Zechariah 6:3

I. THE POWERS OF THE WORLD ARE UNDER THE CONTROL OF GOD. East and west, north and south, all the world over, God is supreme. He is the Lord of all forces, the Ruler of all events, the Arbiter of all destinies. War, famine, pestilence, may be the result of natural causes, but, all the same, they are his servants; they come and go at his command; they accomplish what he pleases.

"Happy the man who sees a God employed
In all the good and ill that chequer life."


II. THE POWERS OF THE WORLD ARE CONTROLLED BY GOD IN THE INTEREST OF CHRISTIANITY. God takes a direct and living interest in his people. He is Enemy of their enemies, and the Friend of their friends. "All things work together for good to them who love God." And there is nothing arbitrary in this. God is not partial, but just. As he is God, he must act as God. The true and the righteous and the holy must ever receive the protection and the blessing of the True and the Righteous and the Holy One. God's government is marked by immutability of counsel, variety of method, universality of range, sovereignty of sway, and beneficence of result. How grand and benign must be the end that satisfies the mind of the Eternal! "Quieted my spirit." - F.

A Priest upon His throne
It is in accordance with the law of prophetic development from the beginning that the external circumstances of the nation at the moment should supply the mould into which the promise is run. Here, the kingless band of exiles are heartened for their task by the thought of the Priest-King of the nation, the Builder of an imperishable dwelling place for God.

I. THE TRUE HOPE OF THE WORLD IS A PRIEST. The idea of priesthood is universal. It has been distorted and abused; it has been made the foundation of spiritual tyranny. The priest has not been the teacher nor the elevator of the people. Yet there the office stands, and wherever men go, by some strange perversity they take with them this idea, and choose from among themselves some who shall discharge for their brethren the double office of representing them before God, and of representing God to them. That is what the world means, with absolute and entire unanimity, by a priest — one who shall be Sacrificer, intercessor, representative; bearer of man's worship, channel of God's blessing. This is the result of the universal consciousness of sin. Men feel that there is a gulf between them and God. The Jewish people, who have at all events taught the world the purest theism, and led men up to the most spiritual religion, had this same institution of a priesthood for the very centre of its worship. What is the priest whom men crave? The first requisite is oneness with those whom he represents. We have a Priest "in all things made like unto His brethren." The next requisite is that the priests should possess, at all events, a symbolic purity — expression of the conviction that a priest must be cleaner and closer than his fellows. And we have a Priest; who is "holy, harmless, undefiled." And again, as in nature and character, so in function, Christ corresponds to the widely expressed wants of men, as shown in their priesthoods. They sought for one who should offer gifts and sacrifices on their behalf. They sought for one who should pass into the awful Presence, and plead for them while they stood without. They sought for a man who should be the medium of Divine blessings bestowed upon the worshippers, and we know who hath gone within the veil for us. "We have great High Priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God."

II. THE PRIEST OF THE WORLD IS THE KING OF MEN. "He shall be a Priest upon His throne." In Israel these two offices were jealously kept apart. The history of the world is full of instances in which the struggles of the temporal and spiritual power have caused calamities only less intolerable than those which flowed from that alliance of priests and kings which has so often made monarchy a grinding tyranny, and religion a mere instrument of statecraft. Our Priest does rule. The "kingdom of Christ" is no unreal fanciful phrase. The foundation of His rule is His sacrifice. Men will do anything for him who does that for them. His rule is wielded in gentleness. Priestly dominion has ever been fierce, suspicious, tyrannous. The sway of this merciful and faithful High Priest is full of tenderness. The end of His rule is, that His subjects may be made free in obedience.

III. THE PRIEST-KING OF MEN BUILDS AMONG MEN THE TEMPLE OF GOD. Christ is Himself the true temple of God. Christ builds the temple. Christ builds this temple because He is the temple. By His incarnation and work He makes our communion with God and God's dwelling in us possible. Christ builds the temple, and uses us as His servants in the work. Christ builds on through all the ages, and the prophecy of the text is yet unfulfilled. Its fulfilment is the meaning and end of all history. In one of the mosques of Damascus, which has been a Christian Church, and before that was a heathen temple, the portal bears, deep cut in Greek characters, the inscription, "Thy kingdom, O Christ, is an everlasting kingdom, and Thy dominion endureth throughout all generations." Those words are graven over the temple which Christ rears.

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

I. NOTICE THIS SIGNIFICANT DESIGNATION OF THE LORD JESUS — "The Branch." The family of David was like a decayed tree, the stump of which alone remains; but from so lowly and unlikely an origin, a shoot or scion would emanate, which would again become a noble forest tree, and perpetuate the memory and influence of the royal line. Certainly David's race had reached a low ebb when Joseph went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth into Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, to be enrolled with Mary his espoused wife, because they were of the house and lineage of David. Through a branch the fulness of the root is carried to the fruit, which swells in ruddy beauty on its extremity, and presently falls into the hand of the wayfarer: so Jesus is the blessed channel of communication between the fulness of God and the thirsty wastes of human need.

II. THE COMBINATION IN CHRIST OF THE PRIESTLY AND KINGLY OFFICES. "He shall be a Priest upon His throne." Man's nature demands a priest. Conscious of sin and defilement, he rears an altar wherever he pitches his tent; and, selecting one of his fellows, he separates him from the ordinary duties of life, and bids him stand as mediator and priest between God and himself. It was thus that Micah addressed the young man, the Levite of Bethlehem-Judah, when he said, "Dwell with me, and be unto me a father and priest; and I will give thee ten pieces of silver by the year, and thine apparel, and thy victuals." If an argument were needed to prove the unity of the human family, it surely would be suggested by the universal distribution of temples and altars over the world, as though men were everywhere alike in this — that they know themselves to be sinful, and desire to find some way of propitiating and approaching the Almighty. In the Levitical system, and, above all, in Jesus Christ, God has met this universal craving of the human heart. Man also requires a king. God had designed to meet this need by Him self being Israel's King, that they should not be "like other nations," but a peculiar people unto Him. How remarkable it is that the Kingship of Jesus should have been so accentuated in His trial! It was the centre around which the storm raged. Pilate challenged His claims: "Art Thou a king, then?" and Jesus asseverated them: "Thou sayest that I am — a king." The faded purple robe flung over His shoulders, the reed in His hand, the mocking bending of the knee, the crown of thorns on His brow, were but the grotesque and heartless mockery of His claims. And since He has passed into the glory, He is still the Priest-King. Not Aaron, but Melchizedek, is the true type of our Saviour now. As Aaron, He made atonement and propitiation for sin; but as Melchizedek, He has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. "This Melchizedek was king of Salem, and priest of the Most High God." As priest, Jesus pleads the merit of His blood; as king, He exerts power on our behalf. As priest, He pacifies the guilty conscience; as king, He sends thrills of His own victorious life into our spirits. As priest, He brings us nigh to God; as king, He treads our enemies under His feet. It is of great importance to us all to think of our Saviour in this dual aspect. On the one hand, we get all the benefit of His cross and passion; on the other, all the benefit of His resurrection and session at the right hand of God. May it not be that the weakness of thy Christian life is due to the fact that thou hast viewed Him only in the light of Calvary, and hast not, with Stephen, seen Him seated at the right hand of the Majesty on High — a prince as well as a Saviour — a Saviour because a prince? He accounts Himself absolutely responsible to achieve the uttermost salvation of those who trust in Him. If there is some sin which defies thee, at least it shall not be too strong for Him. And if the outflow of His delivering power towards thee seems restrained and ineffective, be sure that, in some one particular, which He will be quick to show thee, if only thou art willing to be informed, there has been a failure to yield Him the obedience which is due to Him as thy king.

