Zechariah 3 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Zechariah 3)

Verse 1

[1] And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.

And he — The Lord represented to me in a vision.

Standing — Ministering in his office.

The angel — Christ.

Verse 2

[2] And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?

The Lord — Christ, as a mediator, rather chuses to rebuke him in his father's name, than in his own.

Is not this — Joshua.

Verse 3

[3] Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel.

With filthy garments — The emblem of a poor or sinful state.

The angel — Christ.

Verse 4

[4] And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.

And he — Christ.

Unto those — Ministerial angels.

I have caused — What angels could not take away, Christ did; he removed the filth of sin, the guilt and stain of it.

With change of raiment — Clean and rich, the emblem of holiness.

Verse 5

[5] And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the LORD stood by.

I said — Zechariah takes the boldness to desire that for Joshua, which might add to his authority, and he asks the thing of Christ.

A fair mitre — The proper ornament for the head of the high-priest.

With garments — All the garments which appertained to the high priest.

The angel — Christ.

Verse 6

[6] And the angel of the LORD protested unto Joshua, saying,

Protested — Solemnly declared.

Verse 7

[7] Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by.

My charge — The special charge and office of the high-priest.

Judge — Be ruler in the temple, and in the things that pertain to the worship of God there.

Keep — Not as a servant, but as the chief, on whom others wait, and at last thou shalt have place among my angels.

Verse 8

[8] Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH.

Thy fellows — Thy associates in the priestly office.

That sit — As assessors in a council.

Wondered at — The unbelieving Jews wonder at them; at their labour and expense in attempting to build such a house.

Bring forth — God the Father will bring forth a much more wonderful work.

The Branch — The Messiah.

Verse 9

[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, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.

Behold — Behold (pointing to a particular stone) that stone which I have laid in the sight of Joshua.

Upon one stone — On that stone are seven eyes, probably so placed, that they may look many ways; so it was a more exact emblem of Christ, and of his perfect knowledge and wisdom.

I have removed — I have pardoned the iniquity of this land at once. The temple, founded on such a corner-stone, guarded and watched over by all-seeing Providence, is the blessing and honour of that people, whose sins are all forgiven.

Verse 10

[10] In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbour under the vine and under the fig tree.

In that day — Of removing the sins of my people.

Shall ye call — Ye shall invite one another to refresh yourselves with the sweet fruit of the vine and fig-tree. When iniquity is taken away, we receive precious benefits from our justification, more precious than the fruits of the vine or fig-tree. And we repose ourselves in sweet tranquillity, being quiet from the fear of evil.