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the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Zechariah 11

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-6

ZECHARIAH - CHAPTER 11

THE FIRST COMING AND REJECTION OF THE MESSIAH

Verses 1-6:

Destruction Of The Second Temple

Verse 1 calls upon Lebanon to open her doors, that the fire may devour her cedars. The temple of the Jews was constructed from the cedars of Lebanon. And this prophecy seems to allude to the coming fiery judgment of God upon the Jewish people, for their rejection of the Messiah, at His first advent. It is said that Lebanon, the mountain pass to the north of Palestine, was the door through which the Roman army swooped down upon Jerusalem, to conquer and to burn her temple and city in A.D. 70. Habakkuk 2:17, regarding these great mountains of cedars.

Verse 2 calls upon the fir tree or cypress to howl or lament, as well as the oaks of Bashan, because the cedar had fallen down and the vintage of the forest had come down. Both had been destroyed of their most glorious beauty, once beheld in the finished product of the Jewish temple, Joel 3:13; Revelation 14:18. The desolate condition of Jerusalem is beheld as an uninhabited forest, Micah 3:12.

5 Verse 3 describes a voice of howling, mourning shepherds, because their glory is spoiled. The shepherds refer to the civil and religious rulers of the Jewish people. The temple, the center of their national pride, their wealth, and their glory had come to be spoiled, Mark 13:1; Luke 21:15. The roaring of young lions refers to the ruling princes among the Jews, who were cruel and rapacious in their rule. They wailed because the pride of Jordan was spoiled, their ground of prey upon the people. They had lost their jobs, as the Jordan Valley was a lair of young lions, the temple had become a lair for wicked Jewish rulers, Jeremiah 12:5; Jeremiah 49:19; Mark 7:1-11.

Verse 4 recounts the Lord’s direct address to Zechariah, "Thus saith the Lord," or tell them exactly this, tell it as it is and shall be. He was then charged to "feed the flock of the slaughter," the Jewish nation, which is God’s people, doomed to slaughter by the Romans, Psalms 44:22. Zechariah and the other prophets of God had fed them, by God’s appointment, Acts 10:37; Acts 20:28; But God’s Sort was the true one who would feed them, of which, true prophets all testifed, Luke 24:27; Luke 24:44; Revelation 19:10.

Verse 5 further describes slaughter of the Jews by the Romans, who had no compunction of conscience against doing it, holding themselves not guilty; And God in righteous wrath against Judah, allowed it, Deuteronomy 29:19; Jeremiah 2:3; Jeremiah 50:7; John 16:2. And they who sold them as their ill-gotten riches, and did not pity their own people, whose wickedness and idolatry they condoned for the "dollar," them they sold into Roman slavery, as Judas sold Jesus, John 11:48; John 11:50; Isaiah 49:3; Hosea 12:8; Luke 16:14; Luke 18:11; Matthew 23:24; Matthew 27:4-6; 2 Peter 2:3.

Verse 6 warns that the Lord will pity the inhabitants of the land no more, when they have rejected their Lord, the Messiah, their Redeemer. The judgment threat is that He would deliver every man into his neighbor’s hand, and into the hand of the Roman Emperor, their king or ruler, John 19:15. They were to smite the land, destroy Jerusalem, and disperse the Jews among all nations, without an intercession, at that time, from the Lord, Luke 21:24. The Jews who rejected the Christ had said, "we have no king but Caesar." And to his cruelty they became self chosen victims, under Titus of Vespasia, John 19:15.

Verses 7-14

Wrath Because Of Rejection Of Jesus

Verses 7-14:

Verse 7 states that the Messiah Himself would feed the flock, Malachi 3:16-18; Zephaniah 3:12, the small remnant that received and followed Him, and became His church, John 1:11-12; John 15:17; John 15:26. Others rejected Him, and refused to be fed, by their own choice, not by any act of Divine pre-fixation, Matthew 23:37; Psalms 40:8.

He took Him two staves, shepherd’s slaves or rods: 1) called beauty, and 2) called Bands, Psalms 23:4. These symbolized the Shepherd-pastor’s office of guidance and care over His flock, the church, more than ordinary care, Ephesians 5:25; Matthew 16:18; Matthew 28:18-20; John 14:1-3. One staff was "Beauty," meaning Grace or pleasantness, meaning God’s free favor, Deuteronomy 4:7; Psalms 29:2; Psalms 27:4; Psalms 90; Psalms 17. The other staff He called "Bands", meaning bonds of brotherhood, Psalms 119:61; Nehemiah 10:29; Ephesians 4:1-5. Judah and Israel would be united no more until He comes again.

Verse 8 states that three shepherds were cut off by the Lord in one month, a very short time, and His soul loathed them, as they had loathed Him, Exodus 23:23. These three shepherds seem to refer to: 1) Prophets, 2) Priests, and 3) Kings, or their three care-taker positions He had ordained for the Jewish people, Jeremiah 2:8; Jeremiah 2:18; But when they would not that He should reign over them, their kingdom was taken away, in all forms of Divine function from among men, Hosea 5:7. The Lord loathed, was nauseated by them, as a nation, only after they willfully and obstinately rejected Him, instead of being enlarged toward them in love, 2 Corinthians 6:11-12.

Verse 9 certifies that the Lord gave them up to reap the putrid fruit of their own sowing, Galatians 6:7-8; John 8:24; He announced that He would no longer feed them in their own land, but let them die and eat the flesh of one another, dying through bitter discord, one toward another. See also Jeremiah 15:1-3; Jeremiah 34:17; Jeremiah 43:11; Ezekiel 6:12.

