3).
The covenantal context of Solomon's temple building is underscored by repeated rehearsal of the terms of the Davidic Covenant in the narrative of the process of construction: in David's preparatory charge to Solomon (2 Chr. 22:6ff.) and his related address to Israel's leaders (1 Chr. 28:2ff.); in Solomon's communication to king Hiram of Tyre when launching the actual project (1 Kgs. 5:3-5 [17-19]; 2 Chr. 2:4ff.); in a revelation of God to Solomon recorded in the midst of a description of the temple structure and its furnishings (1 Kgs. 6:11-13); in Solomon's pronouncing of blessing at the completion of the project (1 Kgs. 8:15ff.; 2 Chr. 6:4ff.) and his prayer of dedication (1 Kgs. 8:23ff.; 2 Chr. 6:14ff.; cf. Psalm 132); and in a further revelation of God to Solomon when the temple was finished (1 Kgs. 9:4ff.; 2 Chr. 7:12ff.).
When defining the function of temple building in the Davidic Covenant we must distinguish between the two levels of the kingdom covenanted to Abraham. In relation to the typological level administered through the old (Mosaic) covenant,34 the Davidic Covenant was a covenant of grant, rewarding David for faithfully waging the war of the Lord. This works principle, operating at the typological level of the kingdom, was further evidenced in the fact that the continuance of the typological kingdom under the Davidic dynasty was made dependent on the continuing allegiance of the Davidic kings to their heavenly Suzerain, as expressed in their compliance with the probationary stipulations of his covenant. Within this covenant of grant, the temple building commission was a covenant stipulation to be obeyed, and the obedient performance of this service would function as the meritorious ground for dynastic confirmation and continuance (cf. 1 Chr. 28:5-7).35 At the same time, this commission was a high honor and privilege, a sign of God's favor, for the temple represented the dwelling of Immanuel with his people, the ultimate blessing of the covenant.
In relation to the messianic level of the kingdom inaugurated and defined by the new covenant, the Davidic Covenant was one of sovereign grace. It guaranteed the everlasting dynasty and kingdom as a gift of redemptive love. As in the case of the typological kingdom, bestowal of this antitypical kingdom-temple grant involved the accomplishing of a probationary act of righteousness—not, however, by David and his successors in the old Jerusalem. This grant was rather a reward given to the messianic son of David for his meritorious service in fulfillment of the intratrinitarian covenant made in heaven before the world began. At this antitypical level too, temple building functions as validation of royal claim. The bringing of the church-temple to consummation, the work of the ascended Christ through the Spirit, demonstrates the validity of his claim to the crown of heaven and earth. It attests to the Father's establishment of the Son as King of kings on the throne of David at the right hand of the Majesty on high.
In Zechariah 4 this validating messianic achievement is proclaimed in the announcement that the Christ-figure, Zerubbabel, begins and finishes the temple (v. 9a) and the conjoined declaration by the messianic Angel of the Lord (cf. v. 8): "You will know that Yahweh of hosts has sent me unto you" (v. 9b).
(v) Postexilic Temple and the Davidic Covenant: In the resumption of the Mosaic-Davidic covenantal order after the exile (cf. Hag. 2:5), the Davidic Covenant still provided the primary authorization for the erecting of God's house in Jerusalem (cf. Ezra 5:11). Divine confirmation of the temple (re)building commission came through the prophetic ministry of Haggai and Zechariah, prompting the community to proceed with the task forthwith (Ezra 5:1, 2; 6:14).
This commissioning of temple construction was, as usual, a royal mandate, even though no Israelite king occupied the throne in Jerusalem. For at this juncture in the history of the theocratic nation, when Israel was being restored to their typological heritage after the exilic lapse in the Mosaic Covenant relationship, it pleased God to draw king Cyrus, the Persian ruler of the Israelites, into the typological drama of redemption in the role of restorer. By special divine appointment, king Cyrus was constituted a prefiguration of Messiah, who would one day restore the true Israel of God from their exile east of Eden and who would build the true temple of God. "Yahweh stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia" so that he issued a decree for the restoration of God's house in Jerusalem, asserting therein that he had been charged to do so by the God of heaven (2 Chr. 36:22, 23; Ezra 1:1-4; 5:13; 6:14). This happened in fulfillment of God's remarkable word through Isaiah, beforehand identifying king Cyrus as his anointed shepherd-king, whom he would commission to build his city and temple (Isa. 44:28; 45:1ff., esp. v. 13).
The narrative of the building of the postexilic temple in Ezra 1-6 contains most of the standard features of such accounts. In addition to the divine commissioning of king Cyrus, these include: the acquisition of materials and enlisting of workmen (Ezra 1:5ff.; 3:7ff.); description of the structure (Ezra 6:3, 4) and the progress of the building to completion, in accordance with God's command(Ezra 3:2,11; 5:2; 6:14), with dates (Ezra 3:8; 6:15; cf. Hag. 1:1, 15; 2:10); and dedication festivities (Ezra 6:16-18).
This history of the restoration of the temple was, of course, the immediate context in view in Zechariah's fifth vision, providing the typological imagery for the prophecy of Messiah, the royal masterbuilder of the menorah-temple. As previously indicated, the choice of Zerubbabel as the type of Christ related to the principle that temple building is a task for kings, Zerubbabel being a prince of David's dynasty.
Christ, the true theocratic king, would lay the foundation of the true temple, typified by Noah's ark, Moses' tabernacle, and the Solomon/Zerubbabel temple, and he would complete it. His temple would be a Spirit-people-temple, such as was envisaged in the royal mandate given to Adam under the Covenant of Creation. Christ received his royal commission in the eternal intratrinitarian covenant with the Father and as agent of the Spirit he carries out the holy building task in his administration of the new covenant, by the Great Commission enlisting his followers as his fellow-workers in the menorah mission.
(vi) Excursus: God's covenanting with man is a controlling element in biblical religion, but elsewhere covenant is not so evident a feature of the relation of deity to men. However, the divine commissioning of kings to build temples, as narrated in the standard accounts, involved the essential ingredients of a suzerain-vassal covenant. By charging the king with the task of erecting the temple, the deity exercised his sovereignty over him and facilitated the ongoing administration of the tributary relationship inasmuch as it was in the temple that the vassal king's tribute offerings were brought before the divine suzerain. Also, inherent in the commission to build the temple, and specified in the king's dedication prayer, was the deity's commitment to grant various boons: the entrance of the deity into the temple; the exaltation of the king and extension of his scepter to distant days; and the fertility of his land.36 Such divinely sanctioned commitment is definitive of covenant. And since, according to the dedication prayer, the promised blessings were to be bestowed on the king for his good services (i.e., for his obedient performance of the commission), divine commission to build a temple was tantamount, more particularly, to a proposal-of-grant covenant.
