King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Zechariah 13

The Fountain for the remission of sins, The conviction of the false prophets. (1-6) The death of Christ, and the saving of a remnant of the people. (7-9)

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The Fountain for the remission of sins, The conviction of the false prophets

1 In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.

2 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered: and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land.

3 And it shall come to pass, that when any shall yet prophesy, then his father and his mother that begat him shall say unto him, Thou shalt not live; for thou speakest lies in the name of the LORD: and his father and his mother that begat him shall thrust him through when he prophesieth.

4 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision, when he hath prophesied; neither shall they wear a rough garment to deceive:

5 But he shall say, I am no prophet, I am an husbandman; for man taught me to keep cattle from my youth.

6 And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.

The death of Christ, and the saving of a remnant of the people

7 Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.

8 And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein.

9 And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Fountain. In the New Testament Christ is made an open fountain by his incarnation. John iv. 13. S. Greg. xx. in Ezec. i. 6. ep. 186. W. — His baptism and other sacraments have the most surprising effects, to which the prophet refers more than to those waters which were brought by pipes into the temple to cleanse the victims. Ezec. xlvii. 1. C. — The washing. Sept. “change and sprinkling.” Grabe substitutes chorismon, “separation,” and marks the verse with an asterisk. The legal impurities shall be effaced. H.

Ver. 2. No more. After the Machabees, the people were free from idolatry, and magical arts were repressed. Osee ii. 16. Ezec. xxxvii. 22. C. — “Idolatry and heresy are punishable by death, in the law of Christ.” W. — To judge in these matters belongs only to the Church. H.

Ver. 3. Not live. The law condemned those prophets to death, who attempted to lead the people into idolatry. Deut. xiii. 1. People shall be so zealous for God’s honour, that the parents of the seducer shall themselves (C.) bring him to judgment. H. — Through, or make some mark upon him, as fugitive slaves, &c. were stigmatized. C. — Sept. “shall shackle.” H. — These before interpreted dakar, danced, or insulted. The others have in both places, “pierced.” S. Jer. — The person was not slain. v. 6.

Ver. 4. Vision. They shall have no appearance of truth. — Sackcloth. Heb. “hairy skin;” adereth. Such were used by kings. Jon. iii. 6. The people shall not be deceived by such appearances, so that these garments will not be used. The Jews have always been ready to receive impostors. Mat. vii. 15. Yet they shall not be so frequent, or dangerous. The prophets used coarse hairy garments. 4 K. i. 8.

Ver. 5. Husbandman. Worldly occupations were incompatible with the office of prophets. 3 K. xix 20. Amos vii. 15. Mat. iv. 20. The (C.) false (H.) prophets will become so odious, that people will excuse themselves from taking up the calling. — Example. I am condemned like him to labour. Gen. iii. 17. Sept. “a man begot me.” Heb. “taught, or bought me, (C.) or caused me to work.” De Dieu.

Ver. 6. Loved me. My parents marked me thus. v. 3. C. — Some have understood this of Jesus Christ. Rupert. S. Tho. — But the context excludes this interpretation, which would be injurious to him. C. — The false prophet is reformed by his parents’ correction, so that he applies to agriculture, and owns that he had been justly punished. S. Jer. H.

Ver. 7. Sword. This address rouses attention. C. — The sword implies all the torments which Christ endured. W. — He explains this of himself; only instead of strike, he says I will strike, (Mat. xxvi. 31.) as the sword was directed by God. H. — Patris voluntate percussus est. S. Jer. — Cleaveth. Heb. hamithi, “my amiable one;” (H.) “of the same tribe with me;” (Aq.) “of my people.” Sym. S. Jerom observes, that Sept. and Th. have read v for the last i, and render “his neighbour,” or citizen. Yet some editions of the Sept. retain “my fellow-citizen.” H. — Little ones. Sept. Arab. &c. “shepherds,” (C.) which “many ill apply to the Jewish princes.” S. Jer. — Tsoharim means also “the little.” Mic. v. 2. Christ takes care of his little flock, (Lu. xii. 32. H.) and is always one with the Father. Jo. viii. 29. and x. 30. C. — He recalled the flying apostles, and gave them courage. W.

Ver. 8. Third. The greatest part of mankind will be lost. H. — The few Jews who embrace the faith will be absorbed in the Gentile converts, and suffered to live, though proved by persecutions, while the rest shall be exterminated. Both shall lose their name, and be styled Christians. C. — Those who adhere to Judaism, or to paganism, cannot be saved. This is the privilege only of Christian Catholics, who live piously, and are selected by God’s grace. W.

Ver. 9. Fire. The Church was persecuted during the first centuries; but always became more pure, and the blood of martyrs increased her numbers. C. — She faithfully adhered to God. H. — The Jews say this will not take place at last: “but we assert that it is already accomplished.” S. Jer.