Zechariah Chapter Three

 

Read Zechariah 3:1-7 – Restoration of Temple Worship

 

v.1And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.”

 

            When Jerusalem and the temple are rebuilt, one of the purposes is to restore the worship of God according to the Mosaic Law with all of its sacrifices and feasts.  This was needed to sustain the spiritual wellbeing of the Jews until the Messiah should come.  Joshua, the son of Josedech was the high priest of Judah who had returned to Jerusalem.  Joshua is charged with the spiritual well-being if Judah and Satan will stand against him any way he can.  This is as would be expected.  Any time that men of God stand firm; Satan will be there to oppose them just as we are warned by the Apostle Peter:

 

I Peter 5:8Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”

 

v.2And 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?”

 

            God rebukes Satan severely.  Jerusalem is God’s chosen people; they have been chastised through destruction of a majority of their nation and through their captivity.  When Amos was sent to prophecy to Israel concerning their sin and God’s plea for their repentance they are described as follows:

 

“I have overthrown some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and ye were as a firebrand plucked out of the burning: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.” Amos 4:11

 

Israel and Judah before were indeed like “A FIREBRAND PLUCKED OUT OF THE BURNING”.  They had been protected, God had cared for them, he had punished them but he had not destroyed them, he had not allowed them to be tried thoroughly prior to their captivity; but now they have.  They are no longer “A FIREBRAND PLUCKED OUT OF THE FIRE” but they have been through the fire, they have been refined as gold is refined in another reference and this remnant will prevail.  Satan will not be able to recapture them.

 

v.3Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel.”

 

            Joshua, the high priest, is depicted as being clothed with filthy garments.  His condition represents the filth and pollution of the sins of Judah, but God is going to change his situation.

 

v.4And 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 [rich apparel].”

 

            As the representative of Judah, Joshua the high priest is being cleansed by God.  The beginning of God’s plan to provide salvation to all men is the preservation of a people from which to bring the Messiah into the world.  The Judah that Zechariah is speaking to is becoming like that described by Micah:

 

Micah 7:18-19Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.  19He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.”

 

These people must be preserved and obedient to the Mosaic Covenant for approximately another 550 years for God’s plan to be carried out to bring Christ into the world.  This is the beginning of the end of the Mosaic dispensation.

 

v.5And 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.

 

            They set a “FAIR MITRE” on his head.  What is the prophet talking about?  It is defined in my Bible Dictionary as “A turban made of linen and worn on the head of the high priest.  On it was a golden plate with the words “Holiness to the Lord.”

 

Exodus 28:36-37And thou shalt make a plate of pure gold, and grave upon it, like the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE LORD.  37And thou shalt put it on a blue lace, that it may be upon the mitre; upon the forefront of the mitre it shall be.

 

v.6-7And the angel of the LORD protested unto Joshua, saying,  7Thus 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.”

 

            As the high priest Joshua has two charges.  First of all he is to keep himself pure in his own manner of living.  Secondly he has the responsibility as the high priest to guide the Jews returned to Jerusalem in their daily living and in their worship of God the Father.  He is getting the same instruction that Solomon received in his dream:

 

I Kings 3:14And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days.”

 

If Joshua heeds these warnings he will then be able to carry out the purpose that God has given him.  He will be able to work effectively as “the ruler and director of God’s house”; i.e. the temple now under construction.  He will be able keep the Lord’s temple free for pollution and corruption.  As a result he will have ready access to Jehovah God for his own purposes and for the purpose as serving the people of Jerusalem as their high priest.

 

Read Zechariah 3:8-10 – Christ the Branch

 

v.8Hear 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.”

 

            The priesthood of Judah has been cleansed.  The house of God is under construction and will be completed.  Compliance with the Mosaic Covenant will be restored.  All of this will set the stage, create the time that will be right for God to complete his plan for the redemption of mankind from sin.  Now Zechariah turns to a description of Christ similar to that of Isaiah in his prophesy of the peaceable kingdom:

 

Isaiah 11:1And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:”

 

Jeremiah also spoke of Christ as a BRANCH:

 

Jeremiah 33:15 “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.”

 

v.9For 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.”

 

            This stone refers to Christ the Messiah to come.  We have this term used in various places in scripture that are familiar to us.

 

Psalms 118:22The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.”

 

Jesus referred to his scripture in his own teaching:

 

Matthew 21:42Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?”

 

            The seven eyes refer to God’s ability to see with perfection all of the deeds and misdeeds of all mankind.  God will provide compete oversight and protection.

 

v.10In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbour under the vine and under the fig tree.”

 

            “SHALL YE CALL EVERY MAN HIS NEIGHBOR” in the day that the “STONE” is laid before Joshua, the cornerstone of the church, all men will become neighbors.  This is a prophecy is directly related to the coming of Christ and the church that he will build.  If reflects the lessons that Jesus taught about who is our neighbor in Luke 10.  It reflects the extension of God’s grace to all mankind, both Jew and Gentile as we see from Acts 10 through the end of the Revelation.  When that day comes then the people of God will be at peace.  This peace is depicted by the word picture of those sitting under their vines and figs trees resting from their labors; resting in peace and harmony with God and the world such as we find in:

 

Micah 4:4But 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.”

 

William L. Schwegler; Sunset church of Christ, Shreveport, Louisiana; Sunday Morning Adult; August 9, 2009