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Zechariah 3:9

See, the stone I have set in front of Joshua! There are seven eyes on that one stone, and I will engrave an inscription on it,' says the LORD Almighty, 'and I will remove the sin of this land in a single day.

What is the significance of the eyes on the stone?

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The phrase "seven eyes" occurs just three times in the Bible:

  • Zech 3:9 - See, the stone I have set in front of Joshua! There are seven eyes on that one stone, and I will engrave an inscription on it,' says the LORD Almighty, 'and I will remove the sin of this land in a single day.
  • Zech 4:10 - "Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the LORD that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone in the hand of Zerubbabel?"
  • Rev 5:6 - Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.

[The phrase in Rev 5:6 is an allusion to those in the OT.] In each case we see that the highly symbolic "seven eyes" are on various things:

  • the stone - a symbol of Christ as per 1 Cor 10:3, 4
  • the LORD - see appendix below which is often a title of Christ in the OT
  • the Lamb - a clear symbol of Christ and His sacrificial role as "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29)

Thus, it clear that "seven eyes" is a title unique to Christ. This is confirmed by the rest of the verse that declares that the LORD Almighty "will remove the sin of this land in a single day." I take this as a reference to Jesus' death and the purification for sins He offered (Heb 1:3).

APPENDIX - Old Testament Epiphanies

We observe the clear statement several times in the NT that no human has ever seen God the father:

  • John 1:18 - No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.
  • John 6:46 - No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. (See also Matt 18:10.)
  • 1 John 4:12 - No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God remains in us, and His love is perfected in us.
  • Isa 64:4 - From ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides You, who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him.

This last reference is significant because it says that people have seen God, that is The LORD, YHWH (V8), despite what the NT texts assert. Here are more examples:

  • Gen 18:1, 10 - Then the LORD appeared to Abraham by the Oaks of Mamre in the heat of the day, while he was sitting at the entrance of his tent. ... Then the LORD said, “I will surely return to you at this time next year, and your wife Sarah will have a son!”
  • Gen 32:30 - So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, "It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared."
  • Ex 3:5, 6 - “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Then He said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”
  • Josh 5:13 - 6:2 - And the LORD said to Joshua, “Behold, I have delivered Jericho into your hand, along with its king and its mighty men of valor. (V2)
  • Judges 6:14 - The LORD turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel from the hand of Midian. Am I not sending you?” [See also V16]
  • Eze 1 - the prophet's vision of God; many elements of which are repeated in Rev 4 & 5.
  • See also instances of the “Angel of the LORD” clearly being the LORD - Gen 16:7-13, 22:11-17, 32:24-30, 48:16, Ex 3:2-6, 32:34, Num 22:22-35, Josh 5:13-15, Judg 2:1-4, 6:11-23, 13:3-23, Isa 63:9, Dan 3:25, 28, Hos 12:4, 5, Zech 3:1-7, Mal 3:1, Rev 8:3-5, 10:1-10, 18:1, 20:1-4.
  • A closely related phrase, “Angel of God” who is clearly God as in Gen 6:13, 8:15, 9:8, 17, 15:13, 17:3, 4, 21:12, 16-21, 35:1, 10, Ex 4:3-8, 6:2, 23:20, 21, Deut 1:6, 1 Kings 12:22, etc. See also Acts 10:3, 4, Gal 4:14. The very fact that the NT so confidently asserts that no human has seen God the Father, but many people have seen God/YHWH in the OT means the inescapable conclusion is such epiphanies were of the pre-incarnate Jesus as per John 8:58 – “Truly, truly, I tell you,” Jesus declared, “before Abraham was born, I am!”

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