HIS SERVANTS' MINISTRY
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The Book of Zechariah
Vision of Joshua and Satan; vision of the Branch
As we continue in the ten visions that God gave to Zechariah, keep in mind this is a highly symbolic section of the Word of God. These ten visions should be considered together as focusing on ONE particular message. An overall viewpoint will give us an idea of what each vision is trying to tell us. And, we also should compare them with other prophetic Scripture Passages. As the apostle Peter said, ". . . no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation" (2 Pet.1:20), in other words, do not try to interpret it by itself, but compare it with the whole program of God's prophecy to get the overall viewpoint, that reaches from eternity past to eternity future.
Vision Of Joshua And Satan Zec.3:1-7
Zechariah 3:1 And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. (KJV)
And he showed me Joshua the high priest . . . this is NOT the Joshua who led the children of Israel into the Promised Land. This is the Joshua who served as high priest among the remnant of Israel who returned to Jerusalem after the Babylonian captivity. The name Joshua means "Jehovah saves." This Joshua was the one that came up out of the captivity, and he was mainly concerned with the building of the Temple. He had many enemies obstructing him in this project, including "the sons of the priests there were found that had taken strange wives" (Ezra 10:18). Satan was ready to accuse him before God. Joshua is NOT to be considered personally, but typically, representing the state and condition of the priesthood.
Standing before the Angel of the Lord . . . NOT any created angel, but Christ the Angel of God's Presence, who is called "the LORD." He is the rebuker of Satan, and He is the Advocate of His people (1 Jn.2:1). He is the One Who takes away their sins, and clothes them with His righteousness (1 Cor.1:30). Joshua's "standing before" Him does not mean simply being in His sight and Presence, but as ministering to Him. This should be the posture both of angels and men, the servants of the Lord (Dan.7:10). Joshua either was offering sacrifice for the people, or asking counsel of God for them; and giving thanks for his and their deliverance from captivity, being as brands taken out of the fire (Amos 4:11; 1 Cor.3:15; Jude 1:23); and praying to be stripped of his filthy garments, and to be clothed with others more decent, and suitable to his office.
Satan standing at his right hand to resist him . . . either to hinder him in his work of building the temple, by stirring up Sanballat (Neh.2:10,19; 4:1; 6:2; 13:28), and other enemies; and/or to accuse Joshua of sin, and bring a charge against him, and get sentence passed upon him. Satan, "the accuser" (Rev.12:10), stood at the right hand of the accused.
Today, we see a great revival in interest in Satan. Most people have forgotten about him; or maybe they thought that if they did not mention him, he would go away. But he has NOT gone away. He is very REAL and he is very active! Today's interest is in the supernatural, and has turned unfortunately, to Satan and to demonic angels rather than to God and the Lord Jesus Christ. SO many people, especially the rich and famous, have gone off into demonology. BEWARE!!!
Satan was/is also the accuser of the nation Israel. He is really an anti-Semite. If you want to know who the leader of anti-Semitism is, it is the SATAN himself! Satan is called the "prince of this world" (Jn.12:31 14:30; 16:11). Satan is called "the prince of devils" (Mat.12:24); "the prince of the power of the air" (Eph.2:2); "the ruler of the darkness of this world" (Eph.6:12); "the serpent" (Gen.3:4,14; 2 Cor.11:3); "the tempter" (Mat.4:3; 1 Thes.3:5); "the god of this world" (2 Cor.4:4); "the unclean spirit" (Mat.12:43); "the wicked one" (Mat.13:19,38). Satan is the spirit that works in ALL disobedient people (Eph.2:2; 1 Jn.4:1-3).
Zechariah 3:2 And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? (KJV)
And the Lord said unto Satan . . . meaning the Angel of the Lord, having heard the charge brought by him against Joshua, here called "LORD," Who IS the Son of God!
The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee, O Satan . . . this reveals that the rebuke comes not because of Joshua the person, but because of Jerusalem, the capital of the nation, which act is eternal; springing from the love and grace of God towards them; preceding all works, good or bad, done by them; stands firm, sure and unchangeable. All the "justified" shall be glorified! Satan has NOTHING to do with them; nor will he be able to bring ANY charge of his against them (Rom.8:33).
