Zechariah 3:1-5:4

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017



We are in the process of seeing eight visions Zechariah had in one night. The difference between a person who has a dream and a person who has a vision is that the person who has a dream is asleep; whereas, the person having a vision is awake.


We have already seen the first three visions.


            1.   The Vision of the Horses and Riders, 1:7-17


            2.   The Vision of the Four Horns and Four Carpenters, 1:18-21


            3.   The Vision of the Surveyor, 2:1-13

We continue with –

Zechariah 3


  II.     The Visions of Zechariah (continued), 1:7 - 6:15

            D.  The Vision of Joshua the High Priest, 3:1-10


3:1-10 – (RSB) Joshua the high priest is cleansed in this vision. This had personal significance in that it answered the charge some had made that Joshua was unfit to serve in that office. It had priestly significance for the nation, picturing their restoration to a priestly position before God. It also had prophetic significance, illustrating the future cleansing of the nation at the return of Christ.


This vision suggests that Israel as represented by Joshua will be cleansed and pardoned. Israel will yet be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation (Ex. 19:6). The vision also anticipates the preparation of Israel for receiving their Messiah.


Zechariah 3:1 And he [i.e. the Lord] shewed me [i.e. Zechariah] Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD [i.e. before the preincarnate Christ], and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him [i.e. to accuse him, to oppose him].


Zechariah 3:2 And the LORD [i.e. the angel of the LORD = Christ] said unto Satan, The LORD [i.e. God the Father] rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD [i.e. God the Father] that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand [i.e. a firebrand, a burning stick] plucked out of the fire?


(RSB) is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? (v. 2). Israel had been saved out of the fire of Babylonian captivity.


Zechariah 3:3 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel [i.e. before the Angel of the LORD].


Zechariah 3:4 And he [i.e. the Angel of the LORD] answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him [i.e. to Joshua] he [i.e. the Angel of the LORD] said, Behold, I [i.e. the Angel of the LORD] have caused thine iniquity [i.e. your iniquity, Joshua] to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment [i.e. with rich robes, with festal robes].


3:4 – those that stood before him. Likely other angels.


(RSB) Joshua’s filthy garments represented sin, now removed.


Zechariah 3:5 And I [i.e. the Angel of the LORD] said, Let them set a fair mitre [i.e. a clean turban] upon his head [i.e. upon Joshua’s head]. So they set a fair mitre [i.e. a clean turban] upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the LORD stood by.


3:5 – The clean turban (fair mitre) reinstated him into his priesthood. On the turban was a plate on which was engraved “Holy to the Lord” (Ex. 28:36-38).


Exodus 28:36-3836 And thou shalt make a plate of pure gold, and grave upon it [i.e. engrave upon it], like the engravings of a signet [i.e. seal], HOLINESS TO THE LORD. 37 And thou shalt put it on a blue lace, that it may be upon the mitre [i.e. upon the turban]; upon the forefront of the mitre [i.e. turban] it shall be. 38 And it shall be upon Aaron’s forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow [i.e. sanctify, consecrate] in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before the LORD.


Zechariah 3:6 And the angel of the LORD protested unto Joshua [i.e. admonished Joshua], saying,


Zechariah 3:7 Thus saith the LORD of hosts [i.e. God the Father]; If thou [i.e. you, Joshua] wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge [i.e. keep my command], then thou shalt also judge [i.e. govern] my house [i.e. the temple], and shalt also keep [i.e. have charge of] my courts [i.e. courtyards], and I [i.e. the LORD of hosts = God the Father] will give thee [i.e. will give you, Joshua] places to walk among these that stand by.


3:7 – I will give thee places to walk. i.e., Joshua would have access to God along with the angels.


