Crown Him With Many Crowns – Zechariah 6:9-15Posted by Paul Apple on Aug 25, 2007 in Christian | Comments Off
The Ultimate King-PriestThe difficult work of the remnant in the days of Zechariah had tremendous significance. For the rebuilding of the temple prefigured that future eschatological day when the Messiah would return to build His glorious temple and reign as both king and priest – an amazing confluence of these two very exalted anointed offices. (cf. how our system of government maintains its checks and balances between the executive, legislative and judicial branches) The Messiah would come as the prophecied Branch to powerfully extend his reign over all the earth. He would establish peace and righteousness and confirm the prophetic Word of the Lord.BIG IDEA:THE COMING MESSIAH WILL REIGN AND MINISTER PEACE AS BOTH KING AND PRIEST FROM THE TEMPLE WHICH HE WILL BUILDI. (:9-11) THE CROWNING — THE SYMBOLIC CORONATION OF JOSHUA
- (:9) Divine Authority of the Symbolic Coronation: “The word of the Lord also came to me, saying“
- Important section – dealing with the culmination of all of history
- (:10a) Important Role of the Returning Remnant: “Take an offering from the exiles, from Heldai, Tobijah and Jedaiah“
MacArthur: Jewish exiles who remained in Babylon, but who had come bearing gifts for the building of the temple are identified.
- (:10b) Urgency of the Acting Out of the Drama: “and you go the same day“
- (:10c) Privileged Setting of the House of Josiah: “and enter the house of Josiah the son of Zephaniah, where they have arrived from Babylon“
- (:11a) Value of the Symbolic Crown: “Take silver and gold, make an ornate crown“
- Required great sacrifice in terms of the cost of the offering;
- Not fashioned like any ordinary crown
MacArthur: Zechariah was to make not a High-Priest’s crown or turban, but an ornate crown, one constructed of many circlets, a majestic crown (like the one on the returning Messiah in Rev 19:12).
Mackay: The word “crown” in the original is a plural noun, but it is improbable that more than one crown is meant. Sometimes plurals are used in Hebrew to indicate a superlative, so that the idea would be of the ultimate or supreme crown. The mention of the two metals, moreover, makes it likely that what is described is a crown consisting of multiple rings of metal.
It is possible that 2 crowns were made: one of gold and one of silver; one for Joshua and one for Zerubbabel; and that the text goes on to just give the details about the prophetic crowning of Joshua…
Merrill: But the text before us makes perfectly good sense with the double personality and double crown perspective it presents. What the narrative is saying is that crowns are made, only one of which is to be worn by Joshua. One could even translate the relevant passage, “Take silver and gold and make crowns, placing one on the head of Joshua the high priest” (v. 11). This admittedly presupposes an elliptical expression of something like “make crowns (and of these one is Joshua’s) and place it,” etc. Such ellipsis is a common feature of biblical Hebrew.
- (:11b) Surprising Coronation of a Priest: “and set it on the head of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest.“
II. (:12-13) THE COMING BRANCH — THE MESSIANIC SIGNIFICANCE OF THE BRANCH = THE ULTIMATE PRIEST-KING
- (:12a) Divine Interpretation of the Symbolic Coronation: “Then say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts’“
- (:12b) Significance of the Designated Prophetic Name of Branch: “Behold, a man whose name is Branch, for He will branch out from where He is“
Feinberg: The thought is rather the growth of the Messiah, the King-Priest, from lowliness and obscurity to note and eminence from His own nation and country.Mackay: It seems to point to the Messiah as a legitimate descendant to David. He will not be a foreigner.
- (:12c-13a) Repeated Emphasis on His Divine Mission = Building the Temple: “and He will build the temple of the Lord. Yes, it is He who will build the temple of the Lord“
- (:13b) The Combined Role of King and Priest
- Reigning as King: “And He who will bear the honor and sit and rule on His throne“
Feinberg: The first verb speaks of the dignity of the office, and the second speaks of the exercise of its authority. He sits! Priests never sat in their ministry. There was no seat in the tabernacle nor in the temple for the priests. Theirs was an unfinished work; His is a gloriously complete one.
