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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Zechariah 13:4

"Also it will come about in that day that the prophets will each be ashamed of his vision when he prophesies, and they will not put on a hairy robe in order to deceive;

Adam Clarke Commentary

Neither shall they wear a rough garment - A rough garment made of goats' hair, coarse wool, or the course pile of the camel, was the ordinary garb of God's prophets. And the false prophets wore the same; for they pretended to the same gifts, and the same spirit, and therefore they wore the same kind of garments. John Baptist had a garment of this kind.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Zechariah 13:4". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/zechariah-13.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

The prophets shall be ashamed, every one of them - They who before their conversion, gave themselves to such deceits, shall be ashamed of their deeds; as, after the defeat of the seven sons of the chief priest Sceva, “fear fall on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified, and many that believed came and confessed and showed their deeds: many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together and burned them before all, and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. So mightily,” Luke subjoins, “grew the word of God and prevailed” Acts 19:13-20.

Neither shall wear a rough garment to deceive Feigning themselves ascetics and mourners for their people, as the true prophets were in truth. The sackcloth, which the prophets wore Isaiah 20:2, was a rough garment of hair Isaiah 22:12; Jeremiah 4:8; Jeremiah 6:26, worn next to the skin 1 Kings 21:27; 2 Kings 6:30; Job 16:15, whence Elijah was known to Ahaziah, when described as “a hairy man, and girt with a girdle of leather about his loins” 2 Kings 1:8. It was a wide garment, enveloping the whole frame, and so, afflictive to the whole body. Jerome: “This was the habit of the prophets, that when they called the people to penitence, they were clothed with sackcloth.”


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Zechariah 13:4". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/zechariah-13.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

"And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision, when he prophesieth; neither shall they wear a hairy mantle to deceive."

This merely describes the utter banishment of pagan priests from any credibility in the days of the Messiah. The whole institution of the false prophets of paganism shall become so unpopular that all who were found connected with it would be despised and made ashamed.

We must reject absolutely the notion of Smith and others who would include the prophets of Jehovah as objects of this prophecy. "It is not merely false prophecy, but prophecy in general."[11] He "proved" this by stating that, "Amos refused to call himself a prophet";[12] but, of course, that is merely an example of one false interpretation being used to bolster another false interpretation. Amos did not refuse to call himself a prophet, affirming in the most uncertain words that God indeed gave him the message to Israel. He did say in Amos 7:14: "I was not a prophet; neither was I a prophet's son ..."; but what he was saying is not that, "I am not a prophet," but that I WAS not a prophet at the time I was called to the prophetic office. (See full comment on this in our series, Commentary on the Minor Prophets, vol. 1, p. 203.) In New Testament times, Agabus and others were true prophets of God; their word was trusted; and this shows that Zechariah was not here prophesying the cessation of true prophecy. That was a prophecy, which in time, Paul would declare in 1 Corinthians 13:8; and that apostle indicated that such a cessation was yet future from his own times. It is regrettable that Keil and others following him must be held in error on this particular interpretation, despite their usual dependability.


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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 13:4". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/zechariah-13.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets shall be ashamed, everyone of his vision, when he hath prophesied,.... He shall be ashamed of the doctrines he has delivered, they will appear to all men so ridiculous and absurd; as the doctrines of merit, and the works of supererogation; of transubstantiation and purgatory; of pardons, penance, &c:

neither shall they wear a rough garment to deceive; or, "a hairy garment"F17אדרת שער "pallio pili", Montanus; "piloso", Pagninus; "chlamyde pilosa", Munster; "pallium ex pilis", Cocceius; "pallium pili", Burkius. ; such as the first and ancient inhabitants of the earth wore, who used the skins of beasts for covering, as Diodorus SiculusF18Bibliothec. l. 1. p. 21. observes: and PausaniasF19Phocica, sive. l. 10. p. 685. says of the first natives of Locris, not knowing how to weave and make garments, used to cover their bodies, to preserve them from the cold, with the undressed skins of beasts, turning the hair outward, as more becoming: and such a hairy garment, or much like it, Elijah wore; hence he is called a hairy man, 2 Kings 1:8 and John the Baptist, who came in the power and spirit of that prophet, appeared in a like habit, clothed with camel's hair, Matthew 3:4 and in like manner good men, especially in times of distress and trouble, used to wander about in sheepskins and goatskins, Hebrews 11:37 which seem to be the same sort of raiment: and now, in imitation of such like good men, and true prophets of the Lord, particularly Elijah, the false prophets, as Jarchi and Kimchi observe, in order to deceive the people, and pass for true prophets, put on such rough and hairy garments, as if they were very humble and self denying men. BrauniusF20De Vestitu Sacerdot. Heb. l. 1. c. 4. sect. 9. p. 97. thinks the prophet may have respect to a custom among the idolatrous prophets, who used to clothe themselves with the skins of the sacrifices, and lie on them in their temples, in order to obtain dreams, and be able to foretell future things; of which See Gill on Amos 2:8 but it seems to have respect to the habits of the monks and friars, and of the different orders by which they are distinguished as religious persons, and gain respect and veneration among men; and under the guise of sanctity and devotion, and of an austere and mortified life, impose their lies and deceptions upon them; but now will lay their habits aside, as being ashamed of their profession and principles.


