(e.g. john 8 32)

Zechariah 4:10  (King James Version)

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Zechariah 4:10

The seven eyes—we will assume they represent the messengers of the seven churches—are glad when they see the measuring of the church commencing. They see something happening within the church that will bring them back to a standard. The "plumb line" in Zechariah 4:10 corresponds to the "reed like a rod" in Revelation 11:1. This provides an idea of its timing. Revelation 10 and 11 seem to proceed in a straight-line chronology. It starts with the thunders pealing—one at a time, seven successive claps of thunder. When the seven thunders are about to cease, John (in the antitype) is given a reed like a rod, and he is told to measure the temple, the altar, and the worshippers.

The time that the plumb line or measuring rod is placed in the hand of this servant of God is the same time that "these seven [eyes] rejoice." The seven eyes—the seven messengers—are glad to see that God is moving His purpose forward by placing this implement of measurement in the hand of His servant to measure the church. Perhaps we would be more correct to say that God has put in Christ's hand the authority—or the permission—to assess the church because now is the time when things are starting to move forward. Then, right after this, the Great Tribulation begins—after the measuring is done.

This seems to be the timing of this particular verse. When the plumb line is put into Zerubbabel's hand, it is equivalent to when the measuring rod is given to John in the antitype. Has that time already begun? We can hope that it has. This verse implies that all God's servants should be happy, glad, to see that is beginning to happen—not only because the end is near, but also because it is something the church needs to finish the temple (the church). The Bride of Christ can be made ready.

So, with the rejoicing, gladness, and hope, there is also motivation to participate in this work of measuring the temple. If these seven eyes are the seven messengers to the seven churches extant in the end time, they will all pitch in to prepare their flocks for Christ's return and the Kingdom of God.

The seven eyes rejoice when they witness the measuring, a joy obviously tempered by their sorrow at the destruction it causes. When a measuring line (a plummet or measuring rod) is set up to measure, it will find instances of materials and construction that meet the standard, but it will also find others that do not. It seems as if, in this case, because the standard is so high, many more will fail than pass. We can imagine a great deal of sadness behind the joy of seeing God's plan moving forward.

The immediate context, though, is very positive. The joy at the completion of the temple comes to the fore, which tempers the sorrow in the background. The main point is that the return of Christ is near, and God's people can express a great deal of joy about that.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
The Two Witnesses (Part Five)

Zechariah 4:8-10

This is a second interpretation of the first five verses, but not a different one. We have a preliminary interpretation in verses 6-7, and in verses 8-10 we are presented additional information and interpretation of the seven lamps.

The interpretation in verses 6-7 concentrated on "by My Spirit," making sure we get first things first. God, by His Spirit, will be behind all of this; it will be done by grace. We must understand this as priority one when we consider the work of the Two Witnesses. They are servants, and they follow the lead of God's Spirit. That is how their work will be done. That is their mind as well; they will not take credit for what they accomplish. They will know that it is done by God's Spirit.

Verses 8-10 shows that God really has Christ in mind (more than Zerubbabel, who was just a type). We always have to look at things like this and realize that there are types of Christ in them. Zerubbabel—though he is a type of one of the Two Witnesses—is really a type of the true Savior, Jesus Christ. Christ is the true King, and we can never keep Him out of these things.

Christ is building a spiritual temple, and He finishes what He starts. We can paraphrase verse 9 as, "The hands of Jesus Christ have laid the foundation of this temple; His hands shall also finish it." We could go back even as far as Creation and recognize that He was the One who created everything. He started the process that will end in salvation. He will complete the job and bring God's purpose to pass. As far as laying the foundation goes, He did that in Old Testament times, or we could bring it forward as when He gave Himself as a sacrifice for our sins to establish our relationship with God the Father. No matter where we see the starting point of the spiritual Temple in history, He will complete it.

Philippians 1:6 says He who has started a good work in you will finish it. He will complete it. Zerubbabel's completion of the physical Temple in 515 BC is just a sign, if you will, that Christ will finish the spiritual one.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
The Two Witnesses (Part Four)

Zechariah 4:10

The word "scan" tends to track with the English-language idea of the eyes being receptors. These eyes are looking throughout all the earth, gathering information. The Hebrew word shuwt means literally "to push forth," which simply implies "to go" or "to run." Thus, the King James version reads that the eyes "run" throughout the whole earth, which is a literal rendering. The New American Standard, the Revised Standard Version, and the New International Version use the word "range," while The New Living Translation reads "search."

The translation in the Keil & Delitzsch commentary uses the word "sweep," which seems to be a close synonym for "scan." However, when they explained it, they said that this word has the implication of influence—that their influence sweeps throughout the whole earth. If that is the case, if the messengers of the seven churches are the seven eyes, then these seven messengers have influence that runs over the whole planet.

Their influences is not localized, say, to Judea where the original prophecy was uttered and to which it was given. At the time of Zerubbabel, only a few thousand Jews and Levites were interested in this prophecy. Yet, he is saying that, in its fulfillment, the prophecy applies worldwide. It is not centered just on Jerusalem or just on a small area of Judea, but the influence of these seven eyes "pushes forth" throughout the whole earth.

This seems to fit what is happening today in God's church. Zechariah's prophecy does not say that their influence is necessarily strong throughout the whole earth, but it exists globally. This adds to the several things in this chapter that promote the idea that a worldwide work is being done. Even the last three words in this chapter speak of "the LORD of the whole earth." Zechariah 4 suggests quite strongly that this is a worldwide phenomenon.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
The Two Witnesses (Part Five)

Zechariah 4:10

"For who has despised the day of small things?" No one who understands God and what He is working out looks down on the times when only insignificant things seem to be accomplished. Those who understand what God is doing know that the day of small things must take place before the big things can happen.

This is primarily an encouragement to the Two Witnesses. Their work will appear as nothing to begin with. Nevertheless, they will not despise it because they know that small things must happen before bigger things can take place, the things that will really put them on the map during the final 3½ years. But the small things that happen before that time—in measuring the altar, the Temple, and the worshippers (Revelation 11:1)—will set the stage for their major work.

It is important to realize—from the historical point of view—that even when this Temple was finished, the people moaned about it: "This is nothing like Solomon's Temple!" It seemed a small thing in itself, and it was. It was just a bare representation of the original Temple that David built through Solomon. Nevertheless, it was necessary. The small things that happened back then—the Jews returning from exile with a great many of the Levites and the priests, building the Temple, putting a wall around the city, and eventually colonizing most of the old land of Israel (particularly around the Sea of Galilee)—made the birth and ministry of Jesus Christ possible. He had to have a Temple to come to.

So, all these small things that happened with this tiny number of people who came back from Babylon, and all the work that they did over a hundred years or so, prepared the way for the very "big thing" of the first advent of Jesus Christ (meaning His entire life, His ministry, His death, and His resurrection). Without the small things, that big thing would never have happened.

God was preparing for the big thing through the small things, and He does that all the time. Thus, any faithful person will not despise the times when only small things are happening, because they mean that big things are coming and that they should prepare themselves for them.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
The Two Witnesses (Part Four)

Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing Zechariah 4:10:

Zechariah 4:10


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