Al Wolters


Zechariah 4describes the fifth of the eight night visions of Zecha- riah. What the prophet sees is a menorah which is flanked on either side by an olive tree. Verse 12of the chapter seems to describe a kind of double-take on the part of the prophet, calling attention— in the form of a question addressed to the angelic commentator of the night visions—to a feature of the fifth vision that had not been part of the preceding description. The question reads as follows in the MT and NRSV:

ַהְּמִריִקים ַהָּזָהב ַצְנְּתרֹות ְׁשֵני ְּבַיד ֲאֶׁשר ַהֵּזיִתים ִׁשֲּבֵליַמה־ְׁשֵּתי ַהָּזָהבֵמֲעֵליֶהם

“What are these two branches of the olive trees, which pour out the oil through the two golden pipes?”

The branches in question are subsequently identified by the angel as “the two anointed ones (literally, “the two sons of oil”) who stand by the Lord of the whole earth” (verse .)14

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