III. AS THE PRIEST-KING, CHRIST BUILDS THE TEMPLE OF GOD. Twice over this is affirmed; but what untold comfort the assurance must have brought when first addressed to that little band of exiles! Their temple site was strewn with ruins: it seemed almost hopeless to contend with those heaps of rubbish, impossible to rear a fabric worthy of the past and adequate for the future; but these words must have greatly heartened them. As the hand of inspiration drew aside the vail, they beheld another and greater than either Joshua or Zerubbabel, working with them and for them, and bearing the chief responsibility in all the toils and labours of their new erection — He; not they. They would work with new energy and courage, knowing, as they did, that they were fellow workers with God. What difficulty could daunt, what enemies thwart or frustrate, the work of His right hand? If these words should be read by any who are losing heart because of the difficulties presented by their parish, their church, or the souls of their charge, let them be reassured, as they behold the trowel in the hands of the Priest-King; and let them be sure that He will succeed.

(F. B. Meyer, B. A.)

As the enthroned king, Jesus reigns over His church as the vicegerent of God. He as king reigns over the intellects, the hearts, the wills, the bodies of all who yield allegiance to Him. He distributes to all His people the gifts of God according to His will. At His hand every good and perfect gift must be sought, and from His hand received. He giveth gifts to men through the power of His delegated authority received from the triune God. He is the true Joseph reigning over the kingdom of the true Pharaoh. As Pharaoh raised Joseph from his prison, and made him ruler over all the land of Egypt, so the eternal Father has raised Jesus from His cross and tomb to enthrone Him at His own right hand in the heavenlies. As Pharaoh's commission to Joseph was "Thou shalt be over my house, and according to thy word shall all my people be ruled," so Christ is revealed to us as being over God's house as its delegated king. As Pharaoh's gifts were distributed by Joseph to the needy Egyptians, so God's good gifts of grace come to us through the kingly ministry of Jesus. It is from Jesus seated on the throne of grace as the priest upon His throne that we are bidden to seek pardoning mercy and aiding grace in every time of need. This revelation of Jesus as being the giver of grace as Heaven's enthroned king, is one that does not receive the recognition it demands. This is of course a necessity in all those theological systems in which the continuous priestly ministry of our ascended Lord is denied or ignored. But even where His ministry of priestly intercession is recognised He is not seen to be the priest sitting on His throne. That all the blessings of the kingdom of the incarnation come to us through His intercession is confessed. But men fall to see that these blessings are given to us by Him as the bountiful king of that kingdom. Nay, not unfrequently men shrink in dread from the statement that every good and perfect gift coming from the Father of Light is given to us not only by the hand, but according to the will, of the ascended Lord. Yet unless this truth be grasped Jesus' mediatorial ministry is not fully confessed. That He is the mediator of the new covenant is a matter of faith. "There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." Now His mediation means that through Him, "the Word made flesh," we draw nigh to God in worship and God's gifts of grace come to us. This truth does not involve the idea that God has ceased person. ally to reign and to give gifts. The recognition of Jesus' delegated sovereignty does not involve the denial of God's essential sovereignty as an ever-living fact. When by Pharaoh's authority Joseph ruled Egypt this was not the virtual abdication of his power by Pharaoh; nay, it was the strengthening of his dynasty and the perfecting of his rule. Between him and Joseph there was perfect oneness of conviction as to the policy to be adopted in that crisis of his nation's life. In raising Joseph to his high position, and giving him liberty of action, he was but carrying out in the most effective way the policy his own wisdom approved. So the enthronement of Jesus as man, as king of the Church, is not the dethronement of God. For the sovereignty of the Son of Man is a delegated sovereignty, and its glory must exalt the throne of Him whose delegate He is. The wisdom and the love of the only Potentate is revealed in the king He has enthroned. And still more is this seen to be true when we remember the absolute union of thought and action that there is between them. What our King hears He speaks. "What the Father doeth that doeth the Son likewise." In an union so close there is no place for conflict of action or variance of will. Not by constraint but by union Jesus in His delegated sovereignty rules according to the will of God. He is a throned king, and gives His gifts according to His own free will. But even in His free rule He is the minister of the Father's pleasure because of His absolute conformity with the will of God. With full assent of mind then grasp the truth of Jesus' delegated sovereignty. See Him throned by God in the Church as the giver of His supernatural gifts. See in the revelation of Jesus as enthroned in Heaven, and hence ruling over His Church in Paradise and on earth, the fulfilment of Zechariah's glorious vision. Gazing by faith on Jesus at God's right hand, in Him, "Behold the Man whose name is the Branch," who has "built the temple of the Lord," and who in it "bears the glory," and "as a priest upon His throne" sits and rules.