The Lord rebuke: (Dan.12:1-2; Mic.4:3; Mal.3:11; Mk.1:25; Lk.9:42; Jude 1:9; Rev.3:19; 12:9-10). The chosen: (Ps.33:12; 132:13; 135:4; Isa.41:8-9; 44:1-2; Zec.1:17; 2:12; 2 Chron.6:6; Jn.13:18; Ro.8:33; 1 Cor.1:27-28; Jam.2:5; 1 Pet.2:7; Rev.17:14).
Justification: (Gen.15:6; Ps.32:2; 71:16; 89:16; Isa.42:21; 45:24-25; 46:12-13; 50:8; 51:5-6; 53:11; 54:17; 56:1; 61:10; Jer.23:6; Hab.2:4; Zec.3:4; Jn.5:24; Acts 13:39; Rom.1:16-17; 2:13; 3:21-22,24-26,28,30; 4:3-25; 5:1,9,11-21; 6:22; 7:1-25; 8:1,30-31,33-34; 9:30-32; 10:1-21; 1 Cor.1:30; 6:11; 2 Cor.5:19,21; Gal.2:14-21; 3:6,8-9,11,21-22,24; 4:21-31; 5:4-6; Eph.6:14; Phil.3:8-9; Col.2:13-14; Tit.3:7; Heb.11:4,7; Jam.2:20-23,2:26).
Is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? . . . this is to be understood of Joshua; not of his being delivered out of that fire, into which the Jews say that he was cast, along with Ahab and Zedekiah, whom the king of Babylon roasted in it (Jer.29:22), when he marvellously escaped. Others say 8000 young priests fled to the temple, and were burnt in it, and only Joshua was preserved; yet others say it was his deliverance out of the Babylon captivity, and also of the priesthood, which during the captivity, when the temple was destroyed, and temple service ceased, was like a brand in the fire. Although Joshua the high priest was returned, and the priesthood in some measure restored, yet it was not to its former glory, for the temple was not yet built; and therefore was but like a smoking firebrand; also the people of God may be meant (Amos 4:11). . . . Question 9. Next, Zech. 4:2.
John Wesley called himself a brand plucked out of the burning. I too, think of myself as such! When I look back on my rejection of Christ, my disobedience to God in doing so, and all the evil things that I thought, said and did, it just did not seem possible that He would save me! BUT, He did! I was just like "a brand plucked out of the fire." This can be said of any sinner who comes to Christ . . . that he is a brand plucked out of the fire. Thank You Jesus!
Zechariah 3:3 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. (KJV)
Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments . . . "filthy garments" is symbolic of having fallen into sin . . . ALL of us! The Jews say this was the sin of his children marrying strange wives (Ezra 10:18), or he had married one himself. Others say that Joshua had been slothful and sluggish in rebuilding the temple. Whatever it was, Satan had aggravated it, as he does with us, and represented him as a filthy creature, covered with sin, clothed with it. Sins may well be called "filthy garments," since our "righteousnesses are as filthy rags" (Isa.64:6-7). "Filthy garments" may also mean the imperfection of the Levitical priesthood, and the pollutions in it, or at least in those who officiated therein. Both Aaron and Eli had evil sons: (Lev.10:1-3; Num.3:4; 1 Sam.2:12,22-24,34; 4:17). Samuel (judge) also had evil sons (1 Sam.8:1-3), which led Israel astray.
And stood before the angel . . . in Zechariah's vision, he saw an accused person, charged with sin, and waiting for the process against him. This vision of Joshua the high priest actually goes far beyond the man himself. We will see that this vision will answer a very difficult question.
So far, we have learned that God shall return the nation Israel to her land, and that He shall dwell in the midst of them. They shall be totally restored as His people. That has NOT happened yet, but the Lord says that it shall happen! He will bless them in that land. But, you ask: "How can God do that when the people are far from Him?" In the day of Zechariah, they were FAR from God and living in sin. It is the SAME today! SO . . . HOW can it ever be a "holy land" when sinners are living in it? (Rom.3:10,23; Rev.21:8,27; 22:14-15)
I think the answer to this problem will become clear as we study the vision. Joshua was representing the nation Israel, and we see him wearing a "filthy garment." The high priest was to be dressed spotlessly or else he was NOT permitted to serve God. Joshua was the high priest at this time, but here in this vision, he also represents the entire nation.
