Zechariah 13:5
Verse 5. - I am an husbandman. The imposter shall confess the truth about himself, and own that he is only "a tiller of the ground (ἄνθρωπος ἐργαζόμενος τὴν γῆν)," as Genesis 4:2. The abnegation in Amos 7:14 is quite different in character. Man taught me to keep cattle; literally, man bought (or, possessed) me; Revised Version, I have been made a bondman. So eager is he now to hide his false pretensions, that he is willing, to be considered a slave, employed from his youth in farm work, and therefore incapable of executing the prophetical office. Vulgate, Quoniam Adam exemplum meum ab adoloscentia mea; i.e. "I have followed the example of Adam in tilling the ground and in earning my bread by the sweat of my brow." St. Cyril and some modern commentators hold that the false prophet says this in sorrow and repentant, not with any idea of deceiving; and that herein is exhibited a signal instance of the grace of God in the Messanic period, when even such sinners are converted from the error of their ways.

13:1-6 In the time mentioned at the close of the foregoing chapter, a fountain would be opened to the rulers and people of the Jews, in which to wash away their sins. Even the atoning blood of Christ, united with his sanctifying grace. It has hitherto been closed to the unbelieving nation of Israel; but when the Spirit of grace shall humble and soften their hearts, he will open it to them also. This fountain opened is the pierced side of Christ. We are all as an unclean thing. Behold a fountain opened for us to wash in, and streams flowing to us from that fountain. The blood of Christ, and God's pardoning mercy in that blood, made known in the new covenant, are a fountain always flowing, that never can be emptied. It is opened for all believers, who as the spiritual seed of Christ, are of the house of David, and, as living members of the church, are inhabitants of Jerusalem. Christ, by the power of his grace, takes away the dominion of sin, even of beloved sins. Those who are washed in the fountain opened, as they are justified, so they are sanctified. Souls are brought off from the world and the flesh, those two great idols, that they may cleave to God only. The thorough reformation which will take place on the conversion of Israel to Christ, is here foretold. False prophets shall be convinced of their sin and folly, and return to their proper employments. When convinced that we are gone out of the way of duty, we must show the truth of our repentance by returning to it again. It is well to acknowledge those to be friends, who by severe discipline are instrumental in bringing us to a sight of error; for faithful are the wounds of a friend, Pr 27:6. And it is always well for us to recollect the wounds of our Saviour. Often has he been wounded by professed friends, nay, even by his real disciples, when they act contrary to his word.But he shall say, I am no prophet,.... That he is not of the Romish clergy, or of any of their religious orders, having laid aside his habit:

I am an husbandman; he shall put on the habit of a husbandman, and work for his bread; for he will not be able to support himself, as before, with the sale of pardons and indulgences, and by praying souls out of purgatory; for no man hereafter will buy of his merchandise, Revelation 18:11 and he will be ashamed of his former calling and traffic, and will not own that he was ever concerned therein; but will affirm that he was never of the Romish clergy, but always a layman, and employed in husbandry:

for man taught me to keep cattle from my youth; he will say he was brought up to husbandry, or in some mechanic business, from his youth, and never was in any convent or monastery, or of any religious order: it may be rendered, "for man made me to work from my youth" (u); and is not to be restrained to keeping cattle, or any particular employment.

(u) "fecerunt me operari", Noldius; "homo operari fecit me", De Dieu, Burkius.

Zechariah 13:4
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