Zechariah 11 Outline
– Israel’s enemies will face troubles (Zechariah 11:1-3)
– Shepherds that are worthless (Zechariah 11:4-17)
Zechariah 11 Summary
Zechariah 11:1 ‘“ 3 talk about the destruction of the enemies of Israel. Cedar trees were commonly grown in Lebanon. Cedar trees are strong trees. It is often used to refer to the leaders in a city. The shepherds in Zechariah 11:3 mean the rulers of the nations. The young lions make noises because their homes have been destroyed. It alludes that the enemies will breach three of Israel’s defensive borders including Lebanon, Bashan and Jordan River. God will let the enemies pursue the Israelites who follow the false shepherds.
In Zechariah 11:4 ‘“ 5, God asks Zechariah to tend the sheep that are going to be butchered. God had sent many good prophets but the people reject and persecute them. The chief priests of Israel are responsible for sentencing the Messiah to death. They thought it is a right thing to kill the Messiah because Jesus blasphemy himself as God’s son. The buyer is Israel’s enemies while the seller is Israel’s rulers. Zechariah 11:6 says that God is angry with the stubborn Israelites and he will destroy them by making each person turning against its neighbor. He will make them the slaves to a king. Because they had been disobedient to God, God will not do a thing to rescue them from the enemy.
Zechariah 11:7 ‘“ 18 is a story that Zechariah acted out to the people of Judah and Israel. Zechariah acted in two roles, which are the good shepherd and bad shepherd. The good shepherd is the Messiah while the bad shepherd is the antichrist.
In the story, Zechariah used two staffs called Beauty and Band to tend the sheep. Within 1 month, Zechariah sacked the 3 shepherds that he had hired to look after his sheep. The 3 shepherds hated Zechariah and Zechariah also hated them. Then, Zechariah says he refused to be their shepherd.
Zechariah broke the staff called Beauty to show that God had cancelled his covenant with the people and will no longer show mercy to them. Later, the sheep was bought and sold at the marketplace. The ones that buy the sheep represent the enemies. The enemies wanted to buy the sheep because they want them to produce many lambs. In this way, they will have a large flock of sheep and become richer. Those that sell the sheep are the bad shepherds. It is an illustration that both the enemies and bad shepherds want to get profit from what they are doing. The good shepherd is not able to rescue his sheep because the bad shepherd had scattered them to other places. The good shepherds will be oppressed by the people.
After that, Zechariah broke the staff called Band to show that the kingdom of the Israelites will be divided into two including Judah and Israel. The kingdoms of the Israelites were divided into two countries after a revolt happened during the reign of Rehoboam, the son of King Solomon. The division occurred about 400 years ago. By breaking the staff, it means that people of Judah and Israel will be divided permanently. For example, the people of Judah and Samaritans from Israel do not mix with each other later (John 4:9). Zechariah 11:17 says that God will punish the bad leaders that did not fulfill his responsibility in taking care his people.
Zechariah 11 Bible Study
1. Never betray your faith for pleasure
In Zechariah 11, Zechariah acted as the good shepherd, who was paid 30 pieces of silver for his wages. Zechariah did not keep the money to himself. He listened to the Lord and threw the money into the treasury. This prophecy was fulfilled when Judas was paid 30 pieces of silver to sell Jesus into the hands of the chief priests. Judas hanged himself on a tree after throwing the 30 pieces of silver into the treasury. We should never betray our faith and choose pleasure over Jesus in exchange for any gain.
2. God will expose and punish preachers who don’t do his commandments
God promises to fully restore Israel to the previous condition in the future. The bad shepherds will eventually meet their ends. This oracle was fulfilled with the first coming of Jesus to die on the cross at the Calvary. The struggles between the good shepherds and false shepherds represent the battle between God’s people and those that belong to the antichrist in the last days.