(Zech. 11:12-13) How does this passage predict Jesus’ betrayal?

This prophecy is interesting to us, when we realize the divine drama that Zechariah has been swept into. Yahweh wants to be the Shepherd of his people, because they lack a Shepherd (10:2). In chapter 10, he blesses the people, as the good Shepherd (Jn. 10:11). Jesus called himself the Good Shepherd. Both John 10 and Zechariah 11 deal with the Good Shepherd and the Bad Shepherd. In verse 6, God gives Israel over to bad shepherds (kings). He did this because they broke “the word of the Lord” (v.11).

It is in this context that Zechariah is betrayed for “thirty shekels of silver” (v.12). God explains that this is really the value that the people had of Him. He says, “Throw it to the potter, that magnificent price at which I was valued by them.” So I took the thirty shekels of silver and threw them to the potter in the house of the LORD” (v.13).

It turns out that this was a divine drama. It was Yahweh that was valued by them at this price. This price was synonymous with the price of a slave (Ex. 21:32; cf. Gen. 37:28). Later, Jesus is betrayed by Judas for the price (Mt. 26:15; 27:3-10).

In Zechariah 11, Yahweh was betrayed for 30 shekels of silver (“that magnificent price at which I was valued by them”). Zechariah described that the money was thrown in “the House of the Lord.” Judas threw it in the temple sanctuary (Mt. 27:5). The result of the people betraying Yahweh was just as horrific for the people in Zechariah’s time. The people are handed over to the Foolish (Evil) Shepherd (Zech. 11:15-17). Zechariah wrote that the potter was the one who ultimately received the money (11:6-8).