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Dictionary of Bible Themes – 7785 shepherd, as occupation
7785 shepherd, as occupation

7785 shepherd, as occupation

The occupation of a shepherd was both humble and honourable. In the marginal hill country of Palestine it was particularly demanding.

A shepherd as a keeper of flocks of animals

Ge 46:32 The Hebrew word refers to a keeper of goats and cattle as well as sheep.

The tasks of a shepherd

Tending, feeding and watering Ps 23:2 See also Ge 29:3; Ge 26:19-22; Ex 22:5; Lk 13:15; Jn 21:15-17

Keeping and protecting Jer 31:10 See also Ge 4:2; Ps 23:4 The rod is a crook (for extracting sheep from difficulty) and the staff a club (for warding off wild animals); 1Sa 17:34-37

Leading, not driving, sheep Jn 10:3-4 See also Ex 3:1; Ps 23:2; Ps 77:20; Isa 40:11; Jer 50:6

Gathering animals together Jn 10:3 See also Ps 147:4; Isa 40:26; Mt 25:32

The shepherd’s routine

The search for pasture Ge 37:17

The midday rest SS 1:7

The night-watch Lk 2:8; Jer 43:12

Shearing, an annual festival 1Sa 25:7-8

The use of pens and folds Ps 50:9; Hab 3:17; Jn 10:1,16

Breeding Ge 30:40

Rearing Rebekah’s ruse depended on a method used to get a ewe to accept an alien lamb: Ge 27:16,27

The problems faced by shepherds

Drought and dry winds Jer 12:4; Hos 4:3; Hos 13:15; Joel 1:17-20; Am 1:2

With animals and thieves 1Sa 17:34-37; 1Sa 25:15; Jn 10:1,12

Shepherds as employers

Job 1:3 See also 1Sa 25:2; 2Ki 3:4; Am 1:1

Shepherds as employees

The status of a shepherd 1Sa 16:11; 1Sa 17:28; Lk 2:8

The responsibilities of a shepherd Ge 31:39; Am 3:12 A shepherd who lost an animal to wild beasts had to produce evidence; Mt 18:12 pp Lk 15:4

See also

1220God as shepherd

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