The Name of the Branch


(1) Two Messiahs (David and Joseph) are really two aspects of the one single messiah

(2) the book of Zarchariah is a prophesy that the Name of the Messiah will be Jesus:

(a) The Highpreist is said to have "the name of the Branch"

(b) "Branch" is a Euphemism for Messiah

(c) the Preist's name is "Yeshua" (hebrew version of "Jesus")

(d) the Preist "Yeshua" is showen in a vision redeeming the sins of Israel

III.Name of the Branch

The two figures in Zacaraiah probably both refur to the same Messiah. Both are each two different symbols for the same figure. The high priest Joshua (Jesus) represents the Messiah's presistly function and his atonement for sin, and Zerubabel represents his geneological line.

A.Zerubable line marked Messianic

Zechariah 4:7

"What are you O mighty Mountain before Zerubbabel you will become level ground, then he will bring out the capstone..." IT goes on to say Z will lay the foundation for the temple. That really happened. So that's not so amazing, but it is linked to Messianic prophesy as the language of the captone is seen by Rabbis Quoted by Edersheim as a reference to Messiah, and in Gospels of course that is what is meant when Jesus speaks of Himself as "the stone that the builders rejected."

Zech. 3:8 "The designation 'Branch' is expressly applied to King Messiah in the Targum. Indeep this is one of the Messiah's peculiar names." Thus these branch references link Z to Messiah in some fundamental way.(Edersheim)

It is also undeniable form Isaiah 11 that Branch is a designation of the Davidic Messiah. It is clealry the Kingly David Messiah who ushers in the millennial kingdom to which that Chapter refurrs.

Now look again at 4:7 where it speaks of Z and the Capstone. Zech 4:7 is generally applied to the Messiah, expressly in the Targum and also in several of the Midrashim, thus as reguards both clauses of it Tanchuma (Par. Toledoth 14 ed. Warsh p. 56 at the top.) --Edersheim, 735).

So Zerubabel is clearly linked to Messiah. And as he lays the corner stone, which, though it was litterally something he did do in history, can also have a double meaning, especially since that very verse is linked Messianichally. So the Messiah comes through Z's line, which links Jesus closer and removes the curse a priori.

B.Joshua is the Name of the Branch

In Zechariah 3: 3 The high Priest of Zerubabel's day "...stood before the angel. The angel said to those who stood before him 'take off his filthy clothes' Than he said to Joshua 'see I have taken away your sin and I will put rich garments on you.'" IN v8 "Listen Joshua and your men seated before you who are symbolic of things to come....I am going to bring my servant the Branch,....and I will remove the sin of this land in a single day."

In Zechariah 3:8 God tells Joshua the priest that he will bring a branch. In the Notes to the Oxford Bible (RSV), of Messianic prophesy, it says "8 Branch a Davidic figure who is to usher in the Messianic age (compare Psalm 132:17...) here refurs to Zerubbabel (see 6:9-15n) Now that note says "This section abounds with difficulties. ORiginally it probablly directed crowning of Zerubbabel as Messianich King but was revised to refur to Joshua."

But in this same passage, after the crowning of Joshua, "God tells the prophet, to say to Joshua "here is the man whose name is the Branch, an and he will branch out from here and build the temple of the Lord. It is he who will build the temple and he will be clothed with majesty and he will sit and rule on his throne."(6:12). He is speaking of the High preist Joshua as "the man whose name is the Branch, and that is who he is annointing:

Zec 6:11 Then take silver and gold, and make crowns, and set [them] upon the head of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest; Zec 6:12 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: Zec 6:13 Even 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.

He is to be a Preist on this throne, that is a contradiction. There is a preistly Messiah and a Kingly Messiah, but they can't mix their functions,not unless they both sybmolize the same figure; the true Messiah. So this gives the King a redeptive fucntion because it is the Preisestly messiah who redeems.

When he says "here is the man whose name is the Branch" he is crowning Joshua the high priest, whose name is actually Yesha (Jesus). But what is said next identifies "the man whose name is the branch" more with Zerubabel. As stated above Zerubabel may have been originally intended for Messianich crowning.

But I think what's really going on here is an intetional confussing and melding of the two totgether because they both represent the true branch, the David Messiah who will come and sit on David's throne, and notice the fact that Joshua canno sit on David's thonre,but he shows us the name of the Branch, the name of the one who will.

But the two figures are united in v13 "he willl be a preist on this thorne." But this makes no snese because the Joseph Messiah can't have a throne, the presitly and Kingly functions are divided between the two, as is the point of having two of the. So this melding indicates the two really symbolize the same figure. Clealry both men are linked to me same Messianich figure. Zerubabel through Rabbinical lore, the throne and the cornerstone, the Priest Joshua as "the man who brings the Branch" if not as the "name of the Branch."

Sceptics can counter with the objection that since this is the Preist, he is the symbol of the Preistly Messiah and not of the Davidic Messiah. Jesus must be the Davidic Messiah to sit on David's throne and be the branch of David and roote of Jessey. But my contention is that the two Messiah's are really one figure and Jesus has both functions. Thus they both represent Jesus. Thsu both Highpreist Joshua and Zerubabel both represent Jesus.

the two following arguements prove this point

II. Origin of Two Messiahs

A. Summary of Messianic beliefs

The Origin of Messianich beliefs can be seen in works such as Isaiah and Zacaraiah, as the exiles from Babylon anticipated return to their homeland, and as the new returnies struggaled to get their new nation started in the patterns of restoration of the old. From Iaiah's earlisest prophesies (chapters 9 and 11 proto Isaiah) they looked for a great political leader who would rule as God's agent and build a kingdom of total pace and justice. Cornfeld argues that when they first began to look for the political leader, great hope was placed in Zerubabel, but he died. After a string of other candiates, none of whom panned out, they began to spiritualize the anointed one. Finally, under Roman occupation they began to look for an eschatological disruption, and a cosmic Messiah who was the "Son of God." (see first page). Jurgen Moltmann, in Theology of Hope, tells us that the eschatological is the temporalizing of the journey through the wilderness. Once the journey is complete and the people are in the promoised land, they have no more need to long for the land. They possess it. But they must maintian their sense of God as the protector who journeys with them, so they temporalize the journey. Than under the pressure of occupation by the Romans they militarize the new promised "end of times" and the Messiah.

* Sibylline Oracles 3.285f:

"And then the heavenly God will send a king and will judge each man in blood and the gleam of fire. There is a certain royal tribe whose race will never stumble. This too, as time pursues its cyclic course, will reign, and it will begin to raise up a new temple of God."

* Sibylline Oracles 3.652-655:

"And then God will send a King from the sun who will stop the entire earth from evil war, killing some, imposing oaths of loyalty on others; and he will not do all these things by his private plans but in obedience to the noble teachings of the great God."

* Sibylline Oracles 5.108f:

"..then a certain king sent from God against him will destroy all the great kings and noble men. Thus there will be judgment on men by the imperishable one" with 5.414f: "For a blessed man came from the expanses of heaven with a scepter in his hands which God gave him, and he gained sway over all things well, and gave back the wealth to all the good, which previous men had taken. He destroyed every city from its foundations with much fire and burned nations of mortals who were formerly evildoers."

[from Glenn Miller:Chirstian Think Tank]

B. Origin of two Messiahs in Zachariah

1)Two Messiahs at Qumran.

Messianic Hopes in the Qumran Writings 1

Florentino Garcia Martinez 

Florentino Garcia Martinez is professor at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, where he heads the Qumran Institute. This chapter is reprinted from The People of the Dead Sea Scrolls, ed. Florentino Garcia Martinez and Julio Trebolle Barrera (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1995).

2 Priestly Messianism:

"Together with the King, the High Priest is one of the main individuals to receive an "anointing" in the Hebrew Bible. There is nothing unusual, then, that within the Old Testament we already find indications of the possible development of these references to the High Priest as "anointed one"&emdash;in the course of hope in a priestly agent of salvation in the eschatological era&emdash;together with the "anointed one" of royal character. It is in this sense, I think, that the vision of Zecariah 3 and its development in Zecariah 6:9&endash;14 must be interpreted. In the first text, the future messianic age is clearly dominated by the figure of the High Priest Joshua, while the "shoot" only appears in passing and in a subordinate role. Neither of these two characters therefore is explicitly called "Messiah," but both texts are open to such an interpretation. As we will see further on, this interpretation will be developed within the Qumran community into a two-headed messianism."

2) Priestly Agent of Salvation


"However, a recently published text enables us to glimpse an independent development of the hope in the coming of the "priestly Messiah" as an agent of salvation at the end of times."

"It is an Aramaic text, one of the copies of the Testament of Levi, recently published by E. Puech,32 which contains interesting parallels to chapter 19 of the Greek Testament of Levi included in the Testaments of the XII Patriarchs. From what can be deduced from the remains preserved, the protagonist of the work (probably the patriarch Levi, although it cannot be completely excluded that it is Jacob speaking to Levi) speaks to his descendants in a series of exhortations. He also relates to them some of the visions which have been revealed to him. In one of them, he tells them of the coming of a mysterious person. Although the text is hopelessly fragmentary it is of special interest since it seems to evoke the figure of a "priestly Messiah." This "Messiah" is described with the features of the Suffering Servant of Isaiah, as J. Starcky indicated in his first description of the manuscript."33 [some of the text of the fragment quoted at the top under the Martinez quotation]

[from Glenn Miller's Web site]

* Testament of Levi 18:2ff:

"And then the Lord will raise up a new priest to whom all the words of the Lord will be revealed. He shall effect the judgment of truth over the earth for many days. And his star shall rise in heaven like a king...This one will shine forth like the sun in the earth...The heavens shall rejoice in his days and the earth shall be glad; the clouds will be filled with joy and the knowledge of the Lord will be poured out on the earth like the water of the seas...And the glory of the Most High shall burst forth upon him. And the spirit of understanding and sanctification shall rest upon him...In his priesthood sin will cease and lawless men shall find rest in him...And he shall open the gates of paradise...he will grant to the saints to eat of the tree of life..."

III. Two Messiahs are one.

A.Ben Joseph as War Machine Latter idea.

Edersheim argues that since this idea is not found in Rabbincial writtings before the Middle ages it was a latter developmnet. Of course, this is not true, but he could not have known about Qumran. Nevertheless, what is probably ture is that the fully developed notion of the Warrior Messiah was less well developed before the middle ages. It seems that the idea at Qumran of the Preistly Messiah was more oriented toward the cosmic redemptive preist rather than the war machine.

B. Double Messianism not Norm At Qumran

It can be seen that the double Messianism at Qumran may have been one minor voice. Recent scholarship finds far more emphasis upon the single Messiah.

Hebrew Scholars Michael Wise and James Tabor wrote an article that appeared in Biblical Archaeology Review (Nov./Dec. 1992) analyzing 4Q521:

"In short, there is not much evidence in the previously published scrolls that straightforwardly supports a putative doctrine of the two Messiahs.So the text that is the subject of this article (4Q521) is, in speaking of a single Messiah, more the rule than the exception.The Messiah of our text is thus much closer to the Christian Messiah, in this regard, than in any previously published text and requires us to reexamine the previously, rather restricted, views of Messianic expectations at Qumran."

The Religious A priori