As I was reading Zechariah today a passage caught my attention that got me running off in all different directions that finally all led back together to one idea, and it’s fascinating.
Zechariah 6:11-13 says to “make a crown and set it on the head of Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Then say to him, ‘Yahweh who rules over all says, “Look—here is the man whose name is Branch, who will sprout up from his place and build the temple of Yahweh. Indeed, he will build the temple of Yahweh, and he will be clothed in splendor, sitting as king on his throne.”
Joshua in Hebrew is Yahshuah יהושע, and it means Yahweh-saves, and in Greek it is Iesous Ἰησοῦς, aka Jesus. Son of Jehozadak בן-יהוצדק means son of Yahweh-makes-righteous.
Therefore this passage says Yahweh-saves (Jesus), son of Yahweh-makes-righteous, will be crowned king and high priest and will build God’s temple! Isn’t that exactly who Jesus was?
Branch in Hebrew is zemach צמח. In the Greek Septuagint (Greek translation of the OT) I was surprised to learn that branch is translated as anatole ανατολή, which actually means rising. It probably means a shoot that rises up out of the ground, but it’s usually used for the rising of the sun, or the east.
In Matthew 2:1-2 the Magi from the anatole ([place where the sun is] rising) say “where is the king of the Jews, we saw his star in the anatole” (east-rising). Interesting.
In Jeremiah 23:5-6 God says, “I will raise up a righteous branch צמח צדיק (lit. Branch of Zadik) (The Septuagint writes, “I will raise up a righteous anatole” (east-rising)) … and his name will be Yahweh is our righteousness יהוה צדקנו” (lit. Yahweh Zadokenu). In the Septuagint this is actually written kurios Iosedek κύριος Ιωσεδεκ (lit. lord Jehozadak!). The Septuagint didn’t translate Zadokenu צדקנו as our righteousness, it actually wrote Jehozadak (remember the father of Joshua, priestly king who rebuilt the temple from Zechariah 5:11).
Are you still following?
In Luke 1:78 Zechariah prophesies about his son John the Baptist and says John will bring knowledge about salvation because of God’s kind mercies, concerning which an anatole will appear to us, that is, a rising will appear to us. This is a quote from the very last chapter in the OT, Malachi 4, which talks about the spiritual coming of Elijah, aka John the Baptist. In v1 it says God will set the evildoers ablaze so that there remains no שרש וענף, (sheresh v’anaph root and branch, but these are different words from the root and branch he’ll raise up).
In v2 it says “the sun of righteousness שמש צדקה (shemesh zadakah – is shemesh שמש, sun, a play on sheresh שרש, [bad] root?) will rise with healing in its wings.” In the Septuagint it’s, “the sun of righteousness anatelei” (will rise), the verb form of anatole.
Ok, so did you catch all of that?
To sum it up, Jesus, the Son of Yahweh-makes-righteous, is the Branch that rises up and brings healing to his people and will function as high priest, reign as king, and will build God’s temple.
And it’s all foreshadowed there in prophecy. The riches of studying Scripture in the original languages.