3) Zech 3:1–5: This passage paints a strong picture of Satan’s desire to disqualify God’s priests and thus thwart the Lord’s purposes.

In response to this attack by the devil upon the seed of the woman, Yahweh created a new social and religious structure which would affect not only Judah but the world. What was happening in heaven would soon become evident on Earth.[1]

Joshua, whose name means, “Yahweh is salvation,” served as the first post-exilic high priest.[2]

Shortly after returning from exile in Babylon,[3] the prophet Zechariah experienced an incredible vision in which the heavenly council focused upon Joshua.[4]

This meeting meshes with the Ancient Near Eastern concept of the gods consulting with one another before rendering decisions.[5]

As occurred with Job, Satan participated in this council as Joshua’s accuser ( Job 1:6–11; Job 2:1–7).[6] Given the priest’s filthy clothing, this denunciation almost certainly concerned Joshua’s unworthiness to perform the duties required of his office.[7]

Since God had chosen Israel for himself (Deut 4:37–38), the Lord rebuked the devil and said to the priest, “See, I have taken away from upon you your sin and shall clothe you with stately robes.”

After being dressed in new garments, Joshua received a clean turban to restore his priestly dignity, rendering him fit to approach the Lord.[8]

Image via Wikimedia Commons

 

a) Read Zech 3:1–5. What was Satan doing? Based upon the state of Joshua’s clothing, was the devil correct in his assessment? How was Joshua made fit to serve as the high priest? What parallels do you see with your own experience?

 

 

 

Go to God’s Servant, the Branch

 

[Related posts include God’s Servant, the Branch (Zech 3:6–10); Let Us Make Humanity (Gen 1:26); God Curses the Serpent (Gen 3:14); The First Good News (Gen 3:15); and The Accuser (Job 1:6–11 and Job 2:1–7)]

 

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

 

[1] Carol A. Newsom, “Angels: Old Testament,” ABD, 1:251–3, 251.

[2] George W. Ramsey, “Joshua (Person),” ABD 3:999–1000, 999.

[3] Stanley E. Porter, “Joshua (Person),” ABD 3:1001.

[4]Mark J. Boda, Haggai, Zechariah (NIVAC; Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2004), 251.

[5] Matthews, Chavalas, and Walton, IVPBBCOT, Zech 3:4.

[6]Ralph L. Smith, Micah-Malachi (WBC; Dallas: Word, 1998), 199.

[7] Boda, Haggai, Zechariah, 251.

[8] Smith, Micah–Malachi, 200.