branchZechariah joins Haggai and Malachi as the only Prophets to minister to Post-Exilic Israel (after their return from Babylon). As we saw with Haggai, Zechariah’s main mission is to speak words of hope and encouragement to a tiny remnant returning to Jerusalem with intentions to rebuild the shattered temple. Throughout his book, Zechariah shares several visions of what will happen in the future.

One of these visions continues what is known as a “Progressive Prophecy” that has been slowly evolving throughout the Old Testament. Sometimes when we read it we forget that the people of the Old Testament received theses visions/words/sayings in a progressive state. This means that they would only receive a portion of the message – with another portion sometimes not being revealed for many generations.

One example of such a progressive message is Zechariah’s vision of THE BRANCH in chapter 3:8. What is the meaning of this title? To whom is it referring? If we only look at what Zechariah is saying, we can get confused by what seems to be a partial image. But, if we connect it to what has already been said in the past we gain the entire perspective.

First, we need to understand that the Hebrew word for “branch” used by Zechariah is “tsemach” – and it is properly translated as “shoot” or “stem”. It isn’t only speaking of a full-grown branch (like on a tree) – but also of the initial root, stem, shoot of a blossoming plant. This is important as we look back to the words of Isaiah and Jeremiah.

Isaiah mentions the “Branch” as something/one coming in futuristic language:

“In that day the Branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land shall be excellent and lovely to those of Israel who have escaped.” – Isa 4:2 AMP

“And there shall come forth a Shoot out of the stock of Jesse [David’s father], and a Branch out of his roots shall grow and bear fruit.”Isa 11:1 AMP

Now obviously Isaiah is referring to something that will happen in the future (from his day). He doesn’t have all the details – he just sees that it will be connected with King David and will represent good things. (IN fact – take a moment to read the entire chapter 11 to see more details of what this “Branch” will do).

Isaiah goes on…

“For [the Servant of God] grew up before Him like a tender plant, and like a root out of dry ground; He has no form or comeliness [royal, kingly pomp], that we should look at Him, and no beauty that we should desire Him.” – Isa 53:2 AMP

This is where we really start to hone in on the Branch. It is a person – and He will bring healing (as Isaiah 53 tells us).

Next, Jeremiah gets in on the flow…

“Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch (Sprout), and He will reign as King and do wisely and will execute justice and righteousness in the land.”  – Jer 23:5 AMP

“In those days and at that time will I cause a righteous Branch [the Messiah] to grow up to David; and He shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.” – Jer 33:15 AMP

So Jeremiah sees that this individual will be a King, connected to the family line of King David, and He will be Righteous (meaning He will be in right relationship with God – this cuts out many of the kings we have seen thus far!).

So by the time Zechariah comes on the scene it has been established by these (and other) scriptures that there is a Righteous King coming in the future who will continue the line of David on the throne and usher in healing and peace. Everyone was waiting for this “Branch”.

“Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, you and your colleagues who [usually] sit before you—for they are men who are a sign or omen [types of what is to come]—for behold, I will bring forth My servant THE BRANCH.” – Zec 3:8 AMP

Zechariah is the first to really give a title to this mystery… actually calling Him “The Branch”. He will be a servant from God…

“And say to him, Thus says the Lord of hosts: [You, Joshua] behold (look at, keep in sight, watch) the Man [the Messiah] whose name is the Branch, for He shall grow up in His place and He shall build the [true] temple of the Lord.” – Zec 6:12 AMP

Finally Zechariah tells us that this Branch, King, Servant will “build the true temple of the Lord”.

So what does this mean? Who is this Branch? What temple did He build?

For those answers… we must look to the New Testament – where Paul and the early Apostles understood that this Shoot, Branch, Root of Jesse was referring to Jesus – the King of Kings – from the family line of King David.

As for the Temple… Paul tells us in Acts that God no longer dwells in a “temple made by human hands” (Acts 17:24). He no longer dwells in a building (like in the OT) – but now He actually lives within us!

“Therefore you are no longer outsiders (exiles, migrants, and aliens, excluded from the rights of citizens), but you now share citizenship with the saints (God’s own people, consecrated and set apart for Himself); and you belong to God’s [own] household. You are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus Himself the chief Cornerstone. In Him the whole structure is joined (bound, welded) together harmoniously, and it continues to rise (grow, increase) into a holy temple in the Lord [a sanctuary dedicated, consecrated, and sacred to the presence of the Lord]. In Him [and in fellowship with one another] you yourselves also are being built up [into this structure] with the rest, to form a fixed abode (dwelling place) of God in (by, through) the Spirit.” – Eph 2:19-22 AMP

So from Isaiah forward we have heard of a Branch coming… a King who will bring in healing and peace. That Branch is Jesus and He is the King of Righteousness who restores the broken temple. Not a temple made of stone – but the Temple made of the human heart. You and I are the Temple – and it is through Jesus that the Spirit of God lives within us – bringing in healing and peace!

More reason why Christian should study their Bibles – each part connects to the next…

 

Be Fruitful & Multiply,

PK

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