3:8-10. (BKC) The Lord . . . affirmed the point of the vision – that Joshua and his priestly companions were symbolic of things to come. In their official priestly cleansing from sin they prefigured the future cleansing of the nation Israel. This future cleansing was linked with the coming of the Sin-Remover who was given three messianic titles – My Servant, the Branch, and the Stone. As the Servant of the Lord, Christ is the One who comes to do the will of the Father. . . . As the Branch of David, Christ is the Davidic Descendant who will rise to power and glory out of the humiliation into which the line of David had fallen. . . . As the stone . . . He will bring judgment on the Gentiles . . . and be a stone of stumbling for unbelieving Israel. . . . But ultimately He will bring cleansing to Israel and remove the sin of this land in a single day. . . . It is . . . likely a reference to the day of His Second Advent when at the end of the future Tribulation period the merits of His death will be applied to believing Israel. . . .


Zechariah 3:8 Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows [i.e. you and your companions] that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at [i.e. these are men who are a sign (or symbol)]: for, behold, I [i.e. the LORD of hosts = God the Father] will bring forth my servant the BRANCH [i.e. the Messiah].


3:8 – thy fellows that sit before thee. The other priests, men who were a sign or symbol (wondered at) pointing to another, namely, Messiah, who is here designated as my servant the BRANCH (. . . cf. Isa. 42:1; 52:13; Ezek. 34:23-24; Isa. 4:2; Jer. 23:5).


Isaiah 42:1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.


Isaiah 52:13 Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.


Ezekiel 34:23-2423 And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. 24 And I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the LORD have spoken it.


Isaiah 4:2 In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.


Jeremiah 23:5 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.


Zechariah 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 [i.e. I will engrave its inscription], saith the LORD of hosts [i.e. God the Father], and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.


3:9 – the stone. Also a reference to Messiah (cf. Ps. 118:22; Matt. 21:42; I Peter 2:6 ). At His second coming He will cleanse Israel (Rom. 11:25-26).


Psalms 118:22 The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.


Matthew 21:42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?


I Peter 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.


Romans 11:25-2625 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. 26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:


(BKC) The seven eyes on the stone probably symbolize the Messiah’s full intelligence with which He will judge. This may also allude to the Holy Spirit (Isa. 11:2; Rev. 5:6).


Isaiah 11:2 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.


Revelation of Jesus Christ 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.


Zechariah 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.


3:10 – (RSB) In that day, the Millennium, there will be peace and security (cf. Mic. 4:4).


Micah 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.


(BKC) Sitting under one’s own vine and fig tree refers to conditions of peace and prosperity. . . .

Zechariah 4


  II.     The Visions of Zechariah (continued), 1:7 - 6:15

            E.  The Vision of the Golden Candlestick, 4:1-14


The vision is the Word of the Lord to Zerubbabel (v. 6). Zerubbabel is encouraged that the temple will be completed by divine power (v. 6); that every obstacle will be removed (v. 7); that the temple will be successfully and joyfully completed (v. 7, 9); and that Zerubbabel’s hands which began the work of the temple will finish it (v. 8, 9).


Zechariah 4:1 And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep,


Zechariah 4:2 And said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick [i.e. a lampstand] 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:


4:2 – Seven pipes to each of the seven lamps (49 conduits in all). . . .


(BKC) . . . The tabernacle lampstand had to be filled with oil by the priests, but this lampstand was automatically filled with an endless supply of oil without human agency. This is indicated by three significant and peculiar features: (a) a bowl for storing oil was suspended over the lampstand (Zech. 4:2); (b) oil was transported by gravity from the bowl through seven channels or conduits to each of the seven lights of the lampstand, apparently 49 conduits in all (v. 2); and (c) the lampstand was flanked by two olive trees which were tapped by “two gold pipes” through which “golden oil” flowed constantly into the bowl (vv. 3, 11-12).


Zechariah 4:3 And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof.


4:3 – The two olive trees represented the kingly and priestly offices occupied then by Zerubabbel and Joshua (v. 14).


Zechariah 4:4 So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my lord?


