Zechariah 3


While the Jews were rebuilding their temple, their adversaries

endeavoured to stop the work, Ezr 5:3-4, &c.

This vision is therefore calculated to give them the strongest

encouragement that God, after plucking them as brands out of

the fire (or captivity of Babylon,) would not now give them up,

but would continue to prosper and favour them; and that

notwithstanding the interruptions they should meet with, the

work should be finished under the gracious superintendence of

Providence; and their high priest, clothed in his pontifical

robes, would soon officiate in the holy of holies, 1-7.

The subject is then, by an easy transition, applied to a much

greater future deliverance and restoration, of which Joshua and

his companions, delivered now, are declared to be figures or

types; for that the Messiah or Branch, the great high priest

typified by Joshua, would be manifested; and, like the

principal stone represented in the vision, become the chief

corner stone of his Church; that the all-seeing eye of God

would constantly guard it; and that by his atonement he would

procure for it peace and pardon, 8-10.


Verse 1. And he showed me Joshua the high priest] The Angel of

the Lord is the Messiah, as we have seen before; Joshua, the high

priest, may here represent the whole Jewish people; and Satan, the

grand accuser of the brethren. What the subject of dispute was, we

perhaps learn from Jude 1:9. Michael and Satan disputed

about the body of Moses. This could not refer to the natural

body of the Jewish lawgiver, which had been dead about one

thousand years; it must therefore refer to that body of laws given

to the Jews by Moses, for the breach of which Satan, who was their

tempter to disobedience, now comes forward as their accuser; that,

exciting the justice of God against them, they may be all brought

to perdition. There is a paronomasia here:-

Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.] Satan

signifies an adversary. lesiteno, to be his adversary, or


Verse 2. Is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?] The Jews

were nearly destroyed because of their sins; a remnant of them is

yet left, and God is determined to preserve them. He has had mercy

upon them, and forgiven them their sins. Wouldst thou have them

destroyed? It is God that hath justified them; who art thou that

condemnest them? The Lord rebuke thee! God confound thee for what

thou hast done, and for what thou desirest farther to do! It is

evident that Jude 1:9 relates to this circumstance-the very same

phraseology which occurs here. See Clarke on Jude 1:9,

where the subject is largely considered. With difficulty has this

remnant escaped, and God will not permit fresh evils to fall upon

them, by which they might be totally consumed. This was Satan's

design, who accuses the followers of God day and night. See

Re 12:10.

Verse 3. Joshua was clothed with filthy garments] The Jewish

people were in a most forlorn, destitute, and to all human

appearance despicable, condition; and besides all, they were

sinful, and the priesthood defiled by idolatry; and nothing but

the mercy of God could save them.

Verse 4. Take away the filthy garments] The Jews wore sackcloth

in times of public calamity; probably the filthy garments refer to

this. Let their clothing be changed. I have turned again their

captivity; I will fully restore them, and blot out all their


Verse 5. A fair mitre upon his head] To signify that he had

renewed to him the office of the high priesthood, which had been

defiled and profaned before. The mitre was the bonnet which the

high priest put on his head when he entered into the sanctuary,

Ex 28:4, &c.

Clothed him with garments] Referring to the vestments of the

high priest. The true high priest, who is over the house of God,

will establish his office among them, when they shall acknowledge

him as their Messiah, and seek redemption in the blood of the

sacrifice which he has offered for their sins; and not for theirs

only, but for the sins of the whole world.

Verse 7. If thou wilt walk in my ways] If ye, Israelites,

priests and people, now restored to your own land, will walk in my

ways, &c., ye shall be a part of my family; and have

places-mansions-in eternal glory, with all them that are


Verse 8. O Joshua-thou, and thy fellows] Thy countrymen, who

have now returned from your captivity, in a very wonderful manner.

anshey mopheth, figurative men, men whose office and

ministration prefigured the Lord Jesus Christ; and therefore it is

immediately added, "I will bring forth my servant The BRANCH."

Abp. Newcome thinks this means Zerubbabel, so called because he

was the grandson of Jehoiakim, or Jeconiah, king of Judah,

Mt 1:12, and heir to the throne of Judah. The

Chaldee has, "My servant the Messiah." See Clarke on Isa 4:2.

I think the word cannot apply to Zerubbabel, except as a type of

Christ; in that sense it may be understood of him. See

Zec 6:11, 12.

Verse 9. For behold the stone that I have laid] Alluding no

doubt to the foundation stone of the temple: but this represented

Christ Jesus: "Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a STONE, a

tried stone, a precious CORNER STONE, a SURE FOUNDATION,"

Isa 28:16. This means Christ, and none other; on him his whole

Church rests, as a building does on its foundation.

Upon one stone shall be seven eyes] This is supposed to mean the

providence of God, as under it all the work should be completed.

There may be an allusion to the seven counsellors, which stood

always about the persons of the Asiatics sovereigns; and those who

were the governors of provinces were termed the eyes of the king.

To this there is an allusion in Re 1:4. In Christ there is a

plentitude of wisdom, power, goodness, mercy, truth, love, and

compassion, to direct, protect, save, uphold, purify, govern,

and preserve all the souls that trust in him.

I will engrave the graving thereof] This is an allusion to

engraving precious stones, in which the ancients greatly

excelled. Heads, animals, and various devices were the subjects of

those engravings. But what was this engraving? Was it not the

following words? I will remove the iniquity of that land in one

day;" and was not this when Jesus Christ expired upon the cross?

This was the grand, the only atonement, satisfaction, and

sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. Does not our Lord refer

to this place, Joh 6:27?

Him hath God thy Father sealed; and on the inscription there

was, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." See the

note on the above passage.

Verse 10. Shall ye call every man his neighbour] See on

Isa 36:16. Every one shall be inviting and encouraging another

to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ; and thus taste and see that

God is good. See on Isa 2:2, 3. And there shall be the utmost

liberty to preach, believe on, and profess the faith of our Lord

Jesus Christ.

Copyright information for Clarke