Joshua as a person, was not perfect, NO one is! Even though he was God's high priest, he was described here as being "filthy." That might or might not, have been true of him personally, we do not know . . . but the high priest has always represented the nation Israel. On the great Day of Atonement, the high priest went into the Holy of Holies for the entire nation (Ex.30:10; Lev.16:30; 23:27; Num.29:7; Heb.9:7).
In just the same way, Christ Jesus is OUR high priest. He is the Representative for the entire body of believers, the church. He appears before God for us today. He is our "Advocate" (1 Jn.2:1-2). If we see Joshua in the context of all the ten visions of Zechariah and as a prophetic picture of the nation Israel, it will deliver us from a very limited and wrong interpretation.
The high priest represents Israel in his holy office. For the nation, Israel he prays; for the nation, Israel he enters the Holy Place, bearing the nation's guilt. What I am trying to say is this, we must not refer the implications of this chapter to Joshua as an individual, nor just to Joshua, the high priest. We must know that his condition is Israel's condition, and the words of comfort and assurance given him apply equally to them. Joshua was a symbol, a type, a representative. God had chosen him, and God had also chosen the nation Israel. Joshua was a "type" of Christ.
The high priest's clothing: (Ex.28:1-43; 39:1-29; Lev.6:10-11; 8:13)
Changed garments in temple. (Eze.42:14; 44:19)
Zechariah 3:4 And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. (KJV)
And he answered, and spake . . . meaning the Angel of the Lord, before Whom Joshua stood, answered to the accusations of Satan, and the pleas of Joshua.
Unto those that stood before him . . . not the fellows that sat before Joshua (Zec.3:8), for the priests, who were Joshua's fellows, could NOT take away sin! NO man can take away sin! NO priest, NO pastor can take away anyone's sin! But, although they cannot forgive sin, or make atonement for it, they CAN bring good news of pardon to a fallen believer. Only God can forgive sin!
Saying, Take away the filthy garments from him . . . although the garments of the priests were spotless and clean, according to the Jewish laws, if they became dirty, they did not whiten them, or wash them, but used them for wicks of candles, and put on new ones. Because of this, orders are NOT given to wash the filthy garments of Joshua, but to take them away.
And unto him he said . . . the Angel of the Lord said to Joshua.
Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee . . . this shows that Joshua had sinned, and interprets the filthy garments he was clothed with as sin. We all sin! (1 Ki.8:46; Ps.14:1-3; Rom.3:10-11,23; Gal.3:22).
Because Christ took Joshua's iniquity upon Himself, bore it and made satisfaction for it, removing it as far from him "as the east from the west" (Ps.103:12); causing the guilt of it to pass from his conscience, and giving him a free and full pardon of it. The word "behold" is added to this statement of pardon, to establish its truth and raise Joshua's gratitude for it.
And I will clothe thee with change of raiment . . . garments were put on and off in those hot countries; they changed their garments often. But this does not mean the priestly garments, such as the high priest put on, on the day of atonement, when he put off his common garments, and, having done his work, changed again (Lev.16:23-24; Eze.42:14; 44:19).
As Job put on righteousness and judgment as a robe and diadem (Job 29:14), there is the garment of internal holiness, a new heart in the new man (Deut.5:29; 30:6; 1 Sam.10:9; 2 Chron.11:16; 29:10; Ps.57:7; 84:5; 101:2; 119:80; Pro.14:30; 15:28; 16:23; Jer.24:7; 32:39; Eze.11:19; 36:26; Mat.12:35; Lk.8:15; Rom.2:29; 6:17; Heb.10:16; 1 Pet.3:4).
Our righteousness comes only through Christ: ( Rom.3:22-31; 4:5-6,9,20-24; 5:21; 8:10-11; 10:4,10; 1 Cor.1:30; 2 Cor.5:21; Gal.3:6; Phil.1:11; 3:9; Tit.3:5; Isa.53:4-5; 1 Pet.2:21-25).
The principal garment of believers, called the "robe of righteousness" (Isa.61:10), and "garments of salvation" (Isa.61:10); the "best robe" (Lk.15:22), and "wedding garment" (Mat.22:11-12), "fine linen, clean and white, which is the righteousness of saints" (Rev.19:8).
