John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary

Verse 17 (Zechariah 11:17)

Woe to the idol shepherd ,.... Or, "the shepherd of nothing" F23 רעי האליל "pastori nihili", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Drusius, So R. So. Urbin. Ohel Moed, fol. 4. 2. ; that is, no true shepherd, that is good for nothing, for an idol is nothing in the world, 1 Corinthians 8:4 and who is an idol himself, sits in the temple of God, and is worshipped as if he was God. 2 Thessalonians 2:4 and is an encourager and defender of idolatry:

that leaveth the flock ; has no regard to its spiritual concerns; does not feed it, but fleece it, and leaves it to the cruelty and avarice of his creatures under him:

the sword shall be upon his arm ; with which he should feed the flock:

and upon his right eye ; with which he should watch over it:

his arm shall be clean dried up ; his power shall be taken away from him; the antichristian states, which supported him, shall withdraw from him; the ten kings shall hate the whore, strip her naked, eat her flesh, and burn her with fire, Revelation 17:16 ,

and his right eye shall be utterly darkened ; not only given up to judicial blindness, which has been always his case; but his kingdom shall be full of darkness, Revelation 16:10 his hidden things of darkness shall be exposed; all his crafty schemes will be confounded; and all his wit, cunning, and subtlety, will cease; and everything desirable to him will be taken away from him. His "arm" may denote his secular power, which shall be taken away from him: and his "right eye" his knowledge of the Scriptures, judgment in controversies, and infallibility pretended to by him, which wilt cease, even in the opinion of men. Ben Melech interprets it the eye of his heart or mind; and so Aben Ezra.

- John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary