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Bible Commentaries
Zechariah 6

Pett's Commentary on the BiblePett's Commentary

Verses 1-8

The Eight Night Visions And Accompanying Oracles (Zechariah 1:7 to Zechariah 6:8 ).

Zechariah now goes on to describe eight night visions, which he appears to have had in one night, which are in the main accompanied by oracles. These portray the commencement of the new beginning and are as follows:

· The Horsemen Scouts go through the whole earth and find it at rest - Jerusalem will be restored (Zechariah 1:7-17).

· The Four Horns and the Four Smiths - the opposing nations will be pared back (Zechariah 1:18-21).

· The Man With The Measuring Line to Measure Jerusalem - Jerusalem will be reoccupied and God will dwell among His people (Zechariah 2:1-13).

· The Accusation and Cleansing Of Joshua the High Priest - the High Priesthood is restored and the promise is made of the coming Branch (Zechariah 3:1-10).

· The Golden Lampstand and the Two Olive Trees - Zerubbabel, with Joshua, (the two anointed ones), will rebuild the Temple (Zechariah 4:1-14).

· The Flying Scroll - a curse will go out that will rid the land of sin (Zechariah 5:1-4).

· The Woman in the Ephah - wickedness is to be despatched to Shinar/Babylon (Zechariah 5:5-11).

· The Chariots, which are the Four Winds from the Lord, will travel through the whole earth and especially bring quietness in the north (Zechariah 6:1-8), the source of past invasion. Jerusalem will dwell securely.

Thus the process of restoring and ensuring the security of Jerusalem, is to be accompanied by the restoration of the High Priesthood, the rebuilding of the Temple against all odds, the purification of the whole land, the removal of wickedness, and the ensuring of peace in the north (Mesopotamia).

Verses 9-15

The Crowning of Joshua as Proxy for the Branch - Witnessed by the Returning Exiles as an Encouragement for Others to Return (Zechariah 6:9-15 ).

The acting out of the future was a regular prophetic method (Isaiah 20:2-4; Jeremiah 27:2-7; Ezekiel 12:1-12) and it was regularly accompanied by oracles. It would seem that that was what Zechariah is doing here as he portrays what is to happen in the future.

Zechariah 6:9

‘And the word of YHWH came to me saying, “Take of those of the captivity, even of Heldai, of Tobijah and of Jedaiah, and you come the same day and go into the house of Josiah the son of Zephaniah, to where they are come from Babylon.’

The house of Josiah would seem to have been a gathering place for returning exiles. Zechariah is exhorted to gather together the recently returned exiles (the families of Heldai, Tobijah and Jedaiah) along with Josiah and himself for the purpose of the crowning of Joshua the High Priest on their behalf. They are to act on behalf of all exiles from Israel and Judah everywhere.

Zechariah 6:10-12

‘Yes, take of them silver and gold, and make crowns and set them on the head of Joshua, the son of Jehozadak, the High Priest, and speak to him saying, “Thus says Yahweh of Hosts, saying ‘Behold the man whose name is the Branch and he will shoot up out of his place and he will build the Temple of YHWH. Even he will build the Temple of YHWH, and he will bear the glory and will sit and rule on his throne, and he will be (or there will be) a priest on his throne, and the counsel of peace will be between them both.’

The exiles are to provide silver and gold for the making of a crown or crowns, which are then, after the crowning of Joshua, to be kept in the Temple as a memorial, a continual reminder, for them (Zechariah 6:14). This gives the whole event a symbolic significance.

In Zechariah 3:8 the God gave His promise that He would bring forth His servant the Branch, and as we saw the Messianic king was in mind there. Zerubbabel was already at that time governor, and could not therefore be ‘brought forth’ and it is not he who is crowned here. (To crown the governor could well have been seen as treason). Thus the Branch is not Zerubbabel. And in Zechariah 3:8-9 Joshua and his fellow priests were a sign of the coming of the Branch. Thus the Branch is not Joshua. This demonstrates that when Joshua is crowned here with the words ‘behold the man whose name is the Branch’ he is being crowned symbolically in the name of another.

As the returned exiles watch the crowning of Joshua they are seeing before their eyes an acting out of the scene when the Messianic king, the Branch from the house of David, from the root of Jesse, would appear. The crowning and the crowns are signs and guarantees of His coming. He par excellence will build the true Temple of YHWH, and will be a bearer of God’s true glory and will establish His rule. He will be both king and priest, for in Him the two functions will be united. ‘The counsel of peace will be between them both.’

Thus the eyes of the returned exiles are turned towards the coming of the Messianic king as an encouragement both to them and to their fellows still in exile of the certainty of His promises and the guarantee of their fulfilment. And in view of the fact that the building of the Temple is to be a Messianic act this is to encourage them in assisting in the building of the Temple, not for its own sake, but as a precursor to the coming of the Messiah. No one could conceive in that day that the Messiah’s ‘Temple of YHWH’ and ‘the Holy City’ would be His people (1 Corinthians 3:16; Revelation 21:0) and His body (John 2:19; John 2:21).

Zechariah’s prophecies reach beyond the building of the Temple to the significance of that building as a precursor to the Messianic age. In the end it is that that he has in view.

Zechariah 6:14

‘And the crowns shall be to Helem, and to Tobijah and to the favoured one (or Hen), the son of Zephaniah, for a memorial in the Temple of YHWH.’

The crowns were made from the gifts of these men (Zechariah 6:10-11) and are retained by them within the Temple as a remembrance of this moment and of the promises now made, as an encouragement to urge the exiles to return home and to establish God’s new rule in Judah.

‘The favoured one’. The Hebrew is ‘Hen, ‘for grace’, or ‘favour’, and replaces the name of Josiah given earlier (Zechariah 6:9). The idea would appear to be that this man who does so much for returning exiles is looked on with favour by God.

Zechariah 6:15

‘And they that are far off shall come and build in the Temple of Yahweh, and you will know that YHWH of Hosts has sent me to you.’

The result of Zechariah’s prophecies, and of this prophetic act in the crowning of Joshua as a proxy for the Messianic king, will be the return of many exiles and the establishment of the purposes of YHWH in the building of the Temple with all that that means in terms of the future of Israel and Judah. Thus will his prophecies be seen to come from YHWH Who has sent him.

Zechariah 6:15

‘And this will come about if you will diligently obey the voice of YHWH your God.’

‘This will come about.’ The promise is a firm one. But as ever obedience is required if God is to act.

Bibliographical Information
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Zechariah 6". "Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pet/zechariah-6.html. 2013.
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