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the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26
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Zechariah 3

Poole's English Annotations on the Holy BiblePoole's Annotations

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Under the type of Joshua the high priest receiving clean garments, Zechariah 3:1-5, and a covenant of promise from God, Zechariah 3:6,Zechariah 3:7, Christ, the Branch and Corner-stone, is foretold, Zechariah 3:8-10.

Verse 1

And he; the Lord of hosts, whose servant Zechariah was, and in whose name he spake.

Showed me; in vision represented to me, Zechariah.

Joshua the high priest; for that office was by hereditary right descended on him, and how mean soever his state was, yet still he was that great officer of the church.

Standing; either as accused, and to make his defence; or rather ministering in his office, according to his duty.

Before the angel: this angel was Christ, whose minister, or servant, the high priest was, as well as type of him. Satan; that adversary, as we might render the word, either Satan the devil, or some instrument of his stirred up by him, Sanballat, or, &c.

Standing at his right hand; either because the accusation was true, or to hold his working hand from its work.

To resist him; Joshua.

Verse 2

The Lord said, i.e. Christ, the great Redeemer, Restorer, Lord, and Mediator of the church.

The Lord; the great God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who as Mediator rather chooseth to rebuke him in his Father’s name than in his own, though this he could have done.

Rebuke thee; he who was accused was God’s high priest, and to minister in the temple at Jerusalem, the city which God had chosen, in which respect it was sure that God would take cognizance of the matter and judge aright; he would prohibit Satan’s attempts.

Is not this, this man, this Joshua,

a brand plucked out of the fire? like a brand half burnt, or all smutty with long lying in the fire of affliction? Reject him not for this.

Verse 3

At the time Zechariah saw this vision he saw also in what a mean, dirty, and tattered garb he was who represented the high priest. It was the hieroglyphic of Joshua, not Joshua himself.

Filthy garments; emblem of a poor or sinful state, or both.

Stood: see Zechariah 3:1.

Before the angel; the Lord Christ, called the Angel.

Verse 4

And he; the Lord Christ, who purifieth his church, who purgeth away her sin, and clothes her with rich and clean garments.

Answered; so the Hebrew, and so this prophet speaks, though no question went before. It is an idiom of that language.

Spake; commanded.

Those that stood before him; some of the attendants, those ministerial angels, who were Christ’s servants, and as such are represented standing before him.

Take away the filthy garments; remove, or cause them to be removed, from him, as altogether unbecoming his person, office, and employments. These filthy garments those angels took away, but another hand takes away what is signified by this emblem.

From him; from this high priest Joshua.

He, Christ, the Lamb of God, said,

Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee: what angels could not take away, Christ did; he removed the filth of sin, the guilt and stain of it.

I will clothe, adorn and beautify,

thee, O Joshua, with change of raiment; clean and rich, emblem of graces and spiritual excellencies given to him.

Verse 5

And I said: Zechariah takes the boldness to desire that for Joshua which might add to his veneration and authority; and he asks the thing of Christ, or rather Christ commandeth this be done. Let them, who minister before Christ,

set a fair mitre; a rich and beautiful ornament for the head of the high priest; not a crown, which is for royal heads, but a tire, a pontifical ensign.

So they set, as they were commanded by Christ at the request of the prophet.

And clothed him with garments; all the garments which did appertain to the high priest, of which you read Exodus 28:4, which probably were put on, though they are not expressly mentioned here.

The angel, who is the Lord Christ himself,

stood by; withdrew not till all this was done.

Verse 6

The angel of the Lord, the Lord Christ,

protested; solemnly declared and averted it, gave him to know.

Verse 7

Thus saith the Lord of hosts; the Father, whose will Christ reveals to us.

If thou Joshua, wilt walk in my ways; obey the precepts and holy commands of the law.

Wilt keep my charge; the special charge and office of the high priest.

Thou shalt also judge my house: be chief and ruler in the temple, and in the things that pertain to the worship of God there.

And shalt also keep my courts; not as a door-keeper or servant, but as the chief, on whom others may wait and give attendance; and at last shalt have place among glorious angels, Hebrews 12:22.

Verse 8

Hear now; hitherto thou hast been entertained with emblems and hieroglyphics, but now, O Joshua, hear what these mean.

And thy fellows; the other priests, thy associates in the priestly office, though inferior to thee.

That sit before thee; as assessors or coadjutors in a council or assembly; the high priest as president, the other as members of the council sat with him; to let them know what these types mean.

They are men wondered at; the worldly, profane, unbelieving, and ignorant sort of Jews wonder at them, and their hopes; at their labour and expenses in attempting to build such a house, with so little helps to raise such a structure out of rubbish.

I, God the Father, will bring forth a much more wonderful work.

My servant the Branch; Christ, Messiah, the Branch, Isaiah 4:2; Isaiah 11:1; Jeremiah 33:15.

Verse 9

Here is an ellipsis, and to make it up we must repeat that of the 8th verse,

Hear now, & c. For behold, (pointing to a particular stone,) that stone which I have laid, saith God, in the sight of Joshua, or which he saw laid in the building of the temple; on that one stone are seven eyes; and Joshua and his fellows are commanded to observe it, the meaning of which the angel will suggest to them presently. It is not improbable this one stone might be a corner-stone, and a principal corner-stone, and the eyes engraven on it so placed that they might look many ways; so it will be a more exact emblem of Christ the chief Cornerstone, and of his perfect knowledge and wisdom, fitting him to govern his church and provide for it.

I will engrave the graving; the engraving engraved, i.e. most artificially, lively, and with excellent contrivance.

And I will remove; or, and I have removed, I have pardoned the iniquity of this land at once. Thus the emblem or type, which I shall once more set before you in plainer words than those of our version. Hear now, O Joshua, thou and thy fellows, for behold there is one stone, and on that stone seven eyes, most curiously engraved, and this laid in thy sight, and in the sight of thy fellows: this learn by it, that the temple, founded on such a corner-stone, built by the wisdom of the chief Builder, guarded and watched over by all-seeing Providence, is the blessing and honour of that people, whose sins are all forgiven. The further spiritual meaning discovers the Messiah the chief Corner-stone, the gospel church founded thereon, guided by perfect wisdom, and preserved by never-erring Providence, and blest with the pardon of all her sins, taken away in one day, by the meritorious death of her Redeemer.

Verse 10

In that day of building my temple, when it is finished, and in the day of removing the sins of my people, literally referring to the returned captive Jews; mystically, to the whole church in gospel days, when Christ, the chief Cornerstone, shall have purged away sin, and established his church.

Shall ye call every man his neighbour; invite with love and peace, such as becomes neighbours, who are partakers of the same grace of God, and blessings of a Redeemer.

Under the vine; to feast or refresh themselves under the pleasing shadow, and with the sweet, delicious fruit of the vine and fig tree, of both which there were ever greatest store, and of choicest taste, when the people of God, the Jews, did obey, worship, and fear the Lord, and long for the Messiah, and loved each other.

Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Zechariah 3". Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/mpc/zechariah-3.html. 1685.
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