Zechariah 4:6 – Not by might

Additional explanation with reference to the study ‘Spirit, soul and body – and the power of trinity’.

The Israelites had been carried off into exile, to Babylon. 70 years later they received permission from king Darius to return to their land, to rebuild the city of Jerusalem and the temple.
Zerubbabel was one of the overseers of the building works.

The prophet Zechariah received a Word from God for him at that time:

This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.   (Zechariah 4:6)

This is a fine illustration of the working of spirit, soul and body.

  • Might (1) (can also be translated as: power – effectiveness): the image of the soul, the force emanating from someone.
  • Power (2) (can also be translated as: strength – human strength): the image of physical strength.
  • Body and soul (1+2) together: the image of man who is going to build as a duality, in his own strength.

God tells Zerubbabel that working in his own strength is not the way in which he will be able to complete the reconstruction of Jerusalem and of the temple. He points out to him that the reconstruction will only be able to be completed if he sets his soul in his spirit (3) on receiving guidance and wisdom from the Holy Spirit.

Whenever someone:

  • as soul
  • accepts divine guidance in his spirit through the Holy Spirit
  • he will be able, in his body, to complete the task God assigns to him.

This kind of person will be powerful in life and deeds, as a trinity.


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Zechariah 4:6 – Not by might.