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Zechariah Essay

3193 words - 13 pages


Zechariah is one of the Minor Prophets of the Old Testament. His book is located between the books of Haggai and Malachi. Zechariah is thought to have preached from about 520-518 B.C. The book of Zechariah deals with the restoration of Jerusalem, the Temple, and God‘s people. Chapter 11 verses 4-17, which is a story of two shepherds, is one of the most difficult passages in the Old Testament to understand. From the New Living Translation, the passage reads as follows: 4 This is what the LORD my God says: "Go and care for a flock that is intended for slaughter. 5 The buyers will slaughter their sheep without remorse. The sellers will say, 'Praise the LORD, I am now rich!' Even the shepherds have no compassion for them. 6 And likewise, I will no longer have pity on the inhabitants of the land," says the LORD. "I will let them fall into each other's clutches, as well as into the clutches of their king. They will turn the land into a wilderness, and I will not protect them." 7 So I cared for the flock intended for slaughter – the flock that was oppressed. Then I took two shepherd's staffs and named one Favor and the other Union. 8 I got rid of their three evil shepherds in a single month. But I became impatient with these sheep – this nation – and they hated me, too. 9 So I told them, "I won't be your shepherd any longer. If you die, you die. If you are killed, you are killed. And those who remain will devour each other!" 10 Then I took my staff called Favor and snapped it in two, showing that I had revoked the covenant I had made with all the nations. 11 That was the end of my covenant with them. Those who bought and sold sheep were watching me, and they knew that the LORD was speaking to them through my actions. 12 And I said to them, "If you like, give me my wages, whatever I am worth; but only if you want to." So they counted out for my wages thirty pieces of silver. 13 And the LORD said to me, "Throw it to the potters" – this magnificent sum at which they valued me! So I took the thirty coins and threw them to the potters in the Temple of the LORD. 14 Then I broke my other staff, Union, to show that the bond of unity between Judah and Israel was broken. 15 Then the LORD said to me, "Go again and play the part of a worthless shepherd. 16 This will illustrate how I will give this nation a shepherd who will not care for the sheep that are threatened by death, nor look after the young, nor heal the injured, nor feed the healthy. Instead, this shepherd will eat the meat of the fattest sheep and tear off their hooves. 17 Doom is certain for this worthless shepherd who abandons the flock! The sword will cut his arm and pierce his right eye! His arm will become useless, and his right eye completely blind!" The commentary Obadiah through Malachi begins by commenting on the ambiguous nature of the passage. This vague language makes it very difficult to interpret; thus the details...

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