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.