Zechariah Essay

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Zechariah is one of the Minor Prophets of the Old Testament. His book is located between the books of Haggai and Malachi. Zechariah is thought to have preached from about 520-518 B.C. The book of Zechariah deals with the restoration of Jerusalem, the Temple, and God‘s people. Chapter 11 verses 4-17, which is a story of two shepherds, is one of the most difficult passages in the Old Testament to understand. From the New Living Translation, the passage reads as follows: 4 This is what the LORD my God says: "Go and care for a flock that is intended for slaughter. 5 The buyers will slaughter their sheep without remorse. The sellers will say, 'Praise the LORD, I am now rich!' Even the shepherds have no compassion for them.
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Instead, this shepherd will eat the meat of the fattest sheep and tear off their hooves. 17 Doom is certain for this worthless shepherd who abandons the flock! The sword will cut his arm and pierce his right eye! His arm will become useless, and his right eye completely blind!" The commentary Obadiah through Malachi begins by commenting on the ambiguous nature of the passage. This vague language makes it very difficult to interpret; thus the details remain elusive. The author feels that this passage goes in accordance with the earlier situation described in Zechariah 10:3. In both passages it is made clear that the leaders (shepherds) of Israel have made the Lord angry. Zechariah is describing the social disorder and the peoples’ dishonesty toward each other that has overwhelmed the community before it will be restored by God. This commentary is certain that the doomed flock is in fact Israel, but is unsure whom the sheep merchants represent. Their guess is that they may be the workers in the temple who have hired Zechariah. The shepherd is understood as symbolizing a ruling, most likely a prophetic one. Zechariah is telling his audience that Israel is in total disarray and the leaders aren’t doing anything to help, in fact some are making the situation worse. God is permitting the corruption by sitting on His hands. While doing so, he stresses the need for repentance so the corrupt community may be restored. The prophet
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