Exegetical Studies in Zechariah Part 5 -- By: Charles Lee Feinberg

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 098:390 (Apr 1941)
Article: Exegetical Studies in Zechariah Part 5
Author: Charles Lee Feinberg


Exegetical Studies in Zechariah
Part 5

Charles Lee Feinberg

(Continued from the January-March Number, 1941)

II. The Prophet’s Night-Visions, 1:7-6:15.

d. The Vision of Joshua the High Priest and the Angel of Jehovah, 3:1-10.

In the first three visions of his prophecy Zechariah dwells on the themes of the deliverance of Israel from captivity and oppression, the consequent enlargement and expansion, and the subsequent prosperity and material blessing of the land. Now the prophet occupies himself under the direction of the sovereign Spirit of God with the matter of the internal cleansing and purification of Israel from sin. The fourth vision of the book reveals how Israel will be purged, cleansed, and reinstated into her priestly office and functions.

The chapter before us has a twofold division: (1) the symbolical act, verses 1–5; (2) the explanation and application, verses 6–10. The three foci around which the vision revolve are: (1) the immutability of God’s choice of Israel; (2) His infliction of severest punishment upon them for their sins; and (3) the complete removal of their iniquity by God’s servant, the Branch.

At the very outset we are introduced to a most interesting scene: “And he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of Jehovah, and Satan was standing at his right hand to be his adversary” (v. 1). Judging from the analogy of 2:3 (Hebrew), the probability is that the revealer of the vision to the prophet was God Himself. This function is nowhere assigned to the interpreting angel whose duty it is to explain and elucidate the visions. The Joshua mentioned here is the high priest of the restoration, the son of Jehozadak, who with Zerubbabel led the first group in the return from Babylonian Captivity. The phrase עמד לפני properly conveys the thought of attendance upon a person, whether it be before man or God. With reference to judicial matters we find the expression in Numbers 27:2; 35:12;

Deuteronomy 19:17; Joshua 20:6; 1 Kings 3:16. When used in connection with the priests it is practically a technical designation for priestly ministry. Cf. Deuteronomy 10:8; You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
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