|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
11:15-17 God, having showed the misery of this people in their being justly left by the Good Shepherd, shows their further misery in being abused by foolish shepherds. The description suits the character Christ gives of the scribes and Pharisees. They never do any thing to support the weak, or comfort the feeble-minded; but seek their own ease, while they are barbarous to the flock. The idol shepherd has the garb and appearance of a shepherd, receives submission, and is supported at much expense; but he leaves the flock to perish through neglect, or leads them to ruin by his example. This suits many in different churches and nations, but the warning had an awful fulfilment in the Jewish teachers. And while such deceive others to their ruin, they will themselves have the deepest condemnation.
Verses 15-17. - § 10. In retribution for their rejection of the good Shepherd the people are given over to a foolish shepherd, who shall destroy them, but shall himself, in turn, perish miserably. Verse 15. - Take unto thee yet (yet again) the instruments of a foolish shepherd (comp. Hosea 3:1). The prophet, in vision, is directed to do as he had done before (ver. 4, etc,), and enact the part of a shepherd, taking the dress, scrip, and crook, which were appropriate to the character; but this time he was to represent "a foolish," i.e. an evil, shepherd; for sin is constantly denoted by "folly" in the Old Testament; e.g. Job 5:2, 3; Psalm 14:1; Psalm 107:17; Proverbs 1:7; Proverbs 7:22; Proverbs 14:9, etc. (comp. ver. 17).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the Lord said unto me,.... The Prophet Zechariah:
Take unto thee yet the instruments of a foolish shepherd; the meaning is, that the prophet should put on the habit of a shepherd, and take a scrip and staff in his hands, and represent a foolish shepherd, hereafter described.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
15. yet—"take again"; as in Zec 11:7 previously he had taken other implements.
instruments—the accoutrements, namely, the shepherd's crook and staff, wallet, &c. Assume the character of a bad ("foolish" in Scripture is synonymous with wicked, Ps 14:1) shepherd, as before thou assumedst that of a good shepherd. Since the Jews would not have Messiah, "the Good Shepherd" (Joh 10:11), they were given up to Rome, heathen and papal, both alike their persecutor, especially the latter, and shall be again to Antichrist, the "man of sin," the instrument of judgment by Christ's permission. Antichrist will first make a covenant with them as their ruler, but then will break it, and they shall feel the iron yoke of his tyranny as the false Messiah, because they rejected the light yoke of the true Messiah (Da 11:35-38; 12:1; 9:27; 2Th 2:3-12). But at last he is to perish utterly (Zec 11:17), and the elect remnant of Judah and Israel is to be saved gloriously.
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