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Zechariah 3:8 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou and thy fellows that sit before thee; for they are men that are a sign: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the Branch.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— 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.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— ‘Now listen, Joshua the high priest, you and your friends who are sitting in front of you—indeed they are men who are a symbol, for behold, I am going to bring in My servant the Branch.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— 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.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— Hear now, Joshua the high priest, thou and thy fellows that sit before thee—for they are men of portent—for behold, I will bring forth my servant the Branch.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Hear, I pray thee, O Joshua the high priest, thou and thy friends who are sitting before thee, for, men to serve as signs, they are,—For behold me! bringing in my servant, the Bud;
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— Hear, I pray thee, Joshua, the high priest, Thou and thy companions sitting before thee, (For men of type [are] they,) For lo, I am bringing in My servant—a Shoot.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Hear, O Jesus thou high priest, thou and thy friends that dwell before thee, for they are portending men: for behold, I WILL BRING MY SERVANT THE ORIENT.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Heare now, O Ioshua the high Priest, thou and thy fellowes that sit before thee: for they [are] men wondred at: for behold, I will bring foorth my seruant the BRANCH.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— Hear now, Jeshua{gr.Jesus} the high priest, thou, and thy neighbours that are sitting before [thee]: for they are diviners, for, behold, I bring forth my servant The Branch.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— Hear now, O Yehoshua 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.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Hear 8085
{8085} Prime
A primitive root; to hear intelligently (often with implication of attention, obedience, etc.; causatively to tell, etc.).
<8798> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperative (See H8810)
Count - 2847
now, x4994
(4994) Complement
A primitive particle of incitement and entreaty, which may usually be rendered I pray, now or then; added mostly to verbs (in the imperative or future), or to interjections, occasionally to an adverb or conjugation.
O Yhu` יְהוֹשֻׁעַ 3091
{3091} Prime
From H3068 and H3467; Jehovah-saved; Jehoshua (that is, Joshua), the Jewish leader.
the high 1419
{1419} Prime
From H1431; great (in any sense); hence older; also insolent.
priest, 3548
{3548} Prime
Active participle of H3547; literally one officiating, a priest; also (by courtesy) an acting priest (although a layman).
thou, x859
(0859) Complement
A primitive pronoun of the second person; thou and thee, or (plural) ye and you.
and thy fellows 7453
{7453} Prime
From H7462; an associate (more or less close).
that sit 3427
{3427} Prime
A primitive root; properly to sit down (specifically as judge, in ambush, in quiet); by implication to dwell, to remain; causatively to settle, to marry.
<8802> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Active (See H8814)
Count - 5386
before 6440
{6440} Prime
Plural (but always used as a singular) of an unused noun (פָּנֶה paneh, {paw-neh'}; from H6437); the face (as the part that turns); used in a great variety of applications (literally and figuratively); also (with prepositional prefix) as a preposition (before, etc.).
thee: for x3588
(3588) Complement
A primitive particle (the full form of the prepositional prefix) indicating causal relations of all kinds, antecedent or consequent; (by implication) very widely used as a relative conjugation or adverb; often largely modified by other particles annexed.
they x1992
(1992) Complement
Masculine plural from H1931; they (only used when emphatic).
[are] men y582
[0582] Standard
From H0605; properly a mortal (and thus differeing from the more dignified H0120); hence a man in general (singly or collectively). It is often unexpressed in the English Version, especially when used in apposition with another word.
(0376) Complement
Contracted for H0582 (or perhaps rather from an unused root meaning to be extant); a man as an individual or a male person; often used as an adjunct to a more definite term (and in such cases frequently not expressed in translation.).
wondered x4159
(4159) Complement
From H3302 in the sense of conspicuousness; a miracle; by implication a token or omen.
at: y4159
[4159] Standard
From H3302 in the sense of conspicuousness; a miracle; by implication a token or omen.
for, x3588
(3588) Complement
A primitive particle (the full form of the prepositional prefix) indicating causal relations of all kinds, antecedent or consequent; (by implication) very widely used as a relative conjugation or adverb; often largely modified by other particles annexed.
behold, x2009
(2009) Complement
Prolonged for H2005; lo!.
I will bring forth 935
{0935} Prime
A primitive root; to go or come (in a wide variety of applications).
<8688> Grammar
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818)
Mood - Participle (See H8813)
Count - 857
(0853) Complement
Apparently contracted from H0226 in the demonstrative sense of entity; properly self (but generally used to point out more definitely the object of a verb or preposition, even or namely).
my servant 5650
{5650} Prime
From H5647; a servant.
the BRANCH. 6780
{6780} Prime
From H6779; a sprout (usually concretely), literally or figuratively.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Zechariah 3:8

_ _ Hear — On account of the magnitude of what He is about to say, He at once demands solemn attention.

