Zechariah 11:12-17

12 I told them, “If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it.” So they paid me thirty pieces of silver.
13 And the LORD said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—the handsome price at which they valued me! So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them to the potter at the house of the LORD.
14 Then I broke my second staff called Union, breaking the family bond between Judah and Israel.
15 Then the LORD said to me, “Take again the equipment of a foolish shepherd.
16 For I am going to raise up a shepherd over the land who will not care for the lost, or seek the young, or heal the injured, or feed the healthy, but will eat the meat of the choice sheep, tearing off their hooves.
17 “Woe to the worthless shepherd, who deserts the flock! May the sword strike his arm and his right eye! May his arm be completely withered, his right eye totally blinded!”

Zechariah 11:12 in Other Translations

KJV
12 And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.
ESV
12 Then I said to them, "If it seems good to you, give me my wages; but if not, keep them." And they weighed out as my wages thirty pieces of silver.
NLT
12 And I said to them, “If you like, give me my wages, whatever I am worth; but only if you want to.” So they counted out for my wages thirty pieces of silver.
MSG
12 Then I addressed them: "Pay me what you think I'm worth." They paid me an insulting sum, counting out thirty silver coins.
CSB
12 Then I said to them, "If it seems right to you, give me my wages; but if not, keep [them]." So they weighed my wages, 30 pieces of silver.

Zechariah 11:12-17 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO ZECHARIAH 11

This chapter contains a prophecy of the destruction of the Jews, and shows the causes and reasons of it; and is concluded with a prediction concerning antichrist. The destruction of the temple and city of Jerusalem, and the inhabitants of it, is signified by figurative expressions, Zec 11:1,2 which occasions an howling among the shepherds or rulers of Israel, on account of whose cruelty and covetousness the wrath of God came upon them without mercy, Zec 11:3,5,6 but inasmuch as there were a remnant according to the election of grace among them, named the flock of the slaughter, Christ is called upon to feed them; who undertakes it, and prepares for it, Zec 11:4,7 but being abhorred by the shepherds, whom he therefore loathed and cut off, he determines to leave the people to utter ruin and destruction, Zec 11:8,9 and, as a token of it, breaks the two staves asunder he had took to feed them with, Zec 11:10,11,14 and, as an instance of their ingratitude to him, and which is a justification of his conduct towards them, notice is taken of his being valued at and sold for thirty pieces of silver, Zec 11:12,13 but, in the place of these shepherds cut off, it is suggested that another should arise, who is described by his folly, negligence, and cruelty, Zec 11:15,16 to whom a woe is denounced, Zec 11:17.

Zechariah 11:12-17 In-Context

10 Then I took my staff called Favor and broke it, revoking the covenant I had made with all the nations.
11 It was revoked on that day, and so the oppressed of the flock who were watching me knew it was the word of the LORD.
12 I told them, “If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it.” So they paid me thirty pieces of silver.
13 And the LORD said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—the handsome price at which they valued me! So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them to the potter at the house of the LORD.
14 Then I broke my second staff called Union, breaking the family bond between Judah and Israel.
15 Then the LORD said to me, “Take again the equipment of a foolish shepherd.
16 For I am going to raise up a shepherd over the land who will not care for the lost, or seek the young, or heal the injured, or feed the healthy, but will eat the meat of the choice sheep, tearing off their hooves.
17 “Woe to the worthless shepherd, who deserts the flock! May the sword strike his arm and his right eye! May his arm be completely withered, his right eye totally blinded!”

Cross References 7

  • 1. S Genesis 23:16; Exodus 21:32; Matthew 26:15
  • 2. S Exodus 21:32
  • 3. Matthew 27:9-10*; Acts 1:18-19
  • 4. Jeremiah 23:1
  • 5. S Ezekiel 30:21-22
  • 6. S Jeremiah 23:1
  • 7. S Isaiah 13:1
Scripture quoted by permission.  Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide.