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Then the heavenly messenger showed me a fourth vision: Joshua, the high priest, was standing in front of the Eternal’s Special Messenger who was presiding over a heavenly council meeting. Standing to Joshua’s right was the one called the Accuser.[a] He was ready to argue that Joshua was unworthy to serve as high priest.

In this vision Zechariah sees a heavenly court. Joshua the high priest is on trial, charged with impurity and accused of being unfit to serve as high priest. The Accuser appears in the role of a prosecuting attorney, bringing charges and attempting to undermine the credibility of the one person God wants to lead His people. But the Judge will have none of it.

Eternal One (to the Accuser): I am reprimanding you, Accuser. I, the Eternal One, have chosen Jerusalem as My own, saved her from My fiery wrath as if she were a wooden poker just pulled from destruction in a fire.

Joshua stood motionless before the Eternal’s messenger, still dressed in filth-covered clothes, as if recently returned from captivity.

Special Messenger of the Eternal (to the other heavenly council members): Remove the filth-covered clothes from this man.

(to Joshua) Just as I have taken away your dirty clothes, I have taken away your guilt from you. In place of those clothes, I will dress you in pure, expensive garments. Then you will be ready to serve God and lead the festival.

Zechariah (to the Eternal’s Special Messenger): Your fellow council members should put a pure turban befitting of the high priest on his head. It will indicate his dignity.

So they placed a pure turban on his head and finished dressing him in his new clothes while the Eternal’s Special Messenger stood by, supervising the cleansing. Joshua could now safely approach God.

The Eternal’s Special Messenger then stood before Joshua and cautioned him.

Special Messenger of the Eternal: Listen to what the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies, has to say: “If you bind yourself to Me, walk according to My teachings, and perform your priestly duties without fail; then you will be in charge of My house in Jerusalem, you will organize the activities in the courtyards surrounding the most holy place, and I will give you a place among all My heavenly council members gathered here. Listen to Me, Joshua the high priest—you and your colleagues who maintain the temple alongside you. These men are a sign of wonders to come. Watch, because I am going to bring My servant, who is the Branch of David, to lead you.” The Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies, has this to say: “You will see the stone I set before Joshua: on it are seven eyes, on it I will engrave a special word, and in a single day I will purge guilt from the land. 10 And on that day I, the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies, promise everyone will invite one another to sit under the shade of his own vine and fig tree and be at peace.”


  1. 3:1 Literally, the satan

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