Zechariah sees an adversary (Satan) desiring to accuse Joshua before the LORD. However, the angel of the LORD rebukes the adversary and cleanses Joshua, allowing him to continue to perform his priestly duties.
The angel of the LORD admonishes Joshua to follow the LORD wholeheartedly in order to have the reward of ruling over the temple, and ultimately in God’s presence.
The prophet Zechariah tells Joshua that his associates are signs of the Messiah, the future great King, through whom God will cleanse His people and restore peace and security in their land.
The book of Zechariah begins with a title verse providing information concerning the date, authorship, and source of the revelation. It states that the prophecy occurred in the eighth month of the second year of Darius (vs 1). The biblical material likely dates the prophetic message according to the regnal year of the Persian king because there was no king in Judah during that time. Judah had been conquered by Babylon, which in turn had been taken over by Persia (Daniel 5:30-31).
The term prophet [“nābî” in Hebrew] means “proclaimer” or “forth-teller.” It describes someone who received a call from God to be God’s spokesman. A prophet was God’s emissary. He had a particular calling to see or hear what God was saying, live it out in his life, and proclaim it to the people roundabout. That means the prophet could not speak from his authority and was not free to say what he pleased. Rather, he was to discern what God thought about a given situation, what His attitude was toward the people’s behavior in the past, what He required of them in the present, and how He would act in their favor in the future.
This chapter contains Zechariah’s fourth vision followed by an explanation of the vision. The prophet sees a heavenly courtroom in which an adversary tries to accuse Joshua the high priest of being guilty and unworthy to exercise his function. The angel of the LORD rebukes the adversary, cleanses Joshua, and admonishes him to follow the LORD wholeheartedly to have free access to His presence. Zechariah informs Joshua that his fellow priests are a sign of the Messiah, through whom God will purify all His people, granting them security and peace. The chapter’s outline is as follows: