Thursday, November 06, 2008

Zechariah 6:9-15

The visions are ended. Here Zechariah is given explicit instructions about crowning Joshua the high priest in the presence of others. It's possible they're supporters of a Davidic rulership—perhaps the party that instigated rebellion under Zerubbabel though remember we're conjecturing. Multiple crowns are made, but only Joshua is crowned and one crown (or it might be two depending on whether you follow the noun or the verb) is placed in the temple as a reminder. But of what? Well, if the high priest is crowned 'a Branch' (note, not the branch) then the crown in the temple might be a reminder of his authority to those awaiting a Davidic ruler, and a reminder to the priests that their authority is temporary, just as they were told in chapter 3 when Joshua and his companions were symbolic men. Joshua will continue to build the temple, awaiting the return of Zerubbabel promised in chapter 4. Together they will complete the temple, but in the meantime the people are not to throw off Persian rule but accept it. The distant ones—the Persians—will help the building for now.

As we have begun to notice, there are major changes for the Judeans in the way they view their rulership. It is possible to build a house for God without the promised son of David! But he will be a priest-king. Yet all this is temporary. It awaits something more. Though the circumstances are strange, they are God's doing.

From these circumstances opens the possibility of a king and priest (also prefigured in Melchizedek—Psalm 110). Initially the two parties that opposed and supported Persian rule are to have counsel together, but ultimately their peace must come in one man who realises God's rule according to the Davidic line.

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