Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim. 2:15

King James AV1611


The Book of Zechariah
Zechariah was taught by Dr. James Modlish


Lesson Five
(Chapter 3:1-10)

Restoration of Israel as a High Priestly Nation


In the preceding visions the marvelous purposes of God's grace toward Israel appear in the judgment of her enemies and the restoration of both the land and the people. But a crucial question arises: How can an infinitely holy God accomplish such a plan with a sinful and blemished people? This, the fourth vision in a series of eight, discloses the transformation of the nation from self righteousness to the righteousness of God (Romans 3:22).



A. The personalities involved -

[1]. Joshua the high priest - This is Joshua son of Josedech, spoken of in (Haggai 1:1, 12, 14; 2:2, 4; Zechariah 6:11). He was the high priest at the time of the rebuilding of the temple.

[2]. The Angel of the Lord - As it has been demonstrated in previous lessons, this is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ.

[3]. Satan - Both the Angel of the Lord and Satan are standing, one to serve, the other to resist. Satan stands often as Israel's adversary as he did in the life of David (I Chronicles 21:1). No wonder Paul said "Neither give place to the devil" (Ephesians 4:27). Satan's present activity is one of opposition and resistance to Joshua the high priest because God's servant, by his sin, has given occasion to Satan to attack. This is in accordance with a truth emphasized throughout the Bible that sin exposes the sinner to satanic attack not only in the case of unbelievers (Matthew 12: 43-45), but believers as well (I Corinthians 5:5; 1 John 5:16).

B. God's rebuke -

The fire in (vs. 2) represents not only the Babylonian . an captivity (from which Joshua has been plucked when the nation was almost reduced to ashes in the seventy year ordeal), but it also prophetically demonstrates the worldwide suffering of Israel until she is delivered at the Second Advent. Whatever the charges of Satan may have been, they are proven by God to be ridiculously unreasonable. Can the faithfulness of God toward Israel be seriously questioned when He allowed the bush to burn, but, as He showed Moses in the desert, will not allow it to be consumed (Exodus 3:1-8)?

C. Joshua's clothing -

The filthy garments worn by Joshua are representative of the sins of all Israel, including her apostasy, infidelity, and notably her miserable self- righteousness in her rejection of the Messiah. Joshua's silence before Satan's accusation is proof of their guilt.



A. Israel is fully pardoned (3:4) -

The Lord's reply is addressed to those (doubtlessly angels) who were standing before him. Vs. 7 gives further clarification. The act performed by the angelic attendants is symbolic not only of the forgiveness of sin and the justification of the nation Israel in the future day of her conversion, but of the individual sinner who trusts Christ, as Israel someday will. Two elements appear: 1) the negative - remove the filthy garments from him - emblematic of the cleansing of sin (Romans 3:25; Ephesians 1:7); 2) the positive - clothe him with a change of raiment - portraying the imputation of the righteousness of God in Christ to the believing sinner ( Romans 1 16, 17; 3:22, 26).

B. Israel is fully repositioned (3: 5) -

The prophet was so carried away with enthusiasm by the sight of the cleansing and clothing of the high priest that he interrupted the proceedings with a personal request for the mitre to be placed upon the head of the priest. This signifies the complete reinstatement the high-priestly function in deed as well as in truth. The mitre bore upon its front a gold plate engraved, "Holiness to the Lord" (Exodus 28: 36) and indicated that Joshua was morally and spiritually cleansed (as Israel will be) to minister in a office that uniquely demanded this qualification.

C. The covenant of the priesthood is renewed (3:6,7) -

Israel in the future kingdom will be fully reinstated nationally to high- priestly fellowship with God and high-priestly ministry to the nations for God (Romans 11: 26,27).



A. The Branch -

If there is any doubt as to the identity of the BRANCH, (Jeremiah 23:5,6) can quickly dispel it. Joshua the priest is being told that the national conversion that he has just witnessed in type must come under the leadership of the Lord Jesus Christ. The word "BRANCH" must be a reference to the First Coming (Matthew 21:8).

B. The Stone -

This must be the stone of (Daniel 2:35, 45), which is a prophetic reference to the Second Coming of Christ. The seven eyes can be cross-referenced in (Zechariah 4:10; Revelation 5:6; 1:4; 3:1). The seven eyes speak of infinite intelligence and omniscience.

C. The Cleansing -

God promises to personally remove the iniquity from the land. The filth with which Joshua was covered is removed forever (Isaiah 4:4-6).

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