Zechariah (Ch 3-4)

The vision of Zechariah is in the form of a judicial process: Joshua is the person accused, and is described standing before the Angel of the Lord; and by the filthy garments he had on, which were the ground of the charge against him. The accuser is Satan who stood at his right hand; and his Judge is the Angel of the Lord, before whom he was the Branch.

Also, the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven eyes of the Lord sent forth “to and fro” into all the earth; only a Divine Being could have seven eyes of the Lord “which run to and fro through the whole earth,” thus testifying that Zerubbabel is prophetically the Son of God, the Messiah.

Zechariah 3

1 And he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. — Joshua is to be considered typically representing the state and condition of the priesthood in which office he was; and which was very low and mean, under the second temple; which the priests, especially the high priest, were representatives of;

— and now, standing before the Angel of the Lord pictured as the Judge in a court of law, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him;

— to accuse him: to accuse him because Joshua’s sons were married to heathen women, as it is written in Ezra 10:18, “And it was found of the sons of the priests who had taken foreign wives, of the sons of Joshua the son of Jozadak …”

And the Lord said unto Satan, “The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord who hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee! Is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?” — and the Lord, (יְהֹוָה Yehovah), for He is also the Angel of the Lord, the Son, said unto Satan, The Lord (יְהֹוָה) rebuke thee, O Satan, the adversary and accuser being condemned instead of him whom he wanted to condemn, 

— even the Lord (יְהֹוָה the Father) that hath chosen Jerusalem, rebuke thee; He has accepted the believers as His people and will not permit Satan with His choice. 

— is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? A brand is a burnt, burning, or smoldering piece of wood. His people had been at the very brink of destruction, but the Lord had interfered before it was too late; therefore Joshua also, standing before the Lord as the representative of the sinful people, is shielded from condemnation.

Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the Angel. — was wearing filthy garments: this is also explained according to the Targum: He had sons who had married women who were unfit to marry into the priesthood, and Joshua was accused because he did not interfere with his sons’ marriages.

And He answered and spoke unto those who 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.” — and He, the presiding Angel of Yehovah, the Son of God, answered and spoke unto those that stood before Him, some of His ministering angels; or as the Targum paraphrases it, “and he said to them who ministered before him;”

— the Targum is another source of the Bible. Started by Ezra for those returning from Babylon and for these returnees they could only understand in Aramaic; hence the Targum is as if Ezra is speaking to us from the verses quoted;

— saying, Take away the filthy garments from him, this signifying the removal of the people’s guilt; and unto him He said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, that is, by an act of complete forgiveness, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment, with the festival garments of a perfect righteousness.

And I said, “Let them set a clean miter upon his head.” So they set a clean miter upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord stood by. — and Zechariah said, the prophet here suddenly interposing in his eagerness to have, the work of cleansing completed, Let them set a fair miter upon his head, to give him the crowning assurance that the priesthood was restored, that the name of Yehovah was once more borne on the turban of the high priest;

— so they set a fair miter upon his head and clothed Joshua with garments; and the Angel of the Lord stood by, having arisen from His judge’s chair to see that the prayer of Zechariah was executed in every detail. Thus Joshua, the representative of the people, particularly of its priestly character, was restored to the full dignity of the olden days, and thereby the people were likewise restored to their position as the Lord’s people.

And the angel of the Lord protested unto Joshua, saying,

“Thus saith the Lord of hosts: ‘If thou wilt walk in My ways, and if thou wilt keep My ordinance, then thou shalt also judge My house, and shalt also keep My courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these who stand by. — thus saith the Lord of hosts, If thou wilt walk in My ways, as a true witness of God, and if thou wilt keep My charge, performing every part of the law with due faithfulness, 

— then thou shalt also judge My house (the Father’s house), have charge of the Lord’s Temple, and shalt also keep My courts, in observing every provision of all the Law concerning Yehovah’s worship, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by, that is, he would have open and unhindered access between the holy angels to the very throne of Yehovah; for all faulty human mediators have been discarded, so that every believer may draw nigh to the Throne of God without hesitation;

the Targum very agreeably paraphrases the words thus, “and in the resurrection or quickening of the dead, I will raise or quicken thee; and I will give thee feet walking among these seraphim.”

Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou and thy fellows who sit before thee; for they are men wondered at. For behold, I will bring forth My Servant the Branch. — hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou and thy fellows that sit before thee, his fellow-priests; for they are men wondered at, literally, “men of wonder are they,” that is, men about whom one might marvel; 

— for, behold, I the Father, will bring forth My Servant, the branch, the Son, Cf Jeremiah 23:5-6Isaiah 11:1. This Branch, of whom the priests of the Old Testament were but types, is the Servant of God in a most singular sense, who was to carry out the will of Yehovah concerning the redemption of the world. Cf Isaiah 53.

For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua: upon one stone shall be seven eyes. Behold, I will engrave the engraving thereof,’ saith the Lord of hosts, ‘and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day. — for behold the stone that the Father have laid before Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven eyes, that is, omnipresent seven eyes, the number of perfection, would be directed upon him, the loving care of Yehovah being indicated, as He observes His people, the believers in Him;

— behold, the Father will engrave the graving thereof, with beautiful ornamental sculpture, saith the Lord of hosts, and He will remove the iniquity of that land in one day, both the transgressions and their punishment. This great day is the day of Calvary, for it was then that God, in one day, took away the sins of the whole world; also the Church, now still clothed with a filthy garment.

10 In that day,’ saith the Lord of hosts, ‘shall ye call every man his neighbor under the vine and under the fig tree.’” — in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbor under the vine and under the fig-tree, inviting him in Godly fellowship, doing Godly-work in calling others to enjoy the blessings of the kingdom of God. We thus have the entire plan of God in His seven thousand years plan outline in this one vision, a Godly message which might well be heeded by all men in our days.

Zechariah 4

1 And the angel who talked with me came again and waked me, as a man who is wakened out of his sleep, — and the Angel that talked with me, (identified earlier as the Son in chapter 1) He who intercedes between the Father and man in making known the message concerning the future, came again and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep, out of his state of exhaustion. The Angel had evidently left the prophet Zechariah for a short while and now returned for the purpose of interceding further visions.

and said unto me, “What seest thou?” And I said, “I have looked and behold, a candlestick all of gold with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps which are upon the top thereof; — and said unto Zechariah, What seest thou? thus calling the prophet’s attention to a new vision, whereas in the other instances Zechariah had asked for information. And Zechariah said, he have looked, he was even then observing very closely;

— and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, a round vessel, or reservoir, for oil, and his seven lamps thereon and seven pipes to the seven lamps, or seven feed-pipes to each of the seven lamps, to insure a plentiful supply of fuel, which are upon the top thereof, the candlestick in general being formed after that in the Tabernacle, Exodus 25:31-37;

and two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof.” — and two olive-trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl and the other upon the left side thereof, this being a new feature, indicating the source of the oil for the lamps.

So I answered and spoke to the angel who talked with me, saying, “What are these, my lord?” — so Zechariah answered, the prophet having meanwhile recovered to some extent from his dazed condition, and spoke to the angel that talked with Zechariah, saying, What are these, my lord (‘āḏôn)? He, Zechariah, could not quite grasp the significance of it all, as if he thought as one who has just wakened out of his sleep, not realizing he was speaking to the Son, but just an angel;

— second, a further possibility is that the emphasis of the Son is to be shifted away from that of an interceder to that of Zerubbabel, the governor, the builder and the finisher for the building of the Temple of God; of the physical to that of the spiritual.

Then the angel who talked with me answered and said unto me, “Knowest thou not what these be?” And I said, “No, my lord.” — then the angel that talked with Zechariah answered and said unto him, Knowest thou not what these be? He was surprised that a man of Judah, a Zechariah of priestly descent, should not find some meaning in the vision of such a candlestick. But Zechariah said, No, my lord (āḏôn not Yehovah יְהֹוָה so he appeared as an ordinary angel to Zechariah).

Then he answered and spoke unto me, saying, “This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ saith the Lord of hosts. — then the angel answered and spake unto Zechariah, saying, This is the word of the Lord (יְהֹוָה) unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, that is, the force of armies, nor by power, namely, that of any earthly agency, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts;

— the candlestick of the Tabernacle was a type of the congregation of Israel, which was supposed to be a light shining in the darkness of the world. Its oil was a type of the holy spirits, and the high priests of the Covenant received the strength for the performance of the duties of their office from the Spirit symbolized in the light of the great candlestick. Moreover, Zerubbabel, the governor of the people, was to be informed that the great work which he was to perform could be carried on only through the spirit of the Lord.

