349: Zechariah 11:12


365 Prophecies: Prophecy 349

The Messiah will be betrayed by a friend for thirty pieces of silver.

Old Testament Prediction:

Zechariah 11:12 Then I said to them, “If it is agreeable to you, give me my wages; and if not, refrain.” So they weighed out for my wages thirty pieces of silver.

New Testament Fulfillment:

Matthew 26:14-16 Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?” And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver. So from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him.

Application:

See also Prophecy 140.

Israel sold her Messiah for the price of a slave who had been gored by an ox.

Exodus 21:32 If the ox gores a male or female servant, he shall give to their master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.

This is all that Jesus was worth to the Jews and the religious leaders of Israel. The thirty shekels that the chief priest paid Judas for the Lord’s betrayal was intended as an insult towards Jesus. Though He created everything that exists, and He came first to His own people—they insulted, rejected, and butchered Him on a Roman cross.

In every prophecy of the Bible, it is the Lord who controls the results. He tells us what will happen, then directs each part of the prophecy until its final outcome. The people who participate in the particular events described by each prophecy are chosen by God for His own purpose. When Israel failed to honor the Lord and keep His word, the Lord called Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, to fulfill His word. Though Nebuchadnezzar was a pagan king, God called him: “My servant.” It was the Lord’s plan to send Nebuchadnezzar to destroy Jerusalem, and take many of the Jews captive, back to Babylon. They would remain there in fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecy, for seventy years. When the Persians conquered Babylon, God called Cyrus, the king of Persia, to be “His Shepherd” and “His Anointed.” One hundred and fifty years before Cyrus was born, the Lord called him by name, in Isaiah 44:28 and 45:1, and said that Cyrus would release the captives who had been held in Babylon and allow them to return to Jerusalem to rebuild Jerusalem and the temple. The Lord called forth these two kings in order to fulfill His prophetic word, though they were not His people, nor had their nations served God.

Isaiah 44:28 Who says of Cyrus, “He is My shepherd, And he shall perform all My pleasure, Saying to Jerusalem, ‘You shall be built,’ And to the temple, ‘Your foundation shall be laid.’ ”

Isaiah 45:1 Thus says the LORD to His anointed, To Cyrus, whose right hand I have held—To subdue nations before him And loose the armor of kings, To open before him the double doors, So that the gates will not be shut:

Jeremiah 27:6 And now I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant; and the beasts of the field I have also given him to serve him.

These prophecies are from God; therefore, He determines the outcome for every one. The Lord is reporting to us what will happen, because He has seen these events before they occurred. More importantly, He has ordained each one to happen; therefore, no one is able to prevent them from taking place. In every Old Testament prophecy that Jesus fulfilled, it is clear that God was ordering all the events of history to cause His word to come to pass. This shows us that He not only knows what is going to happen, but He also causes these things to come into being, by the power of His will.

For example: The prophecy of the Messiah’s birth at Bethlehem.

It was the Lord who placed into the mind of the Roman government the need for a census that would necessitate Joseph to go, from Nazareth where he lived, back to Bethlehem, the place of his ancestor David’s birth. This was necessary because Micah’s prophecy (Prophecy 321) called for the Messiah to be born in Bethlehem. Mary and Joseph lived in Nazareth, which presented a problem. How would God accomplish His word by causing the Messiah’s birth in Bethlehem when Mary and Joseph lived 80 miles away, in Nazareth?

God not only ordained that His Son would be born in Bethlehem; He moved the entire world to participate in a census, in order to fulfill His word. The head of every family in the Roman Empire was required by law to go back to the place of their ancestor’s birth to register for this census. The purpose of the survey was to allow the Roman government to know how many people were of age to pay taxes. This was the human element that caused the census to take place; the spiritual element came about by a sovereign act of God to require His Son to be born where David was born, so that He might fulfill His word. It was the Lord who put it into the mind of Caesar Augustus to call for the census. The thought came from God; the purpose was from God; the reason was to fulfill the prophecy of the Messiah’s birth.

Luke 2:1-7 And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son…

This account from the gospel of Luke is also a matter of secular history, being confirmed in the records of the Romans from that time period.