This covenantal arrangement was established by divine declaration;37 no treaty text functioned as an instrument of ratification. But the affair was documented by the inscription containing the temple building account, and the possibility suggests itself that the conventional treaty form has influenced the shaping of these accounts. For the basic sections of suzerainty treaties find their counterparts in the building inscriptions: the preamble and historical prologue sections presenting the suzerain's claims on the vassal's service; the stipulations section stating the suzerain's commandments; and the sanctions section enunciating the constraints on the vassal's loyal obedience. In the building accounts, the suzerain's claims are presented in the very identity of the divine author of the decision to build and in his authoritative communication of the assignment. The contents of the commission are, of course, the covenant stipulations, and the benefits promised to the royal builder are the sanctions. Of special interest is another variety of the sanctions found in many building accounts, one that is reminiscent of the treaty form (though also present in other kinds of texts). It consists of a closing section pronouncing curses and blessings on future rulers, according to their treatment of the temple and its building inscription. At times this was modified into a more general appeal to future kings to show piety towards the gods, with promise of divine blessings.38 This obviously reflects the concluding section of curses and blessings in the classic treaty form,39 but in addition the sanction relating to the treatment of the building inscription is akin to the curse against tampering with the treaty text found in the distinctive document clause of the treaties.
2. Temple-building: Conquest and Creation. (a) Conquest, A corollary of Construction: In the double oracle of Zechariah 4:6-10,40 the two Sections (vv. 6b and 9) declare that the temple will be completed by the power of the Spirit, exercised through his messianic agent, "Zerubbabel." This declaration is made in the face of difficulties whose presence is reflected in the challenging questions issued in the two B-sections (vv. 7a and l0a). It is evident that construction of the temple, promised again in the C-sections (vv. 7b and 10b), is going to involve conquest of the enemy.
"Who41 are you, O great mountain before Zerubbabel? (Before Zerubbabel you will become) a plain" (Zech. 4:7a). This is the kind of interrogative challenge the apostle Paul used to defy all that threatened God's elect. "If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Rom. 8:31). "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?" (Rom. 8:35). No hardship, nothing in all creation; we are more than conquerors through our God who is with us (Rom. 8:31-39). The apostle was echoing Psalm 118. "Yahweh is for me; what can man do to me?" (v. 6). Zechariah 4:6-10 and Psalm 118 share the primary theme of God as the strength of his people (cf. Psalm 118:14 and Zech. 4:6) and the distinctive motif of the stone in the messianic temple that signifies the overcoming of opposition (cf. Ps. 118:22 and Zech. 4:7b, l0b). Note also that in Psalm 118:13 the enemy whom the Lord cuts off is addressed in the second person singular (cf. Zech. 4:7a). These correspondences suggest that Psalm 118:6 is the inspiration for Zechariah 4:7a as well as for Romans 8:31.
The hostility (not merely rivalry) of the great mountain becomes more explicit if "before (lipney) Zerubbabel" is taken with what precedes. The mountain power is then pictured as putting the battle in array against Zerubbabel (cf. the use of lipney in 1 Chr. 14:8; 2 Chr. 14:9). If "before Zerubbabel" is taken with what follows, the mountain is depicted as being humbled in the presence of a superior Zerubbabel (cf. the use of lipney in Exod. 9:11; Deut. 1:42; Judg. 2:14; 20:32; 1 Sam 4:2). Our translation of verse 7a above reflects the possibility that this is a case of the poetic device in which a word written once applies in both directions, sometimes with different meanings.42
Interpretations of the great mountain include: the pile of ruins on Zion that had to be cleared away in the preparing of a foundation platform for the temple; the difficulties in general that beset the building enterprise; and the particular local adversaries of the project. But the context of the night visions favors the view that the great mountain symbolizes the hostile imperial power seen as a satanic counterfeit of Zion, the temple mountain of God and seat of his sovereignty (cf. Zech. 6:1).43 Especially relevant is the treatment of the horn-nations in Zechariah's second vision: the titanic world power lifts up its head-horn on high against the living God of Zion but its idolatrous challenge is brought low by God's expert agents of vengeance.44 In the fifth vision the leveling of the self-exalted imperial power is conveyed by the word "a plain." Isaiah 40:4 speaks of mountains leveled into plains and Isaiah 41:15 encourages lowly Israel, warred against by enemies (vv. 11-14), that the Lord their Redeemer will make them his instrument to reduce these "mountains" to dust. In Zechariah 4:7, however the phrase "before Zerubbabel" is connected to the rest of the sentence, the picture is one of conflict between Zerubbabel and the great mountain, so that the leveling of the mountain to a plain marks an overcoming of the world-power before Zerubbabel, a casting down of Satan's kingdom by the messianic king.
God's challenge to the hostile world, "Who are you?" (v. 7), is issued at a time when the covenant community is outwardly weak. The world mountain towers over them. The restoration of the temple on Zion is just beginning (cf. Hag. 2:3). This is reflected in the parallel challenging question of verse 10a: "Who is despising the day of small things?" God's challenge sets the stage for the announcement of a total reversal on both sides; not only will the high world mountain be brought low but lowly Zion will be exalted—Zerubbabel will complete the temple of heavenly glory (cf. Hag. 2:9). God will shake heaven and earth, overthrowing royal thrones and world kingdoms, while making Zerubbabel as his own signet ring (cf. Hag. 2:21-23).
Conquest of the world is the corollary of temple building. Holy war must clear the way for the holy work of building God's house.
(b) Construction, A Copying of Creation: The theme of the construction of God's kingdom-temple that follows on the victory against the world mountain is found in both the A-sections (Zech. 4:6 and 9) and C-sections (Zech. 4:7b and 10b). Together they declare that Zerubbabel begins and finishes the temple. Verse 9a provides a clear, comprehensive statement to this effect, and verses 7b and 10b supply graphic details of either the founding or completing of the building, depending on how one understands the two stones.
Some understand "the head (haroshah) stone "brought forth by Zerubbabel as the cornerstone (cf. "head of the corner" in Ps. 118:22). On the basis of customs elsewhere in the biblical world, others take it as a former stone, i.e., a stone derived from the previous temple on this site and deposited in the foundation of the new temple to assert the continuity of the two. Van der Woude interprets it as "the stone Beginning . . . the primeval stone from which the creation of the world commenced," an allusion to the mythological idea of a primal hill that emerged from the chaos waters as the starting point and center of creation.45 On this view too verse 7b would refer to the foundation stage. But the laying of the foundations of the postexilic temple (which is the immediate, typological perspective here) had already taken place. Also, what we expect in verse 7b as the corollary of the leveling of the lofty world mountain (v. 7a) is the exaltation on high of the lowly house of God. The reference would then be to the completing of the temple and the stone would be the final topstone.46 An expectation that haroshah will have the meaning "top" here is prompted by the haroshah, "its top,"47 in verse 2, referring to the menorah. Further, the concluding words of verse 7b have been understood as a public acclamation such as might attend the completion of a project (cf. 2 Sam. 6:15), in the present case, the closing ceremonies dedicating the temple (cf. 2 Chr. 7:4-6). The exclamation, "Hen, hen," would be appropriate to such an occasion whether interpreted as praise of the beauty of the edifice or petition for God's continuing blessing on the temple (cf. 1 Kgs. 8:29, 43).48 On the other hand, Ezra 3:10, 11 records joyful shouting at the laying of the foundations of the postexilic temple.49
The occasion of the challenging question in verse 10a is a time of "small things," characterized by disparaging comments of the gainsayers, a relatively early phase in the temple restoration project. The stone mentioned in verse 10b, the stone in the hands of Zerubbabel described as habbedil, will also belong to that earlier stage. Bedil means tin and the major ancient versions interpreted this stone as a plummet.50 A plumb stone could refer to any stage in the building process. Other identifications include: one of the sacred objects, including precious stones or metallic tablets, deposited in foundations; and a set aside or chosen stone (cf. the verb badal, "separate, divide"), whether the stone of verse 7b, understood as a stone taken from the ruins of the former temple, or as a special stone selected to be a keystone.51 With emendation to bedolah, "bdellium," the stone could be a symbolic signet.
