by Clarence E. Macartney

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The Parable of Beauty and Bands (11 of 15)
Series: The Parables of the Old Testament
Clarence Macartney
Zechariah 11

This striking parable, or allegory, acted out by the prophet of the Lord, has by some been attributed to Jeremiah instead of Zechariah. The reason for this is that St. Matthew in his account of the betrayal and trial of Jesus says that the price paid to Judas by the chief priests, and the use of the blood money in purchasing the potter's field, was in fulfillment of ''that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet.''

But there is no such reference in the book of Jeremiah as we have it today. Therefore, some have thought that the latter portion of the book of Zechariah must have come from Jeremiah. Others, like Augustine, have held that Matthew made a mistake in quoting Jeremiah when he meant Zechariah. The more common explanation is that the name Jeremiah, instead of Zechariah, in Matthew's passage is due to an early corruption of the text. It has also been suggested that since at one time the Hebrews began their arrangement of the prophets with Jeremiah first, instead of the present order, where Isaiah stands first, the name Jeremiah could have been used in a general way to signify any portion of all the latter prophets.

There are good reasons for believing that Zechariah is the author of this part of the prophecy as well as the other chapters. But whatever view be taken of the authorship, the power and reach of the parable remain unchanged. Zechariah was a contemporary of Zerubbabel, the governor, and Haggai, the prophet, and united with his brother prophet in urging the people to rebuild the fallen temple of God. He was called to the prophet's office by an angel in the year 520 b.c. and uttered his prophecies in the shape of visions, symbolic actions, and parables, one of which is the acted story of the Rejected Shepherd.

How much there is in a name! This parable has deep significance, both in its application to the nation as ...

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