11:8 Three shepherds. Many speculations have been published concerning the identity of these false shepherds. Since the primary context of this section (Zechariah 9–11) centers in the first coming of Messiah, His rejection, and His triumphant second coming (note especially Zechariah 9:9-10; 11:12-13), especially as these events affect Israel, they most likely represent Jewish leaders who have led their people away from the true God and His Christ. Since there were three groups of such leaders—prophets (or teachers), priests, and kings—the false shepherds probably represent false prophets, false priests and false kings. Israel and Judah have had an abundance of each, especially around the time of Christ. In fact, they were responsible, humanly speaking, for having Him crucified.
11:8 one month. The suddenness of the “cutting off” of these false shepherds probably refers prophetically to the destruction of the temple and the city of Jerusalem by the Romans, followed by the age-long dispersion of the Jewish people over all the world, climaxed in A.D. 135. There have been no Jewish prophets, priests or kings since (note Hosea 3:4). This evidently is also the dominant theme of the first six verses of this chapter. Even though the restoration of the temple had been completed and some were hoping the Messianic age was about to begin, Zechariah could foresee through divine inspiration that the true Shepherd of Israel would be rejected and His flock would be scattered (Zechariah 13:7).