Zechariah Lesson 14, Chapter 6: 9-15
“Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: ‘Receive the gift from the captives—from Heldai, Tobijah, and Jedaiah, who have come from Babylon—and go the same day and enter the house of Josiah the son of Zephaniah. Take the silver and gold, make an elaborate crown, and set it on the head of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Then speak to him, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, saying:
‘Behold, the Man whose name is the BRANCH! From His place He shall branch out, And He shall build the temple of the Lord. Yes, He shall build the temple of the Lord. He shall bear the glory, And shall sit and rule on His throne; So, He shall be a priest on His throne, And the counsel of peace shall be between them both.’
‘Now the elaborate crown shall be for a memorial in the temple of the Lord for Helem, Tobijah, Jedaiah, and Hen the son of Zephaniah. Even those from afar shall come and build the temple of the Lord. Then you shall know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you. And this shall come to pass if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God.”
Last week we talked about God’s judgment on the earth. We learned of His complete knowledge and that He has envoys—angels that report to Him all the “goings” of mankind on the earth. We learned that when Israel is at peace we will all be at peace. So far all of the things that Zechariah has seen seem to be somewhat complicated; but this next set of verses is going to be a ‘double prophecy.’ They will, at the time of the book, make Joshua the king, and he will also serve as the high priest. This, of course, is all about Jesus; and we will explore that as we move on in these verses. But, before we get there, I would like to take a bit of a detour for a few minutes.
We see the person of Joshua here in Zechariah, but there have been other Joshuas throughout the Bible. There have also been Josephs. What do these names have in common? They are derivatives of the name Yeshua. We meet Joseph in Genesis 37, in which we see him having dreams that prophesy of his mother, father and brothers bowing before him. Later in that chapter he is sold into slavery and goes to Egypt. We all know the story; about 13 years later Joseph is the ruler over Egypt, and his brothers do bow before him. But the lesson about the name Joseph is that it is Joseph that delivers the Israelites from sure starvation. He is their deliverer; his root name is Yeshua.
Some 400 years later the Jews are led into the wilderness by Moses, but it is not he that leads them into the Promised Land; it is Joshua. The root word for his name is Yeshua. It was Yeshua that led them into the Promised Land. When the Jews return from captivity in Babylon hundreds of years later, the first high priest, as we learn in this chapter, is also called Joshua — yes, Yeshua. And then, some 450 years or so later, we have the actual Yeshua born in the little town of Bethlehem. In John 5:39, Jesus, when speaking to the Pharisees, gives them this little insight into the Bible of the whole Old Testament:
“You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.”
The Old Testament scriptures are about Jesus. They tell us about Him. He is the Creator and the Sustainer. He is our fearless Leader. He is our Sacrifice. He is the One standing in the fire with us. He is our Commander in Chief for the battle. He is our Living Water, our Manna and our ultimate Provider. He makes a way, and He is The Way. He is our Light in the nights of life, and His Holy Spirit guides us in the day. Jesus is the story of the Old Testament, and He is the fulfillment of the prophecies found therein.
A type of Christ, verses 9-11
In these two verses we find a picture that is played out for us, that of Joshua the high priest being crowned as a king. He serves in the office of the high priest. In fact, this is how they will mark the passage of time in Israel from now until Jesus’ day.
Before they went into captivity, they marked time by the name of the king who reigned at that time. Read the books of the Kings, the Chronicles, Isaiah and Jeremiah, and you will see that they introduce the era by the name of the king. One can take the name of the Jewish king and then go back in history and see when this prophet did his work. But once they came back from Babylon, they began to mark time by the reign of the high priest. The truth is that no Jewish king would have had any real power. They would have been subservient to the Medes, the Persians, the Greeks, and eventually the Romans. Even in the life of Jesus, we see that the Roman government had a stronghold in the Middle East.
All throughout the Old Testament, as I pointed out in the previous paragraphs, we see Jesus played out before us. In this case we see Yeshua (Joshua) who is the high priest crowned as a king. The first time that we meet a high priest king in the Bible is in Genesis 14: 18-20:
“Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and said: ‘Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; And blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand.’ And he gave him a tithe of all.”
In these verses we are about to observe some enlightening things. Melchizedek is the King of Salem, and he is also the priest of God Most High. Salem was the name of Jerusalem before it was conquered by the Jebusites, and consequently by David when he made the city the chief city of Israel as it still is today. Here we have Melchizedek, the high priest/king of Jerusalem. In verse 20 we see an act of worship that is very strange: Abram gives the man, Melchizedek, tithes. In the Old Testament law, we see people bring their tithes to the Lord via the priest. It is not the priest that they give them to; they give tithes to the Lord. In this verse we see Abram giving tithes to Melchizedek, and the man received them.
