Summary: The purpose of the vision of the surveyor, Zechariah chapter 2, was to assure the Israelites the nation would be reestablished. The vision of Joshua the high priest assures the Israelites that they shall be put into a good position again.
The purpose of the vision of the surveyor, Zechariah chapter 2, was to assure the Israelites the nation would be reestablished. The vision of Joshua the high priest assures the Israelites that they shall be put into a good position again, and the promise of this also points to Christ, who is not only our Lord, but the high priest of our profession, of whom Joshua was a type.
The angel that talked with Zechariah showed him Joshua the high priest. It is possible Zechariah saw Joshua many times, spoke to him, and that there was a close friendship between Zechariah and Joshua, but Zechariah only saw how Joshua appeared before men. If Zechariah is to know how Joshua stands before the Lord, it must be shown him in a vision.
In this vision Satan is standing at Joshua’s right hand as the prosecutor, or a witness stands at the right hand of the prisoner. Joshua is accused by Satan of being an unfaithful servant. There are those who believe Satan has brought the charge of unfaithfulness
against Joshua because the priests under his authority were marrying foreign women (Ezra 9:1, 2; Nehemiah 3:28). When God is about to reestablish the priesthood Satan brings a charge against the high priest that would render him unworthy of the honor bestowed
In this vision Satan stood before the Lord with Joshua to oppose the service Joshua was doing for the public good. He stood at Joshua’s right hand, the hand of action, to discourage Joshua and place obstacles in his way.
When we are fulfilling our call to serve the Lord we must expect to meet with all the resistance that Satan’s subtlety and malice can give us. We must resist him that resists us in the performance of our duty and he will flee from us. We must never let the obstacles placed in our paths discourage us or turn us away from the course the Lord has set for us.
In verse two a victorious defense is made for Joshua. Satan is silenced by the One who has authority over him. His indictment is quashed, and his charge against Joshua is shown to be malicious and frivolous. Those that belong to Christ have Him ready to vigorously
defend them when Satan viciously attacks them. He does not plea bargain with Satan but shuts his mouth immediately with this sharp reprimand, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan.” This is the best way to deal with a furious enemy.
The Lord lets Satan know his charge against Joshua will be fruitless; it will serve no purpose to attempt any thing against Jerusalem or His chosen high priest. He has chosen Jerusalem to be His dwelling place and Joshua to be the head servant in His house and He
will abide by his choice. The Lord said, Joshua is a “brand plucked from the fire.” He has been wonderfully delivered out of the fire of captivity, that God might be glorified in him, and He will not cast him off or abandon him. A converted soul is a brand plucked out of the fire by a miracle of free grace. He shall not be left to be a prey to Satan.
Joshua appears before the Lord as one polluted, clothed in garments that were not fitting of his office and the sanctity of his work. By the law of Moses the garments of the high priest were to be “for glory and for beauty” (Exodus 28:2). But Joshua’s garments were a shame and reproach to him. He had no clean linen wherein to minister and to do the duty
of his office. This conveys the idea that the priesthood was not only poor, despised, and
loaded with contempt, but that there was a great deal of iniquity cleaving to the holy things.
The returned Jews were so taken up with their troubles that they thought they didn’t need to confess their sins, and were not aware that they were hindrances of the progress of the Lord’s work among them. Because they had turned from idolatry they thought they were
no longer chargeable with iniquity. But God showed them there were many things wrong in them, which hindered the bestowing of the Lord’s favor towards them. Their sins were spiritual enemies warring against them and more dangerous than any of the neighboring nations.
Joshua had sons who married foreign women ( Ezra 10:18). Yet Joshua was permitted to stand before the angel of the Lord. Though his children did not do as they should, yet the covenant of priesthood was not broken.
Christ bears with his people, whose hearts are right with Him, and admits them into communion with Himself, notwithstanding their many infirmities. Provision was made for the cleansing of Joshua. Christ gave orders to the angels that attended Him, and were ready to do His pleasure, to put Joshua into a better state. Joshua presented himself before the Lord in his filthy garments and Christ graciously looked upon him with compassion, and not as He might have justly done. Christ loathed the filthiness of Joshua’s garments,