Zechariah 11

* Destruction to come upon the Jews. (1-3) The Lord's dealing

with the Jews. (4-14) The emblem and curse of a foolish

shepherd. (15-17)

1-3 In figurative expressions, that destruction of Jerusalem,

and of the Jewish church and nation, is foretold, which our Lord

Jesus, when the time was at hand, prophesied plainly and

expressly. How can the fir trees stand, if the cedars fall? The

falls of the wise and good into sin, and the falls of the rich

and great into trouble, are loud alarms to those every way their

inferiors. It is sad with a people, when those who should be as

shepherds to them, are as young lions. The pride of Jordan was

the thickets on the banks; and when the river overflowed the

banks, the lions came up from them roaring. Thus the doom of

Jerusalem may alarm other churches.
4-14 Christ came into this world for judgment to the Jewish

church and nation, which were wretchedly corrupt and degenerate.

Those have their minds wofully blinded, who do ill, and justify

themselves in it; but God will not hold those guiltless who hold

themselves so. How can we go to God to beg a blessing on

unlawful methods of getting wealth, or to return thanks for

success in them? There was a general decay of religion among

them, and they regarded it not. The Good Shepherd would feed his

flock, but his attention would chiefly be directed to the poor.

As an emblem, the prophet seems to have taken two staves;

Beauty, denoted the privileges of the Jewish nation, in their

national covenant; the other he called Bands, denoting the

harmony which hitherto united them as the flock of God. But they

chose to cleave to false teachers. The carnal mind and the

friendship of the world are enmity to God; and God hates all the

workers of iniquity: it is easy to foresee what this will end

in. The prophet demanded wages, or a reward, and received thirty

pieces of silver. By Divine direction he cast it to the potter,

as in disdain for the smallness of the sum. This shadowed forth

the bargain of Judas to betray Christ, and the final method of

applying it. Nothing ruins a people so certainly, as weakening

the brotherhood among them. This follows the dissolving of the

covenant between God and them: when sin abounds, love waxes

cold, and civil contests follow. No wonder if those fall out

among themselves, who have provoked God to fall out with them.

Wilful contempt of Christ is the great cause of men's ruin. And

if professors rightly valued Christ, they would not contend

about little matters.
15-17 God, having showed the misery of this people in their

being justly left by the Good Shepherd, shows their further

misery in being abused by foolish shepherds. The description

suits the character Christ gives of the scribes and Pharisees.

They never do any thing to support the weak, or comfort the

feeble-minded; but seek their own ease, while they are barbarous

to the flock. The idol shepherd has the garb and appearance of a

shepherd, receives submission, and is supported at much expense;

but he leaves the flock to perish through neglect, or leads them

to ruin by his example. This suits many in different churches

and nations, but the warning had an awful fulfilment in the

Jewish teachers. And while such deceive others to their ruin,

they will themselves have the deepest condemnation.

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