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Bible Studies/Zechariah 11 & Judas


Hello and thank you for taking my question - In Zechariah 11:4-14 it seems to be talking about punishing Israel by letting foreign nations take her over. I would like to know what on earth the whole chapter has to do with the obvious references to Judas. I dont see the connection. Thank you.

Hello Pete!

Thank you for your interesting question.  The connection between this section of the chapter (not, necessarily, the whole chapter - don't forget that chapters and verses were introduced by, if memory serves me well, an Anglican vicar, sometime in the 13th century! Btw, don't quote me on the detail there!!) and Judas is, of course, the thirty pieces of silver.

Zechariah has been instructed, by YHWH, to be a shepherd (v.4), as a sign to the people of Israel.  In this, he is a "type" of the Lord Jesus.  The contemporary Jewish leaders - the shepherds of Israel - were (as, sadly, so many clergy today appear to be!) more concerned with their own position, power, and wealth, than with the spiritual state of the nation and its people.  In his new job, Zechariah carried two staves - one he named 'Grace', and the other he named 'Union' - perhaps by actually writing those names on them.   The two represent, in shepherding terms, the "rod and staff" (see Ps.23:4) used for protection and guidance.

The reference to the destruction of three shepherds, I take as a reference to the three main offices in Judaism - prophet, priest, and king.  How did he "destroy" them?  We are not told, but I would suggest that he was ridiculed for his action - a prophet, employed as a humble shepherd! - and that he metaphorically destroyed them with his words.  Of course, it is always possible that the Lord had a hand in the situation!  Ultimately, we are able only to speculate - and that can be a dangerous activity!

Eventually, Zechariah quits his job - as the people by this time obviously wanted him to do.  He breaks both staves, symbolising the end of God's grace towards Israel, and the union between Israel (the Northern kingdom) and Judah (the Southern kingdom).  he asked for his wages - and was dismissively, and contemptuously, given thirty pieces of silver: the value of a slave (Ex.21:32).  Even this derisory amount, he is instructed, is to be given the potter who worked within the Temple precinct, probably supplying the vessels that were used by the priests.  The 'link' is that it was thirty pieces of silver that Judas received as the price for betraying the Lord Jesus, and that he also threw the coins into the Temple, having realised, too late, that he had betrayed innocent blood. (Matt.27:3-5).

I hope that this helps - although I can already see a supplementary question coming up!  I shall, of course, do my best to answer it as well!!!

Blessings, and shalom.

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Rev C.Brian Ross


I am happy to offer answers to anyone with a question that refers to the Christian Faith in its widest possible sense. I believe that the Bible is the living Word of God, and seek to base all of my life on its teaching. I also have some knowledge of some of the cults, and of Islam and Judaism. Of course, my answers are just one man's thoughts, and I would always advise a questioner to check with others, and with the Word of God.


Served as a full-time parish minister in Scotland for about six years, and then spent the last thirty as a teacher (now 'retired') of Religious Education in Secondary Comprehensive schools (ages 11-17) while continuing my own preaching and teaching ministry. I have spent three years as a voluntary Chaplain with Strathclyde Police Force. I also believe that learning is a life-time process, and have recently completed a Master's degree in Divinity. I now spend most of my time in France, ministering mainly to English-speaking groups.

Former Presenter on Revival FM - a local Christian, community radio station, broadcasting in west central Scotland, and online at Involved with a number of organisations that support Christians who are currently suffering persecution in some 70 countries around the world. Until the formation of the new Police Scotland Force, I was a Chaplain with Strathclyde Police Force, deployed within 'Q' and 'N' Divisions, and also responsible for the Force Training and Recruitment Centre.

Various articles in Christian magazines. I also maintain a blog - My first book, Great Words of the Faith, is available as a Kindle e-book at My second book, Foundations of the Faith, is available as a Kindle e-book at*Version*=1&*entries*=0

Diploma of The Bible Training Institute, Glasgow; Licentiate in Theology of the University of Glasgow; Associateship of The Philosophical Society of England; Bachelor of Arts Degree (Hons) in History from The Open University; Post-grad Certificate of Education - Religious Education and History; Post-grad Certificate in Learning and Teaching; Post-grad Diploma in Management and Learning in Education; Master of Science Degree from the University of Strathclyde; Master of Divinity Degree (with Distinction) from Trinity College and Seminary (accredited by the University of Liverpool)

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