Zerubbabel's temple building, like all temple construction, had as its archetype God's original creation of the cosmic temple. As we have seen, the Genesis prologue exhibits in prototypal form the standard literary pattern of temple building texts.52 The Zechariah 4:6-10 account parallels the Genesis prologue in such fundamental features as the dual role of paradigm and power assigned to the Spirit in temple construction and the emphasis on the commencement and completion of the project. Of incidental interest here is the similarity of the record of Zerubbabel's temple building in Zechariah 4:6-10 and the creation event as reflected in the Lord's interrogation of Job (cf. Job 38 and 39). Each account contains these elements: challenging questions put to human wisdom and power (Job 38:2, 4, 5, passim); laying the foundation (Job 38:4) with mention of a particular stone (in Job 38:6, the cornerstone); reference to a line, measuring or plumb (Job 38:5); acclamation over the architectural achievement (Job 38:7).
Throughout its history temple construction is depicted as creation activity. A short survey of the matter will be presented in the following chronicle, which will also note the recurring correlation of conquest to temple building.
(c) Chronicle of Conquest and Construction: (i) Covenant of Creation: Although the creation of the cosmos as a house of God was the archetypal temple building, it differed from all postlapsarian temple building in that it was a purely constructive process with no prelude of conflict and conquest. The mythological versions of the creation tradition posit evil as present in procreation reality and characteristically make the creator-god's vanquishing of rival forces of chaos a preliminary step in the creational ordering of the cosmos and the associated building of the hero-god's palace. But Genesis 1, allowing no place for evil before creation, reveals the creation to have been an exercise of simple sovereignty, with no pre-existing rival powers to be overcome by the eternal God.53
However, there was also the temple building commission given to Adam, and under the terms of the Covenant of Creation there was a probationary conflict to be endured and an enemy to be overcome before the temple program could proceed. By this time satanic evil had arisen in the world and Adam's immediate task was to confront and judge the challenge of that evil and so maintain the sanctity of Eden. Only then would the program go forward of filling the earth with the family of Adam and Eve, the living people-temple. Royal temple building was a covenantal grant proposed on the basis of a probationary obedience in warfare against the devil. Faithful service issuing in triumph in this holy war was prerequisite to construction of God's holy house.
(ii) Ark Covenant: The ark was a symbolic replica of the cosmos-temple; Noah's building of the ark-temple was a re-enactment of creation.54 This (re)creation aspect of the event is brought out by the literary form of the flood narrative, whose structure and style parallel the creation narrative in the Genesis prologue. Also, the physical phenomena of the episode recall in a remarkable, if limited, way the original creation history. There is a return to the situation of unbounded waters dealt with in "day two," a re-emergence of the dry land, and a reappearance on the earth of the representatives of the vegetable and animal kingdoms, and of man. Of special interest in view of the role of the Spirit (ruah) in temple building in Zechariah 4 is the role Genesis 8:1 assigns to ruah (echoing the ruah of Gen. 1:2) in the restructuring of the earth out of the deluge waters. These cosmological correspondences were recognized by Peter who boldly expounded the flood event as the creation of the heavens and earth that now are (2 Pet. 3:5-7).55
Antecedent to this creation of the present heavens and earth was the conquest of the opponents of God's rule, the persecutors of his people who had dominated the old world.56 Noah had opposed the antichrist world in his prophetic witness, declaring its condemnation, and God, the ultimate temple builder, triumphed over the enemies in judgment, destroying them by drowning their world in watery chaos. The vanquishing of the satanic powers was thus a precursor of the arrival of the ark-temple, the holy kingdom-city, at its sabbath rest on the high mountain in the re-created heavens and earth.
(iii) Old Covenant: With Moses as his messianic agent, Yahweh triumphed over Egypt and its gods in acts of judgment, which Scripture figures as a divine slaying of the satanic dragon (Ps. 74:12ff.; Isa. 51:9f.; cf. Ezek. 29:3ff.; 32:2ff.). The Egyptian sea is also identified with the draconic powers whom the Lord defeats in redemptive judgment for the salvation of his people.57 At the same time, the mastery of the sea by the Glory-Spirit, consisting as it does in the dividing and bounding of the waters so that the dry land appears, is a reproduction of the creation process. A re-creation setting is thus evoked for the temple building that takes place under Moses, whether we are thinking of the forming of the nation as the holy house of Israel, God's people-temple, or of the erection of the tabernacle. Agreeably, the tabernacle is designed to be a replica of the cosmic temple created in the beginning.58 Tabernacle construction is a copying of creation; however, being a redemptive (re-)creation event, building of the tabernacle was preceded by the conquest of pharaoh and his forces, the manifestation of Yahweh's supreme sovereignty in anticipation of his enthronement in the exalted sanctuary to be prepared for him.
(iv) Davidic Covenant: At its typological level the Davidic Covenant proferred temple building prerogative and continuance of dynasty on the condition of the continuing faithfulness of God's royal representatives.59 Indeed, God's making of this covenant of grant was itself a benefit bestowed on David for faithful service he had already rendered, particularly in fighting the wars of the Lord (cf. 1 Kgs. 3:6). Significantly, the account of the revelation of the Davidic Covenant (2 Samuel 7) follows upon the record of his conquest of the enemies of the theocratic kingdom, his capturing of Zion, and his locating the ark of the covenant there (2 Samuel 5 and 6). David's military service was the ground for God's granting to his dynasty the privilege of building the temple. Thus, conquest was the prelude to temple construction.
The same pattern emerges when the matter is viewed from the perspective of the Lord as the divine warrior. The battle was the Lord's; David was merely his agent. And in the building of the temple too the human king was only the agent of the Lord, whose house it was and who was its ultimate architect and builder. It was as the victorious divine warrior that God proceeded with the building of his temple as the seat of his enthronement as King of kings. Pointing to the pattern of divine conquest as prelude to divine temple construction is the statement in 2 Samuel 7:1 that it was Yahweh who had given David rest, making him victorious over all enemies round about. The Lord had initiated the conquest of his theocratic domain under Moses and Joshua (cf. 2 Sam. 7:5-7) and had now finished it through his servant David (cf. 2 Sam. 7:9-11), and it was this completing of the conquest that opened the way for his ordering the erection of his more permanent house of enthronement (cf. 2 Sam. 7:7, 13). Appropriately, the covenant oracle providing for the building of the Lord's holy palace was cast in the genre of the victory hymn.60
(d) Conclusion: Under the typological figure of Zerubbabel's temple building, Zechariah 4:6-10 prophesies of Christ's temple building. Zerubbabel's carrying forward the temple project from foundational commencement to dedicatory consummation is a redemptive repetition of God's original creation of his cosmic temple. And the leveling of the imperial mountain before Zerubbabel as he engages in raising up the head of God's house on Zion exemplifies the pattern, constant from the first to the second Adam, that finds the slaying of the dragon to be the precursor of the erection of God's royal residence.
