WHO ARE THE “TWO ANOINTED ONES” IN ZECHARIAH 4:14?
Let us first get a brief picture of the vision of Zechariah 4. The prophet sees “a candlestick” and “seven lamps thereon” and “seven pipes to the seven lamps” (V. 2). Next to the candlestick he sees “two olive trees” (V. 3). Later in the vision the prophet asks the angel “What are these two olive trees” (V. 11), and also he wants to know about the “two olive branches” through which the “two golden pipes empty the golden oil” (V. 12). To all these questions that Zechariah asked the heavenly messenger replied, “These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.” (V. 14).
There are two applications, I believe, to this entire vision of Zechariah 4. Firstly, the two anointed ones are the two leaders of Israel, “Joshua the high priest” (Zechariah 3:1) who was the ecclesiastical leader of God’s people, and “Zerubbabel” the governor (Zechariah 4:6) who was the civil leader of God’s people. God anointed both of them for divine work to finish His work in the temple of God.
In the book of Revelation we have a near similar picture given to John .You have the “two witnesses” (Revelation 11:3). The heavenly messenger tells John, “These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth”. (Revelation 11:4). Just like we have the “two olive trees” in Zechariah we have it here in Revelation as well.
The “oil” we understand represents the Holy Spirit. For example when David was anointed with oil we see the Holy Spirit descending upon him.
“Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.” 1 Samuel 16:13
The divine oil of the Holy Spirit has been poured on prophets who bore witness for God. Peter wrote of the Holy Spirit using the prophets.
“For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 2 Peter 1:21
The prophets of the Bible, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the divine oil, wrote the word of God which still bears witness for Jesus. Regarding the Old Testament scriptures, our Lord said they bear witness of Him.
“Ye search the scriptures, because ye think that in them ye have eternal life; and these are they which bear witness of me” John 5:39 (ASV).
Not only has the Old Testament bears witness for Jesus; we have the 2nd witness, the New Testament, which bears witness to our Lord. So the two witnesses, the two anointed ones, the two candlesticks are the Old and the New Testament which is lit up by the divine oil!