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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Zechariah 11:7

So I pastured the flock doomed to slaughter, hence the afflicted of the flock. And I took for myself two staffs: the one I called Favor and the other I called Union; so I pastured the flock.

Adam Clarke Commentary

And I wilt feed the flock of slaughter - I showed them what God had revealed to me relative to the evils coming upon the land; and I did this the more especially for the sake of the poor of the flock.

Two staves - Two shepherd's crooks. One I called Beauty - that probably by which they marked the sheep; dipping the end into vermillion, or some red liquid. And this was done when they were to mark every tenth sheep, as it came out of the field, when the tithe was to be set apart for the Lord.

The other I called Bands - Probably that with the hook or crook at the head of it, by which the shepherd was wont to catch the sheep by the horns or legs when he wished to bring any to hand.

And I fed the flock - These two rods show the beauty and union of the people, while under God as their Shepherd. It was the delight of God to see them in a state of peace and harmony.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Zechariah 11:7". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/zechariah-11.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

The prophetic narrative which follows, differs in its form, in some respects, from the symbolical actions of the prophets and from Zechariah‘s own visions. The symbolical actions of the prophets are actions of their own: this involves acts, which it would be impossible to represent, except as a sort of drama. Such are the very central points, the feeding of the flock, which are still intelligent people who understand God‘s doings: the cutting off of the three shepherds; the asking for the price; the unworthy price offered; the casting it aside. It differs from Zechariah‘s own visions, in that they are for the most part exhibited to the eye, and Zechariah‘s own part is simply to enquire their meaning and to learn it, and to receive further revelation. In one case only, he himself interposes in the action of the vision Zechariah 3:1-10:15; but this too, as asking that it might be done, not, as himself doing it. Here, he is himself the actor, yet as representing Another, who alone could cut off shepherds, abandon the people to mutual destruction, annulling the covenant which He had made. Maimonides, then, seems to say rightly;: “This, “I fed the flock of the slaughter,” to the end of the narrative, where he is said to have asked for his hire, to have received it, and to have cast it into the temple, to the treasurer, all this Zechariah saw in prophetic vision. For the command which he received, and the act which he is said to have done, took place in prophetic vision or dream.” “This,” he adds, “is beyond controversy, as all know, who are able to distinguish the possible from the impossible.”

Osorius: “The actions, presented to the prophets are not always to be understood as actions but as predictions. As when God commands Isaiah, to make the heart of the people dull Isaiah 6:10 that is, to denounce to the people their future blindness, through which they would, with obstinate mind, reject the mercies of Christ. Or when He says, that He appointed Jeremiah Jeremiah 1:10 to destroy and to build; to root out and to plant. Or when He commanded the same prophet to cause the nations to drink the cup, whereby they should be bereft of their senses (Jeremiah 25:15 ff), Jeremiah did nothing of all this, but asserted that it would be. So here.”

And I will feed the flock of the slaughter - Rather And (our, so) “I fed.” The prophet declares, in the name of our Lord, that He did what the Father commanded Him. He fed the flock, committed to His care by the Father, who, through their own obstinacy, became “the flock of slaughter.” What could be done, He did for them; so that all might see that they perished by their own fault. The symbol of our Lord, as the Good Shepherd, had been made prominent by Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel, “Behold the Lord will come, as a Mighty One - He shall feed His flock like a shepherd: He shall gather the lambs with His arm and carry them in His bosom: He shall gently lead those that are with young” Isaiah 40:10-11. And Jeremiah, having declared God‘s judgments on the then shepherds Jeremiah 23:2, “I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their fold; and they shall be fruitful and increase. And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them. Behold the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a king shall reign and prosper - and this is the name whereby He shall be called, the Lord our Righteousness” Jeremiah 23:3-6. And Ezekiel with the like context Ezekiel 34:22-23; and, uniting both offices, “David, My servant, shall be king over them, and they shall all have One Shepherd” Ezekiel 37:24. It was apparent then beforehand, who this Shepherd was to be, to whom God gave the feeding of the flock.

“Even ‹you,‘ or ‹for you, ye poor of the flock;‘ or, ‹therefore,‘ being thus commanded, (fed I) the poor of the flock”. The whole flock was committed to Him to feed. He had to seek out all “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” Matthew 10:6; Matthew 15:24. Dionysius: “He fed, for the time, the Jews destined to death, until their time should come;” the fruit of His labor was in the “little flock” Luke 12:32, “the faithful Jews who believed in Him, out of the people of the flock aforesaid, or the synagogue, who in the primitive Church despised all earthly things, leading a most pure life.” So He says, “I will feed My flock and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord God: I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong, I will feed them with judgment” Ezekiel 34:15-16.

The elect are the end of all God‘s dispensations. He fed all; yet the fruit of His feeding, His toils, His death, the travail of His soul, was in those only who are saved. So Paul says, “Therefore I endure all things for the elect‘s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory” 2 Timothy 2:10. He fed all; but the “poor of the flock” alone, those who were despised of men, because they would not follow the pride of the high priests and scribes and Pharisees, believed on Him, as they themselves say, “Have any of the rulers or the Pharisees believed on Him?” John 12:48, and Paul says, “Not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called; but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things that are mighty; and base things of the world, and things despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are” 1 Corinthians 1:26-28.

