- Bible Reference: Song of Solomon 1:8
- Included in Eastons: Yes
- Included in Hitchcocks: No
- Included in Naves: No
- Included in Smiths: Yes
- Included in Websters: Yes
- Included in Strongs: No
- Included in Thayers: No
- Included in BDB: No
A word naturally of frequent occurence in Scripture. Sometimes the word "pastor" is used instead (Jeremiah 2:8; 3:15; 10:21; 12:10; 17:16). This word is used figuratively to represent the relation of rulers to their subjects and of God to his people (Psalms 23:1; 80:1 ; Isaiah 40:11; 44:28; Jeremiah 25:34, 35; Nahum 3:18; John 10:11, 14; Hebrews 13:20; 1 Peter 2:25; 5:4).
The duties of a shepherd in an unenclosed country like Palestine were very onerous. "In early morning he led forth the flock from the fold, marching at its head to the spot where they were to be pastured. Here he watched them all day, taking care that none of the sheep strayed, and if any for a time eluded his watch and wandered away from the rest, seeking diligently till he found and brought it back. In those lands sheep require to be supplied regularly with water, and the shepherd for this purpose has to guide them either to some running stream or to wells dug in the wilderness and furnished with troughs. At night he brought the flock home to the fold, counting them as they passed under the rod at the door to assure himself that none were missing. Nor did his labours always end with sunset. Often he had to guard the fold through the dark hours from the attack of wild beasts, or the wily attempts of the prowling thief (see 1 Samuel 17:34).", Deane's David.
David, the shepherd, defends his flock against a lion and a bear
1 Samuel 17:34-35
Knows his flock by name
Keeps the sheep and goats apart
Waters the flocks
Was an abomination to the Egyptians
Angels appeared to
Daughters of Jethro
Of prophets, priests, Levites, and civil authorities
Name given to Cyrus
In a nomadic state of society every man, from the sheikh down to the slave, is more or less a shepherd. The progenitors of the Jews in the patriarchal age were nomads, and their history is rich in scenes of pastoral life. The occupation of tending the flocks was undertaken,not only by the sons of wealthy chiefs, (Genesis 30:29) ff.; Genesis 37:12 ff., but even by their daughters. (Genesis 29:6,8; Exodus 2:10) The Egyptian captivity did march to implant a love of settled abode, and consequently we find the tribes which still retained a taste for shepherd life selecting their own quarters apart from their brethren in the transjordanic district. (Numbers 32:1) ff. Thenceforward in Palestine proper the shepherd held a subordinate position. The office of the eastern shepherd, as described in the Bible, was attended with much hardship, and even danger. He was exposed to the extremes of heat and cold, (Genesis 31:40) his food frequently consisted of the precarious supplies afforded by nature, such as the fruit of the "sycamore" or Egyptian fig, (Amos 7:14) the "husks" of the carob tree, (Luke 15:16) and perchance the locusts and wild honey which supported the Baptist, (Matthew 3:4) he had to encounter the attacks of wild beasts, occasionally of the larger species, such as lions, nerves, panthers and bears, (1 Samuel 17:34; Isaiah 31:4; Jeremiah 5:6; Amos 5:12) nor was he free from the risk of robbers or predators hordes. (Genesis 31:39) To meet these various foes the shepherd's equipment consisted of the following articles- a mantle, made probably of sheep skin with the fleece on, which he turned inside out in cold weather, as implied in the comparison in (Jeremiah 43:12) (cf. Juv. xiv. 187.); a scrip or wallet, containing a small amount of food (1 Samuel 17:40) a sling, which is still the favorite weapon of the Bedouin shepherd, (1 Samuel 17:40) and lastly, a which served the double purpose of a weapon against foes and a crook for the management of the flock. (1 Samuel 17:40; Psalms 23:4; Zechariah 11:7) If the shepherd was at a distance from his home, he was provided with a light tent, (Solomon 1:8; Jeremiah 35:7) the removal of which was easily effected. (Isaiah 38:12) In certain localities, moreover, towers were erected for the double purpose of spying an enemy at a distance and of protecting the flock; such towers were erected by Uzziah and Jotham, (2 Chronicles 26:10; 27:4) while their existence in earlier times is testified by the name Migdal-edar (Genesis 35:21) Authorized Version "a tower of Edar;" (Micah 4:8) Authorized Version "tower of the flock." The routine of the shepherd's duties appears to have been as follows- In the morning he led forth his flock from the fold (John 10:4) which he did by going before them and calling to them, as is still usual in the East; arrived at the pasturage he watched the flock with the assistance of dogs, (Job 30:1) and should any sheep stray, he had to search for it until he found it, (Ezekiel 34:12; Luke 15:4) he supplied them with water, either at a running stream or at troughs attached to wells, (Genesis 29:7; 30:38; Exodus 2:16; Psalms 23:2) at evening he brought them back to the fold, and reckoned them to see that none were missing, by passing them "under the rod" as they entered the door of the enclosure (Leviticus 27:32; Ezekiel 20:37) checking each sheep, as it passed, by a motion of the hand, (Jeremiah 33:13) and, finally, he watched the entrance of the fold throughout the night, acting as porter. (John 10:3) [Sheepfold, under SHEEP] The shepherd's office thus required great watchfulness, particularly by night. (Luke 2:8) cf. Nahum 3:18 It also required tenderness toward the young and feeble, (Isaiah 40:11) particularly in driving them to and from the pasturage. (Genesis 33:13) In large establishments there are various grades of shepherds, the highest being styled "rulers," (Genesis 47:6) or "chief shepherds," (1 Peter 5:4) in a royal household the title of abbir "mighty," was bestowed on the person who held the post. (1 Samuel 21:7) [SHEEP]
1. A man employed in tending, feeding and gaurding sheep in the pasture.
2. A swain; a rural lover.
3. The pastor of a parish, church or congregation; a minister of the gospel who superintends a church or parish, and gived instruction in spiritual things. God and Christ are in Scripture dinominated Shepherds, as they lead, protect and govern their people, and provide for their wilfare.
SHEP'HERDESS, noun A woman that tends sheep; hence, a rural lass.
She put herself into the garb of a sheperdess. Sidney.
SHEP'HERDISH, adjective Resembling a shepherd; suiting a shepherd; pastoral; rustic.
SHEP'HERDLY, adjective Pastoral; rustic.
SHEPHERD'S NEEDLE, noun A plant of the genus Scandix; Venus comb.
SHEPHERD'S POUCH, noun A plant of the genus Thlaspi.
SHEPHERD'S ROD, noun A plant of the genus Dipsacus; teasel.
SHEPHERD'S STAFF, noun A plant of the genus Dipsacus.