This is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful pictures we have in the Old Testament. Joshua could NOT stand before a righteous, holy God with filthy garments on. And too, his weakness is clearly shown. Being dirty and filthy always gives Satan an advantage . . . over Joshua, and us! Our "adversary" (1 Pet.5:8) could rightfully point his finger at him.
Joshua represented not only the nation of Israel, he represents us today. In him we see the sin of the believer. NO believer is without sin, no matter how "good" he seems to be, OR thinks he is! Joshua was a priest before God. God appointed the Levite priests in the Old Testament, BUT, in our day EVERY believer is a priest before God (1 Pet.2:5,9), but some of us are standing in "filthy garments."
"Yes," you say, "but I have been clothed in the righteousness of Christ." IF you have been saved, that is true. And that is exactly what is pictured here. "Filthy garments" symbolize sin! We CANNOT stand before Almighty God with sin in our lives! We must be clothed with clean garments, symbolic of the righteousness of Christ. IF there is unconfessed sin, we must get rid of it! (1 Jn.1:9).
This prophecy of Zechariah pictures your salvation and mine! Because of the utmost purity of our God, ALL of us stand dirty before Him. And my friend, "all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags" in God's sight (Isa.64:6). We stand just as Joshua did! SO . . . WHAT do we do about it?
What does God say? IF Joshua is to stand before God as His high priest, he must wear clean garments. And God provides clean garments. How? By mercy. There was a mercy seat in the temple. And today, we too have a mercy seat . . . He, Christ Jesus, is the propitiation (the mercy seat) for our sins. 1 John 2:1-2 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (KJV) . . . What a great and good God we have!
Do you have an objection to God's choosing the nation Israel? Did God choose them because they were special in some way? NO! And He did NOT choose me for that reason either. None of us know WHY we have found grace in God's eyes. We just humbly accept this awesome blessing, as did Ruth (Ruth 2:10). What is the answer? We ALL are sinners, BUT, when we accept Christ, we are clothed with the righteousness of Christ. Thank You Jesus!
Zechariah 3:5 And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the LORD stood by. (KJV)
And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head . . . meaning that he had renewed to him the office of the high priesthood, which had been defiled and profaned before. The mitre was the bonnet (turban) which the high priest put on his head when he entered into the sanctuary. The glory and complement of the high priest's sacrificial attire was the mitre with the "holy crown upon it and the plate of prate gold, on which was graven, Holiness to the Lord" (Ex.28:4,36-38; 29:6); which was to "be upon" the high priest's "forehead, that he may bear the iniquity of the holy things which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts; which was always to be upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before the Lord." Fair mitre: (Zec.6:11; Ex.28:2-4; 29:6; Lev.8:6-9; Rev.4:4,10; 5:8-14).
Clothed him with garments . . . meaning the vestments of the high priest. The TRUE high priest, who is over the house of God, will establish His office among them, when they shall acknowledge Him as their Messiah, and seek redemption in the Blood of the Sacrifice which He has offered for their sins; and not for theirs only, but for the sins of the whole world. True High Priest: (Heb.2:17; 3:1; 4:14; 5:4-6; 7:19-28; 8:1-6; 9:12-15,19-28; 10:10-14; Rom.8:34; 1 Jn.2:1).
And the Angel of the Lord stood by . . . to see that all was done according to His command, not just as a mere spectator, because He was concerned in clothing Joshua Himself. His standing by, means His constant care of Joshua, and His consideration of him, and too, as having something more to say to him, as will follow.
The adding of this mitre is beautiful in its symbolism. The garments of the high priest included a turban, and on that turban were the words: "HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD," as in Zec.14:20. Joshua did not have a turban because in those filthy garments he certainly was NOT holy to the Lord (Ps.29:2; Jer.2:3). But here, a turban is given to him, upon which is inscribed "Holiness unto the Lord." He will now be used of God just as Israel will be used of the Lord in the future. After the church has been removed in the Rapture, Israel will be the witness for God during the Tribulation (Rev.ch.7), and then during the Millennium, Israel will be a priesthood here upon this Earth, as she should have been all along.
Zechariah 3:6 And the angel of the LORD protested unto Joshua, saying, (KJV)
And the Angel of the Lord protested unto Joshua, saying . . . "protested" means He solemnly called God to witness, as in, "Did I not make thee swear by the Lord and protested unto thee" (1 Ki.2:42). It is laying an obligation on Joshua. The charge is given to Joshua, to him to all following high priests. The Lord did this to confirm the faith of Joshua in the promises he was about to make, as well as in the blessings of grace bestowed upon him; as the pardon of his sins, the justification of his person, and acceptance with God.