There are a couple of things that I would like to offer here: First, Melchizedek received the act of worship from Abram. No true priest of God would do that, and we can show in the scriptures that no genuine angel of God would receive worship from a man. The conclusion is that Melchizedek is Jesus, God manifested as Jesus; and as God, He accepted the act of worship in the tithe.
Over the past few years and maybe even before that, there have been a lot of attacks on the tithe. The idea of tithing has been beaten up as an Old Testament part of the Law. Nothing could be further from the truth. Abram tithed, and we are told that he is the ‘father’ of our faith. He exhibited an act of worship when he tithed.
I have met many people over the years that will enter into an argument about the tithe and the idea of giving. Most have no intention to give anything, certainly not a tithe of their income or goods. I have met some who actually give more than the tithe; praise the Lord. But we can show emphatically that the tithe was a part of worship hundreds of years before the Law was ever penned. The tithe remains a part of worship still; it is an act of worship that acknowledges that the money you have earned is not your own. You have been given it by God; and as such, a simple act of worship and gratitude is that of giving the Lord your tithe.
In Hebrews 7:1-3 the writer goes even further to cement our understanding of who Melchizedek was with these verses:
“For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated “king of righteousness,” and then also king of Salem, meaning “king of peace,” without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually.”
Notice that Melchizedek is called the ‘king of righteousness’ and the ‘king of peace,’ and he is without mother or father. He has neither beginning of days nor the end of life. This is God –Jesus actually — the incarnate God standing before Abram and receiving the worship of the tithe. This is the picture that we see in Joshua here in the passage in Zechariah that we are considering. Joshua (Yeshua) the high priest is crowned with a kingly crown. He is both priest and king.
Jesus, the Real High Priest/King of Israel, verses 12-14
Jesus is called the Branch here. There are some things that He will do; one is that He will build a temple. We know that Jesus did not build a temple when He came the first time. And we know that it is not a ‘temple of His body’ that we are talking about; because in verse 15 we are told that people from ‘afar’ will come to build the temple of God. The specific temple that we are talking about is laid out for us in Ezekiel 40-44 as it is described in great detail. This is a massive complex that will be built in Jerusalem.
In verse 13 above, we see that the Branch will sit on the throne of Jerusalem, and he will also be the priest as well. We see the combined offices here once again. Lest we forget, Jesus is the rightful heir to the throne of Israel. He is the oldest living male in the king lineage that came via Mary. He executed the job of High Priest for us, as He is our ‘go-between’ — our lawyer between the Holy Living God and us sinful, wretched persons. He is our atonement and our Redeemer. We, the Bible says, have been bought with a price; the price is the blood of Jesus, our High Priest/King.
For those who, like me, can read a passage and not get the depth of it, in John 19:19 we see that Pilate executed Jesus as the king of the Jews:
“Pilate also had a sign lettered and put on the cross. The inscription was: JESUS THE NAZARENE THE KING OF THE JEWS.”
The leaders wanted him to say ‘he says’ he is the king of the Jews, but Pilate refused. Jesus was executed as the King of the Jews. He rose from the dead as the King of the Jews, and He is about to return as the King of the Jews. On the same day that He returns as the King of the Jews, there will be atonement as the Jews repent and see Him as their Messiah for the first time on a national level.
There is a reason for the resurrection of the nation of Israel in May 1948. There is a reason for the restoration of Jerusalem as the capital city in 1967. This is where Jesus will be the High Priest/King. He is the modern Melchizedek coming to receive worship. Make no mistake; you will worship Jesus as the King of kings, and you will bow before Him.
The Old Testament is filled with the pictures of Jesus. In Isaiah He is the suffering servant who takes away the sins of the world. In Exodus He is the manna and the water of life. In Genesis He is God who provides, and here in Zechariah He is our High Priest/King. To me He is my Savior, the one who loves me and gave his life for me. We are told that He laid his life down for us; no one took it from Him. No one could kill Jesus; He gave His life for us, the Righteous dying for the sinners, of whom, in divergence to Paul, I am chief. Oh, wretched man that I am, yet He loved me and showed His love for me — my King dying for the filthy beggar. Oh, hallelujah, what a Savior! Jesus is coming soon. Are you ready?
Revelation 22:12 “Look! I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to repay each person according to what he has done.”