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Are the Branch and the LORD two?

Submitted: 3/4/2008
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Question: Zechariah 6:12-13 says, 'And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD: 13Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.' In the above verses, the man Branch is to build the Temple of the LORD. And the counsel of peace shall be between them BOTH. Does this verse talk about two beings?

Answer: No, this verse speaks of two men. But it also speaks of two roles, priestly and kingly. This passage is a prophecy of these two roles merging together. It is explained well in the following commentary from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown: 'Joshua and Zerubbabel, the religious and civil authorities cooperating in the temple, typify the peace or harmonious union between both the kingly and priestly offices. The kingly majesty shall not depress the priestly dignity, nor the priestly dignity the kingly majesty (Jerome). The peace of the Church, formerly sought for in the mutual 'counsels' of the kings and the priests who had been always distinct, shall be perfectly ensured by the concurrence of the two offices in the one Messiah, who by His mediatorial priesthood purchases it, and by His kingly rule maintains it. Vitringa takes 'His throne' to be Yahweh the Father's. Thus it will be, 'there shall be the counsel of peace between the Branch and Yahweh' (Ludovicus de Dieu). The other view is better-namely, 'Messiahs throne.' Messiah shall be a priest upon His own throne. As Priest, He expiates sin; as King, extirpates it. 'Counsel of peace' implies that it is the plan of infinite 'wisdom,' whence Messiah is called 'Counsellor,' and the scheme of redemption is called God's counsel (Isaiah 9:6; Ephesians 1:8,11, to end; Hebrews 6:17). Peace between the kingly and priestly attributes of Messiah implies, the harmonizing of the conflicting claims of God's justice as a King and His love as a Father and Priest. Hence, is produced peace to man (Luke 2:14; Acts 10:36; Ephesians 2:13-17). It is only by being pardoned through His sacerdotal atonement, and ruled by His Kingly laws, that we can find 'peace.'