_ _ thy fellows that sit before thee — thy subordinate colleagues in the priesthood; not that they were actually then sitting before him; but their usual posture in consultations was on chairs or benches before him, while he sat on an elevated seat as their president.

_ _ they are — From speaking to Joshua He passes to speaking of him and them, in the third person, to the attendant angels (compare Zechariah 3:9).

_ _ men wondered atHebrew, “men of wonder,” that is, having a typical character (Isaiah 8:18; Isaiah 20:3; Ezekiel 12:11; Ezekiel 24:24). Joshua the high priest typifies Messiah, as Joshua’s “fellows” typify believers whom Messiah admits to share His Priesthood (1 Peter 2:5; Revelation 5:10). This, its typical character, then, is a pledge to assure the desponding Jews that the priesthood shall be preserved till the great Antitype comes. There may be also an indirect reproof of the unbelief of the multitude who “wonder” at God’s servants and even at God’s Son incredulously (Psalms 71:7; Isaiah 8:18; Isaiah 53:1, etc.).

_ _ behold — marking the greatness of what follows.

_ _ my servant — the characteristic title of Messiah (Isaiah 42:1; Isaiah 49:3; Isaiah 50:10; Isaiah 52:13; Isaiah 53:11; Ezekiel 34:23, Ezekiel 34:24).

_ _ the Branch — Messiah, a tender branch from the almost extinct royal line of David (Zechariah 6:12; Isaiah 4:2; Isaiah 11:1; Jeremiah 23:5; Jeremiah 33:15). Luke 1:78, where for “day spring,” “branch” may be substituted (Malachi 4:2, however, favors English Version). The reference cannot be to Zerubbabel (as Grotius thinks), for he was then in the full discharge of his office, whereas “the Branch” here is regarded as future.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Zechariah 3:8-10

_ _ As the promises made to David often slide insensibly into promises of the Messiah, whose kingdom David's was a type of, so the promises here made to Joshua immediately rise as far upward, and look as far forward, as to Christ, whose priesthood Joshua's was now a shadow of, not only in general, as it kept up the line of Aaron's priesthood, but especially as it was the reviving of that happy method of correspondence between heaven and earth, to which a great interruption had been given by the iniquity and captivity of Israel. Christ is a high priest, as Joshua was, for sinners and sufferers, to mediate for those that have been under guilt and wrath. And it was fit that Joshua should understand the priesthood of Christ, because all the virtue of his priesthood, its value and usefulness to the church, depended upon and was derived from the priesthood of Christ. See,

_ _ I. To whom this promise of Christ is directed (Zechariah 3:8): “Hear now, O Joshua! Thou hast heard with pleasure what belongs to thyself; but, behold, a greater than Joshua is at hand. Hear now concerning him, thou and the rest of the priests, thy fellows, who sit before thee, at thy feet, as learners, but whom thou art to look upon as thy fellows, for all you are brethren; let the high priest, and all the inferior priests, take notice of this, for they are men wondered at.” They are set for signs, for types and figures of Christ's priesthood. What God now did for Joshua and his fellows was a happy omen of the coming of the Messiah promised, and would be so interpreted, with a pleasing wonder, by all that had understanding of the times. Or they are men wondered at for their singularity, hooted at as strange sort of people, because they run not with others to the same excess of riot (1 Peter 4:4), or for their strange afflictions and surprising deliverance out of them, as Psalms 71:7, I am as a wonder unto many. They are men of wonder; they are a wonder to themselves, are amazed to think how happily their condition is altered. God's people and ministers are, upon many accounts, men wondered at. The high priest and his fellows here (as the prophet and his children, Isaiah 8:18) are for signs and for wonders. But men's wonder at them will cease when the Messiah comes, as the stars are eclipsed by the light of the sun; for his name shall be called Wonderful.

