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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Zechariah 11:12

I said to them, "If it is good in your sight, give me my wages; but if not, never mind!" So they weighed out thirty shekels of silver as my wages.

Adam Clarke Commentary

If ye think good, give me my price - "Give me my hire." And we find they rated it contemptuously; thirty pieces of silver being the price of a slave, Exodus 21:32.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Zechariah 11:12". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/zechariah-11.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And I said unto them, If ye think good, give Me My price - God asks of us a return, not having any proportion to His gifts of nature or of grace, but such as we can render. He took the Jews out of the whole human race, made them His own, “a peculiar people,” freed them from “the bondage and the iron furnace of Egypt,” gave them “the land flowing with milk and honey,” fed and guarded them by His Providence, taught them by His prophets. He, the Lord and Creator of all, was willing to have them alone for His inheritance, and, in return, asked them to love Him with their whole heart, and to do what He commanded them. “He sent His servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of the vineyard; and the husbandmen took His servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. Last of all, He sent unto them His Son” Matthew 21:34-37, to ask for those fruits, the return for all His bounteous care and His unwearied acts of power and love. o“Give Me,” He would say, “some fruits of piety, and tokens of faith.”

Osorius: “What? Does He speak of a price? Did the Lord of all let out His toil? Did He bargain with those, for whom he expended it for a certain price? He did. He condescended to serve day and night for our salvation and dignity; and as one hired, in view of the reward which He set before Him, to give all His care to adorn and sustain our condition. So He complains by Isaiah, that He had undergone great toil to do away our sins. But what reward did He require? Faith and the will of a faithful heart, that thereby we might attain the gift of righteousness, and might in holy works pant after everlasting glory. For He needeth not our goods; but He so bestoweth on us all things, as to esteem His labor amply paid, if He see us enjoy His gifts. But tie so asketh for this as a reward, as to leave us free, either by faith and the love due, to embrace His benefits, or faithlessly to reject it. This is His meaning, when He saith,”

And if not, forbear - God does not force our free-will, or constrain our service. He places life and death before us, and bids us choose life. By His grace alone we can choose Him; but we can refuse His grace and Himself. “Thou shalt say unto them,” He says to Ezekiel, “Thus saith the Lord God, He that heareth, let him hear, and he that forbeareth, let him forbear” (Ezekiel 3:27; add Ezekiel 2:5, Ezekiel 2:7; Ezekiel 3:11). This was said to them, as a people, the last offer of grace. It gathered into one all the past. As Elijah had said, “If the Lord be God, follow Him; but if Baal, then follow him” 1 Kings 18:21; so He bids them, at last to choose openly, whose they would be, to whom they would give their service; and if they would refuse in heart, to refuse in act also. “Forbear,” cease, leave off, abandon; and that forever.

So they weighed for My price thirty pieces of silver - The price of a slave, gored to death by an ox Exodus 21:32. Whence one of themselves says, o“you will find that a freeman is valued, more or less, at 60 shekels, but a slave at thirty.” He then, whom the prophet represented, was to be valued at “thirty pieces of silver.” It was but an increase of the contumely, that this contemptuous price was given, not to Him, but for Him, the Price of His Blood. It was matter of bargain. “Judas said, What will ye give me, and I will deliver Him unto you?” Matthew 26:15. The high priest, knowingly or unknowingly, fixed on the price, named by Zechariah. As they took into their mouths willingly the blasphemy mentioned in the Psalm; “they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted in the Lord, that He would deliver Him; let Him deliver Him, seeing that He delighted in Him” Psalm 22:7-8; so perhaps they fixed on the “thirty pieces of silver,” because Zechariah had named them as a sum offered in contumely to him, who offered to be a shepherd and asked for his reward.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Zechariah 11:12". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/zechariah-11.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

"And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my hire; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my hire thirty pieces of silver."

The KJV here uses the word "price" instead of hire, and that is preferable, although the word used is actually "hire."[29] Although the word in Zechariah 11:12 actually means, "advantage arising from labor, wages, only one amount is spoken of in both verses; and it is far better to honor the AV rendition, despite the fact of two different words being used. The word "price," used in the next verse clarifies what is really meant here. The word in Zechariah 11:12 literally means, "value set upon a person."[30]

"So they weighed for my hire thirty pieces of silver ..." See at the end of Zechariah 11:13 for a minute examination of the significant fulfillment of this complex prophecy. The amount of money here is very revealing. Exodus 21:32 has this:

If the ox gore a man-servant or a maid-servant, there shall be given to their master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.

