A ruminant mammal related to the goat. Sheep are mentioned in the Bible more than five hundred times, and a large variety of terms are employed to describe the different breeds, ages, and sex types. Sheep provided most necessities of life: milk (Deut 32:14; Isa 7:21; Isa 7:22), meat (1Sam 14:32), hides (Exod 25:5; Heb 11:37), and wool (Lev 13:47-48; Job 31:20). Even their horns were used, as containers for oil (1Sam 16:1) or as musical instruments (Josh 6:4). The Bible provides several references to the skill of the shepherd, who knows each of his animals by name, whose voice is recognized by his sheep (John 10:3-4), and who takes care of them in illness (Ezek 34:15-16). The constant search for greener pastures is a regular task (1Chr 4:39-40), as is the task of finding adequate shelter for the night (Luke 2:8; Num 32:24). The image of a shepherd proved an apt metaphor for God’s care of Israel (Ps 23). Likewise, Jesus compared Israel to sheep lost (Matt 10:6; Isa 53:6) and without a shepherd (Matt 9:36). Sheep also play a role in several parables of Jesus (Matt 12:11; Matt 18:12; Matt 25:33), and the Gospel of John pictures Jesus as a protecting shepherd, willing to give his life for his sheep (John 10:7-9); cf. Ezek 37:24; Ps 23:1; Heb 13:20).
14curds from the herd, and milk from the flock,
with fat of lambs and rams;
Bashan bulls and goats,
together with the choicest wheat—
you drank fine wine from t ... View more
21On that day one will keep alive a young cow and two sheep,
22and will eat curds because of the abundance of milk that they give; for everyone that is left in the land shall eat curds and honey.
32so the troops flew upon the spoil, and took sheep and oxen and calves, and slaughtered them on the ground; and the troops ate them with the blood.
5tanned rams' skins, fine leather, acacia wood,
37They were stoned to death, they were sawn in two, they were killed by the sword; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, persecuted, tormented ... View more
47Concerning clothing: when a leprous disease appears in it, in woolen or linen cloth,48in warp or woof of linen or wool, or in a skin or in anything made of sk ... View more
20whose loins have not blessed me,
and who was not warmed with the fleece of my sheep;
David Anointed as King
1The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul? I have rejected him from being king over Israel. Fill your horn with oil a ... View more
4with seven priests bearing seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark. On the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, the priests blowing th ... View more
3The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.4When he has brought out all his own, he ... View more
15I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will make them lie down, says the Lord GOD.16I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I w ... View more
39They journeyed to the entrance of Gedor, to the east side of the valley, to seek pasture for their flocks,40where they found rich, good pasture, and the land ... View more
The Shepherds and the Angels
8In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.
24Build towns for your little ones, and folds for your flocks; but do what you have promised.”
The Divine Shepherd
A Psalm of David.
1The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.2He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;3he re ... View more
6but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
6All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have all turned to our own way,
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
36When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
11He said to them, “Suppose one of you has only one sheep and it falls into a pit on the sabbath; will you not lay hold of it and lift it out?
12What do you think? If a shepherd has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of ... View more
33and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left.
7So again Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep.8All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen ... View more
24My servant David shall be king over them; and they shall all have one shepherd. They shall follow my ordinances and be careful to observe my statutes.
The Divine Shepherd
A Psalm of David.
1The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
20Now may the God of peace, who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant,