Zechariah 3:1-10 ESV
A Vision of Joshua the High Priest 3 1 Then he showed me j Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord , and k Satan 1 standing at his right hand to accuse him. 2 And the Lord said to Satan, l “The Lord rebuke you, O Satan! The Lord who has m chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is not this n a brand 1 plucked from the fire?” 3 Now j Joshua was standing before the angel, o clothed with filthy garments. 4 And the angel said to p those who were standing before him, q “Remove the filthy garments from him.” And to him he said, “Behold, r I have taken your iniquity away from you, and s I will clothe you with pure vestments.” 5 And I said, t “Let them put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord was standing by. 6 And the angel of the Lord solemnly assured j Joshua, 7 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: If you will walk in my ways and u keep my charge, then you shall v rule my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you the right of access among w those who are standing here. 8 Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, you and your friends who sit before you, for x they are men who are a sign: behold, I will bring y my servant z the Branch. 9 For behold, on a the stone that I have set before Joshua, on a single stone with b seven eyes, 1 I will c engrave its inscription, declares the Lord of hosts, and d I will remove the iniquity of this land in a single day. 10 In that day, declares the Lord of hosts, every one of you will invite his neighbor to come e under his vine and under his fig tree.”
Zechariah 3:1-10 WLC
3 1 וַיַּרְאֵנִי אֶת ־ יְהוֹשֻׁעַ הַכֹּהֵן הַגָּדוֹל עֹמֵד לִפְנֵי מַלְאַךְ יְהוָה וְהַשָּׂטָן עֹמֵד עַל ־ יְמִינוֹ לְשִׂטְנוֹ ׃ 2 וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל ־ הַשָּׂטָן יִגְעַר יְהוָה בְּךָ הַשָּׂטָן וְיִגְעַר יְהוָה בְּךָ הַבֹּחֵר בִּירוּשָׁלִָם הֲלוֹא זֶה אוּד מֻצָּל מֵאֵשׁ ׃ 3 וִיהוֹשֻׁעַ הָיָה לָבֻשׁ בְּגָדִים צוֹאִים וְעֹמֵד לִפְנֵי הַמַּלְאָךְ ׃ 4 וַיַּעַן וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל ־ הָעֹמְדִים 1 לְפָנָיו לֵאמֹר הָסִירוּ הַבְּגָדִים הַצֹּאִים מֵעָלָיו וַיֹּאמֶר 2 אֵלָיו רְאֵה הֶעֱבַרְתִּי מֵעָלֶיךָ עֲוֺנֶךָ וְהַלְבֵּשׁ אֹתְךָ מַחֲלָצוֹת ׃ 5 וָאֹמַר יָשִׂימוּ צָנִיף טָהוֹר עַל ־ רֹאשׁוֹ וַיָּשִׂימוּ הַצָּנִיף הַטָּהוֹר עַל ־ רֹאשׁוֹ וַיַּלְבִּשֻׁהוּ בְּגָדִים וּמַלְאַךְ יְהוָה עֹמֵד ׃ 6 וַיָּעַד מַלְאַךְ יְהוָה בִּיהוֹשֻׁעַ לֵאמֹר ׃ 7 כֹּה ־ אָמַר יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת אִם ־ בִּדְרָכַי תֵּלֵךְ וְאִם אֶת ־ מִשְׁמַרְתִּי תִשְׁמֹר וְגַם ־ אַתָּה תָּדִין אֶת ־ בֵּיתִי וְגַם תִּשְׁמֹר אֶת ־ חֲצֵרָי וְנָתַתִּי לְךָ מַהְלְכִים בֵּין הָעֹמְדִים הָאֵלֶּה ׃ 8 שְׁמַע ־ נָא יְהוֹשֻׁעַ ׀ הַכֹּהֵן הַגָּדוֹל אַתָּה וְרֵעֶיךָ הַיֹּשְׁבִים לְפָנֶיךָ כִּי ־ אַנְשֵׁי מוֹפֵת הֵמָּה כִּי ־ הִנְנִי מֵבִיא אֶת ־ עַבְדִּי צֶמַח ׃ 9 כִּי ׀ הִנֵּה הָאֶבֶן אֲשֶׁר נָתַתִּי לִפְנֵי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ עַל ־ אֶבֶן אַחַת שִׁבְעָה עֵינָיִם הִנְנִי מְפַתֵּחַ פִּתֻּחָהּ נְאֻם יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת וּמַשְׁתִּי אֶת ־ עֲוֺן הָאָרֶץ ־ הַהִיא בְּיוֹם אֶחָד ׃ 10 בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא נְאֻם יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת תִּקְרְאוּ אִישׁ לְרֵעֵהוּ אֶל ־ תַּחַת גֶּפֶן וְאֶל ־ תַּחַת תְּאֵנָה ׃
Main point summary
The Lord our Righteousness
Then he showed me j Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord ,
and k Satan 1 standing at his right hand to accuse him.
