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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Zechariah 11:9

Then I said, "I will not pasture you. What is to die, let it die, and what is to be annihilated, let it be annihilated; and let those who are left eat one another's flesh."

Adam Clarke Commentary

I will not feed you - I shall instruct you no longer: some of you are appointed to death by famine; others, to be cut off by the sword; and others of you, to such desperation that ye shall destroy one another.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Zechariah 11:9". "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, I will not feed you - God, at last, leaves the rebellious soul or people to itself, as He says by Moses, “Then My anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and will hide My Face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall find them” Deuteronomy 31:17: and our Lord tells the captious Jews; “I go My way, and ye shall seek Me and shall die in your sins” John 8:21.

That which dieth, let it die - Zechariah seems to condense, but to repeat the abandonment in Jeremiah; “Cast them out of My sight, and let them go forth. And it shall be, if they shall say unto thee, Where shall we go forth? then thou shalt tell them, Thus saith the Lord, Such as are for death, to death; and such as are for the sword, to the sword; and such as are for the captivity, to the captivity” oFirst, God gives over to death without violence, by famine or pestilence, those whose lot it should be; another portion to violent death by the sword; “that which is cut off shall be cut off; and the rest,” the flock of slaughter, would be turned into wolves; and, as in the awful and horrible siege of Jerusalem, those who had escaped these deaths, “the left-over, shall eat every one of the flesh of his neighbor,” every law of humanity and of nature broken. Osorius: “So should they understand at last, how evil and bitter a thing it is for all who lived by My help to be despoiled of that help?”


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Zechariah 11:9". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/zechariah-11.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

"Then said I, I will not feed you: that which dieth, let it die; and that which is to be cut off, let it be cut off; and let them that are left eat every one the flesh of another."

Here is detailed the attitude that Mitchell and other critics consider to be impossible in God; but when all else fails, God throughout human history has destroyed the incorrigibly wicked. The first great example of it was the deluge that swept over the ancient world. The whole theology of judicial hardening is little understood, but it is a fact, none the less. As Gill said:

"Here the prophet states his intention not to feed the flock but to let it die. This brings to mind two key passages. One in which Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem because of her historic failure to heed the prophets (Luke 13:33-35), and the other one in which he predicted the destruction of the city (Luke 21:5,6)."[25]

Horrible as this prophecy for Israel appears, it was literally fulfilled. "Even the cannibalism described here was fulfilled literally during the final days of the siege of Titus."[26] Sword, pestilence, and famine, the three great destroyers in all wars, appear here under the metaphor appropriate to a shepherd and the sheep.


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 11:9". "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

Then said I, I will not feed you,.... That is, any longer; either personally, or by his apostles; he fed them himself, during his public ministry; and afterwards by his apostles, whom he ordered to preach the Gospel to the Jews first; but that being contradicted, blasphemed, and despised by them, they were ordered to turn away from them, and go to the Gentiles: this shows that not the shepherds only, but the body of the people, abhorred Christ and his Gospel: and therefore it was taken away from them:

that that dieth, let it die; literally, by the pestilence, that going by the name of death in Scripture; and spiritually, they that are dead in sin, let them continue so; let them die through famine of the word they have despised; let them die in their sins, and die the second death, they justly deserve:

and that that is to be cut off, let it be cut off; literally, by the sword; spiritually, the meaning is, that whereas some were in righteous judgment appointed to ruin, vessels of wrath fitted to destruction; let them be left to themselves, to a judicial blindness, and hardness of heart, and be cut off as unfruitful branches, and be no more in a church state here, and hereafter cast into everlasting burnings:

and let the rest eat everyone the flesh of another; through famine; or destroy each other in their internal divisions, which was the case of the Jews, when Jerusalem was besieged; see Galatians 5:15.


Copyright Statement
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 11:9". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/zechariah-11.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Then said I — at last when all means of saving the nation had been used in vain (John 8:24).

I will not — that is, no more feed you. The last rejection of the Jews is foretold, of which the former under Nebuchadnezzar, similarly described, was the type (Jeremiah 15:1-3; Jeremiah 34:17; Jeremiah 43:11; Ezekiel 6:12). Perish those who are doomed to perish, since they reject Him who would have saved them! Let them rush on to their own ruin, since they will have it so.

eat … flesh of another — Let them madly perish by mutual discords. Josephus attests the fulfillment of this prophecy of threefold calamity: pestilence and famine (“dieth … die”), war (“cut off … cut off”), intestine discord (“eat … one … another”).


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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 11:9". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/zechariah-11.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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

Then — After that time of his patient feeding the flock, and cutting off the unfaithful shepherds.

Cut off — By the sword or famine.

The flesh — Either live to be besieged, 'till hunger makes the living eat the dead, or by seditions and bloody intestine quarrels, destroy each other.


