Zechariah 4
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Listen to this chapter in Hebrew:

1  The angel who talked with me came back and woke me as a man is wakened from sleep.

א  וַיָּשָׁב הַמַּלְאָךְ הַדֹּבֵר בִּי וַיְעִירֵנִי כְּאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר־יֵעוֹר מִשְּׁנָתוֹ׃

2  He said to me, “What do you see?” And I answered, “I see a menorah all of gold, with a bowl above it. The lamps on it are seven in number, and the lamps above it have seven pipes;

va-YO-mer ay-LAI MAH a-TAH ro-EH va-o-MAR ra-EE-tee v’-hi-NAY m’-no-RAT za-HAV ku-LAH v’-gu-LAH al ro-SHAH v’-shiv-AH nay-ro-TE-ha a-LE-ha shiv-AH v’-shiv-AH mu-tza-KOT la-nay-ROT a-SHER al ro-SHAH

ב  וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלַי מָה אַתָּה רֹאֶה ויאמר [וָאֹמַר] רָאִיתִי וְהִנֵּה מְנוֹרַת זָהָב כֻּלָּהּ וְגֻלָּהּ עַל־רֹאשָׁהּ וְשִׁבְעָה נֵרֹתֶיהָ עָלֶיהָ שִׁבְעָה וְשִׁבְעָה מוּצָקוֹת לַנֵּרוֹת אֲשֶׁר עַל־רֹאשָׁהּ׃

4:2  A menora all of gold

The Sages refer to Yerushalyim as ‘the light of the world,’ ohro shel olam (אורו של עולם). The symbol of this holy spiritual light was the Temple lamp, the menora (מנורה), which emanated light through the unusual windows of the Sanctuary. These windows were made narrower on the inside, bringing less sunlight into the Sanctuary, but maximizing the spiritual light that burst forth to the world. This is symbolic of Israel’s mission to be a “light of nations” (Isaiah 42:6).Comment

3  and by it are two olive trees, one on the right of the bowl and one on its left.”

ג  וּשְׁנַיִם זֵיתִים עָלֶיהָ אֶחָד מִימִין הַגֻּלָּה וְאֶחָד עַל־שְׂמֹאלָהּ׃

4  I, in turn, asked the angel who talked with me, “What do those things mean, my lord?”

ד  וָאַעַן וָאֹמַר אֶל־הַמַּלְאָךְ הַדֹּבֵר בִּי לֵאמֹר מָה־אֵלֶּה אֲדֹנִי׃

5  “Do you not know what those things mean?” asked the angel who talked with me; and I said, “No, my lord.”

ה  וַיַּעַן הַמַּלְאָךְ הַדֹּבֵר בִּי וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלַי הֲלוֹא יָדַעְתָּ מָה־הֵמָּה אֵלֶּה וָאֹמַר לֹא אֲדֹנִי׃

6  Then he explained to me as follows: “This is the word of Hashem to Zerubavel: Not by might, nor by power, but by My spirit—said God of Hosts.

ו  וַיַּעַן וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלַי לֵאמֹר זֶה דְּבַר־יְהוָה אֶל־זְרֻבָּבֶל לֵאמֹר לֹא בְחַיִל וְלֹא בְכֹחַ כִּי אִם־בְּרוּחִי אָמַר יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת׃

7  Whoever you are, O great mountain in the path of Zerubavel, turn into level ground! For he shall produce that excellent stone; it shall be greeted with shouts of ‘Beautiful! Beautiful!’”

ז  מִי־אַתָּה הַר־הַגָּדוֹל לִפְנֵי זְרֻבָּבֶל לְמִישֹׁר וְהוֹצִיא אֶת־הָאֶבֶן הָרֹאשָׁה תְּשֻׁאוֹת חֵן חֵן לָהּ׃

8  And the word of Hashem came to me:

ח  וַיְהִי דְבַר־יְהוָה אֵלַי לֵאמֹר׃

9  “Zerubavel’s hands have founded this House and Zerubavel’s hands shall complete it. Then you shall know that it was God of Hosts who sent me to you.

ט  יְדֵי זְרֻבָּבֶל יִסְּדוּ הַבַּיִת הַזֶּה וְיָדָיו תְּבַצַּעְנָה וְיָדַעְתָּ כִּי־יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת שְׁלָחַנִי אֲלֵיכֶם׃

10  Does anyone scorn a day of small beginnings? When they see the stone of distinction in the hand of Zerubavel, they shall rejoice. “Those seven are the eyes of Hashem, ranging over the whole earth.”

י  כִּי מִי בַז לְיוֹם קְטַנּוֹת וְשָׂמְחוּ וְרָאוּ אֶת־הָאֶבֶן הַבְּדִיל בְּיַד זְרֻבָּבֶל שִׁבְעָה־אֵלֶּה עֵינֵי יְהוָה הֵמָּה מְשׁוֹטְטִים בְּכָל־הָאָרֶץ׃

11  “And what,” I asked him, “are those two olive trees, one on the right and one on the left of the menorah?”

יא  וָאַעַן וָאֹמַר אֵלָיו מַה־שְּׁנֵי הַזֵּיתִים הָאֵלֶה עַל־יְמִין הַמְּנוֹרָה וְעַל־שְׂמֹאולָהּ׃

Zechariah 4:11  Those two olive trees

The menora and olive branches depicted in Zecharya’s vision were chosen as the centerpieces of the State of Israel’s emblem.  According to its designers, the olive branches symbolize the state’s peaceful intentions.  The image of the menora, copied from the Arch of Titus, attests to the link of the Jewish people with their glorious past in their homeland, and Israel’s return to its former luster.  There are perhaps no two better symbols to represent the Jewish people.  Oil, the most valuable commodity obtained from the olive, is extracted when pressure is applied.  In a similar fashion, the Jewish people are refined when faced with difficulty, whether through  persecution or the difficulties of day-to-day life. Though challenging, these hardships allow each individual to focus on what is truly important, become more sensitive to others and form a closer connection with Hashem.  It then follows that olive oil is used to light the menora, representing clarity and wisdom for the entire world.Comment

12  And I further asked him, “What are the two tops of the olive trees that feed their gold through those two golden tubes?”

יב  וָאַעַן שֵׁנִית וָאֹמַר אֵלָיו מַה־שְׁתֵּי שִׁבֲּלֵי הַזֵּיתִים אֲשֶׁר בְּיַד שְׁנֵי צַנְתְּרוֹת הַזָּהָב הַמְרִיקִים מֵעֲלֵיהֶם הַזָּהָב׃

13  He asked me, “Don’t you know what they are?” And I replied, “No, my lord.”

יג  וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלַי לֵאמֹר הֲלוֹא יָדַעְתָּ מָה־אֵלֶּה וָאֹמַר לֹא אֲדֹנִי׃

14  Then he explained, “They are the two anointed dignitaries who attend the Lord of all the earth.”

 

יד  וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלֶּה שְׁנֵי בְנֵי־הַיִּצְהָר הָעֹמְדִים עַל־אֲדוֹן כָּל־הָאָרֶץ׃

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Zechariah 4

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