- Ministering as Priest: “Thus, He will be a priest on His throne“
- Administration of Peace Via His Combined Role: “and the counsel of peace will be between the two offices.“
Mackay: “counsel of peace” here is that deliberate policy which procures peace”
Appleby: Never again will the King lead the people astray against the warnings of the priests. Never again will the king need to keep the priests in order. Both roles will be exercised by the one person.
III. (:14-15) THE CULMINATION OF PROPHECY — THE MEMORIAL CROWN AND VALIDATION OF DIVINE PROPHECY
- (:14) The Crown of Remembrance: “Now the crown will become a reminder in the temple of the Lord to Helem, Tobijah, Jedaiah and Hen the son of Zephaniah.“
- (:15a) The Certainty of the Fulfillment of the Mission = the Building of the Temple: “Those who are far off will come and build the temple of the Lord.“
- Even though the temple will be built by the Messiah; He will use human Instruments; Some commentators take this as a reference to the wealth of the Gentiles being used in the building of the temple; but in context it seems to be a reference to the regathering of the Jewish people
- (:15b) The Confirmation of the Lord’s Word: “Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you.“
- (:15c) The Condition of Obedience for Participation in the Project: “And it will take place if you completely obey the Lord your God.“
- How can believers argue so strongly against the future rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem in light of the forceful language used in this prophecy?
- What are the characteristics of a Branch and why is that name applied to the Messiah?
- Are we presently submitting to the rule of the Lord and availing ourselves of His high priestly ministry on our behalf?
- How can obedience be set forth as a condition in vs. 15 if the Lord is assuring His people that He will accomplish this important mission?
QUOTES FOR REFLECTION:
Laney: The Crowning of Joshua1. The symbolic action (6:9-11)2. The Messianic significance (6:12-15)The crown was probably ornate, made up of several circlets, and had commemorative significance.”Branch” = a messianic term used by the prophets in referring to both royal and priestly functions (cf. Isa. 4:2; Jer. 23:3-5; 33:14-26; Zech. 3:8).He will be what his name implies – one who shoots up and branches out as a strong, vigorous plant.Although the fulfillment of the prophecy is certain, it is only through obedience that those promises will be realized personally.
Hartman: The crown to be made would honor Helem, Tobijah, Jedaiah, and Hen (or Josiah), who had given the materials to make it. They would not be given the honor of wearing it, however, for the crown was to be placed in the Temple and left there. According to Jewish tradition, this crown was hung in a window at the very top of the Temple as a reminder of God’s promises regarding the coming of an eternal King-Priest who would rule over the earth. All the visions of Zechariah, as well as the Word of the Lord given to him in chapter 6, point prophetically toward the ultimate coronation of the Messiah King-Priest. This event will be the consummation of all Jewish hopes and aspirations. With the crowning of the Messiah, sin and unrepentant sinners will have been destroyed, and the curse upon the earth will have been removed. The Messiah will rule over the entire world, and creation will rejoice and cry out, Victory at last!
Baron: This is one of the most remarkable and precious Messianic prophecies, and there is no plainer prophetic utterance in the whole Old Testament as to the Person of the promised Redeemer, the offices He was to fill, and the mission He was to accomplish.
Feinberg: Those who do not differentiate between the Church and Israel tell us that we are to take this temple as a spiritual one, namely, the Church of Christ spoken of in the New Testament. This is undoubtedly the millennial temple referred to in Isaiah 2:2-4; 56:6, 7; Micah 4:1-7; Ezekiel 40-48.
Meyer: Through a branch the fullness of the Root is carried to the fruit, which swells in ruddy beauty on its extremity, and presently falls into the hand of the wayfarer; so Jesus is the blessed channel of communication between the fullness of God, and the thirsty wastes of human need. We sit under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit is sweet to our taste.