The New Testament depicts the work of Christ as a fulfillment of this typological paradigm, particularly so in the drama of the Apocalypse. It is Christ, the Son of Man who has decisively overcome the satanic dragon and has been established in supreme heavenly authority with cosmic dominion (cf. Rev. 1:12ff., 2:1, 8, 12, 18; 3:1, 7, 14; 12:1ff.; 20:1-3), who then proceeds to fashion the seven menorah-churches, the true temple-city, by his authoritative, creative word through the power of the Spirit (cf. Revelation 2 and 3). At the climax of the Apocalypse, the consummating of this holy architectural enterprise in the manifestation of the new Jerusalem, the glorified temple-city, follows as the sequel to Christ's "final judgment-conquest of the dragon and his hosts (Rev. 20:10; cf. v. 2), by which the son of David secured rest forever from all the enemies round about."61
C. Messiah—Anointer with the Spirit: Mediator to the Menorah. 1. Mediator Symbolism: Zechariah had received the interpretation he requested for the two olive trees and, in particular, their product, the olive oil (Zech. 4:4). This symbolism represented the theophanic Spirit, the archetypal pattern for the menorah-church and the power for fulfilling the menorah mission (Zech. 4:1-10). The prophet's interest then focused on the coupling of the trees with the menorah (vv. 11-14). Commentators who have mistakenly identified the menorah as a symbol for the Lord are understandably uncomfortable with the consequences of that for verse 12. For on their view verse 12 would depict deity (the menorah) as dependent on a flow of energy (the oil) from his servants (the trees). Some would resolve the problem by dismissing verse 12 as a later editorial addition. Of course, even without the explicit account in verse 12 of the flow of oil through the connecting apparatus, the thought would naturally present itself that the two flanking olive trees served as the source of oil for the menorah. Moreover, as we shall see, that thought is also conveyed by the identifying phrase "sons of oil" in verse 14.
"What are these two olive trees?" asks Zechariah (v. 11). Then, repeating his question, he adds the term shibboleth to the description of the trees (v. 12). In this passage shibboleth is usually translated "branches,"62 but elsewhere it regularly refers to an ear of grain, though it is apparently applicable to the harvestable inflorescence of other plants. A grammatical question also requires attention. In the phrase "the two shibboleth's of the olive trees," the genitive (the olive trees) is usually regarded as subjective. Thus construed, the shibboleth's are a part of the trees; hence the customary translation "(end) branches" or "tufts." The genitive should, however, be taken as explicative, the olive trees specifying the particular genus of shibboleth, i.e., an olive tree kind of shibboleth.63 In effect, the shibboleth's are then a metaphor for the olive trees, likening them in their flowering of fruit, about to be harvested and processed, to a spike or inflorescence of grain.
A second noun shibboleth means "flowing (or deep) stream" (cf. Ps. 69:2, 15 [3, 16]) and the rest of the symbolic picture in Zechariah 4:12b suggests that the prophet's question plays on this double meaning. In relation to the conduits that connect the trees to the menorah, shibboleth would signify the flowing stream of olive oil that issues from each tree. As they pour out their golden oil through the channels the olive trees become olive oil rivers. In the combination of the two meanings of shibboleth the images of the tree of life and the river of life merge (cf. Ezek. 47:1-12; Zech. 14:8; Rev. 22:1, 2; John 7:37-39).
A curious parallel to Zechariah's treatment of shibboleth is found in Isaiah 27:12 (which may well have been his inspiration). There again shibboleth seems to refer to olive trees rather than grain.64 The Lord is pictured gathering his people like fruit "from the shibboleth," that is, from the olive tree inflorescence. But the second meaning, from the flowing stream, is required by the following words describing the extent of the harvest: "(from the flowing stream) of the River (Euphrates) to the Wadi of Egypt."
In Zechariah's vision the process of pressing the fruit of the shibboleth trees to extract their oil for the menorah is not delineated; it is contained, hidden as it were, in the compression of the olive trees ripe for harvest and the streams of olive oil within the pun on shibboleth. More evident is the copious quantity of oil that results from the wondrous transformation of the trees into streams. The large volume of oil flow indicated by the term shibboleth (cf. Ps. 69:15 ) is also intimated by the term tsantaroth, which denotes the two golden shafts through which the oil is channeled to the menorah.65 Definitely, the picture is not that of two end tufts adjoining narrow pipes into which they trickle oil. The indications of a supply of oil in abundance support the interpretation of the two shibboleth's (in their arboreal meaning) as the two olive trees in their harvestable fullness.
Responding to Zechariah's inquiry about the two shibboleth-trees, the angel identifies them as "the two sons of oil who stand by the Lord of all the earth" (v. 14). Fittingly, "sons of oil" signifies a plentiful source of oil. "Sons of " expresses here the idea of a source, as it does in Isaiah 5:1, where a fertile hill is called "a son of fatness (or oil)."66 Yitshar, the term for oil, denotes fresh olive oil, and it consistently connotes abundant harvest. The angel's answer thus confirms the understanding of the symbolism of the shibboleth trees as the (mediatorial) source—an inexhaustibly rich source—of the oil.
But what historical persons are meant? Who are the two sons of oil?67
Since the shibboleth-trees are the source of the oil, not the recipient, their identification as "sons of oil" does not signify that they were anointed ones. In fact, not yitshar but shemen would be used for anointing oil. The misunderstanding of the sons of oil as anointed ones has led to the common interpretation of the two as the royal and priestly offices, represented in Zechariah's day by Zerubbabel and Joshua. But if the trees are the (mediatorial) source of the oil that streams to the menorah, if the sons of oil are not the anointed but the anointers, we must think of prophets, not kings or priests. "The prophets, outstandingly the paradigm prophet Moses, were God's chief agents for anointing."68 Moreover, in Revelation 11:4 it is the two prophetic witnesses that are explicitly said to be the two olive trees. Further, the description of the sons of oil as "standing by the Lord of all he earth," that is, as his servants, comports with the familiar designation of the prophets as God's servants (cf. Amos 3:7; Jer. 7:25; 25:4; Rev. 10:7; 11:18). This description also points to prophetic identification in that it denotes the status of those admitted into the divine council (cf. its use for angelic members of the council in Zech. 3:7), a special privilege of prophets.
Why there are two prophet-trees is a matter of the total design of the vision, which mirrors the symbolic setting of the Glory-Presence in the holy of holies with its dual-cherubim pattern (of which, more presently). We need not seek particular candidates, therefore, like Haggai and Zechariah, or Moses and Elijah (although their careers do supply the details of the picture of the career of the two prophet-witnesses in Rev. 11:3ff.).
