Zech. 3:1 And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.
Zech. 3:2 And 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?
Joshua was the high priest in Jerusalem at the time Zechariah was prophesying. Zechariah sees Joshua standing before the angel of the Lord and Satan standing at his right hand to attack/accuse him (from the Hebrew). This has ever been Satan’s delight—to accuse those that are part of God’s family.
Rev. 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
Again, it seems as though “the angel of the LORD” and “the LORD” are interchangeable terms. The LORD basically declares Satan’s accusations to be false (He accuses the accuser); emphasis is made that this is the God of Israel that is rebuking Satan. Joshua is representative of the believing remnant of Israel that God has delivered through His refining fire of judgment. In reading through this again, I was reminded of the verse stating the “all Israel will be saved.” (Romans 11:26)
Zech. 3:3 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel.
Zech. 3:4 And 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.
Zech. 3:5 And 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.
Zechariah sees that Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel of the LORD. The angel orders His servants to remove the filthy clothing from Joshua. These filthy garments represent sin. I can’t help but think of this verse in Isaiah.
Is. 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
The angel, which can only be Jesus, declares that He has taken away Joshua’s sin and is going to give him clean clothing. He then orders His servants to put a mitre/diadem/head-dress on his head. And the angel of the LORD stands by as His words are obeyed.
It stands out to me that Joshua has done nothing for Himself. His deliverance, forgiveness, cleansing and clothing have been provided by the LORD. Joshua has had to speak nothing in his own defense; the LORD has spoken on his behalf. The comparison to the salvation of every believer is obvious.
Ephesians 2:8–9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Titus 3:5–7 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
Zech. 3:6 And the angel of the LORD protested unto Joshua, saying,
Zech. 3:7 Thus 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.
“protested” = repeat…testify (as by reiteration)…admonish, charge…give warning
The LORD now speaks to Joshua in a very serious manner. The statement is conditional…”If you will…”
Zech. 3:8 Hear 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.
This verse is hard. The Lord is addressing Joshua and “thy fellows that sit before thee.” I think this is a reference to the priests serving under Joshua.
“they are men wondered at” – According to the Hebrew, it seems that this remnant of Jewish priests that God delivered through His judgment are a miraculous sign affirming God’s intention to bring forth His servant—the BRANCH, the final eternal High Priest. Scripture identifies this branch as Jesus, the Son.
Is. 11:1-2 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;
Jer. 23:5-6 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
Jer. 33:14-16 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. 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. In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness.
Zech. 3:9 For 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.
Zech. 3:10 In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbour under the vine and under the fig tree.
The LORD declares that He has laid before Joshua a stone with seven eyes. Again, putting together scripture I believe this stone represents Jesus.
Is. 8:13-14 Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
Acts 4:10-11 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.
1Pet. 2:6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
Rev. 5:6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.
2Chr. 16:9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.
God Almighty will determine how this stone is to be engraved. God is the One ever in control—even and especially regarding the death and victorious resurrection of His Son. (3/11) It came to my mind this time through that this “Stone” was engraved with the nails from the cross as He shed His blood for my sin.
“I will remove…” – My first thought is regarding the fact that when Messiah comes to establish His throne, ALL Israel will be saved and established under the New Covenant. But I think there is emphasis being given to the healing of the land itself in being able to produce abundantly for all the people who live there. The prophet Micah declares this same truth.
Mic. 4:1 But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.
Mic. 4:2 And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
Mic. 4:3 And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
Mic. 4:4 But 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.