9 And the word of the LORD came to me: 10 “Take from the exiles Heldai, Tobijah, and Jedaiah, who have arrived from Babylon; and go the same day to the house of Josiah, the son of Zephaniah. 11 Take from them silver and gold, and make a crown, and set it upon the head of Joshua, the son of Jehozadak, the high priest; 12 and say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, “Behold, the man whose name is the Branch: for he shall grow up in his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD. 13 It is he who shall build the temple of the LORD, and shall bear royal honor, and shall sit and rule upon his throne. And there shall be a priest by his throne, and peaceful understanding shall be between them both.”’ 14 And the crown shall be in the temple of the LORD as a reminder to Heldai, Tobijah, Jedaiah, and Josiah the son of Zephaniah.
15 “And those who are far off shall come and help to build the temple of the LORD; and you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you. And this shall come to pass, if you will diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God.”
There is a great change in the language, the visionary language stops from here on. Zechariah describes nothing odd or fantastic. Just the words of the LORD are presented.
We know nothing of these four men. They are presented simply as three men who have just arrived back from Babylon, although they do seem to have pockets full of silver and gold. They are taken to a gold smith, and his father is also named. All we know of them is their names. But there names do provide some interesting information. The Hebrew language loves word plays. One of the most common is the meaning of proper nouns, which is used to make one or more points, that are said outright in the passage.
- Heldai is Aramaic for “world”.
- Tobijah means “the LORD is good”.
- Jedaiah means “friend of the LORD”.
- Josiah means “the LORD will save”.
- Zephaniah is “hidden by the LORD”.
It is like the LORD is calling “hay world, I AM good, be my friend, and I will save you, I have hidden this information”.
FYI: The KJV says “crowns”, and the word is indeed in the plural, however all the other words about this crown are singular. When this happens in the Hebrew the plural means great, large, or important. And since the plural in Hebrew means three or more, would lead one to think that there were at least three crowns made, which makes no since in the rest of the passage.
The High Priest was to have a crown. It was to be engraved with the words ‘Holy to the LORD”. Aaron’s crown was pure gold.
And they made the plate of the holy crown of pure gold, and wrote upon it an inscription, like the engraving of a signet, “Holy to the LORD.” Ex. 39:30
FYI: Since they are all wearing white, which is what the High priest wore on Yom Kippur, it must mean that before the Throne, it is always Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement [Lev 16:23-25ff].
This crown however is to be made of both silver and gold. Silver represented redemption. The redemption of the first born were to be paid for in silver half shekels.
The LORD said to Moses, “When you take the census of the people of Israel, then each shall give a ransom for himself to the LORD when you number them, that there be no plague among them when you number them. Each who is numbered in the census shall give this: half a shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary (the shekel is twenty gerahs), half a shekel as an offering to the LORD. Every one who is numbered in the census, from twenty years old and upward, shall give the LORD’s offering. The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less, than the half shekel, when you give the LORD’s offering to make atonement for yourselves. And you shall take the atonement money from the people of Israel, and shall appoint it for the service of the tent of meeting; that it may bring the people of Israel to remembrance before the LORD, so as to make atonement for yourselves.” Ex. 30:11-16
All that opens the womb is mine, all your male cattle, the firstlings of cow and sheep. The firstling of an ass you shall redeem with a lamb, or if you will not redeem it you shall break its neck. All the first-born of your sons you shall redeem. And none shall appear before me empty. Ex. 34:19-20
You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your fathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. He was destined before the foundation of the world but was made manifest at the end of the times for your sake. 1 Pet. 1:18-20
- .FYI: Joseph was sold for silver [Gen 37:28]
- Slaves were sold for silver [Ex 21:32
- Jesus was sold for silver [Mat 27:1-9; Zech 11:12-13]
As the name of Zephaniah indicated there is a hidden meaning. The LORD of Host has something far deeper in mind here. For even though the Joshua the High Priest was crowned, His coronation was rather a dedication to the one who would be called the Branch, and not just his physical coronation. And as such was actually addressed to the Branch. For in no way did Joshua build a temple with a throne in it. They had left the Holy of Holies empty for the mercy seat had been lost. But in the spiritual temple there is a Throne for the Branch.
There is one coming who will be named the Branch or Shoot. This Branch prophecy is elsewhere in the Scripture.