(G. Body, M. A.)

There are three.

1. The office of a prophet. He builds the Church by the Word of the Gospel, which it is His work to promulgate as a prophet.

2. The office of a priest. To expiate the sins of His people, to purchase peace for them, and to manage their cause with God.

3. That of a king: for He has a throne, which denotes His kingly office. He is "a priest upon His throne," denoting the reward of His sufferings. In Him the glory of all these offices is to meet. The text affords foundation for the following doctrine — Christ, as our Redeemer, executeth the offices of prophet, priest, and king, both in His estate of humiliation and exaltation.


1. From plain scripture testimony.

(1)To His having or being possessed of these offices.

(2)To His executing these offices.

2. From His name Christ, or Messiah, the anointed one. The unction signified —

(1)His being set apart to the mediatory work.

(2)His being fully furnished with gifts and qualifications suitable to these offices, in respect of His human nature, to which the Spirit was given, not by measure, but in fulness.


1. Consider our misery by sin, ignorance, guilt, and bondage. We were ignorant of the way of returning to God again; and therefore Christ as our prophet must teach us; our priest must make atonement for us; our king must bring us back again, leading captivity captive.

2. Consider the salvation which the elect were to be made partakers of.

3. Consider Christ as mediator of the covenant, who behoved to deal with both parties, in order to bring them together.

4. Consider the work of conversion; what the soul needs.

5. Consider our daily necessities.

6. Consider the promises, which are the stay and staff of the Christian's life, without which they could never bear up.

III. WHEN DID CHRIST EXECUTE THESE OFFICES? As He was the Redeemer of the Church in all ages so did He execute these offices in all ages of the Church. But more especially after His incarnation, and that in His twofold state of humiliation and exaltation. These three offices are not to be divided, especially when they are executed in a way that is effectual for the salvation of the subjects thereof. Wherever He executes one of these offices in a saving way, He executes them all. Inferences —

1. How great and glorious is our Lord Jesus Christ, who was meet to bear all these offices at once, and exercise them at once, so as one does not mar or clash with another!

2. Let this commend Christ to you as a full and a suitable Saviour.

3. You cannot take Christ as a Redeemer, if you take Him not in all His offices.

4. Employ this mighty Redeemer in all the offices wherewith He is invested, and which, as mediator, He exercises for the benefit of the ruined race of mankind.

(T. Boston, D. D.).

Heldai, Helem, Hen, Jedaiah, Jehozadak, Josedech, Joshua, Josiah, Tobijah, Zechariah, Zephaniah, Zerubbabel
Babylon, Jerusalem, Shinar
Bay, Chariot, Colour, Dappled, Fourth, Gray, Grisled, Grizzled, Horses, Mixed, Powerful, Strong, Third
1. The vision of the four chariots.
9. By the crowns of Joshua are shown the temple and kingdom of Christ the Branch.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Zechariah 6:1-6