And I took unto Me two - (shepherd‘s) staves as David says, “Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me” Psalm 23:4. “The one I called Beauty or Loveliness”, as the Psalmist longs to “behold the beauty or loveliness” of God in His temple Psalm 27:4, and says; let “the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us” Psalm 90:17.

And the other I called Bands - Literally, “Binders”. The one staff represents the full favor and loving-kindness of God; when this was broken, there yet remained the other, by which they were held together as a people in covenant with God. “And I fed the flock.” This was the use of his staves; He tended them with both, ever putting in exercise toward them the loving beauty and grace of God, and binding them together and with Himself.


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These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Zechariah 11:7". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/zechariah-11.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

"So, I fed the flock of slaughter, verily the poor of the flock. And I took unto me two staves; the one I called Beauty, and the other I called Bands."

"I fed the flock, verily the poor ..." God is still the speaker here; and how did God feed the flock? by the appearance and ministry of the son of God, Jesus Christ our Lord. Jesus' ministry was primarily concerned with the poor, upon whom he lavished the most marvelous compassion. He said, "Blessed are ye poor, for yours is the kingdom of God" (Luke 6:20).

"And I took unto me two staves ..." Zechariah is the speaker here; and the sudden transition without a break indicates that what Zechariah did was done specifically upon the Father's orders. This device of the prophet's symbolical action in which the divine message was conveyed to the people is seen also in the prophecies of Amos, Jonah, Jeremiah, Isaiah and others. Nobody but the critics has any problem understanding it.

What is the meaning of the two staves? Every shepherd carried a staff; although no distinction is made here with reference to the use of these, we assume that Matthew Henry was correct in the observation that:

Other shepherds had but one staff, but Christ had two, demoting the double care of his flock, and what he did both for the souls and for the bodies of men. David also speaks of God's "rod and his staff" (Psalms 23), a correcting rod and a supporting staff."[19]

That there was a different utility for each staff appears in their being given distinctive names; and in the light of Psalms 23, and from the fact of their endowment with separate symbolical meanings, we behold here a positive identification of Jesus Christ with the Good Shepherd of Psalms 23. Christ came both to support and to correct Israel, with his "rod and staff." Indeed Christ himself flatly declared to the evil shepherds themselves, "I am the Good Shepherd" (John 10:11).


Copyright Statement
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 11:7". "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 will feed the flock of slaughter,.... According to the call and commission he had from his divine Father, Zechariah 11:4 he determines to do as it was enjoined him, and as he had undertook:

even you, O poor of the flock; besides the people of the Jews in general, to whom Christ was sent, and he came to feed, there were a small remnant, according to the election of grace, he had a special regard for; and whom he fed by the word and ordinances with himself, the bread of life; and with the discoveries of his love, and with the covenant of grace, its blessings and promises, the sure mercies of David. These are called "the poor of the flock", because they were the poor of this world, as were the disciples and followers of Christ; "the poor have the Gospel preached unto them"; Matthew 11:5 and because they were spiritually poor, or poor in spirit, Matthew 5:3 who saw their spiritual poverty, and owned it; who bewailed it, and were humbled under a sense of it; and sought after the true riches; and acknowledged that all they had were owing to the grace of God: and who, as to the frame of their mind, are the meek and humble ones; or, as to their outward state and condition, afflicted ones, as the wordF25עניי "mites de grege", Grotius; "afflictos pecoris", Montanus; "afflictos gregis", Burkius. may be rendered; who were persecuted, reviled, reproached, and accursed by others, John 7:49 and, as to their gifts and graces, the meanest of God's people:

