Zechariah Chapter 3  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Bible: Zechariah 3
Zec 3:1

“Satan standing at his right hand to be an adversary to him.” This “Satan” is the Satan from Job 1, the Devil, the evil spirit who has been the constant adversary of God. This phrase is one of the times when transliterating the title “Satan” from the Hebrew takes away some of the punch and meaning of the original text. Also, the Hebrew text actually reads, “the satan.” The word satan in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek means “adversary,” and a more literal translation of this phrase would be, “And he showed me Joshua…and the Adversary standing at his right hand to be an adversary to him.” Although translating the literal Hebrew “the Adversary” as “Satan” makes the English reading clearer to most readers, we are in danger of losing the fact that God is revealing to us that the Devil always acts out of his nature: one of his “names” is “the Adversary” and he always is and always will be an adversary to God.

Satan and his followers are evil and hurtful, and the wise Christian keeps a wary eye out for them. Satan’s followers carry out the works of Satan (John 8:44; Acts 13:10) and often come in sheep’s clothing and are disguised as servants of righteousness (Matt. 7:15; 2 Cor. 11:13-15). But if we keep our eye on the fruit they produce, we will know them (Matt. 7:16, 20).

[For more on the names God gives to the Devil, see Appendix 14, “Names of the Devil”].

Zec 3:2(top)
Zec 3:3

“filthy garments.” This English translation perhaps understates the situation because it is common to think of “filth” as just a lot of dirt, but that is not the case here. Actually, the primary definition of the English word “filth” is “foul or putrid matter” (Merriam-Webster), which would be correct, but we typically hyperbolize it and, for example, say that a child who has played in the dirt is “filthy.” The Hebrew word for “filthy” is tsow (#06674 צוֹא) and in its unpointed form it refers to excrement (cp. Deut. 23:13; 2 Kings 18:27) or extreme filth, such as “vomit” (Isa. 28:8) or menstrual blood (Isa. 4:4). This explains the translation in the Complete Jewish Bible, which reads that Joshua was “clothed in garments covered with dung.” This, of course, would exclude him from being able to carry out the duties of the priesthood until he was cleansed, which God did.

It seems that Joshua the High Priest is being described as unclean both in his own person and in his representative position for the nation of Israel. Both the priest and the people were unclean before the Babylonian Captivity and during the Babylonian Captivity, especially with the Temple destroyed and thus no proper cleansing sacrifices or Day of Atonement. But now, with the Temple being rebuilt and sacrifices reestablished, both the priest and the people will be able to be clean before God if they will turn their hearts to Him, which many did.

Zec 3:4(top)
Zec 3:5(top)
Zec 3:6(top)
Zec 3:7(top)
Zec 3:8(top)
Zec 3:9(top)
Zec 3:10(top)

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