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Each day a different image from the Literary, Performing, or Visual Arts representing a portion of Scripture
plus an explanation with links
2016 April 20
Man with a Golden Paw (detail) - (c. 1527)
Lorenzo Lotto (c. 1480 - c. 1557)
High Renaissance Style, Venetian School
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria
Image Source: Web Gallery of Art
Explanation: So wicked were the evil shepherds depicted in Zechariah 11 that they devoured the fattest of the flock, even ripping apart their paws (or hooves, or "claws" - v. 16) - - perhaps for morsels to eat or for mere cruelty. Such shepherds will be crippled and blinded (v. 17).
The chapter is filled with Messianic references, particularly the Lord's ministry and passion. In the words of Matthew Henry, "God's prophet, who, in the chapters before, was an ambassador sent to promise peace, is here a herald sent to declare war. The Jewish nation shall recover its prosperity, and shall flourish for some time and become considerable; it shall be very happy, at length, in the coming of the long-expected Messiah, in the preaching of his gospel, and in the setting up of his standard there. But, when thereby the chosen remnant among them are effectually called in and united to Christ, the body of the nation, persisting in unbelief, shall be utterly abandoned and given up to ruin, for rejecting Christ; and it is this that is foretold here in this chapter - the Jews rejecting Christ, which was their measure-filling sin, and the wrath which for that sin came upon them to the uttermost. Here is, I. A prediction of the destruction itself that should come upon the Jewish nation (Zechariah 11:1-3). II. The putting of it into the hands of the Messiah. 1. He is charged with the custody of that flock (Zechariah 11:4-6). 2. He undertakes it, and bears rule in it (Zechariah 11:7, Zechariah 11:8). 3. Finding it perverse, he gives it up (Zechariah 11:9), breaks his shepherd's staff (Zechariah 11:10, Zechariah 11:11), resents the indignities done him and the contempt put upon him (Zechariah 11:12, Zechariah 11:13), and then breaks his other staff (Zechariah 11:14). 4. He turns them over into the hands of foolish shepherds, who, instead of preventing, shall complete their ruin, and both the blind leaders and the blind followers shall fall together into the ditch (Zechariah 11:15-17). This is foretold to the poor of the flock before it comes to pass, that, when it does come to pass, they may not be offended." (Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible).
[Sermons: John Macarthur 1. John Macarthur 2. Phil Newton. Stuart Olyott. Dennis Prutow. Maurice Roberts. William Still. ].
Today's painting is a detail of a larger painting. It depicts a claw torn asunder from some unfortunate animal. Such violent dismemberment is spoken of in verse 16 below, particularly the last phrase.
[THEMATICALLY AND CHRONOLOGICALLY RELATED SCRIPTURES: Haggai 1:1. Ezra 1. Ezra 2. Ezra 3:1-4. Ezra 5:1. Ezra 6:14. Nehemiah 12:4. Nehemiah 12:10-16. Matthew 23:35. ]
[ CHRONOLOGY: GENERAL. Patriarchs (Traditional). Judges # 1. Judges # 2. Kings # 1. Kings # 2. Prophets # 1. Prophets # 2. NT # 1. NT # 2. NT # 3. ]
[ MAPS: Maps # 1. Maps # 2. Maps # 3. Maps # 4. Maps # 5. ]
[ COMMENTARIES, ETC: GENERAL: Bible Study Tools; Bible Hub: Study Light; Blue Letter Bible // PSALMS: Monergism: Precept Austin: The Treasury of David; John Gill; John Calvin - Volumes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
[ MUSIC: GENERAL: The Cyber Hymnal // PSALMS: Genevan Psalter (Instrumental). VARIOUS ARTISTS: Micha'el Ben David. Sons of Korah. Fernando Ortega. Janet Isaac Morrison. Music of the Bible Revealed - Suzanne Haik-Vantoura. Dr. David Erb. Gregorian Chants. ]
1. Correction and Instruction: Part 1 (1:1 - 6:15) - (November-December 520-519 B.C.)
2. Correction and Instruction: Part 2 (7:1 - 14:21) - (December 7, 518 B.C.)
1. Correction and Instruction: Part 2 (7:1 - 14:21) - (December 7, 528 B.C.)
2). Israel's King will Come on a Donkey & Extend His Rule Over all the Earth - (Continued) - (9:9 - 11:3)
1 Open thy doors, O Lebanon, that the fire may devour thy cedars.
2 Howl, fir tree; for the cedar is fallen; because the mighty are spoiled: howl, O ye oaks of Bashan; for the forest of the vintage is come down.
3 There is a voice of the howling of the shepherds; for their glory is spoiled: a voice of the roaring of young lions; for the pride of Jordan is spoiled.
3). Israel Will Suffer Rejection and Slaughter (11:4-17)
4 Thus saith the LORD my God; Feed the flock of the slaughter;
5 Whose possessors slay them, and hold themselves not guilty: and they that sell them say, Blessed be the LORD; for I am rich: and their own shepherds pity them not.
6 For I will no more pity the inhabitants of the land, saith the LORD: but, lo, I will deliver the men every one into his neighbour's hand, and into the hand of his king: and they shall smite the land, and out of their hand I will not deliver them.
7 And I will feed the flock of slaughter, even you, O poor of the flock. And I took unto me two staves; the one I called Beauty, and the other I called Bands; and I fed the flock.
8 Three shepherds also I cut off in one month; and my soul lothed them, and their soul also abhorred me.
9 Then said I, I will not feed you: that that dieth, let it die; and that that is to be cut off, let it be cut off; and let the rest eat every one the flesh of another.
10 And I took my staff, even Beauty, and cut it asunder, that I might break my covenant which I had made with all the people.
11 And it was broken in that day: and so the poor of the flock that waited upon me knew that it was the word of the LORD.
12 And I said unto them, If ye think good [if it is good in your eyes], give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.
13 And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD.
14 Then I cut asunder mine other staff, even Bands, that I might break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel.
15 And the LORD said unto me, Take unto thee yet the instruments of a foolish shepherd.
16 For, lo, I will raise up a shepherd in the land, which shall not visit those that be cut off, neither shall seek the young one, nor heal that that is broken, nor feed that that standeth still: but he shall eat the flesh of the fat, and tear their claws in pieces.
17 Woe to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock! the sword shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up [withering, it shall wither], and his right eye shall be utterly darkened [darkening it shall darken].
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copyright 2016, Scott Souza