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Zechariah 6:9-15

Context
A Concluding Oracle

6:9 The word of the Lord came to me as follows: 6:10 “Choose some people 1  from among the exiles, namely, Heldai, Tobijah, and Jedaiah, all of whom have come from Babylon, and when you have done so go to the house of Josiah son of Zephaniah. 2  6:11 Then take some silver and gold to make a crown 3  and set it on the head of Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest. 6:12 Then say to him, ‘The Lord who rules over all says, “Look – here is the man whose name is Branch, 4  who will sprout up from his place and build the temple of the Lord. 6:13 Indeed, he will build the temple of the Lord, and he will be clothed in splendor, sitting as king on his throne. Moreover, there will be a priest 5  with him on his throne and they will see eye to eye on everything. 6:14 The crown will then be turned over to Helem, 6  Tobijah, Jedaiah, and Hen 7  son of Zephaniah as a memorial in the temple of the Lord. 6:15 Then those who are far away 8  will come and build the temple of the Lord so that you may know that the Lord who rules over all has sent me to you. This will all come to pass if you completely obey the voice of the Lord your God.”’”

1 tn The words “some people” are supplied in the translation. The Hebrew verb translated “choose” (alternatively “take” [NAB, NIV]; “collect” [NRSV, CEV]) has no direct object specified in the text. Some translations supply “silver and gold” (NIV, NRSV) or “an offering” (NASB).

2 sn Except for Joshua (v. 11) none of these individuals is otherwise mentioned and therefore they cannot be further identified.

3 tn Heb “crowns” (so KJV, ASV; also in v. 14). The Hebrew word for “crown” here is עֲטֶרֶת (’ateret), a term never used in the OT for the priestly crown or mitre. Thus, the scene here describes the investing of the priest with royal authority.

4 tn The epithet “Branch” (צֶמַח, tsemakh) derives from the verb used here (יִצְמָח, yitsmakh, “will sprout up”) to describe the rise of the Messiah, already referred to in this manner in Zech 3:8 (cf. Isa 11:1; 53:2; Jer 33:15). In the immediate context this refers to Zerubbabel, but the ultimate referent is Jesus (cf. John 19:5).

5 sn The priest here in the immediate context is Joshua but the fuller and more distant allusion is to the Messiah, a ruling priest. The notion of the ruler as a priest-king was already apparent in David and his successors (Pss 2:2, 6-8; 110:2, 4), and it finds mature expression in David’s greater Son, Jesus Christ, who will combine both offices in his kingship (Heb 5:1-10; 7:1-25).

6 tn “Helem” is probably the same individual as “Heldai” in v. 10. Since the MT and the major ancient versions leave the apparent conflict unresolved it is probably best to view “Helem” as interchangeable with “Heldai” (cf. “Heled” in 1 Chr 11:30 with “Heleb” [2 Sam 23:29] and “Heldai” [1 Chr 27:15]). A number of modern English versions use “Heldai” here (e.g., NAB, NIV, NRSV, TEV, NLT).

7 tn Since the “son of Zephaniah” in v. 10 is Josiah, it might be best here to understand “Hen” in its meaning “grace” (חֵן, khen); that is, “Hen” is a nickname for Josiah – “the gracious one.” A number of modern English translations use “Josiah” here (e.g., NCV, NRSV, NLT).

8 sn Those who are far away is probably a reference to later groups of returning exiles under Ezra, Nehemiah, and others.



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