The Census of Augustus Documented by Suetonius and Tacitus:

“He revived the office of the Censor which had long been disused and whose duty it had formerly been to take an account of the number of people.” [1]

“Since the consuls caused a law to be passed soon after this that he should govern the provinces jointly with Augustus and hold the census with him.” [2]

“This contained the number of citizens, subject kingdoms and taxes. All these details Agustus had written with his own hand.”[3]

It seems that God adds these points of difficulty to many of these Old Testament prophecies, in order to increase the unlikely prospect that any one person could fulfill them by chance. God intentionally adds difficulty so that no rational and reasonable person would assume the events that He said would happen, took place by mere happenstance. In addition, the goal of these added difficulties increases the mathematical impossibility for any of these prophecies to take place by chance.

Dr. Peter Stoner computed the mathematical odds of one person in history being able to fulfill just 8 of these 365 prophecies. These were events such as the Messiah’s place of birth, His manner of death, and the actual words that people would say at the crucifixion of the Messiah.

1. Place of birth (Micah 5:2 Prophecy 321)
2. Time of birth (Daniel 9:25 Prophecy 309; Genesis 49:10 Prophecy 17)
3. Manner of birth (Isaiah 7:14 Prophecy 164)
4. Betrayal by a close friend (Zechariah 13:6 Prophecy 356; Psalm 109 Prophecy 140)
5. The Manner of His death (Psalms 22:16 Prophecy 80)
6. The people who saw the death—their reactions: mocking, spitting, staring, etc. (Isaiah 53 Prophecy 236, Prophecy 242; Psalm 109 Prophecy 140, Prophecy 141; Psalm 22 Prophecy 74, Prophecy 75)
7. The Piercing of His side (Zechariah 12:10 Prophecy 354)
8. The manner of His Burial (Isaiah 53:9 Prophecy 255)

Dr. Stoner concluded that the odds of any one man being able to fulfill these 8 prophecies would be 1 chance in 1017 power. This number is literally astronomical—a 10 with 17 zeros behind it.[4] Astrophysicists, in determining the number of seconds for the age of the universe at 13.7 billion years, computed that there has been 1017 seconds of time since the Big Bang occurred.[5] This is the enormous number when determining the odds that one person in the history of the world could have fulfilled just 8 of the 365 Old Testament Prophecies that Jesus fulfilled.

In examining this 349th Old Testament Prophecy of Zechariah 11:11, we must ask what the chances would be that the Messiah, the Son of God, would be betrayed in the first place? Add to this, the amount that will be paid to commit treason against Yahweh—to ensure that his Messiah is put to death—is only thirty pieces of silver. If we had not been told that this actually happened two thousand years ago, we might never believe that it would be possible.

The Lord chose this prophecy amongst all the other amazing prophecies of the Messiah—to convince even the most obstinate skeptic. For those looking for a reason to believe, the preponderance of overwhelming evidence that comes from these 365 prophecies is more than enough to cause belief in Jesus as the Messiah. For those who care not for a reason to believe, these many prophetic proofs will serve only to harden further, the already hard heart of unbelief.


[1] Seutonius Roman Historian – Augustus 23 – Lives of the Twelve Caesars
[2] Suetonius Roman Historian – Tiberias 21- Lives of the Twelve Caesars
[3] Tacitus Annals – Book 1 Roman Historian
[4] Peter W. Stoner (November 2005). “Prophetic Accuracy”. Science Speaks. revised and HTML formatted by Don W. Stoner. ISBN 0-8024-7630-9. Retrieved 2007-02-09.
[5] The best estimate of the age of the universe is 13.75 ± 0.11 billion years N. Jarosik et al (2011). “Seven-year Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) Observations: Sky Maps, Systematic Errors, and Basic Results”. “The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series” 192: 14. arXiv:1001.4744. Bibcode 2011ApJS..192…14J. doi:10.1088/0067-0049/192/2/14 and Spergel, D. N.; et al. (2003). “First-Year Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) Observations: Determination of Cosmological Parameters”. The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series 148 (1): 175–194. arXiv:astro-ph/0302209. Bibcode 2003ApJS..148..175S. doi:10.1086/377226

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