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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 13:4". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/zechariah-13.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] the prophets shall f be ashamed every one of his vision, when he hath prophesied; neither shall they wear a rough garment to deceive:

(f) God will make them ashamed of their errors and lies, and bring them to repentance, and they will no more wear prophet's apparel to make their doctrine seem more holy.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Zechariah 13:4". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/zechariah-13.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

ashamed — of the false prophecies which they have uttered in times past, and which the event has confuted.

rough garment — sackcloth. The badge of a prophet (2 Kings 1:8; Isaiah 20:2), to mark their frugality alike in food and attire (Matthew 3:4); also, to be consonant to the mournful warnings which they delivered. It is not the dress that is here condemned, but the purpose for which it was worn, namely, to conceal wolves under sheep‘s clothing [Calvin]. The monkish hair-shirt of Popery, worn to inspire the multitude with the impression of superior sanctity, shall be then cast aside.


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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 13:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/zechariah-13.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision, when he hath prophesied; neither shall they wear a rough garment to deceive:

A rough garment — Such as the true prophets were wont to wear.


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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 13:4". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/zechariah-13.html. 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

Zechariah proceeds with the same subject, but in other words and in another mode of speaking, and says, that so great would be the light of knowledge, that those who had previously passed themselves as the luminaries of the Church would be constrained to be ashamed of themselves. And he farther shows how it was that so great and so gross errors had arisen, when the whole of religion had been trodden under foot, and that was because Satan had veiled the eyes and minds of all, so that they could not distinguish between black and white.

And such ignorance has been the source of all errors under the Papacy. How great has been the stupidity of that people, as they have indiscriminately admitted whatever their ungodly teachers have dared to obtrude on them? And in their bishops themselves, and in the whole band of their filthy clergy, how great a sottishness has prevailed, so that they differ nothing from asses? For artisans, and even cowherds, surpass many of the priests and many of the bishops, at least in common prudence. While then there was such ignorance in these asses, there could not have been any difference made between truth and falsehood. And then when they put on fine rings, and adorn themselves with a forked metre and its ornaments, and also display their crook, and appear in all their pontifical splendor, the eyes of the simple are so dazzled, that all think them to be some new gods come down from heaven. Hence these prelates were beyond measure proud, until God stripped off their mask: and now their ignorance is well known, and no one among the common people is now deceived.

How then is it, that many are still immersed in their own errors? Because they wish to be so; they close their own eyes against clear light. The kings themselves, and such as exercise authority in the world, desire to be in their filth, and are indifferent as to any kind of abomination; for they fear lest in case of any innovation the common people should take occasion to raise tumults. As they themselves wish to remain quiet, hence it is that they defend with a diabolical pertinacity those superstitions which are abundantly proved to be so. And the people themselves neither care for God nor for their own salvation. Hence then it is, that almost all, from the least to the greatest, regard these asses, who are called prelates, as the most ignorant, and yet they submit to their tyranny. However this may be, the Lord has yet discovered the shame of those who had been a little while ago almost adored.

This is what Zechariah now declares, Ashamed, he says, shall all the Prophets be in that day, every one for his own vision, when they shall have prophesied. And the concession, of which we have spoken, is not without reason; for when the brawling monks about thirty years ago ascended their pulpits, or the prelates, who theatrically acted their holy rites, there was nothing, but what was divine and from heaven. Hence with great impudence they boasted themselves to be God’s messengers, his ministers, vicars, and pastors; though the name of pastors was almost mean in their esteem; but they were Christ’s vicars, they were his messengers, in short, there was nothing which they dared not to claim for themselves. The Prophet ridicules this sort of pride, and seems to say, “Well, let all their trumperies be prophecies; and all their babblings, let these be for a time counted oracles: but when they shall thus prophesy, the Lord will at length make them ashamed, every one for his vision. ”