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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 11:9". "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 declares what had been briefly mentioned before, — that his judgment could not be deemed cruel, for the people had been extremely wicked, and their wickedness deserved extreme punishment. It seems indeed to be a simple narrative; but God here defends his own cause, for he had tried all means in ruling the people, before he had recourse to extreme rigor. Who indeed could now murmur against God? for he had been ever ready to undertake the office of a shepherd, and had so humbled himself as to take care of that people as his own flock, and had, in short, omitted no kind of attention; and yet he had been despised by that people, and even treated with derision. It was therefore an extreme indignity when they hated God, who had yet dealt with them with so much kindness. We hence see that God’s judgment is here vindicated from every calumny; for the wickedness of the people was altogether inexcusable before God had renounced his care of them.

I said: the time must be noticed, for he intimates that he had not been too hasty in taking vengeance; but that as there was no longer any remedy, he had been constrained, as it were by necessity, to give up his office of a shepherd. I said then, I will not feed you; what is to die, let it die; what is to be cut off, let it be cut off (140) He here resigns his office of a shepherd, and intimates that he was innocent and free from all blame, whatever might happen. A shepherd is set over a flock for this purpose, — that he may defend it, even every sheep, both against the depredations of robbers, and the rapacity of wolves: but when he gives up his office, he is exempt from all blame, though afterwards the flock may be stolen or devoured by wolves and wild beasts. God then here openly declares, that it was not to be imputed to him, if the Jews perished a hundred times, for they refused to be ruled by him, and thus he was freed from the pastoral charge. What then is to perish, let it perish; that is, “Since they are not healable, and allow no remedy to be applied to their evils, I leave them; they shall find out what it is to be without a good shepherd.”

We now see more clearly what I before stated, — that the wickedness and ingratitude of the people are here reproved, because they had rejected God, who was ready to be their shepherd, — and that the cause of the ruin which was nigh at hand, was in the Jews themselves, though they anxiously tried, but in vain, to transfer it to another.

He concludes with these words, And those which remain, even those who shall escape external attacks, let them eat one another, since they are not now sheep, but savage wild beasts. And this we know has been fulfilled; for the Jews at length perished through mutual discords, and no one spared his own brother; nay, the nearer the relationship, the more cruelly each raged against the other. Hence God’s judgment, denounced by the Prophet, then appeared most openly, when the Jews perished through intestine broils and even slaughters. It then follows —

9.And I said,—I will not feed you; She that is to die, shall die; And she that is to be cut off, shall be cut off; And the remainder shall devour, Each one the flesh of its (or her) fellow.

“The dying,” or “the dead,” and “the cut off,” the literal rendering, clearly mean what was destined to die and to be cut off. Hence to render “cut off” here “missing,” as done by Blayney, is not at all necessary. — Ed.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Zechariah 11:9". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/zechariah-11.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Zechariah 11:9 Then said I, I will not feed you: that that dieth, let it die; and that that is to be cut off, let it be cut off; and let the rest eat every one the flesh of another.

Ver. 9. Then said I, I will not feed you] Now the wrath of the Lord arose against his people, so that there was no remedy, as 2 Chronicles 36:16. Now his decree brought forth, Zephaniah 2:2. Now he grows implacable, inexorable, peremptory. Wherein nevertheless the Lord might very well break forth into that speech of the heathen emperor, when he was to pass sentence upon a malefactor, Non nisi coactus, I would not do this if I could do otherwise. Christ could not tell Jerusalem without tears that her day of grace was expired, that her destruction was determined. As a woman brings not forth without pain; as a bee stings not till provoked; so neither doth God proceed against a sinful people or person till there be an absolute necessity; lest his truth and justice should be questioned and slighted. See Ezekiel 12:22-25. Fury is not in God, till our sins put thunderbolts into his hands; and then, "who knoweth the power of his anger?" Psalms 90:11 "who can abide with everlasting burnings?" Isaiah 33:14. If he but cast a man off, as here, and relinquish the care of him, he is utterly undone. Saul found it so, and complains dolefully (but without pity) that God had forsaken him, and the Philistines were upon him, 1 Samuel 28:15; all miseries and mischief came rushing in to him, as by a sluice. Let us so carry matters that God may not abandon us; that he may not refuse to feed us, and take the charge of us as a shepherd. He yet offereth us this mercy, as Alexander did those he warred against, while the lamp burned.

That that dieth, let it die] viz. Of the murrain, or pestilence, for man being in honour, if God but blow upon him, abideth not, but is like the beasts that perish, pecoribus morticinis, saith Tremellius, the beasts that die of the murrain. Vatablus thinks pestilence, sword, and famine are here threatened under the names of death, of cutting off, and of devouring one another. All which befell the refractory Jews in the last siege; the history whereof will make any man’s heart bleed within him that hath but the least spark of grace or good nature. It went hard with them, when the rest, that the pestilence and sword had left, fell to eating the flesh one of another; when the mother killed and boiled the dead body of her harmless suckling, and, eating the one half, reserved the other for another time. "Behold, O Lord, and consider to whom thou hast done this?" saith the prophet: "Shall the women eat their fruit, and children of a span long?" Lamentations 2:20. Oh the misery, or rather mock of man’s life! And oh the venomous nature of sin, that moves God (who is not μισανθρωπος, a man hater, but delights in mercy) to deal so severely with his poor creature.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Zechariah 11:9". 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

Then; after that time of his patient and vigilant feeding the flock, and after his cutting off the three unfaithful shepherds, and after the ill resentment he met with for it; when he deserved love and thanks for it, he is repaid with disdain and hatred by the people, as well as by the shepherds; when he saw all this, then, &c. Thus they rejected Christ, the true Shepherd.

