|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
10:1-5 Spiritual blessings had been promised under figurative allusions to earthly plenty. Seasonable rain is a great mercy, which we may ask of God when there is most need of it, and we may look for it to come. We must in our prayers ask for mercies in their proper time. The Lord would make bright clouds, and give showers of rain. This may be an exhortation to seek the influences of the Holy Spirit, in faith and by prayer, through which the blessings held forth in the promises are obtained and enjoyed. The prophet shows the folly of making addresses to idols, as their fathers had done. The Lord visited the remnant of his flock in mercy, and was about to renew their courage and strength for conflict and victory. Every creature is to us what God makes it to be. Every one raised to support the nation, as a corner-stone does the building, or to unite those that differ, as nails join the different timbers, must come from the Lord; and those employed to overcome their enemies, must have strength and success from him. This may be applied to Christ; to him we must look to raise up persons to unite, support, and defend his people. He never will say, Seek ye me in vain.
Verses 3, 4. - § 5. The evil rulers set over them for their sins shall be removed, and Israel shall be firmly established. Ver. 3, - Mine anger was (is) kindled against the shepherds. These heathen rulers were indeed God's instruments in punishing his people, but they had exceeded their commission, and afflicted Israel in order to carry out their own evil designs, and now they themselves shall be chastised. Some commentators raise "the shepherds" to be the rulers of Israel civil and ecclesiastical, comparing Ezekiel 34:2, 5, etc. But the context leads us to consider them as those who took the place of rulers of Israel when she had no shepherd of her own (ver. 2). I punished (will punish) the goats (bellwethers); literally, will visit upon; i.e. will chastise. The same word (paquad) is used in the next clause in a good sense. The "goats" are the leading men, those powerful for evil, as Isaiah 14:9. Hath visited his flock. The reason why the evil shepherds are punished is because God visits his flock in love and care, to see their state and to relieve them from trouble (Zephaniah 2:7). The house of Judah here includes all the nation, to which it afterwards gave its name. Hath made (shall make) them as his goodly horse. The Israelites shall not only be delivered from oppression, but God shall use them as a stately war horse, richly caparisoned, to tread down enemies and triumph ever them. So he said before (Zechariah 9:13) that he would make Judah his bow and Ephraim his arrow. (For a description of the war horse, see Job 39:19-25; comp. Revelation 6:2; Revelation 19:14, where Christ is represented riding on a white horse, and his saints following him on white horses.)
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Mine anger was kindled against the shepherds,.... The Targum interprets it of "kings"; as the "goats" of "princes", in the next clause; by whom, according to Jarchi, Aben Ezra, Kimchi, and Abarbinel, are meant the kings of Greece; but rather the antichristian kings are designed, the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication with the whore of Rome, which is the cause of the anger of the Lord being kindled: or else ecclesiastical rulers are meant, the Romish clergy, the chief of them, as cardinals, archbishops, bishops, &c. who may fitly be represented by the shepherds of Israel in the times of the prophets for their name, professing to be of Israel, or to be Christians; and by them for their ignorance, covetousness, luxury, disregard to the flock, tyranny and cruelty over it, and murder of it; see Isaiah 56:10, against these the fire of God's wrath will be kindled, and with it will they be destroyed:
and I punished the goats; not the Seleucidae, as the above Jewish writers; though they may with propriety be so called, since they were the successors of Alexander, signified by the he goat in Daniel 8:5 rather the monks and friars, comparable to these for their filthiness and uncleanness; and because they pretend to be guides of the people, and to go before them, and yet use them ill, and push them with their horns of power; wherefore God will punish them, and kill those children of Jezebel with death, Revelation 2:22,
for the Lord of hosts hath visited his flock, the house of Judah; by sending the Gospel to them, and his Spirit with it, to make it effectual to their conversion; which will be at the time that the antichristian hierarchy will be destroyed; then the Lord's flock, who have gone astray, shall be returned to the true Shepherd and Bishop of souls, and shall seek the Lord their God, and David their King, and shall be saved by him: a gracious visitation this will be!
and hath made them as his goodly horse in the battle; this denotes that the Jews, when converted, will be bold in their God; valiant for the truth on earth; courageously fight the good fight of faith, and be victorious over their enemies; and that they will be in great honour and esteem among the saints, though so mean and justly despicable now: the sense is, that as the horse shows its strength and courage in battle, so should they; see Job 39:19.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
3. against the shepherds—the civil rulers of Israel and Judah who abetted idolatry.
punished—literally, "visited upon." The same word "visited," without the upon, is presently after used in a good sense to heighten the contrast.
goats—he-goats. As "shepherds" described what they ought to have been, so "he-goats" describes what they were, the emblem of headstrong wantonness and offensive lust (Isa 14:9, Margin; Eze 34:17; Da 8:5; Mt 25:33). The he-goats head the flock. They who are first in crime will be first in punishment.
visited—in mercy (Lu 1:68).
as his goodly horse—In Zec 9:13 they were represented under the image of bows and arrows, here under that of their commander-in-chief, Jehovah's battle horse (So 1:9). God can make His people, timid though they be as sheep, courageous as the charger. The general rode on the most beautiful and richly caparisoned, and had his horse tended with the greatest care. Jehovah might cast off the Jews for their vileness, but He regards His election or adoption of them: whence He calls them here "His flock," and therefore saves them.
Zechariah 10:3 Parallel Commentaries
Zechariah 10:3 NIV
Zechariah 10:3 NLT
Zechariah 10:3 ESV
Zechariah 10:3 NASB
Zechariah 10:3 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible