by Sean Mills
This week’s questions:
Read Zechariah 4&5. For background information on Zerubbabel, read Ezra 5:1,2 and Haggai 2:1-9; 20-23.
1. In chapter four discussion is made of Zerubbabel, governor of Judah. We can think of him as the foreman of the Second Temple. In Zechariah’s fifth vision the prophet sees a lampstand and two olive trees. The 7 lamps on the stand represent the eyes of the LORD. In the context of a people making their way back to ‘the promised land’ and rebuilding the temple, what might this scene represent? For a people who have had many enemies throughout their history, what is the relevance of these things happening ‘not by force, nor by strength, but by God’s spirit?’ How can we be encouraged by this?
2. Chapter five contains visions 6 & 7. In Zechariah’s sixth vision (vv. 1-4) he sees a flying scroll. It is said to be a curse to everyone who steals and swears falsely. Remember that the objects of the vision are representative of something or someone. What does the flying scroll represent (hint: see Hb 4:12)? Why is it said to be a curse? Is it still a curse today?
3. In Zechariah’s seventh vision (vv. 5-11) the prophet sees a woman, named Wickedness, sitting in an ephah (a basket). She is being carried away to Babylon. Scholars are unsure if ‘Wickedness’ represents the sinfulness of Judah which gets transferred to Babylon or if she represents a female deity (Asherah) that they were so often guilty of praising. The main point here is whether it is sinfulness or false deities, they are being taken away. Does anyone recall what Babylon came to represent? Why was sinfulness or false gods transferred there? What do you think about God taking away things that hinder a relationship between Him and His people? Discuss.