by Clarence E. Macartney

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The Parable of the Golden Candlestick (10 of 15)
Series: The Parables of the Old Testament
Clarence Macartney
Zechariah 4

The golden candlestick with its seven lamps was a part of the furniture of the tabernacle and the temple of Solomon. It appears here in this vision of the prophet Zechariah, and again in the vision of St. John in the isle ''which is called Patmos,'' where the seven golden candlesticks are the seven churches. It must have been regarded with peculiar reverence by the Jews as one of the sacred glories of the temple, for to this day, on the arch of Titus at Rome, where are depicted incidents in the siege of Jerusalem, one can see the great candlestick born aloft in triumphal procession by the victorious soldiers of Titus. From what the angel said to Zechariah in the vision, it is clear that the candlestick with its seven lamps fed by the oil from the olive trees is a symbol of the church illuminated by divine grace.

This parable vision was granted to Zechariah for the purpose of encouraging him and his associates in rebuilding the temple after the return of the Jews from the Babylonian captivity. In the book of Ezra and Nehemiah we have a graphic account of how the people carried out the two great projects, the rebuilding of the wall of the city and the temple of Jehovah. The foundation of the temple had been laid by the governor, Zerubbabel, and the high priest, Joshua, amid great rejoicings on the part of the people, although a few of the more aged inhabitants, who had seen the temple of Solomon, wept when they thought thereon and recalled all that they suffered since they had last looked upon the house of the Lord. Rejoicing and sorrow, laughter and tears, how close together they come in the life of the little child, the life of man, in the experience of this world!

The people had made a good beginning; but soon adversaries arose to stay their hand. These adversaries were the Samaritans, a mixed race, descendants of the Jews who ha ...

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