15 And the Lord said to me, “Next, take for yourself the implements of a foolish shepherd. 16 For indeed I will raise up a shepherd in the land who will not care for those who are cut off, nor seek the young, nor heal those that are broken, nor feed those that still stand. But he will eat the flesh of the fat and tear their hooves in pieces. 17 “Woe to the worthless shepherd, Who leaves the flock! A sword shall be against his arm And against his right eye; His arm shall completely wither, And his right eye shall be totally blinded.”
Verses 15-17 picture the consequences of rejecting the Messiah. The “foolish shepherd” is a wicked shepherd who may be the coming Antichrist. The result of rejecting the Messiah is that Israel will undergo apostate leadership that will become a horror to the nation.
The rejection of the Good Shepherd will result in a leadership vacuum that will be fulfilled by a worthless shepherd, the coming Antichrist.
And the Lord said to me,
In verses 15-17, the Lord told Zechariah to take the role of a foolish shepherd, a shepherd who does not care for the sheep.
“Next, take for yourself the implements of a foolish [brutish] shepherd.
The “foolish shepherd” here is a future leader who will persecute Israel.
For indeed I [emphatic] will raise up a shepherd in the land [geography of Israel] who will not care for those who are cut off, nor seek the young, nor heal those that are broken, nor feed those that still stand.
God called upon Zechariah to portray a shepherd who did not care for Israel. He represented several classes of the needy to give a comprehensive picture of the actions of the brutish shepherd. This shepherd would passively neglect his sheep and be malicious toward them. He would refuse to care for or tend his sheep; he would cut them off from his care. He would not care for the young in the flock or heal those broken or feed those that remain.
Zechariah moved from the first century in his prophecy to the time of the Second Coming of Christ.
But he will eat the flesh of the fat and tear their hooves in pieces.
The only interest of the “foolish shepherd” will be his personal pleasure (Re 13:7). He will act upon his flock with violence.
“Woe to the worthless shepherd, Who leaves the flock! A sword shall be against his arm
The “worthless shepherd” deserves the condemnation of a “woe.” His “arm” will be his strength. God will bring a “sword” that will defeat this apostate.
And against his right eye; His arm shall completely wither, And his right eye shall be totally blinded.”
The worthless shepherd’s “eye” may refer to his intelligence. Without physical strength or intelligence, the brutish shepherd will lose his political power.
The judgment here closes the cycle of prophecy that began with Zechariah 9:1. That was the first burden. The second burden extends from chapter 12 to chapter 14.
A desolator, the Antichrist, will rule Israel during the Tribulation.
God’s wrath upon the land of Israel paves the way for the Antichrist (Dan 7:11:36-39; John 5:43; 2 Th 2:2-12; Rev 13:11-18). The final events of Zechariah 11 pertain to the events of the Second Advent. The time of Israel’s unprecedented trouble will be during the Tribulation. Daniel 7:24-26 prophetically anticipates the Antichrist (Isa 1:4).
Daniel 9:27 says that the Antichrist will make a covenant with the Jews for seven years. However, after three years, the Antichrist will break the covenant, put his image in the temple, and compel the world to worship him (2 Th 2:1-12; Re 13).