Barnes noted that this was only half the value of a freeman. "A freeman is valued, more or less, at sixty shekels, but a slave at thirty."[31] Note too, that a dead or severely-injured slave was so valued. Pusey interpreted Exodus 21:32 to mean "gored to death," affirming that the amount here was the "price of a slave gored to death."[32] This is doubtless correct and casts an extremely sinister shadow over the whole transaction. True, Jesus was not yet dead when the Pharisees determined to pay Judas exactly thirty pieces of silver; but then they fully intended to kill him as soon as possible, overlooking the parallel fact that God's law required the "ox" to be stoned after such an incident! Although the brilliant company of false shepherds who bought Jesus for thirty pieces of silver, fully determined to be the "ox" that would gore him to death, they sealed at the same time their own fate.

How unspeakably callous, cruel, and diabolical was the action of the three evil shepherds (Pharisees, Sadducees, and Herodians, jointly making up the Sanhedrin) in sentencing Christ to death (Matthew 26:3-5) without a trial or any intention at the time of ever having one, determining the Holy One to be, in their eyes, already dead, and buying him from the traitor at a price that exhibited for all ages their unspeakable wickedness!

"If ye think good ... and if not forbear ..." Haggling over the price is indicated by this. It really makes no difference whether Judas or the evil shepherds finally determined the amount, the evil shepherds certainly approved and paid for it. Nor is there any problem with the fact that in Zechariah, the type of Jesus is the one who consummates the "deal," while in the gospels it was Judas. Judas was the servant of Jesus; and the Master is credited with the deeds of his servants (John 4:1,2); and, in addition to that, on the very night of the betrayal Jesus commanded Judas, "What thou doest, do quickly" (John 13:27). All of the details of this complicated prophecy were exactly and minutely fulfilled.

"So they weighed for my hire thirty pieces of silver ..." Coinage was certainly known at the time of Christ's betrayal; but, as indicated here, the old device of weighing the amount was followed (Matthew 26:15), "And they weighed him thirty pieces of silver."


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James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Zechariah 11:12". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/zechariah-11.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And I said unto them, If ye think good,.... Not to the poor of the flock that waited on him, and knew the word of the Lord, and valued it; but to the other Jews that despised Christ and his Gospel:

give me my price; or, "give my price"F9הבו שברי "date mercedem meam", Vatablus, Calvin, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius. ; what I am valued at by you, to Judas the betrayer: or the price due unto him for feeding the flock, such as faith in him, love to him, reverence and worship of him. So the Targum paraphrases it, "do my will". Kimchi says the price is repentance, and good works:

and if not, forbear; unless all is done freely, willingly, and cheerfully; see Ezekiel 2:5 or, if worth nothing, give nothing:

So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver; the price a servant was valued at, Exodus 21:32 see the fulfilment of this prophecy in Matthew 26:15. The Jews ownF11Bereshit Rabba, sect. 98. fol. 85. 3. that this prophecy belongs to the Messiah; but wrongly interpret it of thirty precepts given by him: in just retaliation and righteous judgment, thirty Jews were sold by the Romans for a penny, by way of contempt of themF12Egesippus de Urb. excidio Anacep. p. 680. .


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Zechariah 11:12". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/zechariah-11.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And I said to them, If ye think good, give [me] p my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty [pieces] of silver.

(p) Besides their ingratitude, God accuses them of malice and wickedness, who did not only forget his benefits, but esteemed them as nothing.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Zechariah 11:12". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/zechariah-11.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

I said — The prophet here represents the person of Jehovah-Messiah.

If ye think good — literally, “If it be good in your eyes.” Glancing at their self-sufficient pride in not deigning to give Him that return which His great love in coming down to them from heaven merited, namely, their love and obedience. “My price”; my reward for pastoral care, both during the whole of Israel‘s history from the Exodus, and especially the three and a half years of Messiah‘s ministry. He speaks as their “servant,” which He was to them in order to fulfil the Father‘s will (Philemon 2:7).

if not, forbear — They withheld that which He sought as His only reward, their love; yet He will not force them, but leave His cause with God (Isaiah 49:4, Isaiah 49:5). Compare the type Jacob cheated of his wages by Laban, but leaving his cause in the hands of God (Genesis 31:41, Genesis 31:42).

So … thirty pieces of silverthirty shekels. They not only refused Him His due, but added insult to injury by giving for Him the price of a gored bond-servant (Exodus 21:32; Matthew 26:15). A freeman was rated at twice that sum.


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This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Zechariah 11:12". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/zechariah-11.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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

And I said — Upon parting, Christ seems after the manner of men, to mind them of his claims for them, and desire them to reckon with him.

If ye think good — He puts it to them, whether they thought he deserved ought at their hands? So they - The rulers of the Jews, the high priest, chief priests, and pharisees.

Weighed — Which was the manner of paying money in those days.

Thirty pieces — Which amounts to thirty-seven shillings and six-pence, the value of the life of a slave, Exodus 21:32. This was fulfilled when they paid Judas Iscariot so much to betray Christ.


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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Zechariah 11:12". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/zechariah-11.html. 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

God now adds another crime, by which he discovers the wickedness of the people; for they estimated all the labor he had bestowed at a cry insignificant price. He had before complained of ingratitude; but more fully detected was the iniquity and baseness of the people, when they thus regarded as of no value the inestimable favor of God towards them. What the Prophet then says now is — that God at last tried them so as to know whether his benefits were of any account among the Jews, and that it had been fully found out, that all the labor and toil employed in their behalf, had been ill-spent and wholly lost. That Zechariah now speaks in his own person, and then introduces God as the speaker, makes no difference, as we said yesterday, as to the main subject; for his object is to set forth how shamefully the Jews had abused the favor of God, and how unjustly they had despised it. And yet he speaks as God’s minister; for God not only governed that people himself, but also endued with the power of his Spirit many ministers, who undertook the office of shepherds.

He then says, that he came (and what is said properly belongs to God) to the people and demanded a reward, Give me, he says, a reward; if not, forbear (142) He expresses here the highest indignation, as though one upbraided the wickedness and ingratitude of his neighbor and said, “Own my kindness, if you please; if not, let it perish: I care not; I see that you are wholly worthless and altogether unworthy of being so liberally treated: I therefore make no account of thy compensations; but at the same time it behaves thee to consider how much thou art indebted to me.” So now does God in high displeasure speak here: “Give me at least a reward, that I may not have served you for nothing: you have misused my labor, I have borne with many wrongs and annoyances in ruling you; what is to be the compensation for my solicitude and care? I indeed make no account of a reward, for I am not a mercenary.” He then adds, that they gave him thirty silverings (143) He mentions this no doubt as a mean price, intimating, that they wished by such a small sum to compensate for the many and inestimable favors of God; as when one hires a swineherd or a clown, he gives a paltry sum as his wages; so the Jews, as the Prophet says, acted towards God. At the same time by the mean price, a suitable reward only to a clown, he means those frivolous things by which the Jews thought to satisfy God: for we know how diligent they were in performing their ceremonies, as though indeed these were a compensation that was of any value with God! He requires integrity of heart, and he gives himself to us, that he may in return have us as his own. (144) This then was the price of labor which the Lord had deserved. It would have been a suitable reward had the Jews devoted themselves wholly to him in obedience to his word. But what did they do? They sedulously performed ceremonies and other frivolous things. This then was a sordid reward, as though they sought to put him off with the reward of a swineherd.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Zechariah 11:12". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/zechariah-11.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Zechariah 11:12 And I said unto them, If ye think good, give [me] my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty [pieces] of silver.

Ver. 12. If ye think good, give me my price] Pay me for my pains, lay me down my shepherd’s wages. Is not the labourer worthy of his hire? Shall I be forced to say of you, as my servant David of Nabal, that unthankful churl, "Surely in vain have I kept all that this fellow had in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that pertained unto him: and he hath requited me evil for good," 1 Samuel 25:21. If God will be David’s shepherd, David will dwell in God’s house to all perpetuity, Psalms 23:1; Psalms 23:6. If the Lord deal bountifully with him, he will sit down and bethink himself what to render unto the Lord for all his benefits, Psalms 116:7; Psalms 116:12. A Christian counts all that he can do for God, by way of retribution, but a little of that much he could beteem him; and thinks nothing more unbeseeming himself than to receive the grace of God in vain. His two mites of thankfulness and obedience he daily presents; and then cries out, as the poor Grecian did to the emperor, If I had a better present thou shouldst be sure of it ( Eι πλεον ειχον πλεον εδιδουν). But ingratitude is a grave, which receives all the bodies (the benefits) that are put into it; but will render none up again without a miracle. Hence that passionate expostulation, Deuteronomy 32:6 "Do ye thus requite the Lord, O ye foolish people and unwise?" Sic etiam stomachose loquitur Deus hoe loeo, saith Calvin upon this text: i.e. So likewise doth the Lord here in high displeasure and with great animosity or stomach, bespeak his people, Give me my wages howsoever; or, if not, forbear till I fetch it, till I recover it; you shall be sure to pay then, not the debt only, but the charges likewise; I will be paid both for my pains and patience too. In the mean space I need you not, nor care for your wages; for I am no hireling, &c.

So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver] That is, thirty shekels, or shillings. The price of a slain servant’s life, Exodus 21:32. This they weighed, as the manner of paying money then was, Genesis 23:16, Jeremiah 32:9. But they heaved their hands very high, it seems, when they valued the Lord Christ at so vile a rate. See Matthew 26:15. {See Trapp on "Matthew 26:15"}


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Zechariah 11:12". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/zechariah-11.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

And I said unto them; upon parting, Christ seems after the manner of men to mind them of his pains and care for them, and would have them reckon with him.