And I took unto me two staves; the one I called Beauty, and the other I called Bands; Jarchi, agreeably to the Targum, interprets this of the division of the kingdom of Israel into two parts, in the times of Rehoboam and Jeroboam. Some think persons are meant. In the TalmudF26T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 24. 1. it is explained of the disciples of the wise men in the land of Israel, who make each other pleasant by their doctrines; and of the disciples of the wise men in Babylon that corrupt one another, or object to one another: according to Aben Ezra, Zerubbabel and Nehemiah are intended: others, the good king Josiah, and the bad king Zedekiah: others the priest, and the king, as Abendana observes; and Kimchi explains it of the different manner in which the Lord led the people, according to their behaviour to him; when they behaved well, they had good kings and governors, which led them in a right way, and they were filled with good things; but when they behaved otherwise they had evil kings, and evil befell them. The first of these staves some render "clemency"F1נעמ "clementia", Cocceius. lenity, kindness, gentleness; and suppose it has respect to the kind and gentle manner in which God dealt with the Jews before the times of Christ, both as to civil and religious things; as to civil things, by bringing them into and settling them in a pleasant land, a land flowing with milk and honey; by giving them wholesome laws, by which they were governed, such as no other nation had; and by setting over them judges, to protect, defend, and deliver them; and kings to rule over them, very wise and good, especially some of them, David, Solomon, &c.: and as to religious things, by giving them a revelation of his mind and will, his word, statutes, and judgments, he did not give to other nations; and by sending prophets to instruct them in them, and stir them up to the observance of them; and by appointing a place of worship, and settling the form of it; setting apart men to the office of priests, and ordering sacrifices to be offered, with the whole of temple service; which were the beauty of the Lord, to be beheld in his sanctuary: and then the latter, called "Bands", which some render destroyersF2חבלים "perditores", Munster; "destructores", Vatablus; "perdentes", Burkius. , may denote either the destruction of this people, when they sinned against God, either by the Chaldeans or by the Romans; when severity was exercised on them, and wrath came upon them to the uttermost, in the ruin of their nation, city, and temple: and others think these may refer to the different usage of the Roman emperors, with respect to the Jews, who, for the most part, used them kindly, until the times of Nero; but afterwards, by him and other emperors, they were treated very roughly, until they were utterly destroyed by them; but as it plainly appears from the context that this is spoken of no other shepherd but Christ, and of no other feeding but his, they must design the instruments he makes use of, and still continues to make use of, in feeding his people. Shepherds commonly have but one staff, rod, or crook; but Christ has two: so the psalmist makes mention of a "rod" and "staff", when speaking of Christ as a Shepherd, Psalm 23:4 and these two staves some interpret of his twofold way of government, lenity to his people, and severity to his enemies; but rather it denotes the very great diligence and care Christ takes of his flock, both in guiding and directing them, and in protecting and defending them from their enemies: he fed his people in his own person when here on earth, with his staff "Beauty", or "clemency"; he was sent, and came to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, and had great compassion on them, as being like sheep without a shepherd; their present shepherds, or who bore that name, being such as are before described: and his tenderness and gentleness towards them appeared in his calling sinners to repentance; in his gracious invitations to come unto him; by his kind reception of them; his affable and courteous deportment towards them; the gentle reproofs and suitable instructions he gave them, and the comfortable truths of the Gospel he delivered to them; and, during his personal ministry, he suffered his disciples to go nowhere else with his Gospel; and, at his resurrection from the dead, ordered them to begin preaching at Jerusalem, and to continue preaching to the Jews first everywhere, as they did, until they rejected the Gospel; and then Christ broke both his staves, or removed the Gospel, and the ordinances of it, which I think are meant by these staves: for these staves are not only ensigns of the shepherd, as instruments of guiding, directing, and protecting the flock; but emblematical, as their names show; and emblems they might be of the stay and staff of food, of the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water, Isaiah 3:1 and we find that Christ's rod and staff, in a mystical sense, are of use to feed, refresh, and comfort, as well as to guide and direct, Psalm 23:4 by the staff "Beauty" we are to understand the Gospel, which was preached to the Jews before the destruction of Jerusalem, which is beautiful and pleasant in itself; the doctrines of it are so, such as those of peace, pardon, righteousness, and salvation by Christ; and such are the promises of it, being absolute and unconditional, sure and suitable to the cases of God's people, and likewise its ministers, Isaiah 52:7 and the ordinances of it comely and lovely; and besides, it sets forth the beauty of Christ, and represents the saints' beautifulness in him; and it is like the shepherd's staff; of great use in feeding the flock, not only by supplying with food, being food itself, milk for babes, and meat for strong men; and by directing to Christ, his covenant and church, where it is to be had; but by setting right such who are going in wrong pastures; pushing forward such as are backward to duty; fetching back such as are driven away, or backslidden, and preserving the whole from wolves and bears: and by the other staff, "Bands", the ordinances of the Gospel are designed, which are of use to keep the saints together, and to direct them to proper food; particularly the ordinance of the Lord's supper, which, as it is a feeding ordinance, and sets forth Christ, as food for faith, his flesh which is meat indeed, and his blood which is drink indeed; so it is a knitting and uniting ordinance, and is fitly expressed by "bands"; is not only a means of knitting the affections to Christ, whose love is so fully expressed in it; but of uniting the hearts of believers to one another, who herein become one bread, and one body, and feed together; and have communion with each other, and maintain their church state in a comfortable manner; and keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace; and the ordinances of the Gospel, though they are such bonds as are disagreeable to graceless persons, who are for breaking them asunder; yet they are a yoke that is easy, and a burden light to the people of God, Psalm 2:3. It may be observed, that the word for "bands" is rendered "pilots", Ezekiel 27:8 and masters or governors of ships, Jonah 1:6 and is so rendered hereF3"Nautae, vel gubernatores", Cocceius. ; and as churches may be compared to ships, Revelation 8:9 so may ministers of the word to those who have the government and direction of them; and whose business lies in the ministration of the word, and the administration of ordinances, and taking care of the discipline of the Gospel: this seems to be the evangelic sense of these words; and they express the manner in which Christ fed his own dear people in Judea, partly by his own ministry, and partly by the ministry of his apostles, while he had an interest there, until the sins of that nation brought utter ruin upon them. It is a most ridiculous application made of these two staves by Antoninus, archbishop of FlorenceF4Apud Quistorpium in loc. , that Zechariah, being of the Dominican order, took to him in the person of God two staves; the one he called "Beauty", which is the order of the preaching Friars; and the other "Bands", which is the order of the Minors:

and I fed the flock; with the said staves, as he had determined; which includes the doing of the whole office of a shepherd; taking an exact account of his sheep, that none be lost; going before them, and setting them an example in the exercise of grace and discharge of duty; leading them to the still waters of his Father's love; to the fountains and fulness of his own grace; to the rich provisions of his house, and the green pastures of Gospel ordinances; feeding them himself, and with himself, the bread of life, the hidden and heavenly manna; appointing shepherds under him, whom he qualifies to be pastors, gives them to his churches as such, and who receive from him the doctrines of the Gospel to feed them with; and protecting them from all their enemies, the roaring lion, Satan, wolves in sheep's clothing, false teachers, and the world's goats, who thrust with side and shoulder, and push with their horns of power; as well as by seeking that which is lost; bringing back that which is driven, or drawn away; binding up that which is broken; strengthening the weak; healing the sick; and watching over the whole flock night and day, lest any hurt them.


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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 11:7". "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 will feed the flock of slaughter, [even] you, k O poor of the flock. And I took to me l two staffs; the one I called Beauty, and the other I called Bands; and I fed the flock.

(k) That is, the small remnant, whom he though worthy to show mercy to.

(l) God shows his great benefits toward his people to convince them of greater ingratitude, who would neither be ruled by his most beautiful order of government, neither continue in the bands of brotherly unity, and therefore he breaks both the one and the other. Some read "Destroyers" instead of "Bands", but in (Zechariah 11:14) the second reading is confirmed.


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Zechariah 11:7". "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

And — rather, “Accordingly”: implying the motive cause which led Messiah to assume the office, namely, the will of the Father (Zechariah 11:4, Zechariah 11:5), who pitied the sheep without any true shepherd.

I will feed — “I fed” [Calvin], which comes to the same thing, as the past tense must in Zechariah‘s time have referred to the event of Messiah‘s advent then future: the prophets often speaking of the future in vision as already present. It was not My fault, Jehovah implies, that these sheep were not fed; the fault rests solely with you, because ye rejected the grace of God [Calvin].

even you, O poor of the flock — rather, “in order that (I might feed, that is, save) the poor (humble; compare Zechariah 11:11; Zephaniah 3:12; Matthew 5:3) of the flock”; literally, not you, but, “therefore (I will feed)” [Moore]. See Margin,Verily the poor.” It is for the sake of the believing remnant that Messiah took charge of the flock, though He would have saved all, if they would have come to Him. They would not come; therefore, as a nation, they are “the flock of (that is, doomed to) slaughter.”

I took … two staves — that is, shepherds‘ staves or rods (Psalm 23:4). Symbolizing His assumption of the pastor‘s office.

Beauty — The Jews‘ peculiar excellency above other nations (Deuteronomy 4:7), God‘s special manifestation to them (Psalm 147:19, Psalm 147:20), the glory of the temple (“the beauty of holiness,” Psalm 29:2; compare Psalm 27:4; Psalm 90:17; 2 Chronicles 20:21), the “pleasantness” of their land (Genesis 49:15; Daniel 8:9; Daniel 11:16), “the glorious land.”

Bands — implying the bond of “brotherhood” between Judah and Israel. “Bands,” in Psalm 119:61, Margin, is used for confederate companies: The Easterns in making a confederacy often tie a cord or band as a symbol of it, and untie it when they dissolve the confederacy [Ludovicus De Dieu]. Messiah would have joined Judah and Israel in the bonds of a common faith and common laws (Zechariah 11:14), but they would not; therefore in just retribution He broke “His covenant which He had made with all the people.” Alexander, Antiochus Epiphanes, and Pompey were all kept from marring utterly the distinctive “beauty” and “brotherhood” of Judah and Israel, which subsisted more or less so long as the temple stood. But when Jehovah brake the staves, not even Titus could save the temple from his own Roman soldiery, nor was Jurian able to restore it.


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
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 11:7". "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 will feed the flock of slaughter, even you, O poor of the flock. And I took unto me two staves; the one I called Beauty, and the other I called Bands; and I fed the flock.

Bands — The beauty of grace and glory, the bands of love and peace.


Copyright Statement
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 11:7". "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

He resumes here the thread of the discourse, which he had shortly before broken off; for he sets forth what had not yet been sufficiently expressed — that the ingratitude of the people, with which obstinacy was especially united, deserved entire ruin, and that now there was no hope of pardon; for the paternal care of God had been most basely and most shamefully repudiated, as well as the kind favor which he had manifested to the people.

God then complains that he fed the flock. Some apply this to Zechariah; but, as I have said, God relates the acts of kindness which he had uniformly showed to the people, until they became wholly unworthy of his favor. Let us however remember that the Prophet speaks of the remnant; for he does not here recount the benefits of God in ancient times, but describes the state of the people after their return from their exile in Babylon. God seemed before to have committed this office to Zechariah — to feed them; but as I have already said, the design of that was no other than to make it evident that the whole fault was in the people; for they had thrust from them the kindness of God, and in a manner carried on war frowardly with God, so as to prevent any access for his favor. There is therefore here an expostulation in God’s name.

I have fed, he says, the flock of slaughter, even the poor of the flock. Some render לכן, on account of; but it may be taken in an explanatory sense: or we may give this rendering — “therefore the poor,” or, especially the poor. With regard to the meaning, God here intimates that he had manifested his care for the whole people, for he had hoped that there were a few sheep yet remaining worthy of having mercy shown to them. As then some poor sheep might have been found among the impure flock, God says, that having this hope, he did not deem it grievous or burdensome to undertake the office of a shepherd in ruling the people. I have then fed the flock of slaughter, even for this reason, he says, because there were some miserable sheep among them: I was therefore unwilling to forsake them, and preferred to try all means rather than to cast away even one little sheep, provided a single one were found in the whole flock. (136)

He says that he took two rods, that he called one נעם, nom, “Beauty,” and that he called the other חבלים, chebelim, “Cords,” rendered “destroyers” by those who adhere to the Hebrew points; but as חבל, both in the singular and plural, has the meaning of a rope or cord, the Prophet, I have no doubt, means by חבלים, chebelim, ropes or bindings. Grammar, indeed, does not allow this; but Zechariah did not set down the points, for they were not then in use. I indeed know with how much care the old scribes contrived the points, when the language had already ceased to be in common use. They then who neglect, or wholly reject the points, are certainly void of all judgment and reason; but yet some discrimination ought to be exercised; (137) for if we read here “destroyers,” there is no meaning; if we read “cords,” there is no letter changed, but only two points are altered. As then the subject itself necessarily demands this meaning, I wonder that interpreters suffer themselves to be servilely constrained, so as not to regard the design of the Prophet.

The Prophet then says, that he had taken two rods, that he might devote himself in a manner not common to the office of a shepherd. Shepherds were satisfied with one crook; for by rods he means here the crook used by shepherds. As then every shepherd carried his own crook, the Prophet says here that he was furnished with two crooks, or pastoral staffs, because the Lord surpassed all men in his solicitude in the office of ruling his people. But the remainder I must defer until tomorrow.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Zechariah 11:7". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/zechariah-11.html. 1840-57.

Scofield's Reference Notes

two staves

The scene belongs to the first advent. Beauty and Bands--literally "graciousness and union"; the first signifying God's attitude toward His people Israel, in sending His Son Matthew 21:37 the second, His purpose to reunite Judah and Ephraim Ezekiel 37:15-22. Christ, at His first advent, came with grace John 1:17 to offer union Matthew 4:17 and was sold for thirty pieces of silver Zechariah 11:12; Zechariah 11:13. "Beauty" (i.e. graciousness) was "cut in sunder" (Zechariah 8:10; Zechariah 8:11), signifying that Judah was abandoned to the destruction foretold in Zechariah 11:1-6 and fulfilled A.D. 70. After the betrayal of the Lord for thirty pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12; Zechariah 11:13) "Bands" (i.e. union) was broken (Zechariah 11:14), signifying the abandonment, for the time, of the purpose to reunite Judah and Israel. The order of Zechariah 11. is,

(1) the wrath against the land (Zechariah 11:1-6), fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem after the rejection of Christ Luke 19:41-44.

(2) the cause of that wrath in the sale and rejection of Christ vs. (Zechariah 11:7-14);

(3) the rise of the "idol shepherd," the Beast Daniel 7:8; Revelation 19:20 and his destruction (Zechariah 11:15-17).

the one

The O.T. Parables: Summary. A parable is a similitude used to teach or enforce a truth. The O.T. parables fall into three classes:

(1) The story-parable, of which Judges 9:7-15 is an instance;

(2) parabolic discourses; e.g. Isaiah 5:1-7

(3) parabolic actions; e.g. Ezekiel 37:16-22


Copyright Statement
These files are considered public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available in the Online Bible Software Library.

Bibliography
Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Zechariah 11:7". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/zechariah-11.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Zechariah 11:7 And I will feed the flock of slaughter, [even] you, O poor of the flock. And I took unto me two staves; the one I called Beauty, and the other I called Bands; and I fed the flock.

Ver. 7. And will I feed the flock of slaughter, even you, O poor of the flock] Or, as Montanus readeth it, for you, for your sakes, O poor of the flock, i.e. O ye that are poor in spirit, pure in heart, my little flock, as our Saviour’s expression is in Luke. Even for your sakes will I yet for a time spare the reprobate goats, feeding them by my prophets, and provoking them to repentance. The word and sacraments, and all God’s common temporal favours, are, in respect of external participation, communicated to reprobates by way of concomitancy only; because they are intermixed with the elect. Thus tares, mingled among wheat, partake of the fat of the land and moisture of the manure, which was not intended for them.

And I took unto me two staves] viz. That I might therewith do the office of a shepherd; and yet in more than an ordinary manner. For shepherds commonly carry but one staff or crook; or, at most, but a staff on their shoulders and a rod in their hands, as David shows in his pastoral, Psalms 23:3. But here are two staves taken; to show, saith Calvin, that God would surpass all the care and pains of men in governing that people.