Verse 10 described the Lord’s taking His staff "Beauty" and breaking it, cutting it off, leaning on, trusting it, or using it no more, in order that He might break His covenant that he had made with all the people; Though it was to hold good to the ones who received Him and followed Him, becoming His little flock, the church, Hosea 2:18. He cut them asunder, so that for 1,900 years they have not been feared by the nations, or objects of any special blessings from Him, as a nation, race, or people, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in, Romans 11:5; Romans 11:25.

Verse 11 certifies that it, (the staff or covenant) on which He leaned, was broken in that day (period of time) of His national rejection by His own people. Thus it is declared that the "poor of the flock", that waited upon Him knew; Jeremiah 32:8. They recognized, or comprehended that He was the Lord, and followed and obeyed Him, as a remnant, who became His church, His bride, His house, His flock, His order of worship and service, 1 Timothy 3:15; Mark 13:34-35; Hebrews 3:1-6; Luke 12:32; Acts 20; Acts 28; John 3:28-29; Ephesians 5:25; Ephesians 3:21. These He called from among the Gentiles in Galilee, as a people for His name’s sake, Acts 10:37; Acts 15:13-15; John 15:17; John 15:26-27.

Verse 12 recounts our Lord’s challenging Israel to give Him His due servant-shepherd wages, of obedience and following, if they deemed Him the faithful one who had led and preserved them from Abraham until that day. The servant deserves his wages, Matthew 10:10. He only desired their acceptance of Him, "without money and price," Isaiah 55:1-3; Matthew 11:28; Matthew 11:30; Matthew 23:37. But they rejected Him, and sold Him instead, as afore-prophesied, for 30 pieces of silver, the price of a lowly, gored, bloody, slave, Matthew 26:15; Matthew 27:9-10; Exodus 21:32. A freeman was rated at twice that price.

Verse 13 repeats the words of God to Zechariah to cast it unto the potter, or cause it, the 30 pieces of silver, a noble price, ironical, to be cast to the potter, who plied his business in the valley of Hinnom, the polluted valley, 2 Kings 23:10; Matthew 27; Matthew 9; Zechariah 13:7. They, the thirty pieces of silver, were thrown down in the temple, called the house of the Lord, Matthew 27; Matthew 6, 7, 10; Acts 1:18; Acts 2:23; Acts 4:28. The silver went to buy or sustain a burial ground for the poor and for criminals.

Verse 14 declares that the Messiah then cut asunder, or broke his other staff, called "Bands, as He had broken the staff called "Beauty," v. 10, the covenant He had broken with all nations. This staff "Bands", refers to the brotherhood covenant of union between Judah the southern kingdom, and Israel, the northern kingdom, that God causes to be broken under Rehoboam. It also pointed to their continued breach of tribes, as they are both scattered around the world and regathering in Palestine, even today; It is a broken union that will continue until they repent and receive Jesus as the Messiah, who will reunite them at His second advent, Romans 11:15.

Verses 15-17

The Antichrist Beast

Verses 15-17:

Verse 15 recounts that the Lord called upon Judah and Israel to take unto themselves, or announced that they would take to themselves, the instrument of a foolish or wicked shepherd, Psalms 14:1. They had the shepherd’s crook, staff, and wallet, and posed as shepherds, but they acted like hirelings, greedily working for their own gain, neglecting the care of crippled and diseased sheep, eating and serving their own purpose, then rejected their own Messiah when He did come, as set forth, Ezekiel 34:2-4; John 1:10-11; John 10:11; He also told the Jews that one day another (the anti-christ) would come, in his own name, and they would receive him, John 5:43: Revelation 13:4-8. They rejected the "light yoke" Matthew 10:28, of their Messiah, when He first came, but will go under the heavy yoke of the anti-christ to be punished shortly before our Lord’s second advent. Daniel 9:27; Daniel 11:35-38; Daniel 12:1; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12.

Verse 16 describes the Lord’s warning that He would raise up a wolf-shepherd, a devouring, flesh-tearing shepherd among them, one that would not visit those that were cut off, hidden, or perishing, those sick unto death. This false-shepherd will not look after the young that become crippled or cannot keep up with the flock, nor feed those that stand still, so sick that they lag behind. His nature will be such that he will tear off their hoofs, with voracious cruelty, so that if any escaped it would be so tender that excruciating pain would prevent it from seeking pasture, Exodus 10:26; Ezekiel 34:2-4. Israel shall suffer this retribution in kind, for rejecting her true shepherd, John ch. 10; John 5:43.

Verse 17 pronounces woe upon the idle shepherd that leaves or deserts the flock to destruction for carnal, selfish reasons. The "woe" is one that carries grievous payment: These were the unworthy shepherd-pastors in Israel,- who deserted their line of ordained trust and duty, instead of guarding the flock, Jeremiah 23:1-2; Ezekiel 34:2; John 10:12-13. God’s judgment shall descend on that false shepherd’s right "arm", the instrument of his tyranny toward the sheep, 2 Thessalonians 2:8; and on his `right eye’’, with which he with vigilance should have watched the sheep; Blinding the right eye signifies ignominy and shame, 1 Samuel 1:2. This false shepherd, that deserted his trust. shall suffer the fruit of his sins in blindness, Galatians 6:7-8.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Zechariah 11". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/zechariah-11.html. 1985.
 
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