_ _ II. The promise itself, which consists of several parts, all designed for the comfort and encouragement of Joshua and his friends in that great good work of building the temple, which they were now engaged in. An eye to Christ, and a believing dependence upon the promises relating to him and his kingdom, would carry them through the difficulties they met with in that and their other services. 1. The Messiah shall come: Behold, I will bring forth my servant the branch. He has been long hid, but the fulness of time is now at hand, when he shall be brought forth into the world, brought forth among his people Israel. God himself undertakes to bring him forth, and therefore, no doubt, he will own him and stand by him. He is God's servant, employed in his work, obedient to his will, and entirely devoted to his honour and glory. He is the branch; so he was called Isaiah 4:2, The branch of the Lord. Isaiah 11:1, A branch out of the roots of Jesse. Jeremiah 23:5, A righteous branch; and Jeremiah 23:15, The branch of righteousness. His beginning was small, as a tender branch, but in time he should become a great tree and fill the earth, Isaiah 53:2. He is the branch from which all our fruit must be gathered. 2. Many eyes shall be upon him. He is the stone laid before Joshua, alluding to the foundation or chief corner-stone, of the temple, which probably was laid, with great solemnity, in the presence of Joshua. Christ is not only the branch, which is the beginning of a tree, but the foundation, which is the beginning of a building; and, when he shall be brought forth, seven eyes shall be upon him. The eye of his Father was upon him, to take care of him, and protect him, especially in his sufferings; when he was buried in the grave, as the foundation-stones are under ground, the eyes of Heaven were still upon him, buried out of men's sight, but not out of God's. The eyes of all the prophets and Old Testament saints were upon this one stone; Abraham rejoiced to see Christ's day, and he saw it and was glad. The eyes of all believers are upon him; they look unto him and are saved, as the eyes of the stung Israelites were upon the brazen serpent. Some understand this one stone to have the seven eyes in it as the wheels had in Ezekiel's vision, and think it denotes that perfection of wisdom and knowledge which Jesus Christ was endued with, for the good of his church. His eyes run to and fro through the earth. 3. God himself will beautify him, and put honour upon him: I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the Lord of hosts. This stone the builders refused, as rough and unsightly; but God undertakes to smooth and polish it, nay, and to carve it so that it shall be the head stone of the corner, the most beautiful in all the building. Christ was God's workmanship; and abundance of his wisdom appears in the contrivance of our redemption, which will appear when the engraving is perfected. This stone is a precious stone, though laid for a foundation; and the graving of it seems to allude to the precious stones in the breast-plate of the high priest, which had the names of the tribes graven upon them, as the engraving of a signet, Exodus 28:21, Exodus 28:22. In that breast-plate there were twelve stones laid before Aaron, and for aught that appears those were lost; but there shall be one worth them all laid before Joshua, and that is Christ himself. This precious stone shall sparkle as if it had seven eyes; there shall appear a perfection of wisdom and prudence in the oracles that proceed from the breast-plate of judgment. And God will engrave the engraving thereof; he will entrust Christ with all his elect, and he shall appear as their representative, and agent for them, as the high priest did when he went in before the Lord with the names of all Israel engraven in the precious stones of his breast-plate. When God gave a remnant to Christ, to be brought through grace to glory, then he engraved the graving of this precious stone. 4. By him sin shall be taken away, both the guilt and the dominion of it: I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day. When the high priest had the names of Israel engraven on the precious stones he was adorned with he is said to bear the iniquity of the holy things (Exodus 28:38); but the law made nothing perfect, Hebrews 10:1. He bore the iniquity of the land, as a type of Christ; but he could not remove it; the doing of that was reserved for Christ, that blessed Lamb of God, that takes away the sin of the world; and he did it in one day, that day in which he suffered and died; that was done by the sacrifice offered that day which could not be done by the sacrifices of ages before, no, not by all the days of atonement which from Moses to Christ returned every year. This agrees with the angel's prediction (Daniel 9:24): He shall finish transgression and make an end of sin. And some make the engravings wherewith God engraved him to signify the wounds and stripes which were given to his blessed body, which he underwent for our transgression, for our iniquity, and by which we are healed. 5. The effect of all this shall be the sweet enjoyment which all believers shall have of themselves, and the sweet communion they shall have with one another (Zechariah 3:10): In that day you shall call every man his neighbour under the vine and the fig-tree, which yield most pleasant fruit, and whose leaves also afford a refreshing shade for arbours. When iniquity is taken away, (1.) We reap precious benefits and privileges from our justification, more precious than the products of the vine or the fig-tree, Romans 5:1. (2.) We repose in a sweet tranquillity and are quiet from the fear of evil. What should terrify us when iniquity is taken away, when nothing can hurt us? We sit down under Christ's shadow with delight, and by it are sheltered from the scorching heat of the curse of the law. We live as Israel in the peaceable reign of Solomon (1 Kings 4:24, 1 Kings 4:25); for he is the prince of peace. (3.) We ought to invite others to come to partake with us in the enjoyment of these privileges, to call every man his neighbour to come and sit with him, for mutual converse, under the vine and fig-tree, and to share with him in the fruits he is surrounded with. Gospel-grace, as far as it comes with power, makes men neighbourly; and those that have the comfort of acquaintance with Christ themselves, and communion with God through him, will be forward to court others to it. Let us go unto the house of the Lord.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Zechariah 3:8

