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historical type; we have found the predicted Prophet, so long prefigured, and so anxiously expected. “We have found him, of whom Moses in the law and the prophets did write.”
u John i. 45.
JOSHUA, THE SON OF JOSEDECH, THE HIGH PRIEST,
A PERSONAL TYPE OF CHRIST.
Zech. iii. 8.
Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fel
lows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at ; (men of wonder) for, behold, I will bring forth my servant, The BRANCH.
It has been proposed to consider the typical prefigurations of the Old Testament, in an order suggested by their connection with verbal prophecy.
And it has been shewn, that Moses is set forth in Scripture as an historical type of Christ; that he did resemble him in a variety of remarkable particulars ; and that the resemblance must have been preconcerted, because it was predicted by Moses himself.
We will now direct our attention to the vision of Zechariah, which contains an instance of a somewhat similar nature. Whatever difficulties may be found in the explanation of particular parts of this prophecy, its general import
is obvious. Joshua the high priest is declared, during his life, to be the personal representative of some future deliverer, who is described with sufficient accuracy. And our object will be to prove, that Christ was the person, whom Joshua thus designedly prefigured in the real actions of his ordinary life.
The time, at which the prophecies of Haggai and Zechariah were delivered, was a remarkable æra in the history of the world. The seventy years appointed for the duration of the captivity of the Jews in Babylon had expired: and Cyrus, the predicted shepherd, who should perform all the Lord's pleasure, had already .said “ to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built, and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.”* But, for a time, the enemies of the Jews appeared to prevail against them. Other kings arose who knew them not: and the work of the house of God at Jerusalem ceased."
Sixteen years had passed from the time of Cyrus' decree, when the word of God was again heard by the mouth of his prophets, Haggai and Zechariah, encouraging the Jews to resume their interrupted work, by predicting its completion.
But the Spirit of God looked beyond the immediate purpose.
There exist three distinct
Isai. xliv. 28.
b Ezra iv. 24.
prophecies, accompanied with accurate marks of time, in which the inspired men, while animating their countrymen, point out the Messiah, who should afterwards come to the temple which they were building. One of these appears to represent Joshua the high priest, as an historical type of Christ.
The two persons, who were most actively employed in re-building the temple, were Zerubbabel the governor of Judah, and Joshua the son of Josedech the high priest. This Joshua was represented to Zechariah in a vision of the night. He was seen “standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan,” an adversary, “ standing at his right hand,” the usual position of an accuser, « to resist him. And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan, even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem, rebuke thee. Is not this a brand plucked out of the fire ?” The people, a remnant saved from the furnace of captivity, and Joshua an instrument selected by the especial Providence of God, and by his grace sanctified from sins, committed in his own person and in those of his sons, for the completion of the great work. “Now Joshua was” seen in vision, “clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel ;"
Hag. i. 12, 14. j. 2. Ezra iii. 2. d Psalm cix, 6.
affording a fit representation of his own original sinfulness, and of the dejected state of the Jewish church. And the angel“ answered and spake unto those” ministering spirits “that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment ;" probably the holy garments, put on when the high priest went into the inner temple to minister before God, on the great day of expiation. “And he said, Let them set a fair mitre,” an ornament peculiar to the high priest,“ upon his head." So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments, and the angel of the Lord stood by. And the angel of the Lord protested unto Joshua, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts;” shalt exercise the whole office of high priest, “and I will give thee places to walk,” or, perhaps, ministers,' “ that stand by.”
f Ephrem Syrus, in the 4th century, so interprets this circumstance. Lardner's Works, Part II. chap. cii. Vol. II.
p. 486. 4to.
8 See the note in Archbishop Newcome's version, and in that of Dr. Blayney, on Zech. iii. 4.
ḥ Exod. xxviii. 4. Lev. viii. 9. xvi. 4.