Meyer: Man’s nature demands a Priest. Conscious of sin and defilement, he rears an altar wherever he pitches his tent; and, selecting one of his fellows, he separates him from the ordinary duties of life, and bids him stand as mediator and priest between God and himself. . .Man also requires a King. God had designed to meet this need by Himself by being Israel’s King, that they should not be “like other nations,” but a peculiar people unto Him. They were following natural promptings, when the Israelites came to Samuel and said: “We will have a king over us, that we also may be like the other nations, and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles.”Man needs a leader – one whom he may admire and obey; from whom he may receive indisputable commands; and in whom his faculty of veneration may find satisfaction. The days when there was no king in Israel, and every man did what was right in his own eyes, were far from being either contented or prosperous. . .As Priest, Jesus pleads the merit of his blood; as King, He exerts power on our behalf. As Priest, He pacifies the guilty conscience; as King, He sends thrills of his own victorious life into our spirits. As Priest, He brings us nigh to God; as King, He treads our enemies under his feet. It is of great importance to us all to think of our Saviour in this dual aspect. On the one hand, we get all the benefit of his Cross and Passion; on the other, all the benefit of his resurrection and session at the right hand of God.
Roper: Zechariah is given, in this series of visions, a number of truths related to what the New Testament calls our “sanctification”–how we are set apart for God. And I see here a series of levels of truth, almost like a layer cake, or a sandwich–four principles which carry all the way through the Scriptures, from beginning to end. The first is the principle of law. God says, “You shall be holy, for I am holy,” and he has never rescinded that command. It is true that we are not under the specific statements given to Israel; we need to be clear about that. We do not have to keep the sabbath literally, although we do keep it in its spiritual sense now-the sabbath rest. We do not need to abstain from eating an ossifrage any longer. You can eat one if you can find out what it is! We are not under that specific law; but we are under law to God, in the sense that his character is still there. He has not removed that. We are to be holy because he is holy, and this principle runs right through the Scriptures.Right under that is the next layer, the repeated statements of the resources of God, the power that is available In Christ. How do you respond to the law? You lay hold of Christ. This is shown in the symbol of the lamp stand. Grace is extended to us at any time. Whatever the requirement, there is always an adequacy in Christ.Then, underneath that, there is this picture of the principle of sin itself having been dealt with. This too is found all through the Scriptures. “Sin shall not have dominion over you.’ You have been set free from the dominion of the flesh–the habits and the old way of doing things which have dominated your life for so long.And underneath that, going back to the picture of Joshua the high priest, is the astounding forgiveness of God. Even when you have failed in everything–when you look at the law and turn your back on it, or look at the law and try to keep it in your own flesh and you fail-beneath everything else is this wonderful forgiveness of God. He picks you up, brushes you off, says, “Let’s have another go at it, but let’s do it the right way this time.” All these truths are evident repeatedly throughout Scripture.This is saying that for the first time in history, there will be a King and a Priest on the throne at the same time. For the first time in history it has been sanctioned by God that a Priest/King will rule. And the crown, which is taken from the exiles, is to be placed on his head. He is to be the King among God’s people, and he is called the Branch. If you go back to the other prophets in the Old Testament-Isaiah, Jeremiah-you find that the Branch is Messiah, the Lord Jesus himself. He is the One who makes it possible. He does it all, when we are willing to crown him as King, and to keep that crown in the temple. You notice that the crown is to remain in the temple as a memorial to theexiles. And it is to remain in our lives as a memorial of the time when we crowned Jesus Christ as Lord in our lives. If we have never done that, then these truths are not available to us. But if we have, if we have genuinely made him King and Lord of our life, then all of the resources portrayed for us in this visual way are ours.
Merrill: chiastic structure:A. Joshua the priest is crowned (11b)B. The Branch sprouts up (12a)C. The Temple is built (12b)C. The Temple is built (13a)B. The Branch is enthroned (13b)A. The priest is enthroned (13c)