8 ‘Hear, O Joshua, the high priest, You and your companions who sit before you, For they are a wondrous sign; For behold, I am bringing forth My Servant the BRANCH. 9 For behold, the stone That I have laid before Joshua: Upon the stone are seven eyes. Behold, I will engrave its inscription,’ Says the Lord of hosts, ‘And I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day. 10 In that day,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘Everyone will invite his neighbor Under his vine and under his fig tree.’ “
Verses 8-10 place the leadership of Joshua the high priest in the restoration of Israel, which will cumulate in the Second Coming of the Messiah. Joshua would be a symbol of things to come, such as the cleansing of the nation of Israel. This section promises an ultimate High Priest.
‘Hear [listen], O Joshua, the high priest,
The word “hear” emphasizes the importance of this message to Joshua. The high priest was the person who primarily represented Israel to God. He went into the presence of God once a year, into the holy of holies. He did this on the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur. He could enter only by blood sacrifice.
You and your companions who sit before you,
The “companions” here refer to fellow priests of Joshua.
For they are a wondrous sign;
The “sign” here refers to a symbolic depiction of a future event. Joshua and his companions were a sign of a new order.
The word “behold” calls attention to a crucial message that goes beyond the days of Joshua and his colleagues.
I am bringing forth My Servant the BRANCH.
Three Messianic titles are set forth in verses 8 and 9: “My Servant,” “the BRANCH,” and “the stone.”
Christ the Messiah will be the Father’s “Servant” who will come to earth to offer His kingdom in the line of David (Isa 11:1; 42:1; 49:3-4; 50:10; 52:13; 53:11).
The BRANCH was a symbol of renewed vitality in Israel. This BRANCH was an offshoot of David’s line, which would culminate in Christ the Messiah. The “BRANCH’ related to the first coming of the Messiah. It is a metaphor for the Messiah Himself (Isa 4:2; Jer 23:5-6; 33:15-16; Zech 6:12). This term depicts the Messiah as a Branch of David who will fulfill the Davidic covenant (Isa 4:2; 11:1; Jer 23:5; 33:15; Zech 6:12-13).
The “Stone” will judge Gentiles one day in the future (Ps 118:22; Dan 2:44-45; Mt 21:42; 1 Pe 2:6). He will also be a stone of stumbling to Israel (Ro 9:31-33).
For behold, the stone That I have laid before Joshua:
“The stone” is used figuratively here of the Messiah, who will destroy Gentile powers (Ps 118:22-23; Isa 28:16; Dan 2:34).
Upon the stone are seven eyes.
The “seven eyes” may depict the Messiah’s complete omniscience whereby He will judge.
Behold, I will engrave its inscription,’ Says the Lord of hosts, ‘
The engraving of inscriptions on cornerstones often bore the name of the builder and the purpose of the building.
And I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.
The stone will remove Israel’s sin in “one day,” a single day. This is the day of the Second Advent, not the Rapture (Zech 13:1).
In that day,’ says the Lord of hosts,
“That day” is when God will remove the sins of the nation Israel. It is a day of national redemption (Zech 12:9-10). Israel will embrace her Messiah one day in the future at the Second Coming of Christ. At that time, He will set up a kingdom that reflects His Shekinah glory.
‘Everyone will invite his neighbor Under his vine and under his fig tree.’ “
“That day” is the Millennial kingdom of Christ where people rest in peace and prosperity.
God will fulfill His purpose for creation on earth in time through the Messiah.
The ultimate purpose for creation is the glory of God. Many ebbs and flows occur throughout history, but when the Messiah comes, He will set up a kingdom that will demonstrate the glory of God in time on earth. It will take the greatness of the person of Christ to fulfill what the first Adam failed at.
As the nation Israel had not repented at the writing of Zechariah 3, so the church today needs to repent of its wayward attitude toward God and His Word. The excellent news for the church is that she has a High Priest who once for all paid for sins by His sacrifice on the cross (He 10:4, 11-14).