11:7 So I 1 began to shepherd the flock destined for slaughter, the most afflicted 2 of all the flock. Then I took two staffs, 3 calling one “Pleasantness” 4 and the other “Binders,” 5 and I tended the flock.
1 sn The first person pronoun refers to Zechariah himself who, however, is a “stand-in” for the
2 tc For the MT reading לָכֵן עֲנִיֵּי (lakhen ’aniyyey, “therefore the [most] afflicted of”) the LXX presupposes לִכְנַעֲנֵיּי (“to the merchants of”). The line would then read “So I began to shepherd the flock destined for slaughter for the sheep merchants” (cf. NAB). This helps to explain the difficult לָכֵן (lakhen) here but otherwise has no attestation or justification, so the MT is followed by most modern English versions.
3 sn The two staffs represent the two kingdoms, Israel and Judah. For other examples of staffs representing tribes or nations see Num 17:1-11; Ezek 37:15-23.
4 tn The Hebrew term נֹעַם (no’am) is frequently translated “Favor” (so NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT); cf. KJV “Beauty”; CEV “Mercy.”
sn The name of the first staff, pleasantness, refers to the rest and peace of the covenant between the
5 tn The Hebrew term חֹבְלִים (khovlim) is often translated “Union” (so NASB, NIV, NLT); cf. KJV, ASV “Bands”; NAB “Bonds”; NRSV, TEV, CEV “Unity”).
sn The name of the second staff, Binders, refers to the relationship between Israel and Judah (cf. v. 14).