Zechariah tells us that
the mediator of our salvation is a crowned high
priest, or priestly king. From humble origins He
will rise to a victorious reign over all the
kingdoms of this world.
The prophet Zechariah is
told to take silver and gold and have a crown made
for Joshua the high priest. In Judaism the two
offices were rivals and were never combined. Kings
came only from the tribe of Judah and the high
priest could come from the tribe of Levi. The
crowning of Joshua the high priest with a royal
crown, which did not properly belong to the high
priest as such, had a typical meaning. The high
priest normally did not wear a crown and his
headdress did not signify royal dignity or glory. It
symbolized holiness to Yahweh. However, the crowning
of Joshua points to a man who should sit upon his
throne as both ruler and priest. He would combine
both royalty and priesthood in His own person and
position. Therefore Joshua would represent or typify
the Messiah, the anointed Priest-King.
The priests and kings,
and sometimes the prophets, were the "anointed ones"
(Ex. 28:41; 30:29; 40:12-16; 1 Sam. 15:1, 17; 16:3,
12-13). Oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit upon whom
the leader was filled for special occasions in the
Old Testament. The Messiah, like Melchizedek (Gen.
14:18ff; Ps. 110:4; Heb. 5-7), combined these two
offices in His person. Through Him all believers in
the New Covenant are priests and kings before God.
Zechariah 6:12-13 reads,
"Thus says the Lord of hosts, 'Behold, a man whose
name is Branch, for He will branch out from where He
is; and He will build the temple of the Lord. Yes,
it is He who will build the temple of the Lord, and
He who will bear the honor and sit and rule on His
throne. Thus, He will be a priest on His throne, and
the counsel of peace will be between the two
The man whose name is
"Branch" (Zemach) is a clear reference to former
prophecies of Isaiah and Jeremiah (3:8; Isa. 4:2;
Jer. 23:5). This Zemach is a growing thing, the
sprouting one. "He will grow from below upwards,
from lowliness to eminence. This sprout will build
the temple of Yahweh. The Messiah is called Zemach
because Yahweh will cause a righteous growth to
spring up to David. He will bear glory (no article)
as glory, excellence, splendor and majesty (Heb.
3:3; Eph. 1:20ff; Phil. 2:9f; Rev. 5:6-14; 14:1ff;
19:11-16). With supreme majesty the Messiah will
rule upon His throne as the Lord of Lords and the
High Priest. The two highest offices in Israel,
royalty and priesthood, are united in the one
person, the Messiah (Ps. 110).
The crowning of Joshua
had a typical significance pointing forward to the
Messiah as King-Priest. This calls to mind
Melchizedek centuries earlier (Gen. 14:18-20; Ps.
110:4; Heb. 7:11-21).
The only way a Jewish
High Priest and King could be combined into one
office is by the order of Melchizedek, and not the
Levitical order. The priest on His throne is Jesus
Christ. In Him both offices are united in one person
and are performed in perfect harmony. The Messianic
interpretation as fulfilled in Christ is the only
one that does justice to this marvelous prophesy. It
does justice to the words and facts in Zechariah.
Keil and Delitzsch say,
"In this majesty He will sit upon His throne and
rule, also using His regal dignity and power for the
good of His people, and will be a Priest upon His
throne, i.e. will be at once both Priest and King
upon the throne which He assumes." The Jewish priest
did not sit on a throne, but stood before Yahweh
ministering. "The Messiah, who unties in Himself
royalty and priesthood, will counsel and promote the
peace of His people."
In Revelation 19:12-13
Christ is crowned. "His eyes are a flame of fire,
and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name
written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He
is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name
is called The Word of God." Christ is not said to
wear many separate diadems, but a crown consisting
of several diadems twisted together, and the
insignia of His regal dignity.
The Messiah is in a
special sense Zion's King, the King of the Jews, who
is a descendant of the tribe of Judah and the royal
house of David. King David had established Zion, the
royal city in Jerusalem. Zechariah encourages the
Jewish people in Jerusalem that the long-expected
eagerly desired King is coming.
Humility of the
Zechariah 9:9 is one of
the most amazing prophecies in the Bible. Pause and
let it sink in.
"Rejoice greatly, O
daughter of Zion!
Shout in triumph, O
daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is
coming to you;
He is just and endowed
Humble, and mounted on a
Even on a colt, the foal
of a donkey."
This prophecy was
fulfilled when Jesus took His last journey to
Jerusalem (Matt. 21:2ff; Mark 11:2ff; Luke 19:30ff;
John 12:14ff). Matthew records in 21:2-7, Jesus said
to two of His disciples:
"Go into the village
opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey
tied there and a colt with her; untie them and bring
them to Me. If anyone says anything to you, you
shall say, 'The Lord has need of them,' and
immediately he will send them." This took place to
fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:
"Say to the daughter
'Behold yourKing is
coming to you,
Gentle, and mounted on a
Even on a colt, the foal
of a beast of burden.' "
The disciples went and
did just as Jesus had instructed them, and brought
the donkey and the colt, and laid their coats on
them; and He sat on the coats."
Of course Jesus rode only
one animal. "The she-ass was to follow, to set forth
Zechariah's figurative description with greater
completeness," writes Keil. Jesus was demonstrating
to the people before His death that He was the King
foretold by the prophets, who would come in
lowliness and establish His kingdom by suffering and
dying. His humble entry into Jerusalem formed the
commencement of the establishment of His kingdom. He
set forth a living symbol of the true nature of His
person and kingdom as foretold in the Scriptures.
The Kingdom of the
Messiah would not begin with a big flare of
pageantry, but through lowliness and suffering and
later might and glory. It was not the coming of a
political kingdom of world supremacy, but a
spiritual kingdom that would overcome the world.
The character of the
Messiah King is described as "just," righteous. He
is the righteous Servant (Isa. 53:9, 11), and a
righteous Branch (Zemach) (Jer. 23:5; Matt. 3:17;
17:5; Heb. 7:26; 1 John 2:1). Because He is the
righteous King His judgments are always right (Isa.
11:3ff). He will never fail to deliver because He is
the Savior King.
The Lord of glory comes
humbly ridding on a borrowed ass and her colt. He
doesn't come riding on a beautiful white stallion,
leading a great army. He rides a colt, a foal, and a
young, untrained, unbroken animal still running with
its mother. Mark 11:2-4, "Go into the village
opposite you, and immediately as you enter it, you
will find a colt tied there, on which no one yet has
ever sat; untie it and bring it here." I grew up on
a dairy farm I know what it is like to get your
brains bucked out by an unbroken animal. But the
Master mounted the unbroken animal and rode off on
it. The animal was in total submission to its
The Kingdom of
The next verse tells us
the humble King Messiah will bring in peace. "He
shall proclaim peace to the nations, and His rule
shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the
ends of the earth." He shall speak. He rules by His
Word. He has no other weapon but His Word which is
the power of God unto salvation. It is through this
Good News that His Kingdom shall spread from sea to
sea to the ends of the earth (Ps. 72:8).
He began by restoring the
foundation of peace that was destroyed in the Garden
of Eden in the Fall.
It is my prayer that you
will let Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God,
the Messiah become the desire of your heart. He will
give you His perfect peace right now is you will
believe on Him. If you need help in knowing Him in
an intimate personal relationship here is A Free
Gift for You.
6:12-13; 9:9-10 The Humble Crowned High Priest
Christ in the Old Testament