It follows, And they shall not wear a hairy garment that they may lie; that is, they shall not be solicitous of retaining their honor and fame, but will readily withdraw from courting that renown which they had falsely attained. It appears from this place that Prophets wore sordid and hairy garments. Yet interpreters do not appropriately quote those passages from the Prophets where they are bidden to put on sackcloth and ashes; for Isaiah, while announcing many of his prophecies, did not put on sackcloth and ashes, except when he brought some sad message. The same also may be said of Jeremiah, when he was bidden to go naked. But it was a common thing with the Prophets to be content with a hairy, that is, with a sordid and mean garment. For though there is liberty allowed in external things, yet some moderation ought to be observed; for were I to teach in a military dress, it would be deemed inconsistent with common sense. There is no need of being taught as to what common decency may requite. The true Prophets accustomed themselves to hairy garments in order to show that they were sparing and frugal in their clothing as well as in their diet: but they attached no sanctity to this practice, as though they acquired some eminence by their dress, like the monks at this day, who deem themselves holy on account of their hoods and other trumperies. This was not then the object of the Prophets; but only that by their dress they might show that they had nothing else in view but to serve God, and so to separate themselves from the world, that they might wholly devote themselves to their ministry. Now the false Prophets imitated them; hence Zechariah says, they shall no more wear a hairy garment, that is, they shall no more assume a prophetic habit.

His purpose was, not to condemn the false Prophets for wearing that sort of garment, as some have supposed, who have laid hold of this passage for the purpose of condemning long garments and whatever displeased their morose temper; but the Prophet simply means, that when purity of doctrine shall shine forth, and true religion shall attain its own honor, there will be then no place given to false teachers; for they will of themselves surrender their office, and no longer try to deceive the unwary. This is the real meaning of the Prophet: hence he says, that they may lie. We then see that hairy garments are condemned on account of a certain end — even that rapacious wolves might be concealed under the skin of sheep, that foxes might introduce themselves under an appearance not their own. This design, and not the clothing itself, is what is condemned by Zechariah. He afterwards adds —


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Zechariah 13:4". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/zechariah-13.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Zechariah 13:4 And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] the prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision, when he hath prophesied; neither shall they wear a rough garment to deceive:

Ver. 4. The prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision] Of their Midianitish dreams, which they had first dreamed, and then told it for gospel to their fond neighbours. They shall be so clearly convinced, that they shall blush and bleed to think how they have been besotted, how many souls they have murdered, how often they have even straddled over hell’s mouth, and yet have been preserved, 2 Thessalonians 2:10; 2 Thessalonians 2:12; {See Trapp on "2 Thessalonians 2:10"} {See Trapp on "2 Thessalonians 2:10"} This makes them shame and shent {disgrace} themselves in the presence of God and his people, saying, "O my God, I am ashamed, and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God; for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our guilt is grown up to the heavens," Ezra 9:6. This was fulfilled in those scribes and Pharisees that afterwards became believers, and said, with Saint Paul, "Beware of the concision. For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh," Philippians 3:2-3. Luther revolted from the Popish religion which he had held and maintained, taking it for an honour to be called apostate by them; that is, as he interpreted it, one that had fallen from the devil, Qui fidem diabolo datam non servavit. Bugenhagius, when he first read Luther’s book de Captivitate Babylonica, pronounced it to be the most pestilent piece that ever was published; but afterwards, when he had better considered, he grew ashamed of that rash censure, and protested that Luther only was in the right, and all that held not the same that he did were utterly deceived. Latimer was of the like mind after that he had once heard Bilney’s confession. Vergerius, after he had read Luther’s books with purpose to confute them, Denckius and Hetserus, two great Anabaptists in Germany, retracted their former false doctrines, and repented of their licentious and abominable practices (Scultet. Annul.). The former of them, being converted by Oecolampadius, grew ashamed of his pretended visions, and died piously at Basle. The latter was beheaded at Constance for his multiplied adulteries: which first he sought to defend by Scripture, but afterwards died very penitently, confessing his former filthinesses, giving glory to God, and taking shame to himself. These two were learned men, well skilled in the Hebrew; and had joined their forces in translating the prophets into the Dutch tongue. But oh how few such as these and of that sort of people shall a man meet with today! Copp, indeed, that arch-ranter, Venereus ille furcifer, et Cleri dehonestamentum, is said to have newly set forth his recantation, which I have not yet seen, and therefore cannot tell what to say to it. Only I wish he deal not as Bernard Rotman, that first Anabaptist, and Islebius Agricola, that first Antinomian, did in Germany; who both of them, having condemned their own errors, and recanted them in a public auditory, printing their revocation, yet afterwards they relapsed into the same errors, and stoutly stood to them, when Luther was dead and more liberty was afforded, so hard a thing it is to get poison out when once swallowed down; and having once said yea to the devil, though but in a little, to say him nay again, when a man pleaseth; such a man especially, quem puduit non fuisse impudentem (Augustin), who had gloried in his shame and taken pleasure in his unrighteousness, 2 Thessalonians 2:12 qui noluit solita peccare, who not wishing to become accustomed to sinning, as Seneca saith of some in his time, that is, none of the ordinary sort of sinners, but hath sought to out sin others, as unhappy boys strive who shall go furthest in the dirt.

