13:1 “In that day there will be a fountain opened up for the dynasty of David and the people of Jerusalem to cleanse them from sin and impurity. 13:2 And also on that day,” says the LORD who rules over all, “I will remove the names of the idols from the land and they will never again be remembered. Moreover, I will remove the prophets and the unclean spirit from the land. 13:3 Then, if anyone prophesies in spite of this, his father and mother to whom he was born will say to him, ‘You cannot live, for you lie in the name of the LORD.’ Then his father and mother to whom he was born will run him through with a sword when he prophesies.
13:4 “Therefore, on that day each prophet will be ashamed of his vision when he prophesies and will no longer wear the hairy garment of a prophet to deceive the people. 13:5 Instead he will say, ‘I am no prophet—indeed, I am a farmer, for a man has made me his indentured servant since my youth.’ 13:6 Then someone will ask him, ‘What are these wounds on your chest?’ and he will answer, ‘Some that I received in the house of my friends.’
13:7 “Awake, sword, against my shepherd,
against the man who is my associate,”
says the LORD who rules over all.
Strike the shepherd that the flock may be scattered;
I will turn my hand against the insignificant ones.
13:8 It will happen in all the land, says the LORD,
that two-thirds of the people in it will be cut off and die,
but one-third will be left in it.
13:9 Then I will bring the remaining third into the fire;
I will refine them like silver is refined
and will test them like gold is tested.
They will call on my name and I will answer;
I will say, ‘These are my people,’
and they will say, ‘The LORD is my God.’ ”
“Strike the shepherd that the flock may be scattered” –
The identity of the stricken shepherd is disputed. This is of particular interest because of our Lord’s quotation of this verse in Mt 26:31; Mk 14:27.
Some think that the slain shepherd is the Zechariah himself, whose ministry had been rejected by the Jewish community.
Many, however, think that a Davidic king is being referred to. Scalise (UBCS) argues that ‘the man who is my associate’ translates a word that ia ‘a legal term for people who share the same rights and protection, who are part of the same community. Only the Davidic king, the Lord’s adopted son (2 Sam. 7:14; Ps. 2:7), would be so close to God.’
Boda thinks it possible that the shepherd-king is Zerubbabel or his son Elnathan, and that the end of the Davidic line is herein signalled (with the reconstitution of the Davidic community predicted in Zech 13:9 but without reference to a human Davidic king).
Some think that the worthless shepherd-king of Zech 11:17 is being referred to. ‘Despite the NT use of this text to speak of the scattering of the disciples following Jesus’ crucifixion (Matt 26:31; Mark 14:27), the immediate context of Zechariah suggests that unfaithful shepherds (kings) will be punished by the LORD precisely so their flocks (disobedient Israel) can be scattered (cf. Zech 11:6, 8, 9, 16). It is likely that Jesus drew on this passage merely to make the point that whenever shepherds are incapacitated, sheep will scatter. Thus he was not identifying himself with the shepherd in this text (the shepherd in the Zechariah text is a character who is portrayed negatively).’ (NET)
Regarding the quotation by Jesus, JFB comment: ‘What is expressed by the prophet imperatively, “Smite,” is expressed as an assertion by the Lord in quoting it, “I will smite the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.” For when God, “by his determinate counsel,” delivered up Jesus to be smitten, He Himself smote Him. Thus Jesus’ form of quotation is the Divine commentary on the prophecy. The act of the sword, and of the guilty men who wielded it against Jesus, though they knew it not, and are therefore responsible for the awful sin, is God’s act (Acts 2:23; 3:18; 4:28).’
‘Whatever the historical setting of the oracle was, Jesus interpreted it eschatologically. He saw himself as the “smitten shepherd” and interpreted his ministry along the lines of this passage. In Mark 14:27 Jesus told his disciples as they were on their way to the garden of Gethsemane, “You will all fall away; for it is written, I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered” (cf. Matt 26:31). In other places Jesus spoke of the people as “sheep without a shepherd” (Mark 6:34; Matt 9:36). Perhaps Jesus also interpreted the “falling away” of his followers in the light of the expression “the little ones” (Zech 13:7). In Luke 12:32 Jesus said to his disciples, “Fear not, little flock, for it is your father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (cf. Luke 22:28).’ (Smith, WBC)
“‘These are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The LORD is my God.’ ” – ‘a reaffirmation of the covenant promise’ (NBC).