Come to Understanding

They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding,

and they that murmured shall learn doctrine. Isaiah 29:24

So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense,

and caused them to understand the reading. Nehemiah 8:8

April 1, 2013

Volume 12 Number 7 

Two Olive Trees

The prophecies of Zechariah, which were given after the captivity of Judah in Babylon, are filled with graphic visions foretelling the coming Messiah and end-time events. One such vision was that of "two olive trees:"

3 And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof. -Zechariah 4

Like many of us, Zechariah could not understand the meaning of the vision he was seeing, even though an angel of Yahweh was showing it to him:

4 So I answered and spoke to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my lord?

5 Then the angel that talked with me answered and said to me, Know you not what these are? And I said, No, my lord. -Zechariah 4

This vision, the angel told him, was showing that Yahweh would accomplish His purpose, not by the power and might of a man, but by the work of His Spirit:

6 Then he answered and spoke to me, saying, This is the word of Yahweh to Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, says Yahweh of hosts. -Zechariah 4

Zechariah then asked the angel to explain the meaning of the two olive trees that were emptying golden oil out of themselves:

11 Then answered I, and said to him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof?

12 And I answered again, and said to him, What are these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves? -Zechariah 4

The angel asked him, "Know you not what these are?" Zechariah said that he did not know:

13 And he answered me and said, Know you not what these are? And I said, No, my lord. -Zechariah 4

These two olive trees from which the golden oil flows are "the two anointed ones." They are the ones that stand by the "Lord of the whole earth:"

14 Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth. -Zechariah 4

The words, "anointed ones," are translated from two Hebrew words that literally mean oil (rhuy yitshar) and sons, or children, (Nb ben). Therefore, "the two anointed ones" are literally the sons, or children, of the oil.

The angel had just told Zechariah that his vision was about the work of the Spirit of Yahweh. Therefore, it seems clear that the oil which flows from the two olive trees, the anointed ones, represents the Spirit of Yahweh. This is the Spirit of God, which is the Holy Spirit that is also called the Holy Ghost! Therefore, these two "anointed ones" are the two sons, or children, of the Spirit of Yahweh.

As sons (children) of the Spirit of God, they have been born of His Spirit. Consequently, as Yahshua (Jesus) says, they are among those that can enter into the Kingdom of God:

5 Yahshua answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless a man is born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. -John 3

Yahweh had foretold that He would pour out His Spirit unto those that repent (turn) at His reproof (correction or chastisement). They are the ones to whom He will make known His words:

23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. -Proverbs 1

Yahweh revealed His word, as He had promised, to both the prophets and the apostles. He also empowered them, even in the face of martyrdom and persecution, to both write and speak those words to the people:

49 Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute: -Luke 11

Yahweh promised that He would pour out His Spirit, not just to a select group of prophets and apostles, but upon "all flesh." This would include Jews as well as Gentiles, men as well as women, and even servants. He said that He would reveal His word to them and enable them to prophesy:

28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:

29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. -Joel 2

Yahshua said that He would send the Spirit of truth, the Comforter, who would bear witness (testify) of Him:

26 But when the Comforter has come, whom I will send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceeds from the Father, he shall testify of me: -John 15

This, He said, is the "promise of my Father." Those that receive it shall be "endued with power from on high:"

49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry you in the city of Jerusalem, until you are endued with power from on high. -Luke 24

He said that those that are anointed with the Holy Ghost (the Spirit of God) would be given the power to be witnesses of Him, not only among the Jews (in Jerusalem and all Judaea), but also among the Gentiles (to the utmost part of the earth):

8 But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost has come upon you: and you shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and to the utmost part of the earth. -Acts 1

The title given to Yahshua, as interpreted from the Hebrew language, is "the Messiah" and from the Greek language is "the Christ." Both mean "the Anointed." Just before He ascended from this earth He enabled His disciples to understand the Scriptures revealing that after He would die and be raised again. Then, He said, the gospel of repentance and the remission of sins would be preached to the Jews (beginning at Jerusalem) and also to the Gentiles (all nations):

45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,

46 And said to them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved the Messiah to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:

47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

48 And you are witnesses of these things. -Luke 24

This is exactly what happened during the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) shortly after Yahshua had ascended. Peter said that the prophecy of Joel had been fulfilled:

17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God Yahweh, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: -Acts 2

When the Spirit of truth, the Spirit of God, is poured out, the people that receive it are His anointed ones. As such, they are empowered to be witnesses of Yahshua the Messiah. They will proclaim, as Peter did, that the way to receive the promise of the Father, the anointing of His Spirit, is to repent and, through baptism, openly confirm their faith in the name of Yahshua the Messiah, believing that He died for the forgiveness (remission) of their sins and rose again:

38 Then Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Yahshua the Messiah for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

39 For the promise is to you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. -Acts 2

Through the work of His Spirit, Yahweh said that He would show signs and wonders, much as He did with Moses and Elijah, to confirm His word that those that call upon His name shall be saved:

19 And I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke:

20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord Yahweh comes:

21 And it shall come to pass, that whoever shall call on the name of the Lord Yahweh shall be saved. -Acts 2

He will give His repentant witnesses (clothed in sackcloth) the power to prophesy:

3 And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. -Revelation 11

These are the "two olive trees," the "two anointed" ones:

4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. -Revelation 11

Whether they are individuals like Moses and Elijah, the prophets and apostles, or the Jews and the Gentiles, they are the martyred (see Revelation 11:7) final end-time witnesses anointed by the Spirit of God and endued with His power to proclaim His word to a deceived unbelieving world:

5 And if any man will hurt them, fire proceeds out of their mouth, and devours their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.

6 These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. -Revelation 11

Being led by His Spirit, they are the "sons of God:"

14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. -Romans 8



Come to Understanding is sent out twice per month free of charge. To add someone to our list of readers, please contact us at:

Institute for Biblical and Historical Studies

You may view this and past editions online at:

Scriptures are taken from the Proper Name Version of the King James Bible.


2013 Institute for Biblical and Historical Studies. All rights reserved. You may freely copy this publication, provided you acknowledge its source and inform us of your use.