I will not feed you; next he rejecteth them, he will no more take care of them, or provide for them.

That that dieth, let it die; that which is ready to die, and will not be cured, but hath rejected the Shepherd’s love and skill, let it die; it is like that.

If ye believe not, ye shall die in your sins. That that is to be cut off, let it be cut off; either the same repeated, to confirm and affect them more, or else it intends to leave them naked and unguarded to their enemy, to cut them off by the sword or famine, &c.

Let the rest eat every one the flesh of another; either live to be besieged till hunger and famine make the living eat the dead, or cruelly kill that they may eat, as threatened, Deuteronomy 28:52-58; or else by seditions and bloody intestine quarrels destroy each other: all which happened to them in the siege of Jerusalem by the Romans.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Zechariah 11:9". 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

Zechariah , as God"s representative, turned "them" over to their fate though that meant that some of them would die, suffer annihilation, and devour one another. The Jews did eat one another during the siege of Jerusalem in the first century A.D. [Note: Josephus, The Wars of the Jews, 6:3:3-4.] And they will evidently do so again during the Tribulation.

"By withholding his leadership the shepherd abandoned the people to the consequences of their rejection of him: death, and mutual destruction. He simply let things take their course." [Note: Baldwin, p184.]


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Bibliography
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Zechariah 11:9". "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 11:9. Then said I, will not feed you — I will no longer exercise a tender paternal care over you; that that dieth, let it die — Or rather, the dying let it die; that which has a deadly disease, let it perish by that disease. Or, that which is ready to die, and will not be cured, but hath rejected the shepherd’s love and skill, let it die. Thus Jesus said, If ye believe not, ye shall die in your sins. For this seems to be spoken of the miseries to which the Jewish people were delivered up for their manifold sins, and in particular for their rejection of Christ, which filled up the measure of their iniquity. And that that is to be cut off — Namely, by the sword of the enemy; let it be cut off; and let the rest eat every one the flesh of another Either live to be besieged till hunger and famine make the living eat the dead, or cruelly kill their children and others, that they may eat their flesh; a calamity threatened, Deuteronomy 28:52-58; or else, by seditious and bloody intestine quarrels, destroy each other; all which happened to them in the siege of Jerusalem by the Romans.


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

Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Zechariah 11:9". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/zechariah-11.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Not feed. This is the final sentence. God allowed them thirty-seven years to repent, after the death of Christ.


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Zechariah 11:9". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/zechariah-11.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

that, &c. = the dying will die.

eat every one, &c.: i.e. destroy one another.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Zechariah 11:9". "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

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

Then said I - at last, when all means of saving the nations had been used in vain (John 8:24), "I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins; for if ye believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins."

I will not feed you - i:e., I will no more feed you. The last rejection of the Jews is foretold, of which the former, under Nebuchadnezzar, similarly described, was the type (Jeremiah 15:1-3; Jeremiah 34:17; Jeremiah 43:11; Ezekiel 6:12). That that dieth, let it die; and that that is to be cut off, let it be cut off - perish those who are doomed to perish, since they reject Him who would have saved them. Let them rush on their own ruin, since they will have it so.

And let the rest eat every one the flesh of another - let them madly perish by mutual discords. Josephus attests the fulfillment of this prophecy of threefold calamity: pestilence and famine ("dieth ... die"), war ("cut off ... cut off"), intestine discord ("eat every one the flesh of another").


Copyright Statement
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 11:9". "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

(9) Comp. Jeremiah 15:1-2; Isaiah 9:20.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Zechariah 11:9". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/zechariah-11.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Then said I, I will not feed you: that that dieth, let it die; and that that is to be cut off, let it be cut off; and let the rest eat every one the flesh of another.
I will
Jeremiah 23:33,39; Matthew 13:10,11; 21:43; 23:38,39; John 8:21,24; 12:35; Acts 13:46,47; 28:26-28
that that dieth
Psalms 69:22-28; Jeremiah 15:2,3; 43:11; Matthew 15:14; 21:19; Revelation 22:11
and let
Deuteronomy 28:53-56; Isaiah 9:19-21; Jeremiah 19:9; Ezekiel 5:10
another
Heb. his fellow, or, neighbour.

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

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Zechariah 11:9". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/zechariah-11.html.

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