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Zechariah 3:3-4

Context
3:3 Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes 1  as he stood there before the angel. 3:4 The angel 2  spoke up to those standing all around, “Remove his filthy clothes.” Then he said to Joshua, “I have freely forgiven your iniquity and will dress you 3  in fine clothing.”

1 sn The Hebrew word צוֹאִים (tsoim) means “excrement.” This disgusting figure of speech suggests Joshua’s absolute disqualification for priestly service in the flesh, but v. 2 speaks of his having been rescued from that deplorable state by God’s grace. He is like a burning stick pulled out of the fire before it is consumed. This is a picture of cleansing, saving grace.

2 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (the angel, cf. v. 1) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

3 tn The occurrence of the infinitive absolute here for an expected imperfect 1st person common singular (or even imperative 2nd person masculine plural or preterite 3rd person masculine plural) is well-attested elsewhere. Most English translations render this as 1st person singular (“and I will clothe”), but cf. NAB “Take off…and clothe him.”



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