Though the symbolic representation of the divine Presence is to be found not in the menorah but in the olive trees,69 Zechariah 4:12 shows that these two trees as such represent the prophet-mediators of the Spirit and, therefore, it is more precisely the oil of these olive trees which is mediated through them to the menorah that symbolizes the Spirit-Presence. The Mosaic prophets were part of the menorah community70 and yet in their office were distanced from the covenant people and became the representatives of God, the mediators of his word and the mediators of his Spirit-Presence to the community. Hence they appear in Zechariah's vision, in the form of the two shibboleth-trees, as the insignia of deity, in a manner analogous to the two cherubim figures that stand by the enthroned Glory in the holy of holies. Cherubim and prophets, members alike of the retinue of the King of Glory, bespeak his Presence. It is in keeping with this that the dual, overarching pattern of the theophanic cherubim is reproduced in the Zechariah 4 vision of the two prophets of the Spirit-Presence.71 Here is the justification for speaking of the two olive trees as a symbolic depiction of the theophanic Glory.
It is evident that the Old Testament prophets could only in a typological manner be the source or mediators of the Spirit. "'The two sons of oil' in Zechariah 4 may be identified with the Old Testament prophets only in the limited sense that they were prototypal of the Lord Christ, the archetypal-antitypical prophet, who in the fullest measure possessed the Spirit, who was one with the Spirit, who was in truth the mediatorial source of the Spirit for his lampstand-church."72 And once it is recognized that ultimately the two shibboleth-trees are Christ, they may be identified without qualification as representing the divine Presence. The trees and their oil—Christ and the Spirit.
2. Messianic Mediator: Christ's mediating of the Spirit-oil to the menorah-church, typified at the close of the fifth vision, sets in motion the working of the Spirit symbolized in the first part of the vision—the Spirit's functioning as creator-paradigm who fashions the menorah-church in his Glory-likeness and as the divine power by which the church performs its menorah mission. With these prophetic themes, Zechariah's vision directs us to the Great Commission and Pentecost. The church's world witness is undertaken in obedience to the charge of Christ, who summons it to imitate him, the model light of the world. In the great Commission he calls his disciples to be colaborers with him in building the menorah, in fathering the church in his image, the perfect image of the Spirit. Then by pouring out the charism of Pentecost, the messianic mediator implements his covenantal commissioning of his church.
(a) Christ and the Covenantal Commission: What we commonly refer to as the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20) is of larger significance than "commission" would suggest. It is more broadly a covenantal pronouncement. It performs a critical role in the inauguration of the new covenant, a role similar to that of the revelation on the two tables of the covenant in the establishing of the old covenant.73 In both cases the setting is that of covenant ratification.
At Sinai there was a declaration of the terms of the treaty (eventually written on the two tables) before the ratificatory act (Exodus 20-23; 24:3). This provided the Israelites with the knowledge necessary for them to take the oath of acceptance, which, with the accompanying altar ritual, ratified the old covenant (Exod. 24:3-8). A communion meal celebrated by Israel's representatives in the presence of the Lord on the mount of Glory sealed the establishment of the covenant relation (Exod. 24:9-11). And the divinely inscribed treaty tablets, deposited at the footstool of God's throne in the tent of Glory (Exod. 34:27-29; 40:20) constituted a permanent documentary witness to the covenant as in effect.
Jesus' covenantal declaration on the occasion of his ascension was also in the context of covenant ratification, not however as preparatory to but consequent to the ratificatory act. Ratification occurred at the Lord's shedding the blood of the new covenant on the cross. Jesus' pronouncement recorded in Matthew 28:18-20 served to confirm the already accomplished fact of ratification. It was the promulgation of the new covenant, a summary formulation of its terms and a declaration that this new constitutional order was now in operation. In addition, the new covenant like the old is sacramentally sealed in a communion meal and its status as ratified and in force is attested in divinely inspired documentation, the four Gospels deposited in the canon of new covenant Scripture.74
Analysis of Matthew 28:18-20 indicates that it exhibits the essential structure of the old covenant documents deposited in the holy of holies—the two tables of the covenant and the "book" of Deuteronomy. Like them it contains: (1) the claims of the covenant Suzerain, establishing his sovereign status in the arrangement by assertions of who he is and what he has done for his people in the past; (2) his commands, stipulating the duty of his servants; and (3) threats and/or promises, which can function as constraints on the loyalty of the covenant servants or as commitments on the Lord's part.75 We will trace in more detail these basic treaty elements in Matthew 28:18-20, and in the process will also observe points of contact with the contents of Zechariah 4.
Jesus began with his coronation claims, declaring himself invested with cosmic authority (Matt. 28:18b). It had come to pass according to the Scriptures. In the Psalms God disclosed the eternal covenantal grant to the Son: coronation as theocratic king on holy Zion and entitlement as inheritor and judge of the nations to the uttermost part of the earth (Ps. 2:6-9). He would be enthroned at God's right hand, ruling in might in the midst of his enemies, judging among the nations, adoringly served by his priestly people (cf. Ps. 110). In prophetic vision the Son of Man was revealed as annihilator of the satanic beast, granted by the Ancient of Days universal glory and power, everlasting dominion, an imperishable kingdom, the worshipful submission of all peoples, nations, and tongues (Dan. 7:9-14). Similarly, Zechariah highlighted the universal sovereignty of the coming messianic mediator of the Spirit and author of the menorah mandate. The prophet portrayed him stationed by "the Lord of the whole earth," whose seven eyes "run to and fro through the whole earth" (Zech. 4:10, 14).
At the promulgation of the new covenant, close upon his covenant-ratifying death, Jesus announced to his disciples that these Scriptures were that day fulfilled in their ears; the Father had given him all authority in heaven and earth.
The New Testament resounds with praise of the Son who has received universal dominion as the reward of his faithfulness in the covenant made with the Father in eternity. Fulfilling the messianic obligations stipulated in that covenant of works, he had been made in human likeness and had been obedient unto death on a cross. Therefore the Father had now bestowed on him the promised and merited reward, enthronement at the Father's right hand, the dignity of lordship in administering the new covenant, the name above every name at which every knee in all the universe must bow (Phil. 2:6-11). In similar vein Jesus is extolled in Hebrews 2 as the one who, made a little lower than the angels, had suffered death and because of that was now crowned with glory and honor, all things put in subjection under his feet. To him, the covenant fulfilling second Adam, thus belongs the eschatological glory originally proferred the first Adam in his covenant of works in Eden (vv. 6-10).
The risen Savior stood before his disciples as the victor, the slayer of the dragon, the conqueror of Satan and his power of death (cf. Rev. 12:5-11). He was the living one. He was dead—behold his hands and side—but was now alive forevermore, possessor of the keys of death and Hades (cf. Rev. 1:17, 18). He was the Son of Man exalted to the pinnacle of heaven with authority over all creation (Matt. 28:18b). This self-identification of Christ the Lord in the hour of his ascension, confronting his disciples with who he was and what he had done for them, constituted his claim on their covenantal confidence and commitment.
Proceeding from his holy claims to his sovereign charge, Jesus issued the new covenant commission (Matt. 28:19, 20a). Formally, this corresponds to the commandments section of the Mosaic covenants, but functionally it differs as the gospel of grace and truth that came by Jesus differs from the law given through Moses (John 1:17). Israel's obedience to the stipulations of the works arrangement mediated by Moses would be accepted as the legal ground of their continued possession of the typological kingdom. But Jesus does not summon the church to earn the eternal kingdom by obedience to the demands of the new covenant. Rather, it is as the one who, by the active and passive obedience of his life and death, has already merited salvation and the glory of the kingdom for his church that Jesus addresses to his disciples the great commission.
