Zechariah 11

1The destruction of Jerusalem. 4Under the type of Zechariah is showed Christ's care for the flock, the Jews; and their rejection because of ingratitude and light estimation of him. 15The type and curse of a foolish shepherd.

1OPEN thy 1doors, 2O Lebanon, 3that the fire may devour 4thy cedars.

1 Gates, strong holds, forts, castles. It is a prophecy that the Jews, who would despise Christ and the preaching of the Holy Gospel, would be destroyed and scattered.

2 The prophet turns his address to the woods and mountains, here and in the next verse, implying that nothing at all shall be able to hinder or resist God, when He is once resolved to punish. Lebanon is a mountain situated in the north part of Canaan.

3 That is, that your enemies, and here by name the Romans, may take your cities, and waste your country.

4 That is, the greatest and loftiest among you. See Judges 9 on verse 15.

2Howl, 5fir tree; for 6the cedar is fallen; because the 7mighty are spoiled: howl, O 8ye oaks of Bashan; for 9the forest of the vintage 10is come down.

5 Understand hereby the common and ordinary people of the land.

6 That is, rulers and principal men among the Jews.

7 Or, glorious trees. Or, gallant ones.

8 That is, ye mighty inhabitants of Bashan. Compare Ezek. 27:6.

9 Namely, the Lebanon.

10 Hebr. is gone down, or, is come down, that is, is cut down, or is hewn off.

3 11There is a voice of the howling of the shepherds; for 12their glory is spoiled: a voice of the roaring 13of young lions; for 14the pride 15of Jordan is spoiled.

11 That is, one hears the shepherds howl, that is, the rulers of the people, as well ecclesiastical as civil persons.

12 That is, the glory of the princes is existing in the leading citizenship, and nearly all the people; Prov. 14:28. Others understand here by the glory the temple; others the entire city of Jerusalem; some also the entire land of Judea. See Dan. 11:16, 41.

13 Namely, of courageous men of war.

14 Or, the excellence.

15 That is, of the land of Judah, situated at the Jordan.

4Thus saith the LORD my God; 16Feed 17the flock of the slaughter;

16 The Lord charges this to Zechariah in a vision or in a picture, showing that Christ, the true and chief Shepherd of His church, had received the command from His heavenly Father to take care for His poor people, who were oppressed by the wicked rulers. This charge is likewise given to all faithful shepherds, being under their Head Christ.

17 Understand the common people among the Jews, who were grievously oppressed by the mighty ones, and taken as sheep for the slaughter.

5Whose 18possessors 19slay them, and 20hold themselves not guilty: and 21they that sell them say, 22Blessed be the LORD; for I am rich: and 23their own shepherds pity them not.

18 That is, their governors, the mighty ones among the people, such as were the high priest, Herod, the scribes, pharisees, sadducees, etc.

19 That is, become emaciated through their greedy avarice, usury, unjustifiable commerce and violence. emaciate

20 They have no remorse for it in their conscience; it is also not accounted to them as a crime, they remain unpunished. Hebr. they become not guilty.

21 The power, which the great ones practice upon the poor, is so common, that the great ones think they are allowed to deal with the poor, as if they were their bond-slaves, putting them to sale, as free and lawful merchandise.

22 They ascribe their riches to the blessing of God which they had extorted from their brethren by violence and through iniquity. Compare Mat. 23:14, 15, etc.

23 None of their shepherds spare them, nor show any pity or compassion on them. See Ezek. 34:2, 3, 4, etc.

6For I will no more pity 24the inhabitants of the land, saith the LORD: but, lo, 25I will deliver 26the men 27every one into his neighbour’s hand, 28and into the hand of his king: and 29they shall 30smite the land, and out of their hand I will not deliver 31them.

24 Understand this of these evil men, spoken of in verse 5, who were by far the greatest number among the Jews; but God the Father notwithstanding would have Christ to take care of those poor slaughter-sheep, as He also effectually did, after His appearance in the flesh here on earth.