Zechariah 4:5 Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.


Zechariah 4:6 Then he answered and spake 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.


God the Holy Spirit will enable the temple to be completed.


Zechariah 4:7 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.


(BKC) Every mountain (i.e. obstacle) will be removed.


4:6-7 – Just as Joshua, the religious leader, was cleansed in the preceding vision, now Zerubbabel, the civil leader, is encouraged by this vision. The Temple would be finished by the power of the Holy Spirit; every mountain (obstacle) would be removed. When the headstone was put in place, the people would beseech God for grace upon the Temple.


Zechariah 4:8 Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,


Zechariah 4:9 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 [i.e. God the Father] hath sent me [i.e. the LORD = Christ] unto you.


Zechariah 4:10 For who hath despised the day of small things? for they [i.e. these seven eyes of the LORD] shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet [i.e. the plumb line] in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth.


The seven eyes of the LORD indicates that He sees everything and speaks of His omniscience.


4:10 – (RSB) the day of small things. A reference to the unfavorable comparison some were making between Solomon’s glorious Temple and Zerubbabel’s smaller structure (cf. Ezra 3:12-13 ; Hag. 2:3).


Zechariah 4:11 Then answered I [i.e. Zechariah], and said unto him [i.e. the LORD], What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof?


Zechariah 4:12 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?


Zechariah 4:13 And he [i.e. the LORD] answered me [i.e. Zechariah] and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.


Zechariah 4:14 Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.


4:14 – (RSB) the two anointed ones. Lit., the two sons of oil, namely, Joshua and Zerubbabel. The point of the vision is that of light bearing, or witness. Israel is God’s witness; Joshua and Zerubbabel witnessed to His power in seeing to the completion of the Temple; and in the tribulation days two mighty witnesses will yet arise (Rev. 11:4). All true witness must be done in the power of the Spirit.

Zechariah 5


  II.     The Visions of Zechariah (continued), 1:7 - 6:15

            F.  The Vision of the Flying Scroll, 5:1-4


5:1-4 – (RSB) The large flying roll (scroll), unrolled because it was able to be measured (30 x 15 ft . . ., a cubit being 18 in. . .), symbolized God’s judgment against sinners.


This vision denotes the rebuke of sin by the Word of God. The two sins mentioned appear as representative of the ten commandments.


Zechariah 5:1 Then I [i.e. Zechariah] turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a flying roll [i.e. scroll].


Zechariah 5:2 And he [i.e. the LORD] said unto me, What seest thou? And I answered, I see a flying roll [i.e. scroll]; the length thereof is twenty cubits, and the breadth thereof ten cubits [i.e. 30 feet by 15 feet].


Zechariah 5:3 Then said he unto me, This is the curse that goeth forth over the face of the whole earth: for every one that stealeth shall be cut off as on this side according to it; and every one that sweareth shall be cut off as on that side according to it.


5:3 – (RSB) The scroll was not rolled up since both sides could be read. The breaking of the two commandments mentioned [i.e. stealing and swearing falsely] represented other violations of the law.


(BKC) . . . The curse of the scroll is directed toward violators of the middle command of each of the two tablets [on which the ten commandments were engraved] – the eighth commandment against stealing (Ex. 20:15) and the third commandment against swearing falsely by (misusing) the name of the Lord (Ex. 20:7). Thus the specified objects of the curse probably represent all those who violate the Law of God.


Zechariah 5:4 I will bring it [i.e. the curse] forth, saith the LORD of hosts, and it [i.e. the curse] shall enter into the house of the thief, and into the house of him that sweareth falsely by my name: and it [i.e. the curse (for violating the law)] shall remain in the midst of his house, and shall consume it [i.e. will consume his house] with the timber thereof and the stones thereof.


(BKC) The severity . . . and the totality . . . of the judgments suggest a fulfillment in the Millennium because only then will divine judgment on sin be so rapid and so complete.