Who art thou, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain; and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, ‘Grace, grace unto it!’” — who art thou, 0 great mountain? the building of the Temple being thus represented. Before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain, he would easily overcome all the difficulties connected with the completion of this momentous work; 

— and the angel shall bring forth the headstone thereof, the uppermost stone of its walls, with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it! that is, May God grant grace to this stone and to the building which it represents, so that it may stand forever!

— the Targum indeed paraphrases the words thus, “and he shall reveal his Messiah, whose name is said from eternity, and he shall rule over all kingdoms;” thus the Targum testifies that Zerubbabel is prophetically the Messiah (Ezra also knows about this!).

Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,

“The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it. And thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto you. — the hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house, this having been done some sixteen years before; his hands shall also finish it, as they did some four years later; and thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto you, whence it follows that the entire situation has a deeper significance than that of a mere earthly temple, namely, that the Lord Yehovah, in the Word that was made flesh, was coming to complete the temple of the kingdom of God;

the Targum paraphrases them to this sense, “and ye shall know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me to prophesy unto you;” thus the Targum testifies that Zerubbabel is one sent from God, the Father; hence Zerubbabel is the Son of God, the Messiah;

— the Targum is another source of the Bible. Started by Ezra for those returning from Babylon and for these returnees they could only understand in Aramaic; hence the Targum is as if Ezra is speaking to us from the verses quoted.

10 For who hath despised the day of small things? For they shall rejoice and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven. They are the eyes of the Lord, which run to and fro through the whole earth.” — for who hath despised the day of small things? It seemed indeed that the days in which Judah was then living were days of insignificant things, when the entire nation was living in deepest poverty and contempt; yet these days were the forerunners of the most momentous period in the history of the world;

— for they, the people concerned, shall rejoice and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel, as the chief builder of the spiritual Temple, with those seven, they are the eyes of the Lord, which run to and fro through the whole earth, Cf Zechariah 3:9. But if the eyes of God’s majesty rest upon this building with such evident joy and satisfaction, it surely must be a Temple of the greatest importance;

— “the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven” and these seven are “the seven eyes of the Lord” which are also the seven spirits of God, sent forth “to and fro” into all the earth; Revelations 5:6;

— only a Divine Being could have seven eyes or seven spirits of the Lord “which run to and fro through the whole earth,” thus the Targum testifies that Zerubbabel is the Son of God, the Messiah.

11 Then answered I and said unto him, “What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof?” — then answered Zechariah and said unto the angel, anxious to get some further information on this most interesting point, What are these two olive-trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof? The candlestick was in the center with its arms extended on either side, and next to these arms stood the two olive-trees which were puzzling the prophet Zechariah.

12 And I answered again and said unto him, “What be these two olive branches, which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves?” — and Zechariah answered again and said unto the angel, What be these two olive-branches, literally, “ears,” because they were bunched to resemble ears of grain, which through the two golden pipes, special spouts, or funnels, placed under them, empty the golden oil out of themselves? so that the oil was fed directly from the trees into the pipes connecting with the reservoir of the candlestick.

13 And he answered me and said, “Knowest thou not what these be?” And I said, “No, my lord.”

14 Then said he, “These are the two anointed ones, who stand by the Lord of the whole earth.” — then said the angel, These are the two anointed ones, literally, “the two sons of oil” that stand by the Lord of the whole earth as His servants; they were symbols of Zerubbabel and Joshua, the strong arm of a Governor, and a weak and filthy Church, collectly the temporal and the spiritual leader of the congregation of Israel, anointed by God for the performance of the work of perfecting the Kingdom of God. The meaning for our day and age is clear; the saints with the spirits of God are the Lord’s candlesticks, Matthew 5:14, and therefore has a great and important duty to fulfil in this world. This duty may not be performed by the power and might of mere men, but solely through the spirits of the Lord to His saints through “Zerubbabel” and “Joshua.”

~ by Joel Huan on January 6, 2022.

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