25 Hebr. I shall cause the men to be found. See 2 Sam. 3 on verse 8.

26 Namely, those wicked Jews.

27 That is, I shall smite and destroy the one by the other. And so it came to pass; for by their civil or internal divisions and seditions, many thousands of the Jews were miserably destroyed after that time. See Josephus de bello Jud. Lib. 6, cap. 1 and 4.

28 After many disagreements between the high priest Aristobulus, Alexander and Hyrcanus, the Romans were called and came into Judea, who, becoming masters over the Jews, made and constituted Antipater and Herod the Great kings over them, who put almost all of the most important persons among the Jews to death. Yet some do here understand by the king, the Roman Emperor.

29 Namely, the enemies of the Jewish nation, whether they were the Romans or their other enemies.

30 As with hammers.

31 Or, it, namely, the land.

732And I will feed 33the flock of slaughter, 34even you, O poor of the flock. And I took unto me two staves; the one I called 35Beauty, and the other I called 36Bands; and I fed 37the flock.

32 Or, I will tend. They are the words of Christ.

33 See verse 4.

34 Or, O ye most afflicted among the flock, understanding the pious and godly ones among the Jews.

35 Some keep the Hebrew word noham in the text, signifying pleasantness, showing that the Lord is dealing very friendly and mercifully with the poor sinner.

36 Others keep the Hebrew word Chobelim or hobelim, that is, binders, or bands, com-binders, the staff of com-binders, signifying that He attempted to bind Judah and Israel together. Others render it with destroyers.

37 Namely, the flock for slaughter, mentioned before.

838Three shepherds also I 39cut off 40in one month; and 41my soul 42lothed 43them, and their soul 44also abhorred me.

38 That is, all the shepherds or teachers of the Jewish people, who were distinguished in three sects, namely, Pharisees, Sadducees and Essesians. Otherwise thus: I have taken from them kings, priests and prophets; and observe that the things to come yet are here set down in prophetical terms as if they were done already.

39 That is, convinced of false doctrine and error; but if this is understood of the wicked kings, priests and prophets, than cut off is to say: keep out or take away, or disgrace, destroy. And this is a mercy, which God promises unto His people, namely, that He would take away their evil governors which they had as a sign of His love to them.

40 That is, in a very short time. Compare Hosea 5:7 with the annotation.

41 Hebr. my soul was shortened for their sakes, that is, I could not endure them, and they could not endure Me.

42 See Judges 10 on verse 16, the annotation.

43 Namely, about those ungrateful Jews, or on account of their false teachers, etc.

44 See Mat. 27:21.

9Then said 45I, 46I will not feed you: that 47that dieth, let it die; and that that is to be cut off, let it be cut off; and 48let the rest eat every one the flesh of another.

45 Namely, unto those unthankful Jews; or, as others understand it: unto the Jewish people in general, as Mat. 23:37

46 That is, I (namely, Christ) will take no further care on your behalf; I will not preach the Gospel anymore unto you, nor have it preached. Hereby the Lord implies that He was resolved to cast off the Jews, because of their great unthankfulness and to own them no more for His people. See Deut. 31:17.

47 The sense is: When My discipline is disrespected, be therefore subjected to destruction, all miseries, either outside the house or inside. See further verse 10; Jer. 15:2 etc.; Rev. 22:11.

48 Hebr. let the woman swallow the flesh of her she-friend or female friend.

10¶And 49I took my staff, even 50Beauty, and 51cut it asunder, that I 52might break my covenant which I 53had made 54with all the people.

49 Namely, I, Christ.

50 See verse 7.

51 Hereby showing that He did not want to guide and govern them anymore with sweetness, as He was wont to do in former times.

52 Which I had made with them on this condition that they would walk in My precepts, Exod. 19:5, 6; Lev. 26:3; Deut. 28:1.

