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Bible Commentaries
Zechariah 3

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

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Verses 1-7



Verses 1-7:

Joshua The High Priest---Resisted By Satan, Vision 5

Verse 1 describes Joshua the high priest, standing before the angel of Jehovah, accused by Satan, but defended by Jehovah the Messiah, the coming Branch of David, Deuteronomy 19:17; 1 Kings 3:16. As high priest Joshua represented Jerusalem and the faith and worship of her remnant of people who waited for the Hope of the Messiah, having been plucked as a brand from the burning, out of Babylon, v. 1 and Haggai 1:1. The high priest was seen standing before the altar, which had been erected before the rebuilding of the temple, Ezra 3:2-3; Ezra 3:6; Psalms 135:2. He stood there to represent the people of God, while there, the people and priests were accused; Even as Jesus represents us, when accused by Satan, before the throne of God today, Revelation 12:9-10; 1 John 1:1-2; Hebrews 7:25; Numbers 35:12. As Satan stands at the right hand to accuse the guilty believer, so Jesus stands at the right hand of the accused, as his strong defender, Psalms 9:5; Psalms 109:6; Psalms 109:3; Luke 1:11.

Verse 2 relates the Lord’s (Jehovah’s) direct reply to and rebuke of Satan, the adversary of Israel, the church, and every believer, Psalms 109:31. This rebuke of Satan included an assurance to Satan that the Lord had chosen Jerusalem of His own grace and sovereign will and would protect His property and people, even as Jesus later chose His church as His Bride, commissioned her and covenanted to be with her always, Romans 9:16; Romans 11:5; Romans 8:33-37; See also Amos 4:11; 1 Peter 4:18; Judges 1:23; Philippians 1:6; John 15:16; John 15:27; Matthew 16:18; Matthew 18:20; Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5. As the Lord plucked Judah and Israel from Babylon’s bondage, so will He one day pluck His church people away from earth’s tribulation, bring peace and a golden millennial era to the earth.

Verse 3 describes Joshua the high priest as standing with filthy garments before the angel. These filthy garments represent the sins of the carnal, covetous nature of every believer, as those unconfessed sins appear to an holy God, Proverbs 30:12; Isaiah 4:4; Isaiah 64:6. Unconfessed sins are a stench before the nostrils of God, even in the lives of God’s children, for which they must pray and make confession, daily, Luke 18:1; 1 John 1:8-9. Let this be contrasted with Philippians 3:1-9. Note, the Lord accepts the believer’s service, in spite of filthy garments; Yet, for the believer’s fellowship with God, he must confess his sins and show humility before the world, by working hard to keep the passions of his sinful nature under control, as Paul did, 1 Corinthians 9:27.

Verse 4 states that the Lord called upon those that stood before Him (ministering angels to do Him service) to take away the filthy garments from Joshua the high priest. He then told Joshua the high priest that He had caused his iniquity to pass away, to be held or charged against him no more, 2 Samuel 12:13; 2 Samuel 24:10. Then the Lord certified that He would clothe Joshua and His people with a change of raiment, furnish them clean clothes for holy living and Divine service before Him; True believers are saved and sustained to serve God, Ephesians 2:10; 1 John 1:9; See also Isaiah 61:3; Luke 15:23; Romans 3:22; 1 Corinthians 6:11; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Colossians 3:10; Revelation 19:8.

Verse 5 further instructs these angelic, ministering servants of the Lord to Joshua, Hebrews 1:14; They were directed to set a mitre or priestly turban, Exodus 29:6-7, upon his head, as a symbol of restored priesthood, and clothe him, then stand by, Psalms 34:7.

Verse 6 explains that the angel was then directed to stand by, to stand guard, as an observing protector of the restored priesthood, Daniel 7:9; See also Hebrews 6:17-18.

Verse 7 recounts the protest, or literally solemn declaration of the defending angel of Joshua the high priest and of Jerusalem and of Judah, Genesis 43:3; Deuteronomy 8:19. The angelic testimony was a reaffirmation of God’s oath to protect, preserve, and guide His chosen people as they kept His court ordinances or program of worship, that pointed to the coming of the Messiah, as they judged righteously, and walked upright before the nations, John 15:16; Romans 8:29; Numbers 3:28; Numbers 3:31-32; Numbers 3:38; Joshua 1:7-9; 1 Samuel 18:16.

Verses 8-10

The Sixth Vision

Verses 8-10:

The Branch, Jehovah’s Servant

Verse 8 calls upon Joshua the high priest, and the other priests who sat before him for consultation, his subordinate colleague priests in Judah and Israel, to be of good cheer. They are assured that God will yet and surely, bring forth His servant, the Branch, sprout, or a tender branch from the near extinct tribe of Judah and royal lineage of David, as Divinely pledged, Zechariah 6; Zechariah 12; Zechariah 11:1; Jeremiah 23:5; Jeremiah 33:15; Luke 1; Luke 17; See also Genesis 49:10; Isaiah 4:2; Isaiah 53:1-2; Luke 1:32-33.

Verse 9 encourages Joshua that the Lord had laid the stone foundation under Zerubbabel, Zechariah 4:10, for the temple they are to complete. That foundation was a type of Jesus Christ, the foundation stone of our salvation and His church, Ezra 3:8-13: Isaiah 28:16; Daniel 2:45; Matthew 21:42; 1 Corinthians 3:11; 1 Peter 2:6-7. Upon one stone there are declared to be seven eyes, that signify perfect watchcare of angelic messengers over God’s chosen people, in every circumstance of providence, to secure their salvation, and glory, Psalms 32:8; 1 Timothy 3:16; John 12:32; 1Pe 1;10, 11; Revelation 5:6. The Lord pledges to memorialize, engrave the memory of His people in the temple, as the names of the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve apostles are engraven in the twelve gates and the twelve foundations of the walls of the New Jerusalem. Revelation 21:12-14. The iniquity of the land was pledged to be removed in one day. as typified in the annual atonement, fulfilled in the death of Jesus Christ, Leviticus 23; Leviticus 27; Hebrews 7:27; Hebrews 10:10; Hebrews 10:12; Hebrews 10:14.

Verse 10 declares that in the ultimate fulfillment of kingdom redemption, and the restitution of all things, every promise to Israel, and the church, and every believer, shall be realized, 1 Kings 4:25; Isaiah 11:1-9; Acts 3:21. Then shall every man converse with his neighbor under the vine and fig tree, at rest, in tranquil peace, Micah 4:4.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Zechariah 3". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/zechariah-3.html. 1985.
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