I find myself constantly fascinated at the way the prophets in the Bible interlace with one another. You wouldn’t know this on a single read. You wouldn’t know it by reading a chapter here a chapter there or by reading somebody’s argument that has proof-texts drawn in from everywhere. You have to read the Bible—all of it—again and again and sooner or later the relationships begin to emerge. If you never read the Bible for yourself all the way through, get a copy of The One Year Bible. It’s easy to read and is laid out to help you complete the whole book in about 15 minutes a day, over one year. Make the Bible a part of your life and you will always be glad you did. All the bad stuff you heard about religion will fade into obscurity when you know what the Bible really says. And you won’t be suckered by some slick-talking preacher either, trust me.
Every time I read back through the prophecy of Zechariah 1 see something there I have not seen before. Zechariah is complicated. For example, his vision beginning in chapter four, verse one:
And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep, and said unto me, What see you? And I said, I have looked, and behold a lampstand all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and its seven lamps on it, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon its top[.]
We are a long way short of
candles at this point in history—this is not a candlestick, it is a lamp-stand. It is fueled by olive oil that runs down through pipes for each of the bowls, which have wicks in them to burn the olive oil. When you go back and look at how they were made, each of the seven lamps is fashioned like an almond blossom (the almond tree was the first tree to bloom in spring). In Hebrew, this lamp-stand is the
menorah; you have probably heard of that. It was the only light in the Holy of Holies. Spring time, of course, is Passover time, and this whole thing is suggestive of Christ, our Passover, who is the light of the world. God only knows what other meaning are hidden within this particular type of lamp-stand that he was looking at. It’s worth your time to grab a concordance and make your way through the Bible looking up all the places where it occurs, because it is both an interesting thing and has become the symbol of Judaism—that seven-branched menorah.