on Zechariah 11 :13
And the Lord said unto me, Cast it unto the potter - Jehovah calls the price of his prophet his own price; and commands that it should not be accepted, but given to a potter, to foreshadow the transaction related Matthew 27:7.
"Earthen vessels were used in the temple; and we may suppose that some Levites were employed within the sacred precincts to furnish them. To these, the humblest of his ministers in the temple, God commands that the degrading price should be cast." This is the substance of the notes on these two verses, given by Abp. Newcome.
We may look at it in another light, Give me my price! הבו שכרי habu sichri, bring my price, or give him any price; that is, Give the money to Judas which you have agreed to give him; for he can neither betray me nor you crucify me, but my own permission. But if not, forbear; take time to consider this bloody business, and in time forbear. For though I permit you to do it, yet remember that the permission does not necessitate you to do it; and the salvation of the world may be effected without this treachery and murder.
See my notes on this place, Matthew 27:9, where I have examined the evidence for the reading of "Zechariah the prophet," instead of "Jeremiah."
on Zechariah 11 :13
And the Lord said unto me, Cast it - As a thing vile and rejected, as torn flesh was to be cast to dogs Exodus 22:31, or a corpse was cast unburied Isaiah 14:19; Isaiah 34:3; Jeremiah 14:16; Jeremiah 22:19; Jeremiah 26:23; Jeremiah 36:30, or the dead body of Absalom was cast into the pit 2 Samuel 18:17, or the dust of the idolaltars into the brook Kedron by Josiah 2 Kings 23:12, or the idols to the moles and the bats (Isaiah 2:20, add Ezekiel 20:8); or Judah and Israel from the face of God 2 Kings 13:23; 2 Kings 17:20; 2 Kings 24:21; Jeremiah 52:3 into a strange land (Deuteronomy 29:27, (28 English); Coniah and his seed, a vessel in which is no pleasure, Jeremiah 22:28, into a land which they knew not; or the rebels against God, said, "let us cast away their cards from us" Psalm 2:3; or wickedness was cast into the Ephah Zechariah 5:1-11 :18; once it is added, "for loathing" Ezekiel 16:5.
Unto the potter - The words exactly correspond with the event, that the "thirty pieces of silver" were "cast" or flung away o; that their ultimate destination was the potter, whose field was bought with them; but that they were not cast directly to him, (which were a contemptuous act, such as would not be used whether for a gift or a purchase), but were cast to him "in the house of the Lord." They were "flung away" by the remorse of Judas, and, in God's Providence, came to the potter. Whether any portion of this was a direct symbolic action of the prophet, or whether it was a prophetic vision, in which Zechariah himself was an actor, and saw himself in the character which he described, doing what he relates, cannot now be said certainly, since God has not told us. It seems to me more probable, that these actions belonged to the vision, because in other symbolic actions of the prophets, no other actors take part; and it is to the last degree unlikely, that Zechariah, at whose preaching. Zerubbabel and Joshua and all the people set themselves earnestly to rebuild the temple, should have had so worthless a price offered to him; and the casting a price, which God condemned, into the house of God, at the command of God, and so implying His acceptance of it, were inconsistent. It was fulfilled, in act consistently, in Judas' remorse; in that he "flung away the pieces of silver," which had stained his soul with innocent blood, "in the temple," perhaps remembering the words of Zechariah; perhaps wishing to give to pious uses, too late, money which was the price of his soul; whereas God, even through the chief priests, rejected it, and so it came to the potter, its ultimate destination in the Providence of God. Osorius: "He saith, "cast it unto the potter," that they might understand that they would be broken as a potter's vessel."
A goodly price, that I was prized at of them - Literally, "the magnificence of the value, at which I was valued of them!" The strong irony is carried on by the, "at which I was valued of them," as in the idiom, "thou wert precious in my sight" 1 Samuel 26:21; Psalm 72:14; 2 Kings 1:13-14; Isaiah 43:4. Precious the thought of God to David Psalm 139:17; precious the redemption of the soul of man Psalm 49:9; and precious was the Shepherd who came to them; precious was the value, whereat He was valued by them o. And yet He, who was so valued, was Almighty God. For so it stands: "Thus saith the Lord God, Cast it unto the potter, the goodly price that I was prized at of them." The name, "the potter," connects the prophecy with that former prophecy of Jeremiah Jer 19:1-15, denouncing the judgment of God for the shedding of innocent blood, whereby they had defiled "the valley of the son of Hinnom, which was at the entry of the gate of the pottery, o, and which, through the vengeance of God there, should be called "the valley of slaughter" Jeremiah 19:6.
The price of this innocent Blood, by the shedding of which the iniquities of their fathers were filled up, should rest on that same place, for whose sake God said, "I will break this people and this city, as one breaketh a potter's vessel, that cannot be made whole again" Jeremiah 19:11. So then Matthew may have quoted this prophecy as Jeremiah's, to signify how the woes, denounced on the sins committed in this same place, should be brought upon it through this last crowning sin, and "all the righteous blood which had been shed, should come upon that generation" o
None of the other cases of mixed quotation come up to this. Mark quotes two prophecies, of Malachi and of Isaiah as Isaiah's Mark 1:2-3. Matthew blends in one, words of Isaiah Isa 62:1 and Zechariah Zechariah 9:9 as "the prophet" Matthew 21:4-5. Our Lord unites Isaiah 56:7, and Jeremiah 7:11, with the words," It is written."
Of earlier fathers "Tertullian" simply quotes the prophecy as Jeremiah's (adv. Marc. iv. 40). "Origen" says, "Jeremiah is not said to have prophesied this anywhere in his books, either what are read in the Churches, or reported (referuntur) among the Jews. I suspect that it is an error of writing, or that it is some secret writing of Jeremiah wherein it is written." (in Matt. p. 916.) "Euscbius" says, "Consider since this, is not in the prophet Jeremiah, whether we must think that it was removed from it by some wickedness, or whether it was a clericai error of those who made the copies of the Gospels carelessly." Dem. Ev. x. p. 481).
on Zechariah 11 :13
11:13 The Lord - God the Father. Cast it - As being so little, it would hardly purchase any thing but what was the cheapest among them. A goodly price - God upbraids the shepherds of his people, who prized the great Shepherd no higher. Cast them to the potter - Or rather, cast them into the house of the Lord for the potter; all which the Jewish rulers acted over.