Zechariah 11:15. And the Lord said, Take thee yet [or once more] the instruments of a foolish [or unwise] shepherd The prophet, having hitherto represented the good shepherd, is now directed to assume the dress and equipage of one of a contrary character. As folly in the Scripture is equivalent to wickedness, by a foolish shepherd here may be meant, not only unskilful, but likewise ill-designing governors, or teachers, who should only intend their own advantage, and have no regard for the good of the flock, or people committed to their charge. The instruments of such a shepherd must be suitable to his own disposition and indiscretion, such as a crook armed with iron, which, whenever it was used, would wound the flock; and a scrip, or bag, which contained nothing useful for the sheep, and the like. The prophet here follows the order of time, that he may foretel the madness and blindness of the shepherds; that is, of the priests, rulers, and teachers of the Jewish nation, till the last destruction of Jerusalem; who not only disregarded religion, and the safety and welfare of the sheep, but even devoured such of them as were worth devouring.
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