Zechariah 3:7 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by. (KJV)
Thus saith the Lord of hosts . . . remember, this Angel was no other than the Lord of armies in Heaven and in Earth.
If thou wilt walk in my ways . . . the Holy Word of God, the Bible, clearly reveals HOW God wants us to walk! We are to walk "in Christ" (the grand way, and indeed the ONLY Way of salvation; and in the paths of faith, truth, righteousness, and holiness; in the ways of God's commandments, which are pleasant, and attended with peace; such a walk and conversation, and such obedience, the grace of God teaches, and obliges to: Walking right: (Gen.26:5; Lev.8:35; 1 Ki.2:3; Rom.8:1; 1 Tim.6:13-14; 2 Tim.4:1-2; 2 Jn.1:4,6; 3 Jn.1:3).
And if thou wilt keep my charge . . . the things Christ gave, all His commands and ordinances, especially those that belonged to the priestly office and Levitical service (Num.3:7-8); all of which should be expected after so many favors were granted. My charge; the ordinances, ritual and moral: (Num.3:28,31-32,38; Josh.1:7-9; 1 Ki.2:3; Eze.44:16).
Two conditions before blessing:
#1. If you will walk in My ways
#2. If you will keep My charge
Then thou shall also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts . . . preside in the temple, be governor in it, and take care of all the courts belonging to the people and the priests, and the advantages arising from it. "Judge my house" . . . Thou shalt long preside over the temple ceremonial as high priest (Deut.17:9-12; Lev.10:10-11; Eze.44:23-24; Mal.2:7). Joshua was not only to obey the Mosaic Law himself, but see to it that it was obeyed by others. God's people are in the same way to exercise judgment hereafter, as the reward of their present faithfulness (Dan.7:18,22; Lk. 19:17; 1 Cor.6:2); by virtue of their royal priesthood (Rev.1:6).
I think the meaning here is, that because the priesthood was abandoned and neglected throughout the captivity, and had been put to shame through the sins of the priests, so it should NOW be restored to its former honor and glory. To have a place in the house of God, the church, is a great honor indeed, and still more so to be a governor and ruler in it.
God's choice of Jerusalem (Zec.3:2) was unto its sanctification (Jn.15:16; Rom. 8:29); hence the charge here, connects the promised blessing with obedience.
And shalt also keep my courts . . . meaning to guard God's House from being blasphemed and profaned.
And I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by . . . "places to walk" . . . free ingress and egress. Places to walk: (1 Sam.18:16; 1 Ki.3:7; 15:17; 22:19; Zec.4:14; 6:5).
This verse could be classed as a 'conditional' prophecy, the high priest would receive certain blessings IF he met certain conditions. The "places to walk" are ways among the angels that stand by in the Presence of God. That it could refer only to angels is clear from the fact that they are all Zechariah saw in the vision so far (Zec.3:1-6).
Three blessings IF obeyed:
#1. Then you shall also judge My house.
#2. Then you shall keep My courts.
#3. Then I will give you places to walk among those that stand by.
Priests are called angels or "messengers" (Mal.2:7). The interpretation of this is quite clear. Joshua had been dirty, but God had a redemption which enabled Him to extend His grace and mercy to him. Now Joshua is saved, but God says, "You will have to stay clean. You will have to walk in My ways. You will have to obey Me."
God is not only saying this to Joshua, He is saying it to the nation, and He is saying it to you and me today! Jesus said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments" (Jn.14:15). Some people have the WRONG idea that if they are saved by grace, they can do anything they want to do. That is NOT true! IF you do as you please (sin), you are NOT saved by grace! You will dearly love the One who died to save you, IF you are truly saved! And, IF you are saved, your greatest desire is to be more like Jesus, and He did NO sin. Christ Jesus had NO sin: (Isa.53:9; Jn.7:18; 2 Cor.5:21; Heb.4:15;; 7:26; 9:28; Jam.5:6; 1 Pet.1:19,22; 1 Jn.3:3,5).
