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Zechariah 11

Zech 11, Zec 11, Zc 11

Zechariah 11

1 Open thy doors, O Lebanon, that the fire may devour thy cedars.

2 Howl, fir tree; for the cedar is fallen; because the mighty are spoiled: howl, O ye oaks of Bashan; for the forest of the vintage is come down.

3 There is a voice of the howling of the shepherds; for their glory is spoiled: a voice of the roaring of young lions; for the pride of Jordan is spoiled.

4 Thus saith the LORD my God; Feed the flock of the slaughter;

5 Whose possessors slay them, and hold themselves not guilty: and they that sell them say, Blessed be the LORD; for I am rich: and their own shepherds pity them not.

6 For I will no more pity the inhabitants of the land, saith the LORD: but, lo, I will deliver the men every one into his neighbour's hand, and into the hand of his king: and they shall smite the land, and out of their hand I will not deliver them.

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.

8 Three shepherds also I cut off in one month; and my soul lothed them, and their soul also abhorred me.

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.

10 And I took my staff, even Beauty, and cut it asunder, that I might break my covenant which I had made with all the people.

11 And it was broken in that day: and so the poor of the flock that waited upon me knew that it was the word of the LORD.

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

13 And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD.

14 Then I cut asunder mine other staff, even Bands, that I might break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel.

15 And the LORD said unto me, Take unto thee yet the instruments of a foolish shepherd.

16 For, lo, I will raise up a shepherd in the land, which shall not visit those that be cut off, neither shall seek the young one, nor heal that that is broken, nor feed that that standeth still: but he shall eat the flesh of the fat, and tear their claws in pieces.

17 Woe to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock! the sword shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened.

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Summary and the Meaning of Chapter 11 of the Book of Zechariah

The Book of Zechariah is a prophetic book found in the Old Testament of the KJV Holy Bible, written by the Prophet Zechariah. This essay will focus on Chapter 11 of this book, which is a complex and richly symbolic text, addressing themes of leadership, betrayal, and divine judgement. The chapter serves as a prophecy of the rejection of Christ and the subsequent destruction of Jerusalem.

Chapter 11 starts with a vivid, apocalyptic portrayal of the destruction of Lebanon and Bashan. The cedars of Lebanon and the oaks of Bashan, symbolizing pride and power, are burned and destroyed. This destruction is a metaphor for the downfall of the arrogant and ungodly. The shepherds mourn for their lost glory, underscoring the theme of divine judgement against corrupt leaders.

Symbolism of the Two Shepherds

Central to Chapter 11 is the symbolism of the two shepherds. Zechariah takes on the role of a shepherd, which is a common metaphor in the Bible for a leader or ruler. In this role, Zechariah is given two staffs, named Beauty and Bands, representing God's favor and union, respectively. However, as the chapter progresses, both staffs are broken, symbolizing the breaking of God's covenant with His people and their disunity.

This act of breaking the staffs is significant. The breaking of the first staff, Beauty, signifies the end of God's special relationship with His people, while the breaking of the second staff, Bands, signifies the disintegration of political and social unity among the people. This is a powerful prophecy of the spiritual and social destruction that would befall the people for their disobedience.

The Worthless Shepherd

Following the breaking of the staffs, Zechariah introduces the figure of the worthless shepherd, who does not care for his flock. This figure is generally seen as a prophetic symbol of the corrupt and self-serving leaders who lead their people astray. The worthless shepherd is contrasted with the Good Shepherd, a figure that is often associated with Jesus Christ in later Christian interpretation.

The worthless shepherd is cursed and his arm and right eye are struck, rendering him powerless and blind. This is a fitting punishment, as the arm signifies strength and the right eye represents wisdom and vision. The leader who fails to use his strength and wisdom for the good of his people is left weak and blind.

The Thirty Pieces of Silver

One of the most well-known elements of Chapter 11 is the thirty pieces of silver. In this chapter, Zechariah demands his wages for his role as a shepherd, and he is paid thirty pieces of silver. This is seen as a prophetic foreshadowing of Judas Iscariot's betrayal of Jesus Christ for the same amount, as detailed in the New Testament.

The thirty pieces of silver are thrown to the potter in the house of the Lord, which is also seen as a prophecy of Judas' remorse and his eventual suicide. This act also signifies the cheap valuation of God's covenant and the divine retribution that follows such devaluation.

Conclusion and Interpretation

Chapter 11 of the Book of Zechariah is a profound and complex chapter, rich with symbolism and prophetic imagery. It serves as a stern warning against the consequences of rejecting God's covenant, and the destruction that follows such rejection. The chapter is also a vivid prophecy of the betrayal of Jesus Christ and the subsequent destruction of Jerusalem.

The chapter's themes of leadership, betrayal, and divine judgement are as relevant today as they were when Zechariah penned them. They serve as a reminder of the importance of righteous leadership, the danger of betrayal, and the certainty of divine judgement. Through its vivid imagery and prophetic symbolism, Chapter 11 of the Book of Zechariah continues to offer profound insights into the nature of human society and the divine plan.

This article is informed by the King James Version of the Holy Bible, the authors' personal knowledge, considerations and experience, and additional materials and resources available in internet.

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