“Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Behold a man whose name is Branch, for He will branch out from where He is; and He will build the temple of the Lord. Yes it is He who will build the temple of the Lord, and He who will bear the honor and sit and rule on His throne. Thus, He will be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace will be between the two offices’”
As we near the conclusion of the Old Testament, with only Zechariah and Malachi remaining, We are given this huge prophecy regarding our Messiah, “a man whose name is Branch.” He will “build the temple of the Lord” and “He will be a priest on His throne,” meaning He will be both priest and king, for only the King sits upon the throne.
“And the counsel of peace will be between the two offices.” What are the two offices? King and Priest are the two offices.
“The counsel of peace” is specifically Jesus Christ, prophesied to be our “Wonderful Counselor” and our “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). Jesus is definitely the One with the “counsel of peace.”
The literal meaning of the word “Branch” in this passage is “Sprout” and the literal meaning of “branch out” is “sprout up.” In Isaiah 53, the prophetic chapter regarding Christ, the suffering servant, the second verse states, “He grew up before Him like a tender shoot.” In Isaiah chapter 11, the Lord declared, “A shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and strength” (Vs. 1-2). Even earlier in Isaiah, it was prophesied concerning the last days, “in that day the Branch of the Lord will be beautiful and glorious” (4:2).
The Lord spoke through Jeremiah as well, “‘Behold, the days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; and He will reign as king and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the Land’”(23: 5). Again, in chapter 33, “In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch of David to spring forth; and He shall execute justice and righteousness on the earth” (Vs 15).
I surely hope you have verses one and four of Psalm 110 in mind, as we look at these prophecies about a branch from David who will be both king and priest. Just to refresh us, here are those two prophecies once more, the two words of the oath that the book of Hebrews speaks so much about: “The Lord says to my Lord: ‘Sit at My right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for My feet’” (Vs 1 Jesus our King) and “The Lord has sworn and will not change His mind, ‘You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizadek” (Vs 4 Jesus our High Priest).
In Jeremiah 33, two verses after saying “I will cause a righteous Branch of David to spring forth; and He shall execute justice and righteousness on the earth” (Vs 15), God spoke once again: “For thus says the Lord, ‘David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel; and the Levitical priests shall never lack a man before Me’” (Vs 17-18).
All of this prophetic truth, this steady and increasing drum beat about a coming Messiah who will be both King and Priest, comes into even sharper focus in Zechariah’s prophecy.
Jesus Christ is both our “Lord” and “priest forever.” He is the “Branch.” He has branched out from David, Jesse, Abraham, and Israel, branching out to all nations of the earth with salvation. He is “beautiful and glorious.” Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of God’s promise for a perpetual kingdom and priesthood. Jesus is our King forever and our High priest forever.
To see, understand, and rejoice in this is to see and understand Jesus Christ as the goal of all biblical prophecy.
As the Old Testament draws to a close, God shines an ever refined and increasing spotlight upon our coming King and Priest, Jesus Christ, His “Branch,” “Who will bear the honor and sit and rule on His throne. Thus, He will be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace will be between the two offices’”
Priest of God, rejoice today as a priest unto your Lord and High Priest, Jesus Christ Almighty. Rejoice in His “counsel of peace.” We are supremely blessed to recognize our God and to serve Him, as loyal priests to our Lord, our King and Priest forever. Hallelujah!