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Zechariah 11:15-17

Context

11:15 Again the Lord said to me, “Take up once more the equipment of a foolish shepherd. 1  11:16 Indeed, I am about to raise up a shepherd in the land who will not take heed to the sheep headed to slaughter, will not seek the scattered, and will not heal the injured. 2  Moreover, he will not nourish the one that is healthy but instead will eat the meat of the fat sheep 3  and tear off their hooves.

11:17 Woe to the worthless shepherd

who abandons the flock!

May a sword fall on his arm and his right eye!

May his arm wither completely away,

and his right eye become completely blind!”

1 sn The grammar (e.g., the incipient participle מֵקִים, maqim, “about to raise up,” v. 16) and overall sense of vv. 15-17 give the incident a future orientation. Zechariah once more is role-playing but this time he is a “foolish” shepherd, i.e., one who does not know God and who is opposed to him (cf. Prov 1:7; 15:5; 20:3; 27:22). The individual who best represents this eschatological enemy of God and his people is the Antichrist (cf. Matt 24:5, 24; 2 Thess 2:3-4; 1 John 2:18, 22; 4:3; 2 John 7).

2 tn Heb “the broken” (so KJV, NASB; NRSV “the maimed”).

3 tn Heb “the fat [ones].” Cf. ASV “the fat sheep”; NIV “the choice sheep.”



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