Thy fellows — Thy associates in the priestly office. That sit — As assessors in a council. Wondered at — The unbelieving Jews wonder at them; at their labour and expense in attempting to build such a house. Bring forth — God the Father will bring forth a much more wonderful work. The Branch — The Messiah.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Zechariah 3:8

Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they (l) [are] men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the (m) BRANCH.

(l) Because they follow my word, they are condemned in the world, and esteemed as monsters. See Isaiah 8:18

(m) That is, Christ, who did so humble himself, that he not only became the servant of God, but also the servant of men: and therefore in him they should have comfort, even though in the world they are condemned; (Isaiah 11:1) (Jeremiah 23:5; Jeremiah 33:14-15).

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance

Psalms 71:7 I am as a wonder unto many; but thou [art] my strong refuge.
Isaiah 8:18 Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me [are] for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion.
Isaiah 20:3 And the LORD said, Like as my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years [for] a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia;
1 Corinthians 4:9-13 For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men. ... Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, [and are] the offscouring of all things unto this day.

wondered at:
Heb. of wonder, or sign, as,
Ezekiel 12:11 Say, I [am] your sign: like as I have done, so shall it be done unto them: they shall remove [and] go into captivity.
Ezekiel 24:24 Thus Ezekiel is unto you a sign: according to all that he hath done shall ye do: and when this cometh, ye shall know that I [am] the Lord GOD.


Isaiah 42:1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, [in whom] my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
Isaiah 49:3 And said unto me, Thou [art] my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified.
Isaiah 49:5 And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb [to be] his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength.
Isaiah 52:13 Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.
Isaiah 53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, [and] shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
Ezekiel 34:23-24 And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, [even] my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. ... And I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the LORD have spoken [it].
Ezekiel 37:24 And David my servant [shall be] king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them.
Philippians 2:6-8 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: ... And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

the Branch:

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:
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.
Isaiah 11:1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:
Isaiah 53:2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, [there is] no beauty that we should desire him.
Jeremiah 23:5 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.
Jeremiah 33:15 In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land.
Ezekiel 17:22-24 Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will also take of the highest branch of the high cedar, and will set [it]; I will crop off from the top of his young twigs a tender one, and will plant [it] upon an high mountain and eminent: ... And all the trees of the field shall know that I the LORD have brought down the high tree, have exalted the low tree, have dried up the green tree, and have made the dry tree to flourish: I the LORD have spoken and have done [it].
Ezekiel 34:29 And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more.
Luke 1:78 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,
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Chain-Reference Bible Search

Ps 71:7. Is 4:2; 8:18; 11:1; 20:3; 42:1; 49:3, 5; 52:13; 53:2, 11. Jr 23:5; 33:15. Ezk 12:11; 17:22; 24:24; 34:23, 29; 37:24. Zc 6:12. Lk 1:78. 1Co 4:9. Php 2:6.

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