And the Lord said to Satan, l “The Lord rebuke you, O Satan!
The Lord who has m chosen Jerusalem rebuke you!
Is not this n a brand 1 plucked from the fire?”
Now j Joshua was standing before the angel, o clothed with filthy garments.
And the angel said to p those who were standing before him, q “Remove the filthy garments from him.”
And to him he said, “Behold, r I have taken your iniquity away from you,
and s I will clothe you with pure vestments.”
And I said, t “Let them put a clean turban on his head.”
So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with garments.
And the angel of the Lord was standing by.
And the angel of the Lord solemnly assured j Joshua,
“Thus says the Lord of hosts: If you will walk in my ways and u keep my charge,
then you shall v rule my house and have charge of my courts,
and I will give you the right of access among w those who are standing here.
Then he showed me
Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord,
and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him.
And the Lord said to Satan,
“The Lord rebuke you, O Satan!
The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you!
Is not this a brand plucked from the fire?”
Now Joshua was standing before the angel,
clothed with filthy garments.
And the angel said to those who were standing before him,
“Remove the filthy garments from him.”
And to him he said, “Behold, I have taken your iniquity away from you,
and I will clothe you with pure vestments.”
And I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.”
So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with garments.
And the angel of the Lord was standing by.
The Promise (assurance)
And the angel of the Lord solemnly assured Joshua,
“Thus says the Lord of hosts:
If you will walk in my ways and keep my charge,
then you shall rule my house and have charge of my courts,
and I will give you the right of access among those who are standing here.
The boundaries of this passage: Beginning of pericope: Zech. 2:13d, conjunction "for" (kî), provides the grounds (reason) for the previous statement. This ends the third vision with the Lord rising from His throne. Zech. 3:1a opens a new section with "then he shows me." End of pericope: Verse 8-10, although related, focuses on the Messianic promise. Verse 1-7 focuses on Joshua and how his sins are removed. There is a difference in theme between these two group of verses. Point 1: Verse 1a begins with an action phrase - "then he showed" (wa yare ni), which include conjunction "then" (wa). Verse 1-2 forms a unit about Joshua being accused by Satan before the Lord. Verse 2 ends with a question before moving to the next sub-theme. Point 2: Verse 3a begins a new topic with the conjunction "now" (wi). Joshua is standing with filthy clothes before the Lord, hence Satan's accusation. Verse 5c ends with a status-phrase that begins with the conjunction "and" (wa). Point 3: Verse 6a opens a new sub-theme with the conjunction "and" (wa). This is a new action-phrase where the angel charge Joshua to walk in his ways. Verse 7 contains both the command and the blessing.
