b) Zech 3:6–10: After promising Joshua free access to God’s presence if he would walk in the Lord’s ways and faithfully serve him, the Angel of the Lord made an astounding statement.

He said, “Hear me, Joshua the high priest, you and the men sitting before you are a sign that…I am going to bring forth my servant, the Branch.”

Joshua’s name means, “The Lord is Salvation.” The Greek version of that title is “Ἰησοῦς,”[1] which we translate as “Jesus.”

“The Branch” (tsemakh) refers to the rightful heir of David’s dynasty. He would merge the priestly and royal offices (Zech 6:11–13).[2]

Scripture recognizes Jesus as a prophet, our priest, and our king (Matt 21:1–11; Heb 7:24–8:2; Matt 2:1–2).

Verse 9 remains enigmatic, as we can also translate the “seven eyes” (ayin) as “seven springs.”[3]

If the latter, on the day when God cleanses the land from sin, seven gushing springs will water it, signifying an era of peace and prosperity.[4]

Bolstering the case for “seven eyes,” Zech 4:10 says, “They shall rejoice and shall see the plumb stone in the hand of Zerubbabel, these seven eyes of Yahweh, they go roving about in all the earth” (Cf. Rev 5:6).[5]

The reference to “one stone with seven eyes” alludes to the Ancient Near Eastern tradition of overlaying a foundation stone with gold or silver and encrusting it with gems.[6]

A Hittite ritual states:

When they rebuild a temple that had been destroyed…Beneath the four corner(stones), each one of them, he deposits as follows: 1 foundation stone of silver, 1 foundation stone of gold, 1 foundation stone of lapis, 1 foundation stone of jasper, 1 foundation stone of marble, 1 foundation stone of iron, 1 foundation stone of copper, 1 foundation stone of bronze, 1 foundation stone of diorite. The four corner(stones) are (each) provided with these in the same way…

While doing so he speaks as follows: “See! This temple which we have built for thee, the god (he mentions the name of the god for whom they build it)—it is not we who have (really) built it, all the gods have built it”.[7]

According to this passage, “The Branch” shall make the Day of Atonement obsolete when “he shall remove the sin of this land in one day” (Lev 16:29–34).[8]

This cleansing will usher in an age of plenty, with everyone sitting under their own vines and fig trees in the kingdom of God (Mic 4:1–4).[9]

Image via Wikimedia Commons

 

Read Zech 3:6–10. How was Joshua a sign that the Lord shall fulfill the promise of Gen 3:15? What comfort does this passage give you?

 

 

 

Go to Satan Tempts Christ (Matt 4:1–4)

 

[Related posts include Satan Addresses the Heavenly Council (Zech 3:1–5); Serpents in the Ancient Near East (Gen 3:1); God Curses the Serpent (Gen 3:14); The First Good News (Gen 3:15); The Accuser (Job 1:6–11 and Job 2:1–7); and A Return to Paradise (Rev 22:1–5, 20)]

 

[Click here to go to Chapter 7: The Seed of the Serpent and the Seed of the Woman (Genesis 3:14–15)]

 

[1] Brown, Driver, and Briggs, “יְהוֹשׁוּעַ” (yehoshua), BDB 221, https://archive.org/stream/hebrewenglishlex00browuoft#page/220/mode/2up.

[2] Boda, Haggai, Zechariah, 257.

[3] Brown, Driver, Briggs, “עַ֫יִן” (ayin), BDB, 744–5, https://archive.org/stream/hebrewenglishlex00browuoft#page/744/mode/2up.

[4] Smith, Micah–Malachi, 202.

[5] Beale, The Temple and the Church’s Mission: A Biblical Theology of the Dwelling Place of God, 322.

[6] Matthews, Chavalas, and Walton, IVPBBCOT, Zech 3:9.

[7]Albrecht Goetze, trans., “Ritual for the Erection of a House” in ANET, obv. lines 1–31, 356.

[8] Boda, Haggai, Zechariah, 258.

[9] Smith, Micah–Malachi, 202.