The one I called Beauty, and the other I called Bands] What these two should mean much ado is made among intrepreters. Some are for the two Covenants; others for the two Testaments; others for the order of Christ’s preaching, sweet and mild at first, terrible and full of threatenings at last, as appeareth in Matthew 24:24-25. But what a wild conceit was that of Anthony, Archbishop of Florence, who understood the word of Dominic and his order; construing them thus: I, that is, God, took unto me two staves, viz. Beauty, that is, the order of Preachers, and Bands, that is, the order of Minorites, who are girt with a cord? The sounder sort of expositors make it to be a figure of the two ways which Christ useth at all times in the feeding of his Church; the one by love, guiding them by his word and Spirit; the other by severity, punishing them by the cruel hand of their enemies. See Isaiah 10:5. Thus Vatablus, Diodati, &c. And that this is the true sense, saith a Lapide, it appeareth: First, because this oracle of the prophet is of the time to come, and not of the time past. Secondly, the event (that best interpreter of prophecies) maketh for it. For first God’s government of the commonwealth of Israel was beautiful and gentle, in the time of the Maccabees and of Christ; and then terrible and destructory, in the time of the Romans, of Nero, Vespasian, Adrian, &c. Thirdly, because a little after the prophet saith that he brake both the staves, that is, he utterly rejected the Jews, and brought his wrath upon them to the utmost, which cannot be meant by any other time than that of Christ, and of Titus. Especially since (in the fourth place) the prophet declareth, Zechariah 11:13, that the staff of Beauty was broken at the death of Christ, for their unworthy selling and slaughtering of him, as if he had been some slave or base person.

And I fed the flock] q.d. I did my part by them. Thy destruction, therefore, is of thyself, O Israel. England is a mighty animal, saith a politician, which can never die except it kill itself. The same might be much more said of the Jewish commonwealth, which Josephus truly and trimly calleth a Theocratia, or a God government, for the form and first constitution of it; and Moses, in this respect, magnifieth that nation above all other, Deuteronomy 4:6-7.


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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Zechariah 11:7". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/zechariah-11.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Zechariah 11:7. And I will feed, &c.— In Ezekiel 37:16-17 the prophet writes the names of the tribes upon two sticks, which, joined together, aptly express the union of all the tribes. But here the prophet takes the shepherd's crook, or staff, to shew the office and power of the Messiah; the Logos, or Word; for, to feed is to govern. In one hand he holds the staff, which he calls Beauty, to express the delight which the Lord has in governing his people, while they do what is pleasing in his sight, and strictly observe their part of the covenant subsisting between him and them. The other staff is properly called Binders, to express the union of Israel and Judah. See Dr. Sharpe as above. Bishop Chandler observes, that the prophets frequently employ metaphorical words, with intent, not to signify the thing which is obvious in the first sense of the words, but what is to be collected from another etymology or derivation thereof. Sometimes a double reference to different persons is included in the same word; again, the letters of a word are transposed to form a word that has no affinity in etymology or sense with the former. Thus our prophet calls one of his shepherd's staves נעם noam, or delight, so signify the pleasure which God had in his people, and the delight which the people took in God's worship. He calls his other staff חבלים chobelim, bands, in token that the people were become chobelim, corrupters of God's law,—and their souls did mutually בחלה bachalah, abhor each other. See his Defence, p. 226.

Two staves A staff, or crook, is the proper ensign of a shepherd. The shepherds of old time had two rods or staves: one turned round at the top, that it might not hurt the sheep; this was for counting them, and separating the sound from the diseased (see Leviticus 27:32.); the other had an iron hook at the end of it, to pull in the stray sheep, and hold them fast while the shepherd corrected them. The Psalmist mentions both there, Psalms 23:4. Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. See Lowth.


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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Zechariah 11:7". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/zechariah-11.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

And, or But, as the Hebrew particle is sometimes read: As for the greatest part, they are so corrupt and obstinately disobedient, I will cast them off;

but I will feed, & c. O therefore, so then, because it is the will of God that the flock of slaughter should. be fed, I will feed, &c.: the French version seems this way inclined. Je me suis done mis a paitre les brebis exposes tuerie: I am sent then to feed the sheep that are exposed to slaughter.

The flock of slaughter; either by the violence of their enemies, or by the monstrous negligence of their shepherds.

O poor of the flock: this is explicatory of the former, and by the ingemination of it shows us that God doth in his charge to the prophet typically, and in his charge to Christ antitype, distinguish clearly between people and people among the Jews, between those that were poor and forlorn, and those that were tyrannical, proud, cruel, and made a prey of them; these are left out of the pastoral charge, the other are taken care of.

I took unto me two staves: thus he enters on the actual exercise of his office, and takes two staves to himself, at the meaning whereof we can but guess. Two, say some, to signify the twofold way of Christ’s governing his people, by lenity and severity. Or, say others, to note his singular care and diligence in his office; when other shepherds content themselves with one, Christ takes two. Or what if hereby Christ would be provided with one to guide the flock, with another to repel such as would slaughter them, to protect against violence and to direct such as are meek. Christ hath his golden sceptre for his loyal and obedient subjects, and his iron rod for refractory rebels and violent enemies.

The one I called Beauty; or pleasantness, sweetness, and loveliness; this lay in the holiness of his precepts, the excellency of his comforts, the glory of his reward. This is the first, and answers to the character of the ways of wisdom, Proverbs 3:17; they are pleasantness. The ordinances of God, and the enjoyment of them, are the beauty of the Lord, and our beholding it, as David, Psalms 27:4.

The other I called Bands; either alluding to the lines wherewith the portion of the Holy Land was meted out to every one according to their lot; or referring to the obligations Christ lays on men to hold together in peace and unity. The beauty of grace and glory, the bands of love and peace.

And I fed the flock; with these in hand the shepherd undertakes to feed and rule this flock.


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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Zechariah 11:7". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/zechariah-11.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

7. Even you, O poor of the flock — R.V., “verily the poor of the flock”; margin, “the most miserable of sheep.” The word translated even you or verily means ordinarily therefore, which gives no sense here. LXX. combines it with the next word into one and reads, “for the Canaanites of the flock”=for the traffickers of the flock (see on Hosea 12:7), which would be a reference to the buyers and sellers of Zechariah 11:5. The divinely appointed shepherd enters upon his tasks with the determination to displace these buyers and sellers who have cruelly abused the flock. LXX.

is probably to be preferred. The means with which the shepherd intended to accomplish his ends are indicated by the two staves which are selected.

Beauty — Margin R.V., “Graciousness.” The staff symbolizes the return of the divine favor to the people. The shepherd meant to emphasize constantly the truth that, in spite of the present suffering, Jehovah is gracious to his people and is ready to shower upon them his blessing, if they will let him.

Bands — Or, union. Zechariah 11:14 places it beyond doubt that the prophet is thinking of the reunion between the north and south. The promise of such reunion would be an earnest of strength and victory.

Evidently he considers the two staves sufficient to put new life and courage into the ill-treated flock.

I fed — See on Zechariah 11:4, and reference there.


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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Zechariah 11:7". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/zechariah-11.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Zechariah proceeded to carry out his assignment from the Lord ( Zechariah 11:4). He spoke as a shepherd of the sheep doomed to slaughter, the afflicted sheep, and so represented Israel"s Shepherd, Messiah. The two shepherd"s staffs that he named "Favor" (Heb. no"am, pleasantness, graciousness) and "Union" (Heb. hobhelim, binders, unifiers) represented God"s blessing and the unity of the flock (Israel; cf. Ezekiel 37:15-28).

"The Eastern shepherd carried a rod or stout club hewed from a tree to beat away wild beasts attacking the sheep and a crooked staff for retrieving the sheep from difficult places [cf. Psalm 23:4]." [Note: Unger, p194.]


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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Zechariah 11:7". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/zechariah-11.html. 2012.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Zechariah 11:7. And — Or rather, but, I will feed the flock of slaughter, even you Or, especially you, O poor of the flock — Zechariah here, representing Christ the true shepherd, says, he will enter upon his office, and undertake the care of the flock appointed for the slaughter; even you, O poor of the flock — This clause is explicatory of the former, and by the repetition of it we are shown, that God, in his charge to the prophet, as a type of Christ, and to Christ the antitype, distinguishes clearly between different sorts of people among the Jews; between those that were poor, despised, weak, and humble, and those that were tyrannical, proud, and cruel, and made a prey of their inferiors: these were left out of the pastoral charge; the others were to be taken care of. And I took unto me two staves — These were the proper accoutrements of a shepherd, and these the prophet assumed as a badge of his office, and gave them significant names, which are partly explained, Zechariah 11:10-14. “The shepherds of old time,” says Lowth, “had two rods, or staves, one turned round at the top, that it might not hurt the sheep: this was for counting them, and separating the sound from the diseased, Leviticus 27:32; the other had an iron hook at the end of it, to pull in and hold the straying sheep. The psalmist mentions both these, Psalms 23:4, Thy rod and thy staff comfort me.” The one I called Beauty Or, pleasantness, or, delight, as the word נועם may be rendered, signifying, says Lowth, his favour, gentleness, or kindness toward his people; which was remarkably verified in Christ, whose gracious words, and beneficial works, were conspicuous through the whole course of his life. The other I called Bands — Which the same author interprets of the bond of the new covenant, whereby he intended to unite both the kingdoms of Israel and Judah under himself, as their head and king, Ezekiel 37:22; and then afterward to unite the Jews and the Gentiles into one church, by breaking down the partition wall that was between them. Newcome considers the former, Beauty, as intended to “denote how beautiful and pleasant the land would have been, if its inhabitants had kept their covenant with God.” The other, Bands, “ as signifying the union which ought to have subsisted between Judah and Israel.” Mr. Scott explains “the former word of the honour, privilege, and ornament which the Jews possessed, according to their national covenant, in the oracles, instituted worship, and temple of God; and especially by the ministry of Christ and his apostles, who preached the gospel to them first.” The other, he thinks, means, “the connection of the nation under one government, and the harmony that had, in some measure, hitherto united them, as the flock of God.” Many other interpretations are given of these two names, but as they all are, and must be, in a great measure, founded on conjecture, the reader is not here troubled with them.


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Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Zechariah 11:7". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/zechariah-11.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

For this. Christ came to feed his flock. (Calmet) --- But the Jews would not receive him. (Haydock) --- Septuagint read (Calmet) locnani, as [in] ver. 11, "of slaughter into Chanaan, and I," &c. (Haydock) --- Two rods, or shepherds' staves, meaning the different ways of God's dealing with his people; the one by sweet means, called the rod of Beauty, the other by bands and punishments, called the Cord. And where both these rods are made of no use or effect by the obstinacy of sinners, the rods are broken, and such sinners are given up to a reprobate sense, as the Jews were. (Challoner) --- The first denotes God's general providence, as it is most seemly that all should be under him; the second means his particular care of the Jews. (Worthington) --- God uses both the crook and the whip, employing both severity and tenderness. Now all proves in vain.


