Or are the prophets in Zechariah 13 only the prophets of the false gods?

Luke and Hebrews both suggest that the time of the prophets has come to an end:

[Luk 16:16 NET] 16 "The law and the prophets were in force until John; since then, the good news of the kingdom of God has been proclaimed, and everyone is urged to enter it.

[Heb 1:1-3 NET] 1 After God spoke long ago in various portions and in various ways to our ancestors through the prophets, 2 in these last days he has spoken to us in a son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he created the world. 3 The Son is the radiance of his glory and the representation of his essence, and he sustains all things by his powerful word, and so when he had accomplished cleansing for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.

And Zechariah predicted that in the time of the Messiah (vs 1) God promised to "remove the prophets and the unclean spirit from the land":

[Zec 13:1-5 NET] 1 "In that day there will be a fountain opened up for the dynasty of David and the people of Jerusalem to cleanse them from sin and impurity. 2 And also on that day," says the LORD who rules over all, "I will remove the names of the idols from the land and they will never again be remembered. Moreover, I will remove the prophets and the unclean spirit from the land. 3 Then, if anyone prophesies in spite of this, his father and mother to whom he was born will say to him, 'You cannot live, for you lie in the name of the LORD.' Then his father and mother to whom he was born will run him through with a sword when he prophesies. 4 "Therefore, on that day each prophet will be ashamed of his vision when he prophesies and will no longer wear the hairy garment of a prophet to deceive the people. 5 Instead he will say, 'I am no prophet - indeed, I am a farmer, for a man has made me his indentured servant since my youth.'

He goes on to describe people avoiding becoming a prophet or even admitting it if one is one, like the plague.

So the question is, are the NT references to the end of the time of the prophets related to Zechariah 13:1-5 or is Zechariah just concerned with false prophets?

Related question: Are Luke 16:16 and Hebrews 1:1-3 allusions to Zechariah 13:1-5?

  • Could you elaborate your question to show why you think there might be an allusion? I think I know what you're getting at, but a few clarifying sentences around the cited verses would be helpful.
    – Soldarnal
    Oct 25, 2018 at 18:17

1 Answer 1


The important identifying word in Zech 13:1-5 is (v2) "prophets" which reflects the underlying Hebrew. However, it is evident that "false prophets" are intended because several following remarks identify beyond doubt such as:

  • A threat of death for such prophets (v3a)
  • These prophets tell lies (v3b, v4b)
  • Prophets ashamed of their utterances (v4)

Matthew Poole's commentary and the Pulpit commentary arrive at the same conclusion, as does Gill's Exposition and Barnes' Notes, etc.

The two earliest translation of the Hebrew Bible, LXX and the Latin Vulgate both render this word, "false prophets". This suggest that these two translations either had another text as their exemplars, or, used an obvious interpretive translation.

Thus, this passage refers to a time when there would be:

  1. No false prophets nor unclean spirits (v2)
  2. No sin nor impurity(v1)
  3. No idolatry

It is immediately obvious that such a time has not yet arrived but is presumably still future.

Now to the central question posed: Are Luke 16:16 and Heb 1:1-3 alluding to Zech 13:1-5?

Both NT passages refer to the time of Jesus in the first century and His first advent; while Zech 13:1-5 refers to a still future time Further I find no discernible verbal parallels between these passages except for the single word "prophets". However this single word is used in quite different contexts: true prophets vs false prophets.

Therefore, I can see not allusions here.

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