Zechariah 3:1 - 10
ESV - 1 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. 2 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?
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a [Joshua the high priest] This was not Joshua, the leader of Israel in the conquest of Canaan, but a high priest after the Babylonian captivity. Zechariah saw him standing before (in the presence of) the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing by to resist him. The Lord rebuked Satan and refused to permit him to stop the restoration of Judah and Jerusalem. Twice Satan was rebuked (Zech. 3:1-2). Notes For Verse 3 a [filthy garments] Joshua was evidently ministering in garments that were not holy or proper for high priests. His filthy garments were taken away, his iniquity was cleansed, and he was clothed with the appropriate attire. The high priest's mitre was also placed upon his head (Zech. 3:3-5). Then the angel that stood by gave him a charge concerning conditions he should meet to be the high priest and be blessed (Zech. 3:6-7). After that he was given a prophecy regarding the coming of the Messiah and the salvation of Israel (Zech. 3:8-10). b [stood before the angel] This is one of many personal and visible appearances of God and angels to men.
A high priest (called Joshua in Haggai and Zechariah), son of Jehozadak and grandson of Seraiah. (Ezr 3:8; Ne 12:26; 1Ch 6:14) He was of the house of Eleazar.—See Ezr 7:1-5 for the genealogy from Eleazar to Seraiah. When Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem he put to death Seraiah, who was high priest then, and took Jehozadak captive to Babylon. (2Ki 25:18-21; 1Ch 6:14, 15) Jeshua returned from Babylon in 537 B.C.E. with Zerubbabel and served as high priest to the restored Jewish remnant. (Ezr 2:2; 5:2; Ne 7:7; Hag 1:1) Thus the high-priestly line was preserved by God of Israel, so that Israel had the services of high priests from the restoration until the coming of the Messiah. Jeshua took the lead, along with Zerubbabel, in setting up the altar, then in rebuilding the temple, encouraged by the prophets Haggai and Zechariah. (Ezr 3:2; 5:1, 2) He stood by Zerubbabel in opposing the adversaries of the temple reconstruction.—Ezr 4:1-3. Some of the older ones among the returned Israelites had seen the glory of Solomon’s temple and tended to view the rebuilt temple as nothing in comparison. Haggai the prophet was sent to speak to Zerubbabel and Joshua (Jeshua), telling them that the glory of the later house would become greater than that of the former one. God would do this by bringing in “the desirable things of all the nations.”—Hag 2:1-4, 7, 9. The prophet Zechariah was given a vision in which he beheld Joshua (Jeshua) the high priest standing before the angel of LORD, and Satan at his right hand to resist him. “Joshua” was given a change from befouled garments to robes of state and a clean turban. Then “Joshua” was told of God’s servant Sprout.—Zec 3:1-8. At another time God of Israel told Zechariah to put a crown on Joshua’s (Jeshua’s) head and to say to him: “Here is the man whose name is Sprout.... And he himself will build the temple of LORD,... and he must become a priest upon his throne.” This prophecy certainly applied to someone future for, under the Law, priesthood and kingship were strictly separate, and High Priest Joshua never ruled as king over Israel.—Zec 6:11-13.
This Joshua was the son of Josedech and high priest at the time of the rebuilding of the Temple (Hag. 1:1; 2:4; Zech. 3; 6:11). I have loved and have memorized years ago from the Thompson Chain Reference Bible, Haggai: Haggai 2:4 “But now be strong, Zerubbabel,' declares the LORD. 'Be strong, Joshua son of Jozadak [same guy, different spelling], the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land,' declares the LORD, 'and work. For I am with you,' declares the LORD Almighty.” If you get a chance, check out the Thompson Chain Reference Bible --Key memory verses from each Bible Book in Thompson Comprehensive Helps Section.
The 'Joshua' here is Jesus the Son of God. The 'Lord' here is God the Father. In Jesus' time his name was actually Joshua when he physically walked the earth for the 33 years of His life. We see Jesus (Joshua) here as he just rose out of the pit and ascended into heaven. He had just borne the sins of the world and was the perfect Lamb of God as he was sinless. So death could not hold Him and He rose having done this for all. He was present before both God the Father and satan - to legally show satan that he had no case. Satan tried all he could do to tempt Jesus to sin, to kill Jesus, or to show that Jesus' sacrifice did not atone for the world's sin. Satan was trying to show that not even Jesus could be the perfect sacrifice. If satan could do this then God would have no alternative than to reverse satan's judgement. But satan failed because Jesus was the perfect sacrifice.
## Joshua in Zechariah 3:1-10: A High Priest in Transition It's important to distinguish this Joshua from the other prominent biblical figure of the same name, the leader who succeeded Moses. In Zechariah, Joshua refers to the **high priest** during the time of the prophet, around 520-518 BC. This was a critical period following the return of exiles from Babylon and the rebuilding of the Jerusalem temple. Here's what we learn about Joshua in this passage: **Significance:** * **Leader and Representative:** Joshua stands as a representative of the Jewish people and their spiritual leadership. His status and actions symbolize the nation's condition before God. * **Focus on Restoration:** The passage emphasizes the transition from sin and opposition to forgiveness and future hope. Joshua's cleansing and renewed garments reflect God's restoration of the people and the coming blessings. * **Promise of the Messiah:** The "stone with seven eyes" and the coming of the "Branch" (later identified as the Messiah) are prophesied through Joshua, connecting him to God's larger redemptive plan. **Key Highlights:** * **Accused by Satan:** The presence of Satan accusing Joshua depicts the spiritual challenges and opposition faced by the people and their leaders. * **Cleansing by God:** God declares forgiveness and removes Joshua's "filthy garments," symbolizing the removal of sin and restoration of the people's standing with God. * **Renewed Garments and Authority:** Joshua is clothed in new garments and a turban, signifying his renewed authority and spiritual standing. * **Foretelling of Future Peace:** The vision of people inviting each other under their vines and fig trees symbolizes future peace and prosperity under God's blessing. **Additional Notes:** * The details in Zechariah are symbolic and open to interpretation, with various perspectives within different theological traditions. * Joshua's role as a high priest during this crucial period makes him a significant figure in understanding the restoration of the Jewish community and the anticipation of the Messiah. I hope this overview provides a helpful starting point for your understanding of Joshua in Zechariah 3:1-10.
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