Nor is it only in this functional respect that the stipulations of the old and new covenants differ from each other. The central corporate commissions of these two covenants belong to two vastly different eschatological times. The mission of Moses introduced an age of (typological) final judgment and agreeably his covenant commission to Israel was: Go ye and destroy the Canaanites. With the inauguration of the antitypical kingdom at our Lord's first advent an age of salvation was introduced, and with a view to that Jesus' great commission to the church was: Go ye and disciple the nations.76
Jesus' great commission is a menorah mandate, a charge to the church to shed abroad the light of its gospel witness. Followers of the Light of the world are to be lighting individual menorah flames and multiplying lampstand churches all over the earth. In so doing these replicas of "the (model) faithful witness" are fathering a growing family of witness-children in the Lord's image—the redemptive fulfillment in the Spirit of the original assignment to mankind to multiply and fill the earth with God's people-temple.
Jesus spells out the discipling task in terms of baptizing into the triune name and teaching his lordly commands. The aim is to extend throughout the globe the scepter-claims of the King of grace and so elicit everywhere a confession of Jesus as Lord, the confession that is made unto salvation (cf. Rom. 10:9, 10).
The great commission calls the church to a construction project, a building of the holy temple of God. Risen from the dead, slayer of the dragon and so validated as true King of kings, Jesus fulfills the ancient typological pattern by advancing from victory in the battle ordeal against the enemy of God to the erection of the house which (in his case) is at once the throne site of his sovereignty and God's holy dwelling place. He is himself the Masterbuilder, but he commissions his people to enter into this work of redemptive re-creation with him, promising them that afterwards they shall also sit down with him on his throne (Rev. 3:21). As in previous temple-building episodes in Scripture,77 this divine commission to construct God's temple is covenantal. The menorah-temple mandate of Jesus is issued in the context of his promulgating the new covenant and occupies within it the place of covenantal stipulation.
Our Lord's closing promise to be with his people to the conclusion of this world-age (Matt. 28:20) corresponds to the section of sanctions, the third major component in the formulary for old covenant documents. Threats of curse and promises of blessing addressed by Moses to the Israelites were calculated to constrain the obedience by which continuation of God's favor would be secured and his dire judgments averted. While from Israel's perspective the sanctions were constraints to covenant loyalty, viewed from the Lord's perspective these sanctions were his commitments to enforce the terms of the covenant. They were divine guarantees that he would punish rebellion to the third and fourth generation and that he would infallibly confer his promised blessings on covenant-keepers to the thousandth generation. Akin to that kind of guarantee of blessing was Jesus' climactic promise to be with his church always. It envisaged the church, however, not as under probation and having to earn the perpetuation of God's blessings but as the persevering people for whose salvation Jesus was the surety and whom he was sending forth into the world as the Father had sent him into the world (John 17:18). Matthew 28:20 is Jesus' commitment to that apostolic community of witnesses, the commitment of a constant presence, which assures the success of their menorah mission.
By the promise, "Lo, I am with you," our Lord identified himself as one with the I Am who so identified himself to Moses (Exod. 3:14), promising, "surely I will be with you" (Exod. 3:12) and "with your mouth" (Exod 4:15b). The settings of the two promises are similar: the commissioning of Moses to witness to the name of Yahweh before the hostile world power and the sending forth of the church to witness to the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit before a world that hated them because Christ, whom the world hated, had chosen them out of the world (John 15:18-21). In each case the commissioned party is assured of all sufficient enablement for an otherwise impossible task, the assurance of the divine Presence with them and with the witness of their mouths.
Jesus' promised presence would be in and through the Paraclete-Spirit whom he promised to send, the Spirit of truth sent forth from the Father to witness to the Son (John 15:26), teaching the witnessing church all things and guiding it into all truth (John 14:26; 16:7-14; cf. Exod. 4:15c). Our Lord's covenantal commitment thus identifies him as the realization of Zechariah's vision: as the source of the oil channeled to the menorah in a perpetual supply "unto the end of the age" (Matt. 28:20b); as the Prophet-Mediator of the Spirit, the seven eyes of the Lord whose sovereign superintendence encompasses "all the earth" (Zech. 4:10b, c), matching the scope of the menorah mission to "all the nations" (Matt. 28:19a), the Spirit-might by which the hostile world mountain is leveled and the exaltation of the house of God accomplished (Zech. 4:6ff.).
(b) Christ and the Covenanted Charism: At Pentecost, Jesus the true son of oil poured out the fire-fuel of the Spirit from his heavenly throne and flaming tongues lighted upon the heads of the assembly of commissioned witnesses (Acts 2:2). The Zechariah 4 vision of the menorah with a jubilee of flames had come to life. Here was a reproduction of the symbolic picture in historical reality. The actual menorah lamp was lit. Jesus had inaugurated the church's menorah-mission of world-wide witness, testifying to the new covenant in his blood, showing forth his death until he comes.
The fiery Spirit with which Jesus baptized the church at Pentecost (cf. Acts 1:5) represented the enabling presence of Jesus promised in his covenantal commissioning of the disciples (Matt. 28:20b; John 14:16-20). In epiphanic form this divine presence was similar to that seen by Moses at his commissioning. But while the flaming Glory burning in the unconsumed bush was a token of the redemptive grace of I Am, the tongues of flame on the apostolic assembly spoke of the Spirit's might available for menorah mission.
By virtue of this presence of the Lord in the Spirit, the church would be empowered to carry out its world-witness commission. For this promise of the Father the disciples must wait. Before they were to go, before they proceeded from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth, the Spirit must come (Acts 1:4). For the Spirit was the Witness who would convict the world of sin and righteousness and judgment (John 16:8). By the presence of the Spirit with their tongues the witnesses of Jesus would be able to stand before rulers and authorities and confess the Son of Man (cf. Luke 12:11, 12). The inauguration day of the menorah mission already demonstrated the effectiveness of the apostolic witness through the power of the Spirit in convicting an international array of sinners of their desperate plight (Acts 2:37ff.; cf. 1 Cor. 2:4; 2 Cor. 3:1-6; 4:7). And the fruits of this Pentecost day were an earnest of the world-wide harvest that would follow.
For the Pentecost charism the disciples must wait because the menorah mission was one of reproducing the glory of the Light of the world, of fathering children of light. And only the Spirit can accomplish this regeneration, this birth from above, this re-creation in the Glory likeness.
Moses' shining face, while a typical foretaste of this transformation, was the flower on a stem that was to be cut off. It was the glory of a covenant that was to be invalidated (2 Cor. 3:7, 11, 13)78 because it was not of faith but works (cf. Gal. 3:12), a covenant of the letter, written on tables of stone, that could not fulfill the promise of righteousness but was rather a ministration of condemnation and death (2 Cor. 3:6, 7).
The new covenant, however, is not of works but of grace, a ministration of the Spirit writing on the heart, a ministration of righteousness and life (2 Cor. 3:6, 8, 9). Unlike the old covenant, the new is not terminated in abrogation but endures unto consummation (2 Cor. 3:11). Its glory is seen in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 4:6), the model menorah, and that glory shines on our hearts, transcribed there by the Spirit, and transfigures us into the same glory-image (2 Cor. 3:18). By the Spirit he sends on Pentecost, Christ replicates his likeness in us, so lighting the menorah of myriad lamps unto the glory of God.
