Zechariah 11: 30 Pieces of Silver
Zechariah 11 is kind of a difficult passage because it is a conversation regarding the Messiah, but it is being conducted through Zechariah. Zechariah is not the Messiah, but God is speaking to him as He would speak to the Messiah. Therefore, when God says, “Become shepherd of the flock doomed to slaughter,” in verse three, He is not really talking to Zechariah. We know that because when you go down to verse seven, they is clearly related to the Messiah who was not Zechariah. It is kind of a strange literary device, but we get another very strong piece of Messianic prophecy in this chapter.
Zec 11:12 And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.
Zec 11:13 And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD.
His wages were 30 pieces of silver for what He did on earth. This has a double meaning. The obvious connection is to the bribe given to Judas Iscariot for the betrayal of Jesus Christ. That was the price that was paid for the information.
The other connection is from Exodus 21:32. If the servant was killed by an ox, the owner of the ox had to pay the owner of the servant 30 pieces of silver and the ox would die. It is interesting that Jesus was betrayed for the price of a servant.
The double meaning is very significant here, and it is again a solid example of a fulfilled prophecy. I have no way of knowing this, but I wonder if there was any discussion among the Jewish leaders about how much money to give to Judas. I mention that because they were obviously knowledgeable about the Old Testament. These passages in Zechariah point to the Messiah rather clearly, and it is surprising that no one put the pieces together and realized that they had just done their part in fulfilling another piece of prophecy.
I think that the lesson here is that Jesus was not what the religious leaders expected. He did not come as a military or political leader, and that was problematic for some people. Instead, He came and fulfilled prophecy to the letter. It is interesting what people were looking for.