347: Zechariah 11:10

365 Prophecies: Prophecy 347

As a result of the Jews’ rejection of their Messiah, God will break His covenant with them and give them into the hands of their enemies.

Old Testament Prediction:

Zechariah 11:10 And I took my staff, Beauty, and cut it in two, that I might break the covenant which I had made with all the peoples.

New Testament Fulfillment:

Matthew 21:33-45 Hear another parable: There was a certain landowner who planted a vineyard and set a hedge around it, dug a winepress in it and built a tower. And he leased it to vinedressers and went into a far country. Now when vintage-time drew near, he sent his servants to the vinedressers, that they might receive its fruit. And the vinedressers took his servants, beat one, killed one, and stoned another. Again he sent other servants, more than the first, and they did likewise to them.

Matthew 21:37 “Then last of all he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But when the vinedressers saw the son, they said among themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance.’ So they took him and cast him out of the vineyard and killed him. Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vinedressers?” They said to Him, “He will destroy those wicked men miserably, and lease his vineyard to other vinedressers who will render to him the fruits in their seasons.” Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone. This was the LORD’S doing, And it is marvelous in our eyes’? Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it. And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.” Now when the chief priests and Pharisees heard His parables, they perceived that He was speaking of them.

Application:

Nearly 550 years before Jesus came to Jerusalem as the Messiah, Zechariah prophesied that the people of Israel would reject Him. At that time, the Lord states through Zechariah that He would break His covenant with the nation.

Zechariah 11:10 “… that I might break the covenant which I had made with all the peoples…”

Not only did three shepherds of Jerusalem (Prophecy 345), reject Jesus as the rightful king; the majority of those in Jerusalem also rejected Him. When Pilate offered the people the release of Barabbas or Jesus, the people chose Barabbas.

Matthew 27:17, 21 Therefore, when they had gathered together, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release to you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” 21 … They said, “Barabbas!”

As Pilate presents Jesus to the people after He had been brutally scourged and beaten, they refuse Him as their King. In the height of their hypocrisy, the people cry out for Caesar to be their king, rather than Jesus. The very government that had placed their entire nation under bondage, from where they had plead vehemently for God’s deliverance, now became their chosen ruler.

John 19:13-15 When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus out and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha. Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” But they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar!”

At the end of the Jews third war in 63 B.C. against Mithridates IV, king of Pontus—the Roman government appointed Syria as a province of Rome. Pompey the Great came to Jerusalem and sacked the city and entered the Temple. In 1 B.C., Herod was installed as the king of Judea, followed by the establishment of Israel as a Roman province in 6 A.D.[1]

By the time that Jesus stood before the people of Israel as their long-awaited King, the Jews had been under the tyranny of the Romans for close to 100 years. In spite of their long outcry to God for deliverance and the hope of a Messiah who would overthrow the Roman government—when their King arrives, they will not receive Him. The Jews wanted a conquering king, not a suffering and dying King. They had not read and understood their own scriptures. For had they studied the words of their prophets they would have understood that the Messiah would come first to set the world free from sin and death. Later, at the end of the age, He would return a second time to reign over all the governments of men.

Jesus was not the Messiah the Jews wanted or expected, so they called for Him to be crucified.

Matthew 27:22-26 Pilate said to them, “What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said to him, “Let Him be crucified!” Then the governor said, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they cried out all the more, saying, “Let Him be crucified!” When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.” And all the people answered and said, “His blood be on us and on our children.” Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified.

The staff Beauty that Zechariah speaks of, in this 347th prophecy, represented the promise that God had made to Israel through Ezekiel and Hosea—to protect the Jews from their enemies, bless their nation, and finally send them a Savior—the Messiah. All of these promises were based on the obedience of Israel. When they denied Jesus His rightful place as their King, the promises God had made were no longer valid.

Ezekiel 34:25 I will make a covenant of peace with them, and cause wild beasts to cease from the land; and they will dwell safely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods. 26 I will make them and the places all around My hill a blessing; and I will cause showers to come down in their season; there shall be showers of blessing. 27 Then the trees of the field shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase. They shall be safe in their land; and they shall know that I am the Lord, when I have broken the bands of their yoke and delivered them from the hand of those who enslaved them. 28 And they shall no longer be a prey for the nations, nor shall beasts of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and no one shall make them afraid. 29 I will raise up for them a garden of renown, and they shall no longer be consumed with hunger in the land, nor bear the shame of the Gentiles anymore. 30 Thus they shall know that I, the Lord their God, am with them, and they, the house of Israel, are My people, says the Lord God. 31 You are My flock, the flock of My pasture; you are men, and I am your God, says the Lord God.

Hosea 2:18 In that day I will make a covenant for them With the beasts of the field, With the birds of the air, And with the creeping things of the ground. Bow and sword of battle I will shatter from the earth, To make them lie down safely.

This 347th Prophecy of Zechariah is fulfilled by the pronouncement of judgment by Jesus, in Matthew Chapter 23, against the scribes and the Pharisees.

Prophecy 340: Jesus pronounces eight “Woes” upon the religious leaders in Israel.

1. Verse 13: Preventing people from finding salvation by false teaching.
2. Verse 14: Taking advantage of helpless people and pretending to be holy.
3. Verse 15: Leading people into damnation by failing to give them the truth.
4. Verses 16-22: Misleading by religious ritual instead of simple worship of God.
5. Verses 23-24: Following the letter of the Law without understanding the purpose of the law: Mercy, Justice, Faith.
6. Verses 25-26: Appearing externally to be righteous while internally having a heart that is evil and corrupt.
7. Verses 27 and 28: Again, appearing to be good outwardly while inside the heart, they were full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
8. Verses 29-37: Honoring the prophets of old by monuments while killing them when they brought indictment against the sins of their religious leaders.

As Zechariah predicts the end of this Beauty—the covenant of peace that God made with Israel for protection and prosperity—Jesus announces their complete destruction.

Matthew 23:36-39 Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation. 37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! 38 See! Your house is left to you desolate; 39 for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ ”

“Their house will be left to them a desolation.”

Within one generation of judgment (40 years), the Temple will be completely destroyed and the city of Jerusalem leveled. Further, because they missed the time of their visitation by the Messiah, they will not see Him again until the end of the seven-year Tribulation, when the say Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD.

Jesus predicts the encirclement of Jerusalem, the destruction of the Temple. These events would happen within the generation of those who heard this prophecy.

Luke 19:43-44 For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.

Matthew 24:34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.

The context of Jesus’ revelation to the disciples, in Luke 19:29-21:24, is directly after Palm Sunday, 32 A.D. Jesus is describing the judgment that will come upon Israel for her rejection of Him as the Messiah. The fulfillment of this prophecy occurred within one 40-year generation, in 70 A.D., as Titus brought his army against Jerusalem, sacked the city, and destroyed the Temple, burning it to the ground. Literally, “not one stone was left upon another,” just as Jesus had predicted.


[1] Benjamin Isaac The Near East under Roman Rule: Selected Papers (Leiden: Brill 1998)

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