If you have REALLY accepted Him and are REALLY trusting Him, you are resting upon Him. And if you are resting in Him, you will REALLY want to obey Him and do as He wants you to do. NO other way my friend!
Vision Of The Branch, Zec.3:8-10
Zechariah 3:8 Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH. (KJV)
Hear now, O Joshua the high priest . . . what He was about to say further concerning the bringing forth of the Messiah, the antitype of Joshua, and of all the Levite priests. It was to Joshua that the Angel made the prediction concerning God's Servant, the Branch, being sent from Jehovah as a Prince and a Saviour.
Thou and thy fellows, that sit before thee . . . meaning other priests, associates in the priestly office, especially the young priests that sat before him as his disciples, to be instructed by him in things belonging to the priestly office. Joshua, his fellow priests, and the Levites with him were to be special, men to be "wondered at," because of their holy life, walk and work.
For they are men wondered at . . . this is typical of Christ, the great High Priest; men of wonder are those having a typical character (Isa.8:18; 20:3; Eze.12:11; 24:24). Joshua the high priest typifies Messiah, and Joshua's "fellows" typify believers whom Messiah admits to share His Priesthood (1 Pet.2:5,9; Rev.5:10). This is a promise to assure the discouraged Jews that the priesthood would be preserved until the Great Antitype comes.
This could also be an indirect reproof of the unbelief of the multitudes who "wonder" at God's servants and even at God's Son in disbelief (Ps.71:7; Isa.8:18; 53:1). These are men wondered at: the worldly, the profane, unbelieving and the ignorant Jews . . . they "wonder" at them and their hopes; and their work and expenses in attempting to build such a House, with so little help to raise such a structure out of what seemed to be rubbish.
For, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH . . . NOT Zerubbabel, as some interpret it; but the MESSIAH! Isaiah prophesied, "In that day shall the Branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious . . . for them that are escaped of Israel" (Isa.4:2), and he said, referring to the low estate of Him Who should come, "There shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots" (Isa.11:1). Jeremiah said, "Behold the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a king shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth . . . and this is the name whereby He shall be called, The Lord our Righteouness" (Jer.23:5-6). "In those days and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David, and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land" (Jer.33:15). Of the Messiah, Zechariah said, "the man whose name is the BRANCH" (Zec.6:12).
Here, Zechariah names Him, "My servant, the BRANCH," as Ezekiel prophesied of "My servant David" (Eze.34:23). (Eze.34:23). "My Servant" is the title Isaiah uses often (Isa.37:35; 42:1; 44:1-2; 49:5-7; 52:13).
That sit before thee; as assessors or someone having the right of succession, in a council or assembly; the high priest as president, the other as members of the council sat with him. My servant the Branch; Christ, Messiah, the Branch: (Isa.4:2; 11:1; Jer.23:5; 33:15; Zec.3:8; 6:12).
My servant, the title of Messiah: (Isa.42:1; 49:3; 50:10; 52:13; 53:11; Eze.34:23-24).
The 5th prophecy in Zechariah (Zech. 3:8-10, unfulfilled). Next one, Zec.4:7.
Five Predictions . . . Unfulfilled as yet:
#1. I will bring forth My servant, the Branch (Zec.3:8).
#2. Upon the stone that is laid before Joshua shall be seven eyes (Zec.3:9).
#3. I will engrave the engraving thereof (Zec.3:9).
#4. I will remove the iniquity of the land in one day (Zec.3:9).
#5. In that day you shall call every man from under his own vine and fig tree (Zec.3:10).
"My servant the BRANCH" is an awesome picture of the Lord Jesus Christ. "The Branch" is a familiar symbol of the Messiah. Isaiah used that figure to predict the First Coming of Christ as Saviour (Isa.11:1). And Jeremiah used it to speak of Christ's Coming as King to this Earth (Jer.23:5).
The LORD is here speaking to Joshua and his fellow priests. What is the message that He gives them? "I will not let you, Joshua, and your fellow priests be removed from office. Your office will continue, for I have a plan for you . . . you are a type of the coming Messiah, who will do My work perfectly, and who will bring to the priestly office unspeakable glory when He comes."
Zechariah 3:9 For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven eyes: behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day. (KJV)
For, behold, the stone that I have laid before Joshua . . . this "stone" cannot be the stone of foundation of the material temple foundation, because this had long before been laid.