Typologically, the episode in the Sinai history (Exodus 19ff.) that affords the best parallel to the Pentecost event is the twofold anointing of the tabernacle: the symbolic anointing with oil by Moses (Exod. 40:9-16) and the anointing with the Spirit-cloud as the Glory filled the tabernacle (Exod. 40:34). Linking this old covenant "Pentecost" and the new is the description in Daniel 9 of the mission of Messiah-Prince (vv. 25-27) in the prophecy of the seventy weeks. There, the final purpose of the appointed period of ten jubilees is the anointing of the holy of holies (v. 24).
For Moses to be mediator in the Glory-Spirit's covering and filling the tabernacle was the seal of his mediatorial vocation. Similarly the Pentecost event in fulfillment of Jesus' covenantal commitment to send the Spirit was the confirmation of his claim to be Lord of all, with cosmic authority (Matt. 28:18). For to be mediator of the promise of the Father demonstrated that he was enthroned with the Father in the heavens, head over all. Pentecost proclaimed that God had made him both Lord and Christ. It attested that, as prophesied in the psalm, the Father had declared to Jesus, "Sit thou on my right hand till I make thine enemies the footstool of thy feet" (Acts 2:34-36; cf. Zech. 4:9).
The two lampstand-witnesses carry out their menorah mission in the confidence that Jesus their Lord is Lord of lords and that he is present with them by his almighty Spirit (Rev. 11:4-6). It is he who ordains that they shall maintain their Gospel testimony to all peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations throughout the present Great Commission age (Rev. 11:3). Though the beast that comes up out of the abyss at the behest of the dragon will then silence them (Rev. 11:7b-11), it will not be until they have completed their global historical task (Rev. 11:7a). And the Lord who has loosed Satan with his beast agent from the abyss will quickly quell this Har-Magedon challenge and exalt his own witnesses to glory (Rev. 11:11, 12). Age of testimony—hour of trial—eternal triumph. That is the eschatological course of the menorah-church, patterned after the mission of the Light of the world.
At Pentecost the hands of Zerubbabel-Messiah laid the foundation of the menorah-house of God—and his hands shall finish it (Zech. 4:9). Let the heavens ring: Glory in the highest.
*This study of Zechariah 4 continues the series on Zechariah's night visions begun in Kerux 5:2 (September, 1990).
1. Cf. Exodus 25:6, 31-40; 27:20, 21; 30:7, 8; 35:8; 37:17-24; 40:4, 24, 25; Leviticus 24:2-4; Numbers 8:2-4. On the construction of the menorah see Carol L. Myers, The Tabernacle Menorah (Missoula: Scholars Press, 1976).
2. The chiastically arranged night visions of Zechariah, a triad of visions on either side of the central hinge, might be seen as a literary translation of the menorah structure.
3. In this respect Zechariah's menorah would be more like the ten separate lampstands in Solomon's temple (cf.1 Kgs. 7:49) or the seven individual lampstands of the vision in Revelation 1:12.
4. See further Images of the Spirit, p. 86.
5. See Kerux 5:3 (December, 1990), pp. 1lff.
6. See Kerux 5:3 (December, 1990), pp. 17ff. and 8:2 (September, 1993),pp. 15ff.
7. See further Images of the Spirit, p. 86. A difference in the two treatments of the theme is that Zechariah 3 presents a priestly model of the imago Dei, while the model in Zechariah 4 is prophetic.
8. Cf. also Numbers 10:2.
9. In relation to the identification of the seven Spirits as seven eyes (Rev. 5:6; cf. Zech. 3:9; 4:10) note Jesus' comparison of eyes and lamps (Matt. 6:22; Luke 11:34).
10. Cf. Images of the Spirit, pp. 57-64.
11. Psalm 43:3 (cf. 119:105) brings out the conceptual bond of light and truth: "Send forth your light and your truth, let them lead me; let them bring me to your temple mount, unto your dwelling place."
12. Cf. Images of the Spirit, p. 91.
13. Cf. Isaiah 43:10, 12; 44:8, 9.
14. Cf. Kerux 7:3 (December, 1992), p. 56 for a discussion of the same theme in Zechariah's third vision.
15. Cf. Kerux 7:3 (December 1992), p. 42.
16. Cf. Kerux 8:2 (September 1993), pp. 22-29.
17. The Isaianic Servant figure introduced in Zechariah 3 is thus interpreted in Zechariah 4 as both an individual and corporate servant.
18. Cf. Kerux 9:1 (May 1994), pp. 6, 7.
19. This is not to deny that the Logos-designation may refer in the first instance to the ontological pre-incarnational relation of the Son to the Father. But John 1:4, like 1:10, should be understood in terms of the incarnation, not of the general divine providential government of creation. Identification of the light of the Logos with life in John 1:4 and 8:12 is compatible with its revelatory, witness function, for this life is knowledge: "This is life eternal that they should know thee, the only true God, and him whom thou didst send, Jesus Christ" (John 17:3). Cf. E. L. Miller, "The Johannine Origins of the Johannine Logos," JBL 112:3 (Fall 1993), p. 446, n. 7.
20. Images of the Spirit, pp. 90, 91. See the context of this quotation for a detailed account, which leads to the conclusion: "In sum then, the scenario of the whole Revelation 10 and 11 complex is taken over from the Old Testament model of the Angel-prophet directing the prophets, fashioning them in their covenantal office in his own prophet-likeness. Under this figure of the Angel, the Apocalypse portrays Christ structuring the apostle-church in his prophetic image" (p. 93).
21. For the development of this theme, see the discussion of Zechariah's third vision in Kerux 7:3 (December 1992), pp. 39-61.
22. For biblical examples, cf., e.g., 1 Kgs. 9:15-19; 15:23; 22:39; 2 Kgs. 20:20. The messianic temple building of Zechariah's fifth vision amounts to a resumption of the theme of messianic city building in vision three, the counterpart to the fifth vision in the chiastic pattern of the seven visions.
23. Our treatment of this subject is much indebted to V. Hurowitz, I Have Built You an Exalted House: Temple Building in the Bible in Light of Mesopotamian and Northwest Semitic Writings (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1992). Hereafter cited as Hurowitz.
24. For a related decretive word of God to the heavenly council, cf. Gen. 1:26.
25. The mythologized mutations of the true creation tradition also preserve the temple building perspective of the event. So, for example, the gods construct the Esagila sanctuary in honor of Marduk at the conclusion of the "creation" in the Enuma Elish (VI, 45ff.). The conventional pattern for building accounts attested in the extrabiblical literature and in the Bible alike stands in continuity with the literary traditions of creation accounts.
26. For details see my Kingdom Prologue, pp. 139, 140.
27. See the discussion in my Images of the Spirit, pp. 39-42.
28. The account of the making of the vessel in the Gilgamesh epic, as narrated there by Utnapishtim (the Noah figure) exhibits this same pattern. The form-critical evidence of the integrity of the temple-building pattern in Genesis itself and the comparative evidence of the acknowledged unity of the Gilgamesh text contradict the customary source-critical partitioning of the biblical text.
