Oracles Concerning the End of False Prophecy.* 1On that day a fountain will be opened for the house of David* and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to purify from sin and uncleanness.a
2On that day—oracle of the LORD of hosts—I will destroy the names of the idols from the land, so that they will be mentioned no more; I will also remove the prophets and the spirit of uncleanness from the land. 3If any still prophesy, their father and mother who bore them will say, “You will not live, because you have spoken a lie in the name of the LORD.” Their father and mother who bore them will thrust them through when they prophesy.b
4On that day, all prophets will be ashamed of the visions they prophesy; and they will not put on the hairy mantle* to mislead,c 5but each will say, “I am not a prophet. I am a tiller of the soil, for I have owned land since my youth.”d 6And if anyone asks, “What are these wounds on your chest?”* each will answer, “I received these wounds in the house of my friends.”e
The Song of the Sword
7Awake, O sword, against my shepherd,
against the one who is my associate
—oracle of the LORD of hosts.
Strike the shepherd
that the sheep may be scattered;* f
I will turn my hand against the little ones.
8In all the land—oracle of the LORD—
two thirds of them will be cut off and perish,
and one third will be left.
9I will bring the one third through the fire;
I will refine them as one refines silver,g
and I will test them as one tests gold.
They will call upon my name, and I will answer them;h
I will say, “They are my people,”i
and they will say, “The LORD is my God.”
* [13:1–6] False prophecy is a major theme of Second Zechariah (chaps. 9–14) and figures in many other passages (10:1–2; 11; 12:10). Problems of idolatry and false prophecy occurred in postexilic Judah as they had in preexilic times. The understanding of the role of the prophet as an intermediary was challenged because (1) there was no king in Jerusalem, and (2) the texts of earlier prophets were beginning to be accorded the authority of prophetic tradition.
* [13:1] For the house of David: anticipation that a cleansed leadership will enable the re-established monarchy to be rid of the misdeeds of its past.
* [13:4] Hairy mantle: worn by prophets as a sign of their calling, for example, Elijah (1 Kgs 19:13; 2 Kgs 1:8) and John the Baptist (Mt 3:4).
* [13:6] Wounds on your chest: lit., “wounds between your hands.” The false prophets, like the prophets of Baal (1 Kgs 18:28), apparently inflicted wounds on themselves. Here it seems that persons accused of false prophecy deny having inflicted wounds on themselves and instead claim that they have received them at the houses of their friends.
* [13:7] Strike the shepherd…may be scattered: in Matthew’s Gospel (26:31) Jesus makes use of this text before his arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane and the flight of the disciples.
a. [13:1] Ez 36:25; 47:1; Jn 7:38.
e. [13:6] 1 Kgs 18:28.
f. [13:7] Ez 34:1–8; Mt 26:31.