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Verses 4-5

Zechariah 4:4-5. So I answered, &c. Namely, after I had seen and discerned; What are these, my lord Observe how respectfully he speaks to the angel, calling him his lord; those that would be taught, must give honour to their teachers. He saw what these things were, but inquired what they signified. It is very desirable to know the meaning of God’s manifestations of himself, and of his mind, both in his word and by his ordinances and providences. The angel answered, &c., Knowest thou not what these be? This might be said, not with a view of reflecting on the prophet’s want of discernment, but merely to excite his attention: so Capellus observes. Blayney, however, thinks that, by this question, the angel meant to censure the prophet’s dulness in not perceiving “what a reasoning and reflecting mind, versed in the allegories of prophecy, might in some measure at least have discovered.” Thus also Henry: “If he had considered and compared spiritual things with spiritual, he might have guessed at the meaning of these things: for he knew that there was a golden candlestick in the tabernacle, which it was the priest’s constant business to supply with oil, and to keep it burning; when, therefore, he saw in vision such a candlestick, with lamps always burning, and yet no priests to attend it, nor any occasion for them, he might discern the meaning of this to be, that though God had set up the priesthood again, yet he could carry on his own work for and in his people without them.” And I said, No, my lord He makes an ingenuous confession of his ignorance.

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