The Big Idea
Title: The Lord is our Righteousness Point 1: Jesus is our Advocate (vv. 1-2). In our journey as Christians through this world, like Israel, we sometimes become cold and lukewarm - we are prone to wonder - we take wrong turnoffs - we disobey. As Israel was punished, God disciplines us, and calls us back to Himself, because he remains faithful to His covenant. Satan uses these things to accuse and condemn us. This vision of Zechariah teaches us that, as redeemed people, we always live in the presence of God (Coram Deo) with a High Priest and Advocate that defends us against the accusations of Satan based on His perfect obedience. There is indeed no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Point 2: Jesus is our Mediator (vv. 3-5). In general, as Christians we still sin (Rom. 7), and it brings guilt and condemnation. We also make wrong decisions that we later regret. We live in this world and our white garments often get stained by our sin. Like Luther said, sinner and righteous at the same time. We still need cleansing like Jesus washed Peter's feet. John said, if we live in the light, Jesus' blood continuously cleanses and keeps us clean. Zechariah's vision gives us a picture of the Christians life in this world and before the throne of God before we are clothed with a new sinless body. Point 3: Jesus is the Promise (vv. 6-7). Joshua is a picture of Christ and His obedience on our behalf. Christ obeyed the law perfectly on our behalf and earned God's blessing for us. Through Him we are restored in a covenant relationship with God. We can never obey perfectly this side of the grave, and yet, His obedience counts for us. But we must still obey and be faithful to the covenant. Obedience will result in blessings. However, by the obedience of Christ, we reign with Him in heavenly places. And His obedience and death gives us right of access to His presence now and the new Jerusalem one day
Words and Phrases
1. Key phrases and words point 1 (vv. 1-2) The high priest standing before the angel of the LORD . Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. The LORD rebuke you Satan. The LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you. Joshua is a brand plucked from the fire Joshua the high priest standing - in this heavenly court drama, Joshua, dressed in filthy clothes, is a symbol of Israel after returning from exile, being punished for their sins, but given grace by the Lord. They are like a stick rescued from the fire (God's judgement) before completely being destroyed. His attitude before the Lord is also that of an OT High Priest, ministering at the altar for the people (Ezr 3:2, 3, 6; Ps 135:2), while needing cleansing himself. He is a symbol of his own and the people's sins in the court of heaven (Nu 35:12). The angel of the Lord - is a theophany (pre-incarnate revelation of Christ) of the second person of the trinity. Logos - Angel of the Lord . The juxtaposition of the messenger of the Lord in v. 1 and the Lord in v. 2 shows that here, at least, they are one and the same ~ NET Bible Notes - Zechariah 3 . Satan - the Hebrew term meaning "adversary" in a law court: as devil is the Greek term, meaning accuser. Messiah, on the other hand, is "advocate" for His people in the court of heaven's justice (1Jo 2:1) ~Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary. The Hebrew term הַשָּׂטָן (hassatan, “the satan”) suggests not so much a personal name (as in almost all English translations) but an epithet, namely, “the adversary.” This evil being is also described this way in Job 1 and 2 and possibly 1 Chr 21:1 ~ NET Bible Notes - Zechariah 3 Standing at his right hand - the usual position of a prosecutor or accuser in court, as the left hand was the position of the defendant (Ps 109:6). ~Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary Does Satan still have access to heaven today? Do God and Satan Still Speak Together about Believers? - based on Revelation 12, we have to say that what happened in Zech. 3:1 and Job 1:6-12 can’t happen today anymore - > https://yinkahdinay.wordpress.com/2021/07/13/do-god-and-satan-still-speak-together-about-believers/ Filthy garments - symbol of sin (Pr 30:12; Isa 4:4; 64:6); proving that it is not on the ground of His people's righteousness that He accepts them. Here primarily the "filthy garments" represent the abject state temporally of the priesthood and people at the return from Babylon. Yet he "stood before the angel." Abject as he was, he was before Jehovah's eye, who graciously accepts His people's services, though mixed with sin and infirmity. ~Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary Simul justus et peccator - At the same time righteous and a sinner -> Ligonier - Simul justice et peccator The LORD who has chosen Jerusalem - this is the identity of the Lord of hosts. This is covenant language. He is faithful. He swore by His own name to be faithful (Gen. 22:16). Sovereign grace doesn't depend on Jerusalem's merits or demerits but on Christ who chooses (John 15:16; Rom. 9:16; 11:5). Christ's choice (Joh 15:16) refutes Satan's accusations against God's people (Zech. 1:17; 2:12; Ro 8:33, 34, 37), represented by Joshua, not that she may continue in sin, but be freed from it (Zech. 3:7) - go and sin no more (John 8:11). Brand plucked from the fire - (Amos 4:11; 1Pet. 4:18; Jude 23). Hereby God is not ignoring their sin (Zech. 3:3, 4, 9) but, after punishing them for 70 years (furnace), pardons their sin through His electing love. And when He gives grace, He will complete the work He began (Ps. 89:30-35; Phil. 1:6). 