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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Zechariah 11:7". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/zechariah-11.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

And I will feed = So I [Zechariah] tended.

even you, O poor of the flock. Reading the two words (in Hebrew) as one word (with the Septuagint) it should be "for the sheep-traffickers", as in Zechariah 14:21 ("Caaanite").

I took. Compare verses: Zechariah 11:7, Zechariah 11:10, Zechariah 11:13, Zechariah 11:15 with Zechariah 6:10, Zechariah 6:11.

staves. Which shepherds use; the crook or staff, and the club. See note on Psalms 23:4,

Beauty = Graciousness,

Bands = Union.


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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Zechariah 11:7". "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 will feed the flock of slaughter, even you, O poor of the flock. And I took unto me two staves; the one I called Beauty, and the other I called Bands; and I fed the flock.

And - rather, Accordingly: implying the motive cause which led Messiah to assume the office-namely, the will of the Father (Zechariah 11:4-5), who pitied the sheep who were without any true shepherd, and who therefore said to the Son, "Feed the flock."

I will feed the flock of slaughter - or else [ 'er`eh (Hebrew #7462)], 'I fed,' which comes to the same thing, as the past tense is often used by the prophets in speaking of the future, so certain, as if it were past, is everything that God saith. Calvin makes the words here to be those of THE FATHER, 'I fed the flock.' It was not my fault, Yahweh implies, that these sheep were not fed; the fault rests solely with you, because ye rejected the grace of God. But they are plainly the words of YAHWEH-MESSIAH, who undertook the office delegated to Him by the Father (Zechariah 11:4).

Even you, O poor of the flock - rather, 'in order that (I might feed, i:e., save) the poor (humble; cf. Zechariah 11:11; Zephaniah 3:12; Matthew 5:3) of the flock [ laakeen (Hebrew #3651)]: literally (not "you" [which would be laakem (H3807a), or laake... (H3807a)], but) 'inasmuch as,' or 'therefore (I will feed'), etc. (Moore.) See margin, 'Verily, the poor.' Messiah virtually saith, 'According to the Father's will (Zechariah 11:4; Psalms 40:8) I will feed the flock which is destined to the slaughter, inasmuch as I desire to feed the poor of the flock' - i:e., the humble, who are looked down upon by the world. It is for the sake of the believing remnant that Messiah took charge of the flock, though He would have saved all, if they would have come to Him. They, would not come; therefore, as a nation, they are "the flock of (i:e., doomed to) slaughter." The "remnant according to the election of grace" (Romans 11:5), are "the poor of the flock," whom Messiah did actually "feed."

And I took unto me two staves - i:e., two shepherd's staves or rods (Psalms 23:4). Symbolizing His assumption of the pastor's office. Whereas other shepherds are content with one staff for each, Messiah took two, to imply the more than ordinary solicitude He had for His flock (Calvin).

The one I called Beauty , [ No`am (Hebrew #5278)] - Grace, Pleasantness; the gift of God's free favour. The Jews' special excellency above other nations (Deuteronomy 4:7), in having God so nigh in His special manifestation to them; also in the glory of the temple ("the beauty of holiness," Psalms 29:2 : cf. Psalms 27:4, "the beauty of the Lord" revealed in His temple); and (Psalms 90:17; 2 Chronicles 20:21), the "pleasantness" of their land (Genesis 49:15; Daniel 8:9; Daniel 11:16). "the glorious land."

And the other I called Bands - Ties [ Chob


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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Zechariah 11:7". "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

(7) Will feed.—Correctly, fed. The prophet, acting as God’s representative, performs a symbolical action, figuring thereby God’s treatment of His people.

Beauty.—Or, rather, favour.

Bands.—Or, as in margin, binders. The first staff denotes the return of God’s favour to His people; the second (comp. Ezekiel 37:16-22) the binding together of Judah and Ephraim in “brotherhood,” which latter took place, for the first time since the separation, on the return from Babylon. When He took His flock into favour once more, “He made with them a covenant of peace . . . so that they should no more be a prey to the heathen.” (See Ezekiel 34:25-28.)


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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Zechariah 11:7". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/zechariah-11.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And I will feed the flock of slaughter, even you, O poor of the flock. And I took unto me two staves; the one I called Beauty, and the other I called Bands; and I fed the flock.
I will
4,11; 13:8,9
even you, O poor
or, verily the poor.
Isaiah 11:4; 61:1; Jeremiah 5:4,5; Zephaniah 3:12; Matthew 11:5; Mark 12:37; James 2:5
staves
10,14; Leviticus 27:32; 1 Samuel 17:40,43; Psalms 23:4
one
Psalms 133:1-3; Ezekiel 37:16-23; John 17:21-23
Bands
or, Binders.
John 10:16; Ephesians 2:13-16

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Zechariah 11:7". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/zechariah-11.html.

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