If ye think good: he puts it to them whether they thought he deserved aught at their hands, and what it was.

Give me my price; though I need not your money or pay, I deserve more than you will give, and therefore do in this as liketh you.

So they, the rulers of the Jews, the high priest, chief priests, and Pharisees,

weighed, which was the manner of paying money in those days,

thirty pieces of silver; which amounts to thirty-seven shillings and sixpence, the value of the life of a slave, Exodus 21:32: this was fulfilled when they paid Judas Iscariot so much to betray Christ, Matthew 26:15 27:9.

And I said unto them; upon parting, Christ seems after the manner of men to mind them of his pains and care for them, and would have them reckon with him.

If ye think good: he puts it to them whether they thought he deserved aught at their hands, and what it was.

Give me my price; though I need not your money or pay, I deserve more than you will give, and therefore do in this as liketh you.

So they, the rulers of the Jews, the high priest, chief priests, and Pharisees,

weighed, which was the manner of paying money in those days,

thirty pieces of silver; which amounts to thirty-seven shillings and sixpence, the value of the life of a slave, Exodus 21:32: this was fulfilled when they paid Judas Iscariot so much to betray Christ, Matthew 26:15 27:9.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Zechariah 11:12". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/zechariah-11.html. 1685.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Since Zechariah was terminating his protection of the flock, he asked the sheep to pay him his wages or, if they refused, to keep what they owed him.

He is more concerned about making the flock feel that he is done with it than he is about money." [Note: Leupold, p216.]

The sheep weighed out30 shekels of silver as his pay. This was the price of a gored slave in the ancient Near East ( Exodus 21:32) and, though a substantial amount, was a pittance in view of all that the Shepherd had done for the sheep. [Note: See E. Reiner, "Thirty Pieces of Silver," Journal of the American Oriental Society88 (January-March1968):186-90.] Their act was as shamelessly insulting as their general reaction to His ministry as a whole had been. To offer him this wage was far worse than simple outward rejection (cf. Matthew 26:15). It was the equivalent of telling the Shepherd that they could buy a dead slave who would be as useful to them as He had been. This response shows how unworthy the people were of His solicitude.


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Bibliography
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Zechariah 11:12". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/zechariah-11.html. 2012.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Pieces. Sicles are usually understood. About fifty-one livres. The Jews bought the life of Christ for this sum; (Calmet) thirty pieces. (Worthington)


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Zechariah 11:12". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/zechariah-11.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

price = wage.

thirty pieces of silver. The damages for injury done to a servant. Reference to Pentateuch (Exodus 21:32). This is not the passage referred to in Matthew 27:9. Sec App-161. That was "spoken" by Jeremiah; this was written by Zechariah.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Zechariah 11:12". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/zechariah-11.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

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

And I said unto them. The prophet here represents the person of Yahweh-Messiah.

If ye think good - literally, 'If it be good in your eyes.' Glancing at their self-sufficient pride in not deigning to give Him that return which His great love in coming down to them from heaven merited-namely, their love and obedience.

Give me my price. "My price:" my reward for pastoral care, both during the whole of Israel's history from the exodus, and consummated especially in the three and a half years of Messiah's ministry. He speaks as their "servant," which He was to them, in order to fulfill the Father's will (Philippians 2:7).

And if not, forbear. They withheld that which He sought as His only reward, their love; yet He will not force them, but leave His cause with God (Isaiah 49:4-5). Compare the type, Jacob cheated of his wages by Laban, but leaving his cause in the hands of God (Genesis 30:28-33; Genesis 31:41-42).

So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver - 30 skekels. They not only refused Him His due, but added insult to injury, by giving for Him the price of a gored bond-servant (Exodus 21:32; Matthew 26:15). A freeman was rated at twice that sum.


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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Zechariah 11:12". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/zechariah-11.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(12) My price.—The shepherd demands a requital for his toil, as a test of the gratitude of the sheep.

And if not, forbear.—Comp. Ezekiel 3:27, &c. God does not force our will, which is free. He places life and death before us; by His grace alone we can choose Him, but we can refuse His grace and Himself.

Thirty pieces of silver.—The price set on a foreign slave (Exodus 21:32).


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Zechariah 11:12". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/zechariah-11.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.
ye think good
Heb. it be good in your eyes.
1 Kings 21:2; 2 Chronicles 30:4; *margins
give
Matthew 26:15; John 13:2,27-30
So
Genesis 37:28; Exodus 21:32; Matthew 26:15; Mark 14:10,11; Luke 22:3-6

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Zechariah 11:12". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/zechariah-11.html.

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