On this "Stone" before Joshua, and all the representative priests, in Whom alone they and everyone else can have forgiveness, whose Great Sacrifice on the cross, pictured their sacrifices. This "Stone," God says, I have laid or set before Joshua, and is for him to seriously consider. 1 Kings 9:5-7 Then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel for ever, as I promised to David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Israel. 6 But if ye shall at all turn from following me, ye or your children, and will not keep my commandments and my statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods, and worship them: 7 Then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight; and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people: (KJV) . . . Joshua and the other "fellow priests" were to keep Israel on the right road.
Christ Jesus Himself is the Chief Cornerstone, in whom all the building, fitly framed together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. Eph.2:20-22 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. (KJV) . . . Our Almighty God has laid ONLY ONE "Stone" in Zion, a tested Stone, a precious Cornerstone, a sure Foundation, and "whosoever" believes will be unshakable, standing firm. (Isa.28:16; Jn.3:16,36; 5:24; 8:24; 14:6; 1 Jn.5:10-13).
Upon one stone shall be seven eyes . . . whether they are the eyes of God, resting in loving care upon it, or maybe as the wheels in Ezekiel's vision were "full of eyes round about" (Eze.1:18; 10:12). These "Eyes" are pictured as being on the "Stone" itself, thus symbolizing manifold intelligence.
Zechariah speaks of the eyes of "the Lord which run to and fro on the earth" (Zec.4:10), and the great apostle, John said: "stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God, seat forth into all the earth" (Rev.5:6). Both these symbols harmonizes with the context.
The Stone is One, for we have in God One Spirit, one faith, one compensation most pure, thus we worship One Christ, the One and Only Deliverer of the human race (Jn.14:6). He is our Righteousness (1 Cor.1:30), and He is the Author of our eternal salvation (Heb.5:9), and He is the Author and Finisher of our faith (Heb.12:2) and we are strengthened by His awesome guardianship (Ps.73:24). It is only through this "Stone," this "Branch," that we can have any hope for eternal life in Heaven (Tit.1:2). It is Christ Jesus, Who governs ALL things with "unspeakable" wisdom; and His wisdom is rightly described by the seven eyes, for the number seven is symbolic of completion and I believe the completion of good. The end result of our faith, is salvation of our souls (1 Pet.1:9). Thank You Jesus! Unspeakable: (2 Cor.9:15; 12:4; 1 Pet.1:8).
Behold, I will engrave the engraving thereof, saith the Lord of hosts . . . like that of a costly stone. What is engraved is not told, but I am certain that it is everything that harmonizes with His eternal beauty and glory. Could it be that this Precious Stone was engraved through the providence and will of God? Didn't God the Father allow Precious Jesus, the "Stone" to be wounded by the nails of the Cross and the soldier's spear? (Jn.19:34). And isn't it true that in His passion, He took away the iniquity of the earth in one day, of which it is written, "This is the day which the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it"? (Ps.118:24).
Beautiful were the gifts and graces that Christ received as Man; but much more beautiful I think, beyond all beauty are those glorious scars, which He lovingly allowed His whole Precious Body to receive (Zec.12:10; Jn.19:37; Ps.22:16-17; Lk.24:39-40; Jn.20:25,27; 15:13). WHAT is there in all this world, that could possibly be to us, more beautiful and more meaningful than those five Scars on His blessed Body, which He resolved to retain in His immortal Body, to be an eternal proof of His vast love and friendship for sinners like us? Those scars are on NO other god, NO other redeemer . . . just JESUS! Thank You Jesus.
For our poem "Just Jesus" go to: . . . . . . . . http://www.hisservantsministry.org/Poems_J.html
And I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day . . . not Judea, not Chaldea, but Immanuel's land, the church and people of God (Isa.8:8). In the Old Testament, on "one day" in the year was the Jewish "day of atonement" (Lev.23:27-28; 25:9).
But, ask any TRUE Christian: "On what day was iniquity removed, not from the land only, but from all lands?" he would have to say, "On the day when Jesus died on the cross for the sins of the world" (John 3:16-17).
