We have very little personal information about Zechariah.  We know that he was a contemporary of the prophet Haggai.  We read in Ezra 5:1, “Then the prophets, Haggai the prophet, and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophesied unto the Jews that were in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel, even unto them.”  We see here, too, that Zechariah’s father was Iddo.  We also know that the Jewish people prospered from the prophesies of Zechariah and Haggai.  Ezra 6:14 says, “And the elders of the Jews builded, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they builded, and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia.”

Zechariah was most likely born in Babylon during Israel’s time of captivity.  He was a priest and was in the number who left Babylon with Zerubbabel.  Nehemiah 12:1 says, “Now these are the priests and the Levites that went up with Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua: Seraiah, Jeremiah, Ezra.”  Then we read down in verse 16, “Of Iddo, Zechariah; of Ginnethon, Meshullam.”

With that little bit of background, let’s now consider Zechariah, chapter 3.  This chapter, like much of this book, is full of typology.  In the first four verses, we find Joshua, the high-priest dressed in filthy clothes.  Joshua, as the high priest, represents the nation of Israel being unclean before the Lord.  Satan, the accuser of the brethren, charges that Joshua is unfit for priestly duty because of him being filthy.  The Lord rebukes Satan and declares that Joshua (as a type of Jerusalem) was a “brand plucked out of the fire.”  This fire of purification had made them clean and fit for service for the Lord.

In verses 4-7, we find the Lord ordering clean clothes to be put on Joshua.  Zechariah calls for a ‘fair mitre’ or a ‘clean turban’ to be placed on Joshua’s head.  Joshua was then charged by the angel of the Lord, “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.”  Conditional upon their faithfulness and obedience, Israel was promised a role of leadership and judge.  This has yet to be fulfilled, but will be when the Lord returns to set up His kingdom on the earth.

Let’s look particularly at Zechariah 3:8, “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.”  Who is this branch that the Lord speaks of that would He would send.  That branch was, of course, the Lord Jesus Christ.  He was spoken of in Zechariah 6:12, “And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD.”  He was spoken of in Isaiah 4:2, “In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.”

Verse 9 speaks of a rock with seven eyes.  This speaks, no doubt, of the watchful eyes of the Lord upon His people.  We read in Zechariah 4:10, “For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth.”

So, the servant, the branch, is promised, and the stone which is laid before Joshua is to have seven eyes. The iniquity of the land is to be removed in one day, and the vision closes with the peaceful scene, every man inviting his neighbor under the vine and under the fig tree.  (198.2)