2. Key phrases and words point 2 (vv. 3-5) Joshua standing clothed with filthy garments . Those who were standing before him. Remove the filthy garments from him. They put a clean turban on his head. They clothed him with garments. The angel of the LORD was standing by . Filthy garments - symbol of sin (Pr. 30:12; Is. 4:4; 64:6). Filthy garments represent Joshua and the people's sins after returning from exile. As dirty as they were, their service, mixed with sin and brokenness, were accepted by grace -> Logos - Filthy Garments . Those that stood before him - all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation (1Kings 10:8; Dan. 1:5; Luke 1:19; Heb. 1:14). Remove the filthy garments from him - "They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb" (Rev. 7:14; 22:14; Is. 1:18; Dan. 12:10; 1 John 1:7-9). Double imputation; the great exchange (2 Cor. 5:21) -> Ligonier - Double Imputation . Clean Turban - (Ex. 28:4, 37, 39; 29:6; Lev. 8:9; 16:4). The turban is a cloth headdress on the high priest's head. On the front of it was a golden plate with the inscription, “Holiness to the Lord." -> Logos - Turban . A clean turban probably suggest the reinstatement of the high priestly ministry with the rebuilding of the temple. The priest was not allowed to minister at the altar without it. It also point to the earthly high priest's sinfulness and need of cleansing. I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.” - Joshua is interjecting by way of a request. He is not instructing or demanding. This act instructs us to have the same zeal for the glory of Christ. As individuals and the church as a whole, we should strive after holiness and the glory of God - we must not be satisfied with second best and sin must be fought in our lives and the church with vigour. The angel of the LORD was standing by - This doesn't mean idle but an active participant. Jesus is watching over and guarding the priesthood. He is giving approval of the activity. The Hebrew word "ʿōmed"refers to the particular portion of space occupied by something (Dan. 8:17–18; 10:11; Neh. 8:7; 9:3; 13:11; 2 Chron. 34:31) / the position where someone (as a guard or sentry) stands or is assigned to stand (2 Chron 30:16; 35:10). ~Logos word study Taken together one can say Christ was seated as the judge when Joshua appear before Him but now took a stand of authority over Satan and to guard and approve the cleansing and reinstatement of the high priest. Jesus is always watching to defend us. He rule and reign over His church. 3. Key phrases and words point 3 (vv. 6-7) The LORD solemnly assured Joshua. Walk in my ways and keep my charge . You shall rule my house and have charge of my courts I will give you the right of access . Solemnly assured Joshua - A forensic term for an affirmation on oath (Heb 6:17, 18). God thus solemnly states the end for which the priesthood is restored to the people, His own glory in their obedience and pure worship, and their consequent promotion to heavenly honour. ~Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary Walk in my ways and keep my charge; rule my house and charge of my courts - Joshua has been cleansed and clothed and is now given a charge by the angel of the Lord. If Joshua will walk in the ways of the Lord and obey the requirements of the covenant (Deut. 11:1; 28:9), God promises to grant him three responsibilities: (1) governance of the temple (“rule my house”), which includes not only management of the temple but also administration of justice (Deut. 17:9–12; 19:17; Ezek. 44:15); (2) protection of the purity of the temple “courts” where the priests served (Num. 3:7–8; 18:5; 1 Chron. 