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Zechariah Three

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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Zechariah 3:1 And he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.

Joshua the high priest. In the tradition of the Levitical priesthood and Aaron, the first high priest appointed for Israel by God, Joshua had come to Jerusalem with Zerubbabel sixteen years earlier, and as their mediator, represented the Israelite nation before God.

Satan standing. Satan—as in the well-known attack on Job (Job 1:6-12)—is always tempting men to sin and, when they do, accuses them before God, as “the accuser of our brethren” (Revelation 12:10). His hatred toward men (“created in the image of God” which he was not) is exceeded only by his hatred of God. He himself wants to be god of the universe, and so seeks to defeat all God's purposes for His other creatures.

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?

rebuke thee, O Satan. The first basis of God's rebuke to Satan is not in any attempt to justify Israel's wickedness, but merely that God had chosen Jerusalem, and that was that! What God does is right, by definition.

Zechariah 3:3 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel.

filthy garments. Joshua's “filthy garments” represented the sinfulness of the people of Judah (Isaiah 1:4-6; 64:6).

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.

change of raiment. The “filthy garments” or sins were removed, not by Joshua, but by God, who “caused thine iniquity to pass from thee,” and who then replaced them with “garments of salvation” (Isaiah 61:10).

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.

Zechariah 3:6 And the angel of the LORD protested unto Joshua, saying,

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.

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.

my servant the BRANCH. “The BRANCH” is one of the specifically designated names given by the Lord to His promised Messiah. It is He by whose work Joshua (and his people) can have their iniquity removed and their unclean garments exchanged for robes of righteousness. See other references to “the BRANCH of the Lord” (Isaiah 4:2; 11:1; Jeremiah 23:5; 33:15; Zechariah 6:12).

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.

behold the stone. The “stone” must also speak of Christ, the “tried stone,” the “head-stone of the corner” (Isaiah 28:16; Psalm 118:22). The “seven eyes” on the stone would thus indicate, through the perfect number seven, the omniscience and omnipresence of the Messiah thus symbolized, through the Holy Spirit. He is also the “Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth” (Revelation 5:6). On this basis alone can iniquities be removed.

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.