29. For details see my Kingdom Prologue, p. 142.
30. This administration of the salvation and kingdom blessings of the Covenant of Grace reported in Genesis 6:13ff. is to be sharply distinguished from the common grace covenant with all the earth recorded in Genesis 8:21-9:17.
31. Whether or not Noah was king of his earthly city (as the flood hero is in the Mesopotamian tradition) is not relevant to the theme of temple building as a task for a king, for the common grace world is not the holy sphere to which God's temple and his royal messianic temple builder belong.
32. Parallels have been noted in Mesopotamian texts where the account of the building of the temple is interrupted by a rebellion against the divinely designated builder. See Hurowitz, p. 111.
33. With reference to Pentateuchal origins, it is significant that the structural pattern of the Exodus account of the tabernacle is particularly close to building accounts of the mid-second millennium B.C. (cf. Hurowitz, pp. 64, 110).
34. The connection of the Davidic Covenant, with its temple building commission, to the Mosaic Law-Covenant is reflected in the attention given by the building narrative to the presence of the two tables of the Torah-covenant in the ark in the temple (cf. l Kgs. 6:19; 8:3, 9; 2 Chr. 5:2ff., esp. v. 10). This interrelationship is also attested in the echoes of the concepts and expressions of the Mosaic Covenant (as formulated in its Deuteronomic renewal) which are found, especially, in Solomon's dedication prayer and God's response. Cf. Hurowitz, p. 301.
35. The correlation of temple building and the establishment of dynasty is indicated by the incorporation of the account of the construction of Solomon's palace in the story of the building of the temple (1 Kings 7). Construction of the palace waited on the completion of the temple, which confirmed Solomon's right to the theocratic throne.
36. Cf. Hurowitz, pp. 298, 303, 322.
37. Cf. P. Kalluveettil, Declaration and Covenant (Rome: Biblical Institute Press, 1982), pp. 93ff.
38. Cf. Hurowitz, pp. 304, 306.
39. In the account of Solomon's temple building, God's closing reply to the king is a statement of blessing and curse on the Davidic dynasty and the nation Israel, conditioned on their fidelity or failure in meeting the demands of the Torah-covenant (1 Kgs. 9:4-9), and the wording of the sanctions is taken from the Deuteronomic treaty (cf. Deut. 28:1, 37, 45, 63; 9:23-26).
40 On this structure see Kerux 9:2 (September 1994), p. 8.
41 The mi here might be rendered as the indefinite, "whatever (you are)." So Adam van der Woude, "Zion as Primeval Stone in Zechariah 3 and 4″ in Text and Context: Old Testament and Semitic Studies for F. C. Fenshaam (ea. W. Claassen; JSOT Supp. 48; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1988), p. 240. (Hereafter, Primeval Stone.) Favoring the interrogative meaning is the parallel mi in Zechariah 4:10a.
42 See below the discussion of shibboleth in verse 12.
43 Cf. Jeremiah 51:25. The religious dimension of the political reality in view is suggested by the use of the Akkadian equivalent of "great mountain" as a title for various gods, including Enlil and his temple. See B. Halpern, "The Ritual Background of Zechariah's Temple Song," CBQ 40 (1978), p. 187.
44 See Kerux 7:1 (May 1992), pp. 23-33 for a discussion of this, showing the Babel-Daniel background of the motif of God's judgment on the pseudocosmic mountain.
45 Primeval Stone, p. 241.
46 Cf. Kerux 7:1 (May 1992), p.32
47 The Hebrew has a mappiq in the final He.
48 Hen can mean either grace or beauty (cf. Prov.17:8).
49 Appealing to ancient versions van der Woude translates teshuoth as "splendor" rather than "shoutings" (Primeval Stone, pp. 240, 241).
50 Cf. Kerux 8:2 (September 1993), p.28.
51 Van der Woude (Primeval Stone, p. 243) renders it as the stone "Separation," another name for the stone "Beginning" (v. 7b). Appealing to the use of badal in Genesis 1 for the separation of the waters, he sees in the stone "Separation" a reference to the rising of the cosmic mountain from the primal sea.
52 Cf. Kerux 9:2 (September 1994), pp. 11,12. See also my The Structure of Biblical Authority, p. 86, where Proverbs 8:22ff. is adduced as a portrayal of the creation process as a building of the divine wisdom's house.
53 For further discussion of this, see my Kingdom Prologue, pp. 17-20.
54 Cf. Kerux 9:2 (September 1994), pp. 12, 13.
55 On these literary and cosmological parallels, see further my Kingdom Prologue, pp. 136-139.
56 Cf. Kingdom Prologue, pp. 132,133.
57 Cf. Kerux 5:2 (September 1990), pp. 14-17 and The Structure of Biblical Authority, pp. 79-82.
58 Cf. Kerux 9:2 (September 1994), pp. 13, 14 and Images of the Spirit, pp. 35-42.
59 Cf. Kerux 9:2 (September 1994), pp. 15, 16.
60 On this and the similarities of 2 Samuel 7 to Egyptian hymns of victory see The Structure of Biblical Authority, pp. 82-84. (Re-)creation aspects of the Solomonic temple building are noted in connection with the discussion of the tabernacle in Images of the Spirit, pp. 39-41.
61 The Structure of Biblical Authority, p. 86.
62 This rendering was used provisionally above; cf. Kerux 9:1 (May 1994), p. 3.
63 Cf. GKC, 128, 1.
64 Note that the harvesting is "one by one."
65 Tsantaroth is taken as related to tsinnor, "water channel" (cf. 2 Sam. 5:18; Ps. 42:7 ), on which see T. Kleven, "Up the Waterspout," BAR 20, 4 (1994), pp. 34, 35.
66 Shemen is used here for "oil".
67 On the following see further Images of the Spirit, pp. 86ff.
68 Ibid., p. 87.
69 Cf Kerux 9:1 (May 1994), pp.4f.
70 Accordingly, in Revelation 11:4 the two prophets are also identified with the two lampstands.
71 Cf. Kerux 9:1 (May 1994), pp. 4, 7.
72 lmages of the Spirit, p. 88. In their servant status too as those "standing by the Lord," the prophetic sons of oil typified the Messiah as Servant of the Lord (cf. Zech 3:8). In Revelation 11:4 the two witnesses identified as the two olive trees symbolize the witnessing church of the new covenant not as typological of Christ, like the Old Testament prophets, but as the body of Christ, which represents him, the head of the body, in his world witness and is thus identifiable with him.
73 "The ten commandments," the common designation of the contents of the stone tablets, likewise does not bring out the full nature of these documents as entire treaties.
74 Cf. The Structure of Biblical Authority, pp. 172-203.
75 Cf. my Treaty of the Great King, pp. 13-22 and Kerux 9:2 (September 1994), p. 18.
76 Blind to this simple, fundamental difference, practitioners of consistent theonomist theory would apply the policy expressed in Israel's commission to the present new covenant age, and thus, in effect, they advocate that the church, as soon as it is possible, should obliterate the mission field rather than harvest it.
77 Cf. Kerux 9:2 (September 1994), pp. 9-17.
78 In all these verses the verb katargeo refers to the old covenant. The passage does not, therefore, say anything about the glow on Moses' face as such fading away or becoming somehow inoperative.
Westminster Theological Seminary in California