23:28–32); and (3) admission to God’s presence (“the right of access among those who are standing here”). ~ESVEC The first refers to personal godliness . Walking in God’s ways means living after his fashion, according to his character as seen in his Word. The second deals with official faithfulness in ministry; the actual word for “charge” (Hebrew, mishmor) has to do specifically with ritual duties and the guarding of proper religion. ~ Logos - Zechariah 3:6-7 The sequence of actions in this vision reflects a similar pattern in the Christian life. By God’s grace and through the cross, Jesus cleanses and clothes his people with a righteousness not their own in order to serve God (Rom. 3:21–26; 8:33–34; 12:1). Joshua is not accepted by God on account of his good works—he is cleansed and forgiven as an undeserved act of God. Having been cleansed, he is commanded by God to serve (Rom. 12:1). A failure to appreciate the grace of God’s forgiveness can lead to pride, insecurity, or ongoing feelings of guilt, paralysing Christian service. The antidote to each of these maladies is the gospel of grace. Whatever accusation Satan can bring has been silenced for those who trust in Jesus. ~ESVEC Rule my house and charge of my courts - Logos - Zechariah 3:6-7 . Restoring the temple and the priestly ministry would lead to Joshua governing the worship and ministry of God's word to His people. As ministers of God's word, pastors must have a personal devotion to God and a life beyond reproach (1 Tim. 3). This will give them access to God's presence and the right to govern worship in the church. The right of access - The ones “standing here” in Zechariah’s vision are those standing in the divine council in God’s presence. Access to God’s presence was the high priest’s privilege on the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16). Hence, the honor of serving as a high priest is conditional on Joshua’s covenant faithfulness. ~ESVEC
Questions (vv. 1-2): Who is the Angel of the Lord? Why is Satan in heaven? Why does the Lord speak in the first person about Himself? What is the significance of "The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem"? What does a brand plucked from the fire mean? How does this relate to Joshua and to us? Some points: The scene - heavenly courtroom. Joshua accused by Satan. Joshua vindicated by the Lord. Satan's identity - accuser of the brethren. The Lord rebuke Satan. The Lord's identity - the one who choose. Joshua's status before - brand plucked from the fire. Further clarification: The accuser has been cats out of heaven (Rev. 12:10; Luke 10:18). Redeemed status - sinner and righteous at the same time. We need a perfect High Priest. God has chosen and is faithful. Salvation doesn't depend on our good works. Satan will always oppose God's work. The good work he began in us will be completed. We build on the foundation (1 Cor. 3:12). Our works will be tested (1 Cor. 3:13). Good works will last, bad works will be burned. But those in Christ will be saved, even like someone from fire (1 Cor. 3:15).
Questions (vv. 3-5): What is meant by filthy garments? How does it relate to Joshua the High Priest? How does it relate to us? What is symbolized by pure vestments and clean turban? What is meant with "the angel of the Lord standing by"? Why? What does it mean for us? Who is speaking in verse 5? And I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.” Some points: Joshua standing before the angel. There were angels standing before the Lord as well. Joshua had filthy garments - our best works are filthy rags -> https://biblehub.com/isaiah/64-6.htm The accusation was partly true. But Christ is his/our righteousness. In verse 5 Zechariah interjects and speaks into the vision: "And I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.”" Further clarification: Pure vestments and clean turban reminds of the prodigal son when he returns (Luke 15:11-32). Also the wedding garment (Matt. 22:11-14). Bridegroom's robe and the headdress of a priest (Is. 61:10).
Questions (vv. 6-7): Why is there a condition given? If...then... Must Joshua earn his way into heaven? What is the relationship between obedience, promise and grace? What are meant by the two conditions: "walk in my ways", and "keep my charge." What is meant by the promises: "rule my house", and "charge of my courts." How does this apply to Joshua? If any? How does this apply to us? If at all? Obedience seems to result in blessing? Earthly benefit and heavenly access? Joshua would get access to those "standing here." Who are they? When is this? Where is it? General Questions: What does this picture of Joshua means for us? How does Israel fits in this picture? How do we fit into this picture? Some points: The angel of the Lord is the Lord of Hosts. The Lord swears by His own name. Command with a promise: - Walk in my way; keep my commands. - rule house; charge of courts; access to heaven. Joshua foreshadows the Messiah. Joshua pictures the imperfect high priest of the OT. He also represents the Christians walk in the world. Jesus will be the perfect High Priest. He will be the Prophet, Priest and King over God's people - a spiritual house -> https://biblehub.com/1_peter/2-5.htm Further clarification: If we love Him, we will obey Him (John 14:15). Deny self, take up cross, and follow Hum (Matt. 10:38). Those who endure receives the crown (James 1:12).