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Research paper example essay prompt: Zechariah Prophet - 1590 words

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.. ents (249). The authors believe that he may have done it for one of three reasons. He could be trying to distinguish Yahweh from other gods, heightening his own authority, or claiming that his relationship with God is as strong and intimate as the relationship Moses had with God. Meyers and Meyers seem to feel that Zechariah was having trouble proving to others, and possibly himself, that he was in fact a true prophet, and therefore he is trying to heighten his authority. Next the term shepherd is thought to symbolize both political leaders and prophetic leaders. The only other prophet who was given the role of shepherd is Moses.

Everywhere else in the Old Testament, shepherd refers to political leaders. Next the term shepherd is thought to symbolize both political leaders and prophetic leaders. The only other prophet who was given the role of shepherd is Moses. Everywhere else in the Old Testament, shepherd refers to political leaders. Next a new translation for "slaughter" is discussed. Meyers and Meyers believe that this passage suggest that the whole flock will be ruined but not necessarily destroyed. The rest of the passage suggests that some of the flock will survive.

Some of the sheep are killed others are taken advantage of in other ways. This commentary feels that the "buyers" and "sellers" represent leaders in Israel whom have violated the covenant because of their unacceptable behavior. In this passage everything that usually symbolizes good now are signs that bad things will happen. For example, the two staffs represent the protection of God against foreign enemies, and also the uniting of the northern and southern kingdoms. Zechariah breaks the staffs and therefore abolishes what they stand for- peace and reuniting. Now God will leave the people in the hands of one another.

They will all be removed from the land by either death or relocation as a result of their sins. The corruption is so wide spread that everyone will suffer the consequences. After the breaking the staffs the merchants realize that he truly is a prophet, but still do not like what he has to say. They show this by paying him only the price of a slave gored by oxen. He then casts the money into the treasury. Instead of taking this gesture in a negative way as the other commentaries do, the authors of this commentary feel that in doing this the prophet is making a contribution to the Temple. When he takes up the role of the foolish shepherd, his actions are reflecting what a leader should not be like. This shepherd acts in contrast to how he is supposed to act.

By using the word"fool" Zechariah was implying that this shepherd did not believe in God and therefore did not act in accordance with the covenant. Meyer and Meyer feel that, up to this point, Zechariah is describing the tense feelings between true and false prophets. The false prophets are depicted as worthless shepherds, because they do not tend to the peoples needs. By removing his arm and his eye, this worthless shepherd will become powerless. Therefore, the people will no longer listen to the words of the false prophets. My understanding of the passage agrees with certain fragments of each commentary.

Zechariah is instructed by God to provide for a flock of sheep that is intended to be slaughtered. A prophets job is to provide people with "predictions", not to be confused with crystal ball predictions, of what will come of them if they dont repent and likewise if they do repent. The flock of sheep represents humans. Humans are sinners and therefore will destroy themselves unless they realize their wrongdoings and repent. When God instructed him to care for this flock of sheep that is marked for slaughter, He is basically calling Zechariah to be a prophet. God tells Zechariah that the corruption is very widespread and known among the people. Their leaders do not care and are also steeped in wrongdoing.

In addition, false prophets are providing the Israelites with wrong information. Foreign kings are ravishing the land and the leaders of Israel let them, because they are becoming rich in the process. They feel that because they are gaining money, God is on their side- false prophets do not make an effort to tell them differently. God tells Zechariah that he will no longer try to help the people, because they are not making any effort to change their ill ways even though he has made many efforts to help them. God will sit on his hands and let what is to happen to them happen. Their widespread corruption will cause military defeats and they will be driven from their land. They will realize the result of their sins.

So Zechariah obeys God and cares for the oppressed flock. In the process, he takes two staffs and names them, "one Favor and the other Unity" (New Translation). I feel that Zechariah may have actually have literally been holding two staffs or sticks while he told this "story" to his audience. In other words, he used them as a visual aide to get his point across. While he is in charge of the flock, he "gets rid of three evil shepherds" (New Translation). These three shepherds probably represented the three main false prophets in the land that were causing the people to keep on sinning instead of repenting.

In the passage he stresses that he did this in one month, which probably means that it was done right away or within a very short time frame. After some time of being this shepherd, Zechariah becomes frustrated with the people. Although he is trying to help them out of their awful situation, they hate him. So he tells them that he wont help them anymore and now they will definitely be destroyed. Next he breaks the two staffs to announce that he has terminated his "shepherd" position. I feel that again he used this as a visual aide when telling this "story", and he really did break the sticks or staffs that he was holding.

I also think that this part of the passage is telling Zechariahs audience that God is trying to help them, but has become frustrated that they are not acknowledging Him and therefore, he will sit back and let their sins cause their demise. The two kingdoms will no longer unite, and he will not do them any more favors. This is a warning to the people, if they dont repent these awful things will happen. However, all prophetic teachings were only warnings, meaning that if they do repent those things wont happen. I think this passage is saying that God and his prophets are frustrated that people wont listen to these warnings.

The passage goes on to say that when he broke staffs, the "buyers and sellers" of the flock knew that he was a true prophet. I think in this case the "buyers and sellers" represent false prophets who knew they were involved in wrongdoing. These false prophets were in it for the money and would base their prophecies on the amount of money they received; if someone gave them a lot of money, they received a good prophecy. So Zechariah asks to be paid for his services. In doing this he was trying to see if anyone acknowledged the fact that he was trying to help them.

They paid him an insulting amount, which verified that his prophecies were not appreciated or accepted. The people simply did not want to hear that God was upset with their corrupt ways. He throws this money into the Temple. I think this might be showing that even if he was paid for his services, his prophecies would not change because he is a true prophet. So God instructs Zechariah to be a worthless shepherd, because God said he would raise one up in their land.

This shepherd wont tend to the sheep that are to die, he wont look after the children, and he wont help the sick, or provide food for the healthy. I think this is illustrating the people are being socially unjust to each other during the time in which Zechariah is preaching. It is warning the people that if they dont start listening to the true prophets, he will leave them to be destroyed in the hands of the false prophets and corrupt leaders of the land. God tells them that he really does not want it to come to this, because the passage ends with a prophecy about what will become of the worthless shepherd. I think this is a message to false prophets that eventually no one will believe them, and also to the leaders or kings that they will lose all of their power and military strength.

God reminds them that he really is helping protect them from the full effect of their sins even if they dont realize it. In other words, things could be a lot worse, but God loves humans so much that he wont let it get worse. The general message is for the people to clean up their act and repent so these bad things wont happen. Bibliography Chisholm, Robert B., Jr. Interpreting The Minor Prophets. Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1990.

Brown, William P. Westminster Bible Companion: Obadiah Through Malachi. Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, 1996. Holy Bible New Living Translation. Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. 1996. Meyers, Carol L., and Eric M.

Meyers. The Anchor Bible: Zechariah 9-14.New York: Doubleday. 1993.

Related: prophet, john knox press, tyndale house publishers, publishing house, acknowledging

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