I will not say but such, by the Almighty power of God, may be reclaimed, and made to see that there is no fruit to be had of those errors and enormities whereof they are now ashamed, since the end of those things (in the desert of them) is death, Romans 6:21-22; but now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, they will have very great cause to be thankful to God for the cure; sith jealousy, frenzy, and heresy are held hardly curable, the leprosy in the head concludes a man utterly unclean, and excludes him the camp. Heresy is by the apostle compared to a precipice, vortex, or whirlpool, that first turns a man round, and then sucks him in, περιφερεσθε, Hebrews 12:9, and by others to the Syren’s banks, covered with dead men’s bones, to Goodwin’s Sands, that swallow up all ships that come near them, or to the harlot’s house, whence few or none return alive, Proverbs 7:26-27.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Zechariah 13:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/zechariah-13.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

It shall come to pass; by this means it will come to pass, such sharp reproofs, such impartial threats, such convincing arguments, will have a good effect.

The prophets shall be ashamed; these prophets will see their error, and be ashamed, and give over what they blush at, and is their shame.

Neither shall they wear a rough garment: such garments the true prophets were wont to wear, and these cheats had used them for a cover to their juggling hypocrisy; but when thoroughly convinced, none shall need pull, they will themselves cast off those garments.

To deceive; by first seeming to be more holy and strict than they are; and next, on such ill-grounded opinion of the holiness of their persons, draw them into their opinions, religion, and practice. It is an excellent work of the grace of God to recover deceivers, and to make them turn off the deceiver, and deal plainly and faithfully with others and themselves.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Zechariah 13:4". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/zechariah-13.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

4. In that day — When all are prophets.

The prophets — Those who until then were members of the prophetic order.

Shall be ashamed every one of his vision — A twofold interpretation is possible; either, they will be put to shame because their visions remain unfulfilled (compare Isaiah 1:29), or they will be so ashamed of their office that they will withdraw from it. The latter is to be preferred.

When he hath prophesied — Better, when he would prophesy; when the suggestion comes to continue his former activity.

Neither shall they wear a rough garment — R.V., “hairy mantle.” Such mantle was worn by Elijah (2 Kings 1:8)

and by John the Baptist (Matthew 3:4); it may be that this was the conventional garb of the professional prophet; this they will discard.

To deceive — Any teaching given under the guise of prophecy will be deception, since the era of the prophet as a special teacher has passed.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Zechariah 13:4". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/zechariah-13.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Vision. They shall have no appearance of truth. --- Sackcloth. Hebrew, "hairy skin;" adereth. Such were used by kings, Jonas iii. 6. The people shall not be deceived by such appearances, so that these garments will not be used. The Jews have always been ready to receive impostors, Matthew vii. 15. Yet they shall not be so frequent, or dangerous. The prophets used coarse hairy garments, 4 Kings i. 8.


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Zechariah 13:4". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/zechariah-13.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

every one. Hebrew. "ish. App-44.

wear = put on. Some codices, with four early printed editions, and Aramaean, add "any more".


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Zechariah 13:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/zechariah-13.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision, when he hath prophesied; neither shall they wear a rough garment to deceive:

The prophets shall be ashamed - of the false prophecies which they have uttered in times past, and which the event has confuted.

Neither shall they wear a rough garment - sackcloth. The badge of a prophet (2 Kings 1:8; Isaiah 20:2), to mark their frugality alike in food and attire. Such as Elijah and his antitype, John the Baptist, wore (Matthew 3:4); also, to be consonant to the mournful warnings which they delivered.

To deceive. It is not the dress that is here condemned, but the purpose of deception for which it was worn-namely, to conceal wolves under sheep's clothing (Calvin). The monkish hair-shirt of Popery, worn to inspire the multitude with the impression of superior sanctity, shall be then cast aside.


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 13:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/zechariah-13.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(4) Now he reverts to those who are really false prophets.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Zechariah 13:4". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/zechariah-13.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision, when he hath prophesied; neither shall they wear a rough garment to deceive:
the prophets
Jeremiah 2:26; Micah 3:6,7
wear
2 Kings 1:8; Isaiah 20:2; Matthew 3:4; 11:8,9; Mark 1:6; Revelation 11:3
rough garment to deceive
Heb. garment of hair to lie.

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Zechariah 13:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/zechariah-13.html.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, June 6th, 2020
the Week of Proper 4 / Ordinary 9
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