53 Understand the twelve tribes, which were to be looked upon as so many nations.

54 See of this phrase Gen. 15 on verse 18.

11And it was broken in that day: and so 55the poor of the flock that waited upon me knew 56that it was the word of the LORD.

55 See verse 7.

56 That is, came to pass thus, according to the word and will of the Lord.

1257And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So theya58weighed for 59my price thirty pieces of silver.

57 Here the Lord Christ renders the reason why He had laid aside the care to feed the Jews and had rejected the shepherds. I had, saith He, exhorted them, to bring Me their wage, that is, that they would bring Me fruits worthy of repentance, as being the wages which I had deserved at their hands for feeding them. On the contrary, out of the bitter hatred which they bore Me, they have weighed a wage to My betrayer, to destroy Me by him. See Mat. 26:15; 27:9.

a Mat. 26:15; 27:9.

58 See the manner of weighing money Gen. 23 on verse 16; Exod. 22:17; Ezra 8:25; Esther 3:9.

59 That is, the wage of which they thought Me to be worthy.

13And the LORD said unto me, Cast it 60unto the potter: 61a goodly price that I was prisedb at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them 62to the potter 63in the house of the LORD.

60 Or, before, that is, let it be given to the potter, and so later again in the same verse.

61 Hebr. that glory or excellence of the price, or of the value. Understand this as having been spoken ironically and with contempt.

b priced, value

62 Namely, to buy a potter’s field with it.

63 That is, into the temple.

14Then I cut asunder mine other staff, even 64Bands, that I 65might break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel.

64 See verse 7.

65 Hereby is intimated, since Judah and Israel refused to acknowledge God’s grace and favor, when He would have joined them together, and owned them both alike for His people, and kept and fed them as His own flock; for which end and purpose He had sent several prophets unto them; that therefore He would trouble Himself no further with them, to reunite them, but leave them in this division and to perish together.

15¶And the LORD said unto me, Take unto thee 66yet the 67instruments of a foolish shepherd.

66 That is, besides this; hereby is represented, as in an example, the unwise and strange government of the Jews, after Christ’s time, namely, how the same would be conditioned and managed, before its last and utter destruction.

67 The Hebrew word sometimes signifies a shepherd’s pouch or wallet, 1 Sam. 17:40, sometimes a garment, Deut. 22:5, sometimes all kinds of utensils, Lev. 5:4, etc.

16For, lo, I will raise up 68a shepherd in the land, which shall not visit those 69that be cut off, neither shall seek 70the young one, nor heal that that is 71broken, 72nor feed that 73that standeth still: but he shall eat the flesh of 74the fat, and 75tear 76their claws in pieces.

68 Others: shepherds, understanding the scribes and pharisees, as also other bad teachers, who would live in Christ’s time and would be teaching the people. Others understand here by the word shepherds the evil governors who have ruled the land of the Jews.

69 Hebr. those who are cut off, that is, ready to be cut off.

70 The young and tender lambs. Compare this verse with Ezek. 34:2, etc.

71 That is, such as are hurt and wounded.

72 Or, not apprehend, maintain, take care for, bear.

73 Namely, the sheep which remain standing, because they are so weak that they cannot follow the others. Other, the standing one, that is, that which is in good health and yet able to move around, standing upon his own legs still.

74 The fat lamb.

75 Namely, by driving them hard over hills and dales, through woods and rocks. Compare Jer. 23:2; Ezek. 34:2, 3, 4.

76 Namely, those which stand still and are not able to go further while they are weak.

1777Woec to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock! 78the sword shall be 79upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm 80shall be clean dried up, and his right eye 81shall be utterly darkened.

77 Other, Woe to my idol shepherd.

c Jer. 23:1; Ezek. 34:2; John 10:12.

78 That is, the hand and punishment of the Lord. Other, drought. See Deut. 28:22. Or, the destruction, ruin, damage.

79 Or, over, or, to, or, about.

80 Hebr. withering whither.

81 Hebr. shall grow dark growing dark.