New Defender's Study Bible Notes
3:1 Joshua the high priest. In the tradition of the Levitical priesthood and Aaron, the first high priest appointed for Israel by God, Joshua had come to Jerusalem with Zerubbabel sixteen years earlier, and as their mediator, represented the Israelite nation before God.
3:1 Satan standing. Satan—as in the well-known attack on Job (Job 1:6-12)—is always tempting men to sin and, when they do, accuses them before God, as “the accuser of our brethren” (Revelation 12:10). His hatred toward men (“created in the image of God” which he was not) is exceeded only by his hatred of God. He himself wants to be god of the universe, and so seeks to defeat all God’s purposes for His other creatures.
3:2 rebuke thee, O Satan. The first basis of God’s rebuke to Satan is not in any attempt to justify Israel’s wickedness, but merely that God had chosen Jerusalem, and that was that! What God does is right, by definition.
3:3 filthy garments. Joshua’s “filthy garments” represented the sinfulness of the people of Judah (Isaiah 1:4-6; 64:6).
3:4 change of raiment. The “filthy garments” or sins were removed, not by Joshua, but by God, who “caused thine iniquity to pass from thee,” and who then replaced them with “garments of salvation” (Isaiah 61:10).
3:8 my servant the BRANCH. “The BRANCH” is one of the specifically designated names given by the Lord to His promised Messiah. It is He by whose work Joshua (and his people) can have their iniquity removed and their unclean garments exchanged for robes of righteousness. See other references to “the BRANCH of the LORD” (Isaiah 4:2; 11:1; Jeremiah 23:5; 33:15; Zechariah 6:12).
3:9 behold the stone. The “stone” must also speak of Christ, the “tried stone,” the “head-stone of the corner” (Isaiah 28:16; Psalm 118:22). The “seven eyes” on the stone would thus indicate, through the perfect number seven, the omniscience and omnipresence of the Messiah thus symbolized, through the Holy Spirit. He is also the “Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth” (Revelation 5:6). On this basis alone can iniquities be removed.