     4859   white

Zechariah 6:1-8

     5252   chariots

The Priest of the World and King of Men
'He shall build the Temple of the Lord ... and He shall be a Priest upon His throne.'--ZECHARIAH vi. 13. A handful of feeble exiles had come back from their Captivity. 'The holy and beautiful house' where their fathers praised Him was burned with fire. There was no king among them, but they still possessed a representative of the priesthood, the other great office of divine appointment. Their first care was to rear some poor copy of the Temple; and the usual difficulties that attend reconstruction
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Christ Glorified as the Builder of his Church
This world is but the echo of the spheres." HEAVEN singeth evermore. Before the throne of God, angels and redeemed saints extol his name. And this world is singing too; sometimes with the loud noise of the rolling thunder, of the boiling sea of the dashing cataract, and of the lowing cattle; and often with that still, solemn harmony, which floweth from the vast creation, when in its silence it praises God. Such is the song which gushes in silence from the mountain lifting its head to the sky, covering
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 4: 1858

The Allegory of Melchizedek.
HEBREWS vii. 1-28 (R.V.). "For this Melchizedek, King of Salem, priest of God Most High, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him, to whom also Abraham divided a tenth part of all (being first, by interpretation, King of righteousness, and then also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like unto the Son of God), abideth a priest continually. Now consider
Thomas Charles Edwards—The Expositor's Bible: The Epistle to the Hebrews

The Ascension
"So then the Lord Jesus, after He had spoken unto them, was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word by the signs that followed. Amen." MARK 16:19-20 (R.V.) WE have reached the close of the great Gospel of the energies of Jesus, His toils, His manner, His searching gaze, His noble indignation, His love of children, the consuming zeal by virtue of which He was not more truly the
G. A. Chadwick—The Gospel of St. Mark

Solomon's Temple Spiritualized
or, Gospel Light Fetched out of the Temple at Jerusalem, to Let us More Easily into the Glory of New Testament Truths. 'Thou son of man, shew the house to the house of Isreal;--shew them the form of the house, and the fashion thereof, and the goings out hereof, and the comings in thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the laws thereof.'--Ezekiel 43:10, 11 London: Printed for, and sold by George Larkin, at the Two Swans without Bishopgate,
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

The King --Continued.
The second event recorded as important in the bright early years is the great promise of the perpetuity of the kingdom in David's house. As soon as the king was firmly established and free from war, he remembered the ancient word which said, "When He giveth you rest from all your enemies round about, so that ye dwell in safety, then there shall be a place which the Lord your God shall choose to cause His name to dwell there" (Deut. xii. 10, 11). His own ease rebukes him; he regards his tranquillity
Alexander Maclaren—The Life of David

LESSON I. 1. In what state was the Earth when first created? 2. To what trial was man subjected? 3. What punishment did the Fall bring on man? 4. How alone could his guilt be atoned for? A. By his punishment being borne by one who was innocent. 5. What was the first promise that there should be such an atonement?--Gen. iii. 15. 6. What were the sacrifices to foreshow? 7. Why was Abel's offering the more acceptable? 8. From which son of Adam was the Seed of the woman to spring? 9. How did Seth's
Charlotte Mary Yonge—The Chosen People

Grace unto you and peace be multiplied. I Pet 1:1. Having spoken of the first fruit of sanctification, assurance, I proceed to the second, viz., Peace, Peace be multiplied:' What are the several species or kinds of Peace? Peace, in Scripture, is compared to a river which parts itself into two silver streams. Isa 66:12. I. There is an external peace, and that is, (1.) (Economical, or peace in a family. (2.) Political, or peace in the state. Peace is the nurse of plenty. He maketh peace in thy borders,
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

CHAPTERS I-VIII Two months after Haggai had delivered his first address to the people in 520 B.C., and a little over a month after the building of the temple had begun (Hag. i. 15), Zechariah appeared with another message of encouragement. How much it was needed we see from the popular despondency reflected in Hag. ii. 3, Jerusalem is still disconsolate (Zech. i. 17), there has been fasting and mourning, vii. 5, the city is without walls, ii. 5, the population scanty, ii. 4, and most of the people
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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