The Geneva Bible Translation Notes, , at sacred-texts.com
zac 11:1Open thy doors, O (a) Lebanon, that the fire may devour thy cedars.
(a) Because the Jews thought themselves so strong by reason of this mountain, that no enemy could come to hurt them, the Prophet shows that when God sends the enemies, it will show itself ready to receive them.
zac 11:2Wail, (b) fir tree; for the cedar is fallen; because the mighty are laid waste: wail, O ye oaks of Bashan; for the forest of the (c) vintage is come down.
(b) Showing that if the strong men were destroyed, the weaker were not able to resist.
(c) Seeing that Lebanon was destroyed, which was the strongest fortress, the weaker places could not hope to hold out.
zac 11:3[There is] a voice of the wailing of the shepherds; for their (d) glory is destroyed: a voice of the roaring of young lions; for the pride of Jordan is laid waste.
(d) That is, the fame of Judah and Israel would perish.
zac 11:4Thus saith the LORD my God; Feed the flock of the (e) slaughter;
(e) Which being now destined to be slain, were delivered as out of the lion's mouth.
zac 11:5Whose possessors slay them, and hold themselves (f) not guilty: and they that sell them say, (g) Blessed [be] the LORD; for I am rich: and their own shepherds pity them not.
(f) Their governors destroy them without any remorse of conscience, or yet thinking that they do evil.
(g) He notes the hypocrites, who always have the name of God in their mouths, though in their life and doings they deny God, attributing their gain to God's blessings, which comes from the wealth of their brethren.
zac 11:6For I will no more pity the inhabitants of the land, saith the LORD: but, lo, (h) I will deliver the men every one into his neighbour's hand, and into the hand of his (i) king: and they shall smite the land, and out of their hand I will not deliver [them].
(h) I will cause one to destroy another.
(i) Their governors will execute cruelty over them.
zac 11:7And I will feed the flock of slaughter, [even] you, (k) O poor of the flock. And I took to me (l) two staffs; the one I called Beauty, and the other I called Bands; and I fed the flock.
(k) That is, the small remnant, whom he though worthy to show mercy to.
(l) God shows his great benefits toward his people to convince them of greater ingratitude, who would neither be ruled by his most beautiful order of government, neither continue in the bands of brotherly unity, and therefore he breaks both the one and the other. Some read "Destroyers" instead of "Bands", but in (Zac 11:14) the second reading is confirmed.
zac 11:8(m) Three shepherds also I cut off in one month; and my soul lothed (n) them, and their soul also abhorred me.
(m) By which he shows his care and diligence that he would not allow them to have evil rulers, so that they would consider his great love.
(n) Meaning, the people, because they would not acknowledge these great benefits of God.
zac 11:11And it was broken in that day: and so the (o) poor of the flock that waited upon me knew that it [was] the word of the LORD.
(o) He shows that the least always profit by God's judgments.
zac 11:12And I said to them, If ye think good, give [me] (p) my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty [pieces] of silver.
(p) Besides their ingratitude, God accuses them of malice and wickedness, who did not only forget his benefits, but esteemed them as nothing.
zac 11:13And the LORD said to me, Cast it to the (q) potter: a glorious price that I was valued at by them. And I took the thirty [pieces] of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD.
(q) Showing that it was too little to pay his wages with, which could hardly suffice to make a few tiles to cover the temple.
zac 11:15And the LORD said to me, Take to thee yet (r) the instruments of a foolish shepherd.
(r) Signifying that they should have a certain type of regiment and outward show of government: but in effect it would be nothing, for they would be wolves, and devouring beasts instead of shepherds.
zac 11:16For, lo, I will raise up a shepherd in the land, [who] shall not visit those that are cut off, neither shall seek the young one, nor heal that which is broken, nor feed that which (s) standeth still: but he shall eat the flesh of the fat, and tear their claws in pieces.
(s) And is in health and sound.
zac 11:17Woe to the idle shepherd that leaveth the flock! the sword [shall be] upon his (t) arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be wholly dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened.
(t) By the arm he signifies strength, as he does wisdom and judgments by the eye: that is, the plague of God will take away both your strength and judgment.