Amplified Bible

Zechariah 11

The Doomed Flock

1Open your doors, O Lebanon,
That fire may devour your cedars.

Wail, O cypress, for the cedar has fallen,
Because the magnificent trees have been destroyed;
Wail, O oaks of Bashan,
For the inaccessible forest [on the steep mountainside] has come down.

There is a sound of the shepherds’ wail,
For their splendor (grazing land) is ruined;
There is a sound of the young lions’ roar,
For the pride of the Jordan is ruined.

Thus says the Lord my God, “Pasture the flock doomed for slaughter, whose buyers slay them and go unpunished, and those who sell them say, ‘Blessed be the Lord, for I have become rich!’ And their own shepherds have no pity on them nor protect them [from the wolves]. For I will no longer have pity on the inhabitants of the land,” declares the Lord; “but behold, I will cause the men to fall, each into the hand of another and into the hands of his [foreign] king. And the enemy will strike the land, and I will not rescue the people from their hand.”

So I [Zechariah] pastured the flock doomed for slaughter, truly [as the name implies] the most miserable of sheep. And I took two [shepherd’s] staffs, the one I called Favor (Grace) and the other I called Union (Bonds); so I pastured the flock. Then I eliminated the three [incompetent, unfit] shepherds [the civil rulers, the priests, and the prophets] in one month, for I was impatient with them, and they also were tired of me and despised me. So I said, “I will not pasture you. What is to die, let it die, and what is to be destroyed, let it be destroyed; and let the survivors devour one another’s flesh.” 10 I took my staff, Favor, and broke it in pieces, breaking the covenant which I had made with all the peoples. 11 So the covenant was broken on that day, and thus the most wretched of the flock who were watching me realized that it was the word of the Lord. 12 I said to them, “If it seems good to you, give me my wages; but if not, do not.” So they weighed out [a]thirty pieces of silver as my wages. 13 [b]Then the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter [as if to the dogs]—that magnificent sum at which I am valued by them!” So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them to the potter in the house of the Lord. 14 Then I broke my second staff, Union, into pieces to break the brotherhood between Judah (the Southern Kingdom) and Israel (the Northern Kingdom).

15 The Lord said to me, “Take again for yourself the equipment [of a shepherd, but this time] of a foolish shepherd. 16 For behold, I am going to raise up a [false] shepherd in the land who will not care for the perishing, seek the scattered, heal the broken, or feed the healthy; but will eat the flesh of the fat ones and tear off their hoofs [to consume everything].

17 
“Woe (judgment is coming) to the worthless and foolish shepherd
Who deserts the flock!
The sword will strike his arm
And his right eye!
His arm shall be totally withered
And his right eye completely blinded.”

Footnotes

  1. Zechariah 11:12 Since the type of coin is not stated, shekels can be assumed. The shekel was the standard wage for a day of labor, and the payment was weighed because the shekel was actually a unit of weight.
  2. Zechariah 11:13 At this point the pre-incarnate Christ intervenes and prophetically refers to the payment given by the religious leaders to Judas for his betrayal (Matt 26:15).

New International Reader's Version

Zechariah 11

1Lebanon, open your doors!
    Then fire can burn up your cedar trees.
Juniper trees, cry out!
    The cedar trees have fallen down.
    The majestic trees are destroyed.
Cry out, you oak trees of Bashan!
    The thick forest has been cut down.
Listen to the shepherds cry out!
    Their rich grasslands are destroyed.
Listen to the lions roar!
    The trees and bushes along the Jordan River are gone.

The Two Shepherds

The Lord my God says, “Take care of the sheep that are set apart to be sacrificed. Those who buy them kill them. And they are not punished for it. Those who sell them say, ‘Praise the Lord! We’re rich!’ And their own shepherds do not spare them. I will no longer have pity on the people in the land,” announces the Lord. “I will hand all of them over to their neighbors and their king. They will destroy the land. And I will not save anyone from their power.”

So I took care of the sheep set apart to be sacrificed. I took special care of those that had been treated badly. Then I got two shepherd’s staffs. I called one of them Favor. I called the other one Union. And I took care of the flock. In one month I got rid of three worthless shepherds.

The sheep hated me, and I got tired of them. So I said, “I won’t be your shepherd anymore. Let those of you who are dying die. Let those who are passing away pass away. Let those who are left eat one another up.”

10 Then I got my staff called Favor. I broke it. That meant the covenant the Lord had made with all the nations was broken. 11 It happened that day. The sheep that had been treated badly were watching me. They knew it was the Lord’s message.

12 I told them, “If you think it is best, give me my pay. But if you don’t think so, keep it.” So they paid me 30 silver coins.

13 The Lord said to me, “Throw those coins to the potter.” That amount shows how little they valued me! So I threw the 30 silver coins to the potter at the Lord’s temple.

14 Then I broke my second staff called Union. That broke the family connection between Judah and Israel.

15 The Lord said to me, “Now pretend to be a foolish shepherd. Get the things you need. 16 I am going to raise up a shepherd over the land. He will not take care of those that are wounded. He will not look for the young ones. He will not heal those that are hurt. He will not feed the healthy ones. Instead, he will eat the best sheep. He will even tear their hooves off.

17 “How terrible it will be for that worthless shepherd!
    He deserts the flock.
May a sword strike his arm and his right eye!
    May his powerful arm become weak!
    May his right eye be totally blinded!”