Zechariah 11* Destruction to come upon the Jews. (1-3) The Lord's dealingwith the Jews. (4-14) The emblem and curse of a foolishshepherd. (15-17)1-3 In figurative expressions, that destruction of Jerusalem,and of the Jewish church and nation, is foretold, which our LordJesus, when the time was at hand, prophesied plainly andexpressly. How can the fir trees stand, if the cedars fall? Thefalls of the wise and good into sin, and the falls of the richand great into trouble, are loud alarms to those every way theirinferiors. It is sad with a people, when those who should be asshepherds to them, are as young lions. The pride of Jordan wasthe thickets on the banks; and when the river overflowed thebanks, the lions came up from them roaring. Thus the doom ofJerusalem may alarm other churches. 4-14 Christ came into this world for judgment to the Jewishchurch and nation, which were wretchedly corrupt and degenerate.Those have their minds wofully blinded, who do ill, and justifythemselves in it; but God will not hold those guiltless who holdthemselves so. How can we go to God to beg a blessing onunlawful methods of getting wealth, or to return thanks forsuccess in them? There was a general decay of religion amongthem, and they regarded it not. The Good Shepherd would feed hisflock, 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 theirnational covenant; the other he called Bands, denoting theharmony which hitherto united them as the flock of God. But theychose to cleave to false teachers. The carnal mind and thefriendship of the world are enmity to God; and God hates all theworkers of iniquity: it is easy to foresee what this will endin. The prophet demanded wages, or a reward, and received thirtypieces of silver. By Divine direction he cast it to the potter,as in disdain for the smallness of the sum. This shadowed forththe bargain of Judas to betray Christ, and the final method ofapplying it. Nothing ruins a people so certainly, as weakeningthe brotherhood among them. This follows the dissolving of thecovenant between God and them: when sin abounds, love waxescold, and civil contests follow. No wonder if those fall outamong themselves, who have provoked God to fall out with them.Wilful contempt of Christ is the great cause of men's ruin. Andif professors rightly valued Christ, they would not contendabout little matters. 15-17 God, having showed the misery of this people in theirbeing justly left by the Good Shepherd, shows their furthermisery in being abused by foolish shepherds. The descriptionsuits the character Christ gives of the scribes and Pharisees.They never do any thing to support the weak, or comfort thefeeble-minded; but seek their own ease, while they are barbarousto the flock. The idol shepherd has the garb and appearance of ashepherd, receives submission, and is supported at much expense;but he leaves the flock to perish through neglect, or leads themto ruin by his example. This suits many in different churchesand nations, but the warning had an awful fulfilment in theJewish teachers. And while such deceive others to their ruin,they will themselves have the deepest condemnation.
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