Read Zechariah 11-12 at Bible Gateway.
The prophecy of the worthless shepherd could apply to many of Judah’s rulers, from the end of Persian rule until the coming of Messiah. In particular, the Herods may have been the worthless shepherds. The Maccabeans, Levites in the land, rebelled against Greek rule when the Greeks sought to establish Greek paganism throughout Judea. They won national independence for Judea for a time (Zec 9:13). They furthermore made Edom, or Idumea as it was known by this time, tributary; and forced all Edomites to convert to Judaism or be expelled. Herod’s father was an Edomite who served the Maccabean king. Rome deposed the Maccabeans and installed the Herodian family as kings instead, seeing in their nominal Judaism less of a threat to Roman rule than the more ardent Judaism of the Maccabeans. The Herodian family were true worthless shepherds in every sense.
Here is something else to think about. Just as in Israel’s history, there were types of Messiah, such as Isaac, Jacob, and David; there were also types of antimessiah, such as Ishmael, Esau, and Amalek. The Herodians were Edomites, or descendants of Esau (Edom). So it is probable that the Herodians were types of antimessiah — they sought to kill Messiah Yeshua, and sought to kill His disciples.
Zec 12 is a prophecy whose fulfillment we are seeing happen before our eyes. When Israel became a modern state in 1948, they did not control Jerusalem. In 1948 the UN established a two state solution in the Holy Land. Some of the territory was established as Israel, a Jewish state; and some of the territory was established as Palestine, a Muslim and Palestinian state. Each country governed themselves.
So things went on like that until the Six Day War in 1968, 20 years later. The Muslim countries around Israel joined with Palestine to attack Israel, to wipe her off the map; Israel defended herself, and in six days defeated the combined armies. They advanced through Palestinian territory to accomplish its strategic goals to win the war, and that is how Israel came to gain Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza.
So that is why, now, the nations want to divide Jerusalem and give half of it to the Palestinians for a capital and leave half to the Israelis for a capital.
“And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it.” Zec 12:3
Israel is opposed to dividing Jerusalem. It is a step that will greatly undermine her security. All the nations of the earth, in the form of UN forces, may very well gather against Jerusalem in order to force Israel to comply with some future political decision concerning it — a decision which has not been rendered yet, but we read about its discussion and hear speeches about it from the White House, Jerusalem, and the UN every year. The UN does not pay attention to Zechariah, as they, like Pharaoh, do not know the LORD and will not “let Israel go.” Which is unwise of them.
Zec 12 closes with Jerusalem mourning for YHVH whom they have pierced — mourning for Him as for an only Son. Messiah Yeshua is YHVH, and He is His only begotten Son. He will save Judah and Jerusalem on that day, and when they see Him returning, they will recognize Him, and mourn in repentance, because their eyes have been closed to Him for all these years.
That is the LORD’s own doing, so we should not be wise in our own opinion against them. Israel was blinded to Him so that the Gentiles could come in before them (Rom 11:25-26). In fact, both Judah (Jews) and Ephraim (Christians) were blinded in part (Isa 8:11-18). The Law or Torah, the written Word (Yeshua is the written Word of God made flesh), was sealed among His disciples so that they stumbled over Him. Ephraim (Christians) did not see the written Word all these years, that was their partial blinding, but they could see the Living Word. Judah (Jews) did not see the Living Word, Yeshua, but they could see the written Word, Torah, all these years.
At the time of the end, the time in which we are now living, the blinders will be taken off both houses of Israel, and Ephraim will recognize the written Torah which he has rebelled against, and mourn (Jer 31:18-19); and Judah will recognize the Living Torah whom they have pierced, and mourn; and the two will become one in the LORD’s hand.
There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. Eph 4:4-6