ALL the elect and covenant ones, are all those who accept God's Words as Truth (1 Jn.5:1-13), and open their heart's door to Christ (Rev.3:20), for they are the ones for whom Christ suffered and died. The offer of salvation is open to ALL people, the whole world, but just a meager "few" (Mat.7:13-14) take advantage of it. It are these "few" who are laid upon this Stone; their sins removed from them, and placed on Christ their Surety. And Christ Jesus, by bearing those vile sins and the punishment of them, took those sins FAR away (Ps.103:12; Mic.7:19; Jer.31:34; Heb.8:12; Col.2:13-14). God removed the sins, both from Joshua, his fellows and us . . . when Christ the Messiah became a Sacrifice for them; and those sins were and are GONE, out of sight, so as that God will NEVER impute them to the guilty, nor condemn anyone who has accepted Jesus! This was all done "in one day."
TRUE Christians know it was the day on which Christ suffered and died on that horrid cross, and offered Himself a Sacrifice for sin; by which one offering of Himself, "once for all" (Heb.9:28; 10:10,12,14). These Passages should certainly contradict the Catholic "mass."
Zechariah 3:10 In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbour under the vine and under the fig tree. (KJV)
In that day, saith the Lord of hosts . . . "In that day" refers to the Day of the Lord.
Shall ye call every man his neighbour under the vine, and under the fig tree . . . Micah had already described the peaceful days of Solomon (1 Ki.4:24-25) as a symbol of the universal and fearless peace in the time of Christ (Mic.4:4). Christ shall not only take away iniquity, but bring peace and joy so that people will love one another. All people then shall be under the grace of God (Rom.6:14), desiring that they might be blessings to their neighbors, that they might know Christ and His love and mercy, and desire to promote the glory of God.
Micah 4:4 But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it. (KJV) . . . The vine was a symbol of the people, in both Psalms and prophets (Ps.80:8; Isa.3:14; 5:1; 27:2; Jer.2:21; 12:10-11; Eze.15:1-8; 15:1-8; 17:5-10; 19:10-14; Hos.10:1).
Rabbis tell how their forefathers sat and studied under the fig-tree, as Nathanael was doubtless meditating or praying under one, when Jesus, saw him (Jn.1:48). The "fig tree" reveals a picture of domestic peace, each family gathered in harmony and rest under God's protection; each content with what they have (Heb.13:5), neither coveting anything of another, but at peace in just their own. Such was Israel in the peaceful days of Solomon (1 Ki.4:24-25), that peace being the image of the end times (Ps.72).
For the mouth of the Lord of Host hath spoken it . . . "thus saith the Lord" is in found 430 Passages in the Bible. The prophets often add similar phrases, when what they say, seems beyond belief . . . yet it shall be, because He hath spoken it!
Under his fig tree: (1 Ki.4:25; 2 Ki.18:31; Pro.27:18; Isa.36:16; Hos.2:18; Mic.4:4).
The "Stone" here is symbolic of the Messiah, called "the Branch" (Isa.28:16; Ps.118:22; Mat.21:42; Acts 4:11; Eph.2:20-21; 1 Pet. 2:4-7). What is engraved upon the stone is not stated, but we do know that in the latter day the sins of Israel shall be removed and there shall be universal peace and prosperity (Zec.3:9-10). The "seven eyes" no doubt refer to the same thing symbolized in Zec.4:10 and Rev.5:6.
The "one day," I think is the day Christ Jesus was crucified for the sins of the world. But I also think it refers to His Second Coming (Zec.14:1-5; Rev.19:11-21), the day of Christ's visible return to Earth when all Israel shall be saved and ungodliness turned from Jacob (Zec.12:10; 13:1; Rom.11:25-29). Israel will mourn and repent for three days; on the third day they will live (Hos.6:2).
The "Branch" is also the "Stone," and is the same Stone which Daniel saw in the vision of the great image. Daniel 2:34-35 Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. 35 Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth. (KJV)
"Upon one stone shall be seven eyes." Seven is not the number of perfection but the number of completeness. The "seven eyes" indicate that Christ has complete knowledge and wisdom. In the New Testament it is said of Christ, "In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Col.2:3). And the Lord Jesus has been made unto us wisdom because He is all wisdom (1 Cor.1:30).
"I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day." That has NOT happened in our day! It certainly has not happened yet, BUT it will happen in the future. When the Lord Jesus Christ comes, He shall remove the iniquity of Israel in one day. "Even so, come, Lord Jesus" (Rev.22:20).
Book of Zachariah
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