Great rejoicing (Lk 1:14-1:14)

“You will have

Joy

And gladness.

Many people

Will rejoice

At his birth.”

 

καὶ ἔσται χαρά σοι καὶ ἀγαλλίασις, καὶ πολλοὶ ἐπὶ τῇ γενέσει αὐτοῦ χαρήσονται

 

Luke had the angel state the obvious.  Zechariah would have joy and gladness (καὶ ἔσται χαρά σοι καὶ ἀγαλλίασις).  The Greek word χαρά for joy can also mean grace.  Many people would rejoice at this birth of John (καὶ πολλοὶ ἐπὶ τῇ γενέσει αὐτοῦ χαρήσονται).  This would be a happy graced moment for him and many others.  The birth of a child in any family is very happy moment.

Zechariah was terrified (Lk 1:12-1:12)

“When Zechariah

Saw the angel,

He was terrified.

Fear overwhelmed him.”

 

καὶ ἐταράχθη Ζαχαρίας ἰδών, καὶ φόβος ἐπέπεσεν ἐπ’ αὐτόν.

 

Luke noted that when Zechariah saw this angel (Ζαχαρίας ἰδών), he was terrified, troubled, or disturbed (καὶ ἐταράχθη).  Fear or reverential terror (καὶ φόβος) came over him or overwhelmed him (ἐπέπεσεν ἐπ’ αὐτόν).  A supernatural presence or an extra-terrestrial non-human would scare most people.  Luke often emphasized this religious fear or awesomeness for God and his messengers.

The four corners of the earth (Zech 6:4-6:6)

“Then I said to the angel

Who talked with me.

‘What are these?

My lord!’

The angel answered me.

‘These are the four winds

Of heaven going out,

After presenting themselves

Before Yahweh,

The Lord

Of all the earth.

The red horses

Advance to the east country.

The chariot with the black horses

Goes toward the north country.

The white horse chariots

Go toward the west country.

The dappled horse chariots

Go toward the south country.’”

Once again, as usual, Zechariah asked the angel who talked to him what was this vision all about.  This angel answered that these 4 chariots represented the 4 winds of heaven.  Each of these chariots with their colorful horses went in a different direction, after having presented themselves to Yahweh.  The red horses with their chariot went in an eastern direction.  The chariot with the black horses went north.  The while horses with their chariot went to the western area, while the dappled horses with their chariot went south.  Thus, all the different directions were covered.

The wicked basket (Zech 5:8-5:8)

“The angel said.

‘This is Wickedness.’

Thus,

He thrust her back

Into the basket.

He pressed

The leaden weight

Down on its mouth.”

The angel told Zechariah that the basket had a wicked woman in this basket.  When he opened the basket, he immediately closed it.  He made sure that the wicked women did not get out.  He put the lead weight top back on the basket mouth, as he pushed the women back into the basket.

The interpretation of this flying scroll (Zech 5:3-5:4)

“Then the angel said to me.

‘This is the curse

That goes out

Over the face

Of the whole land.

Everyone who steals

Shall be cut off

According to the writing

On one side.

Everyone who swears falsely

Shall be cut off

According to the writing

On the other side.’

Says Yahweh of hosts.

‘I have sent it out.

It shall enter

The house of the thief.

It shall enter

The house of anyone

Who swears falsely

By my name.

It shall abide

In that house.

It shall consume it,

Both timber

With stones.’”

The angel who had been talking to Zechariah interpreted this vision for him.  This flying scroll was a curse that went out over the face of the earth.  On one side of this scroll, it said that everyone who had stolen anything would be cut off, while the other side of the scroll said that anyone who swore falsely in Yahweh’s name would be cut off also.  Thus, this flying scroll would enter the houses of those robbers and perjurers, so that their houses would be destroyed, including all the timber and stones in them.

The interpretation of the two olive trees (Zech 4:11-4:14)

“Then I said to him.

‘What are these two olive trees

On the right,

And on the left,

Of the lampstand?’

A second time

I said to him.

‘What are these two branches

Of the olive trees,

That pour out

The oil

Through the two golden pipes?’

He said to me.

‘Do you not know

What these are?’

I said.

‘No!

My lord.’

Then he said.

‘These are the two anointed ones

Who stand by Yahweh

Of the whole earth.’”

Once again, Zechariah asked the angel for an explanation about the 2 olive trees that were on the left and the right side of the lampstand.  In fact, he asked twice.  The second time he wanted to know why the 2 olive tree branches were pouring out oil through 2 golden pipes.  This time, the angel responded that these were the 2 anointed ones who stood by Yahweh for the whole earth to see.  Perhaps this was an indication about the high priest Joshua and Governor Zerubbabel.

The role of Zerubbabel (Zech 4:6-4:7)

“Then he said to me.

‘This is the word of Yahweh

To Zerubbabel.

Not by might,

Not by power,

But by my Spirit.’

Says Yahweh of hosts.

‘O great mountain!

What are you?

Before Zerubbabel,

You shall become a plain.

He shall bring out

The top stone

Amid shouts of

‘Grace!

Grace to it!’”

The angel who had been talking to Zechariah explained that the word of Yahweh was going to come to Zerubbabel, the man appointed by King Cyrus of Persia.  Zerubbabel was going to be successful, but not by his might and power, but by the Holy Spirit of Yahweh.  The great mountain would become a plain before Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah.  He was going to bring out the top stone of the mountain to cheers of grace to all.