“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
Through the two golden pipes?’
He said to me.
‘Do you not know
What these are?’
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.
“They also rebuilt the sanctuary and the interior of the temple. They consecrated the courts. They made new holy vessels. They brought the lamp stand, the altar of incense, and the table into the temple. Then they offered incense on the altar. They lit the lamps on the lamp stand so that they gave light in the temple. They placed the bread on the table. They hung up the curtains. Thus they finished all the work they had undertaken.”
Then they rebuilt the sanctuary and the interior of the Temple. They consecrated the courts, and make new vessels. They brought in the lamp stand, the incense table, and the table for the bread. They also hung the curtains. With the lamp stands burning, they had light in the Temple. They finished refurnishing the Temple.
“After subduing Egypt, King Antiochus returned in the one hundred forty-third year. He went up against Israel as he came to Jerusalem with a strong force. He arrogantly entered the sanctuary. Then he took the golden altar, the lamp stand for the light, and all its utensils. He also took the table for the bread of the Presence, the cups for drink offerings, the bowls, the golden censers, the curtain, the crowns, and the gold decoration on the front of the temple. He stripped it all off. He took the silver and the gold, and the costly vessels. He took also the hidden treasures which he found. Taking them all, he departed to his own land. He shed much blood. He spoke with great arrogance.”
King Antiochus IV of Syria actually had to give up Egypt because the Romans threatened him with war. Remember he had been a Roman prisoner, so that he feared the Romans. He decided to pick on Jerusalem in 169 BCE, the 143rd year since the beginning of the Greek empire. There is no mention of a big battle. He seems to have taken all the good stuff from the Jerusalem Temple, especially the gold and silver objects. He obviously was arrogant.
“He also made the lamp stand of pure gold. The base and the shaft of the lamp stand were made of hammered work. Its cups, its calyxes, and its petals were of one piece with it. There were six branches going out of its sides, three branches of the lamp stand out of one side of it and three branches of the lamp stand out of the other side of it. Three cups shaped like almond blossoms, each with calyx and petals, on one branch, and three cups shaped like almond blossoms, each with calyx and petals, on the other branch. So there were the six branches going out of the lamp stand. On the lamp stand itself were four cups shaped like almond blossoms, each with their its calyx and petals. There was a calyx of one piece with it under the first pair of branches, a calyx of one piece with it under the next pair of branches, and a calyx of one piece with it under the last pair of branches. The calyxes and their branches were of one piece with it. The whole of it one hammered piece of pure gold. He made its seven lamps, its snuffers, and its trays of pure gold. He made it and all its utensils of a talent of pure gold.”
He also made a lamp stand of pure gold, as prescribed in chapter 25. This was a seven branched golden candlestick made of one hammered piece with cups, calyxes, and petals, like a flower. A calyx is a green sepal around the outside of a flower that protects the bud. Three of the branches were on each side with the middle stem. The cups looked like a flower with almond blossoms. He also made its seven lamps, snuffers, and trays of pure gold. A talent was an ancient measure of gold.