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December 18

Zechariah 8:18-23; Revelation 9:13-21

Thought from Today's Old Testament Passage:

[Zechariah 11:12-13] Zechariah's prophetic parable followed his prophecy of the Good Shepherd's relations to the flock. In verse 11 the people reacted to Zechariah's breaking his staff. They realized that God was annulling the covenant of protection over them. Some terrible acts of judgment were ahead!

In verse 12 the prophet requested payment for his services and for alerting the people….

Their reply insulted him and the cause he represented. They paid him thirty pieces of silver, the same price fetched by a slave gored by an ox (Ex. 21:32). Zechariah, here impersonating the Messiah, was then advised to take the most "handsome!" (surely said in irony and sarcasm) price and cast it to the potter in the house of the Lord. The expression to cast it to the potter usually was an idiomatic proverb approximately meaning, "throw it to the dogs," or "get rid of it."… [But here] this phrase could be a cryptic description of his casting the money into the temple where it was taken up and used to purchase a field of the potter, since tainted money was unwelcome in the temple (Deut. 23:18)…

Matthew probably attributed the text to Jeremiah because Jeremiah, in many Hebrew manuscripts, headed up the collection of the prophets and his name was used to designate all in the collection.

Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., Hard Sayings of the Old Testament (Downer's Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1988), pp. 241-242.

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