Zec 3: The cleansing and restoration of the High Priest: "This
vision describes the change of raiment and promise of glory for Joshua, the high
priest, type of Jesus Christ. Faced with the  opposition of Satan: vv 1,2,
the prophecy sees the wonderful and faithful toil of Joshua (Christ), for the
restoration of the city of Jerusalem (the typical Brotherhood of Faith). The
high priest is identified with a condition of uncleanness, and requires a change
of raiment: vv 3-5. Then comes  The divine injunction: vv 6,7, and  The
men of sign -- the company of associates to Joshua, who are elevated with him to
glory. Thus is depicted the great Redeemer and his faithful Community, all
redeemed form the nature of flesh to that of glory" (GEM).
JOSHUA THE HIGH PRIEST STANDING...: "In Joshua the high
priest we see a picture of each and every child of God, who has been made nigh
by the blood of Christ, and has been taught to minister in holy things, and
enter into that which is within the veil. Jesus has made us priests and kings
unto God, and even here [and now] we exercise the priesthood of consecrated
living and hallowed service. But this high priest is said to be 'standing before
the angel of the Lord,' that is, standing to minister. This should be the
perpetual position of every true believer. Every place is now God's temple, and
His people can as truly serve Him in their daily employments as in His house.
They are to be always 'ministering,' offering the spiritual sacrifice of prayer
and praise, and presenting themselves a 'living sacrifice' " (CHS).
SATAN STANDING AT HIS RIGHT SIDE TO ACCUSE HIM:
Historically, it was the Samaritans who constituted the "satan", or adversary --
opposing the building and the work of the Temple at Jerusalem. In NT times, the
"satan" was the Pharisees and Sadducees, who opposed the work of the antitypical
"Joshua", the Lord Jesus, in building the spiritual "temple" of God.
Standing at the right hand was the traditional place where an
accuser stood in Jewish life (cp 1Ch 21:1; Psa 109:6).
THE LORD REBUKE YOU: And this petition was fulfilled
both in the days of Zechariah (Ezra 6:7) and those of Christ (Luk
THE LORD... WHO HAS CHOSEN JERUSALEM: Joshua was secure
from "Satan's" accusations because of the LORD's sovereign choice of Jerusalem
(cp Zec 12:2). "Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It
is God who justifies" (Rom 8:33).
IS NOT THIS MAN A BURNING STICK SNATCHED FROM THE
FIRE?: The LORD then referred to Joshua as a burning stick plucked from the
fire (cp Amos 4:11). If Joshua represents the "priesthood" of Israel, then the
fire must refer to the Babylonian captivity, in which Israel had been almost
destroyed, and the stick refers to the surviving remnant of faithful. Israel had
experienced another brush with extinction at the Exodus (Deu 4:20; 7:7,8; Jer
11:4); she would escape again -- at least, the "remnant" -- in 70 AD (Acts
2:19,20); and she will do so one final time in the Tribulation (Zec 13:8,9; Jer
30:7; Rev 12:13-17).
JOSHUA WAS DRESSED IN FILTHY CLOTHES: Joshua the High
Priest labored right alongside the other Israelites, in the dirt and debris of
the fallen Temple, in order to lay the foundation of the new Temple.
In type, this describes the fallen human nature (Mar 7:20-23;
Rom 7:18) of the Lord Jesus Christ, who labored down in the debris and
uncleanness with his fellowmen, to save them -- to save US! -- out of that
condition. Cp Heb 4:15; 1Pe 2:24; Isa 53:6,10.
TAKE OFF HIS FILTHY CLOTHES... I HAVE TAKEN AWAY YOUR
SIN...: The LORD then instructed others who were standing before Him,
probably angelic servants, to remove Joshua's filthy garments (cp Exo 28:8,9,41;
Lev 8:7-9; Num 20:28). The LORD explained that these garments symbolized the
high priest's (Israel's) iniquities, which He had forgiven. He promised to
remove his representative's filthy robes and replace them with festal, stately
robes, the apparel of royalty and wealth, symbolic of God's righteousness (cp
Isa 3:22). Thus God would restore Israel to her original calling as a priestly
nation (cp Exo 19:16; Isa 61:6).
In typical fulfillment, this describes the Lord Jesus Christ,
the "sin-bearer" for mankind, healed of his sin-prone mortal nature, and clothed
upon with immortality: "While Zechariah was beholding, he saw the garments of
Joshua, the High Priest, changed; and was instructed that the action represented
the putting away of iniquity which the priest is supposed to bear. In this we
see, by the light of NT, the change of nature, or body, in relation to the
Christ, 'whom,' says Paul, 'we know henceforth no more after the flesh.' [2Co
5:16] He was crucified in 'flesh of sin;' and then sin was 'condemned in the
flesh.' [Rom 8:3] But when he rose again he became spirit-body, called by Paul
'pneuma hagiosunes', spirit of holiness: Rom 1:4. He is now the Angel-High
Priest of Jehovah, no longer oppressed with our filthy nature, but 'clothed in a
garment white as snow' (Dan 7:9) reaching to the foot (Rev 1:13)" (Eur ch
THEN I SAID, "PUT A CLEAN TURBAN ON HIS HEAD":
Zechariah chimed in suggesting that the angelic dressers also put a clean turban
on Joshua's head, which they did along with his other garments. A plaque on the
front of the high priest's turban read "Holy to the Lord" (Exo 28:36; 39:30).
This is what Israel will be in the future, a holy nation of holy priests. The
LORD observed all that was happening, approving and directing all the changes in
In a NT context, this refers to Christ -- having been proved
sinless -- being glorified (Phi 2:8-11), and constituted a High Priest forever,
after a new and eternal order (Heb 7).
"Then the angel of the Lord admonished Joshua. He promised, in
the name of sovereign Yahweh, that if Joshua obeyed the Lord and served Him,
Joshua would govern the temple, have charge of the temple courts, and enjoy free
access into the Lord's presence. He could come into the Lord's presence like the
angels who stood before Him. Joshua's commission pertained to a priestly
function within the framework of a covenant relationship. As always, faithful,
obedient service leads to further opportunities for service.
The Lord specified two conditions and promised three results.
The first condition was Israel's practical righteousness; she had to walk in His
ways faithfully with heart and hand (cp Deu 10:12-22; 28:9). Second, she had to
carry out her priestly duties faithfully. If Israel did these things, she would
govern God's house (people and temple; cp Deu 17:8-13; Jer 31:7), have charge of
His courts --keeping them pure (cp Isa 56:7; Jer 31:22), and enjoy free access
to God (cp Exo 19:6; Isa 61:6; Heb 4:16; 10:19-22).
" 'In all this the person and work of Joshua's greater
namesake, Jesus, was being anticipated. The faithful high priest of the
pre-Christian era entered into God's presence as the Christian [believer priest]
does "by grace through faith" [cp Heb 4:14-16]' (Baldwin)" (Const).
MEN SYMBOLIC OF THINGS TO COME: "The miracle, which is
to be seen in Joshua and his priests, consists ... in the fact that the
priesthood of Israel is laden with guilt, but by the grace of God it has been
absolved, and accepted by God again, as the deliverance from exile shows, and
Joshua and his priests are therefore brands plucked by the omnipotence of grace
from the fire of merited judgment. This miracle of grace which has been wrought
for them, points beyond itself to an incomparably greater and better act of the
sin-absolving grace of God, which is still in the future" (KD).
MY SERVANT, THE BRANCH: This is a double title of
Messiah (cp Zec 6:12; Psa 132:17; Isa 11:1; 53:2; Jer 23:5; 33:15). Here, as
Yahweh's servant (Isa 42:1; 49:3, 5; 52:13; 53:11; Eze 34:23-24), Messiah would
come into the world to do His Father's will, including redeeming, cleansing, and
restoring Israel to God's intended place for her.
"As Branch, the Messiah is represented in the OT in four
different aspects of his character (King, Servant, Man, and God). These aspects
are developed in the NT in the four Gospels: (1) in Matthew as the Branch of
David, ie, as the Davidic messianic King (Isa 11:1; Jer 23:5; 33:15); (2) in
Mark as the Lord's Servant, the Branch (Isa 42:1; 49:6; 50:10; 52:13; Ezek
34:23-24; Zech 3:8); (3) in Luke as the Man whose name is the Branch (Zech
6:12); and (4) in John as a the Branch of the Lord (Isa 4:2)" (EBC).
THE STONE I HAVE SET IN FRONT OF JOSHUA: The stone,
too, is a common figure of God and Messiah in the Bible (10:4; Exo 17:6; Num
20:7-11; Psa 118:22; etc). In the past God promised that the Stone would be a
secure, never-failing refuge for His people (Isa 28:16; 1Pe 2:6). When Messiah
appeared, however, He proved to be a stone over which the Jews stumbled and an
offensive rock to them (Psa 118:22-23; Isa 8:13-15; Mat 21:42; 1Pe 2:4-9).
Presently He is the foundation stone, the chief cornerstone of the church (Eph
2:19-22). And in the future He will be the great stone that smites the nations
(Dan 2:35, 45).
THERE ARE SEVEN EYES ON THAT ONE STONE: Seven stones
sig complete, divine intelligence (Zec 1:10; 4:10; 2Ch 16:9; Isa 11:2; Eze 1:18;
10:12; Col 2:3, 9; Rev 5:6). The eyes of the LORD -- ie the angels -- are
watching over this "Stone", and helping it accomplish its desired
I WILL ENGRAVE AN INSCRIPTION UPON IT: What is engraved
upon the Stone of Jesus? (1) the name of the Father, ie, Yahweh, found in
"Yah-shua", the Salvation of God; (2) the reaffirmation of this at his baptism:
"This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased!"; (3) the wounds in his
hands and feet, by which he was "sealed" to the service of his Father; and
ultimately (4) the reward he received: the divine nature:
"The writer, or engraver, is the Seven-Horned and Seven-Eyed
Spirit (Zec 4:5; 5:6) who 'engraves the graving thereof'. When the dead body
prepared for the Spirit (Heb 10:5) was restored to life, and had come forth from
the sepulchre, the Spirit, 'in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye,' engraved
upon it, or impressed it with, every attribute necessary to constitute it 'the
Lord from the heaven' -- He 'made it both Lord and Christ'. The precious stone
had come out of the earth, whence all precious stones also come; but it had to
be cut, polished, embroidered, and adorned, to bring out all the beauties of
which it was susceptible. This the Spirit effected in the operation of raising
the risen body to consubstantiality with the Deity.
"Now, it matters not whether it be one man to be made 'the
Lord from heaven,' or a countless multitude of earthborns to be made the Holy
Jerusalem 'descending from the Deity out of heaven' -- the operation is the
same. Every individual is subjected to a like polishing, embroidering, and
adorning, as saith the Spirit who will do the work. 'Him that overcometh,' saith
he, 'I will make a pillar in the Nave of my Deity, and he shall go no more out;
and I will write upon him the Name of my Deity, and the Name of the City of my
Deity, New Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my Deity; and my new
Name' (Rev 3:12). To have the Name of Deity, the Name of the City, and the New
Name, engraved or written upon one, is for such an one first to come into
existence, and then, to become a constituent of the things engraved. He becomes
one of the City of the Deity, New Jerusalem; and in the operation is married to
the Spirit in so close and intimate a union, that he becomes one body, flesh,
and bones, with the Spirit; so that all the earthiness and corruptibleness of
his grave-body is 'swallowed up of life;' it loses its similitude to the nature
of the first Adam; and acquires 'the heavenly image' of the Lord from heaven"
I WILL REMOVE THE SIN OF THIS LAND IN A SINGLE DAY: Cp
v 4. What Christ did for himself he also did on behalf of others: Heb 7:27;
9:28; 10:14. See also John 11:49-53; Zec 13:1; Isa 66:7,8; Rom
EACH OF YOU WILL INVITE HIS NEIGHBOR TO SIT UNDER HIS VINE
AND FIG TREE: Israel would enjoy peace and security as never before, even
under the reign of Solomon (1Ki 4:25; cp 2Ki 18:31; Mic 4:4). Then God will lift
the curse that He imposed on the creation at the Fall, and there will be
agricultural prosperity as well as spiritual prosperity (Isa 11:1-9; 35; 65:17;
Dan 7:13,14, 27; Mic 4:1-4). Paradise lost will become paradise