There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. Is. 11:1
“Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 6 In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The LORD is our righteousness.’ Jer. 23:5 -6
In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring forth for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. Jer. 33:15
Again in the New Testament.
“And he went and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, “He shall be called a Nazarene.” Matt. 2:23
Then one of the elders said to me, “Weep not; lo, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” Rev. 5:5
We now know that the temple Messiah built was a spiritual one.
Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If any one destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and that temple you are. 1Cor. 3:16-17
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own; 1Cor. 6:19
19 So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; 22 in whom you also are built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. Eph. 2:19-22
We can help but notice how similar to 2 Thess this is.
There is quite a bit of deviation in the translation of verse 13. We have here the King James Version and the Revised Standard Version. Both translations are possible from a strick adherence to the Hebrew. However in this case, in light of the New Testament teaching that Messiah is this Branch and as such is both Priest and King, the KJV is to be preferred.
KJV – 13 Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.
RSV – 13 It is he who shall build the temple of the LORD, and shall bear royal honor, and shall sit and rule upon his throne. And there shall be a priest by his throne, and peaceful understanding shall be between them both.”’
The two positions are at peace because only one person, The Branch holds them both. The once rejected Priest/King, shall claim this crown of purity and redemption. For He is both King and Redeemer.
But of the Son he says,
“Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever, the righteous scepter is the scepter of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; therefore God, thy God, has anointed thee with the oil of gladness beyond thy comrades.” Heb. 1:8 -9 c.f. Ps 45:6-7
14 And the crown shall be in the temple of the LORD as a reminder to Heldai, Tobijah, Jedaiah, and Josiah the son of Zephaniah.
This crown is to be a memorial not a reminder to these men. The LORD will always remember this gift.
Now we come to the really odd part of the passage. In the English translations nothing seems amiss but in the Hebrew two of the names are changed. As already explained Hebrew loves word play and here is some more of it. If one didn’t think the names weren’t really that important than the change in them certainly calls attention to their meanings.
- Heldai, is now Heilem “strength”.
- Tobijah, is the same “the LORD is good”.
- Jedaiah, is the same “friend of the LORD”.
- Josiah is now Hen which means “charm or grace”.
- Zephaniah is “hidden by the LORD”.
The strength of the LORD is good, the friend of the LORD has grace, all this is hidden.
“And those who are far off shall come and help to build the temple of the LORD; and you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you. And this shall come to pass, if you will diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God.” Zech. 6:15
He shall build a spiritual temple [1 Pet. 2:5, Eph. 2:21]. Ever people every nation every tongue has been used to build this temple.
Eph. 2:11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called the uncircumcision by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands — 12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near in the blood of Christ. 14 For he is our peace, who has made us both one, and has broken down the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by abolishing in his flesh the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby bringing the hostility to an end. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; 18 for through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; 22 in whom you also are built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
Come to him, to that living stone, rejected by men but in God’s sight chosen and precious; 5 and like living stones be yourselves built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For it stands in scripture: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and he who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 7 To you therefore who believe, he is precious, but for those who do not believe, “The very stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner,” 8 and “A stone that will make men stumble, a rock that will make them fall”; for they stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.
This spiritual temple is not without priests. We are to be are own priests. No longer is there a separation between us and God. We may walk into the Holy of Holies at any time.
- But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were no people but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy but now you have received mercy. 1 Pet. 2:4 -10
Some how the church has gotten off track. We turned our teachers back into priest. Just like the Children of Israel who wanted Moses to stand between them and God. There are many in the church have given this responsibility to others. And whenever this happens there are always greedy, power hunger men who instead of teaching people how to walk in the Light themselves, take their money and the authority, and prey upon foolish people.
A Psalm of David.
1 The LORD says to my lord:
“Sit at my right hand, till I make your enemies your footstool.”
2 The LORD sends forth from Zion your mighty scepter.
Rule in the midst of your foes!
3 Your people will offer themselves freely on the day you lead your host upon the holy mountains. From the womb of the morning like dew your youth will come to you.
4 The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind,
“You are a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.”
5 The Lord is at your right hand;
he will shatter kings on the day of his wrath.
6 He will execute judgment among the nations, filling them with corpses;
he will shatter chiefs over the wide earth.
7 He will drink from the brook by the way;
therefore he will lift up his head.