- Bible Reference: Matthew 7:15
- 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
Are of different varieties. Probably the flocks of Abraham and Isaac were of the wild species found still in the mountain regions of Persia and Kurdistan. After the Exodus, and as a result of intercourse with surrounding nations, other species were no doubt introduced into the herds of the people of Israel. They are frequently mentioned in Scripture. The care of a shepherd over his flock is referred to as illustrating God's care over his people (Psalms 23:1, 2; 74:1; 77:20; Isaiah 40:11; 53:6; John 10:1-5, 7-16).
"The sheep of Palestine are longer in the head than ours, and have tails from 5 inches broad at the narrowest part to 15 inches at the widest, the weight being in proportion, and ranging generally from 10 to 14 lbs., but sometimes extending to 30 lbs. The tails are indeed huge masses of fat" (Geikie's Holy Land, etc.). The tail was no doubt the "rump" so frequently referred to in the Levitical sacrifices (Exodus 29:22; Leviticus 3:9; 7:3; 9:19). Sheep-shearing was generally an occasion of great festivity (Genesis 31:19; 38:12, 13; 1 Samuel 25:4-8, 36; 2 Samuel 13:23-28).
Offered in sacrifice:
Required in the Mosaic offerings
Land adapted to the raising of sheep:
Jacob's management of
Milk of, used for food
Genesis 31:19; Genesis 38:12-17; Isaiah 53:7
Feasting at the time of shearing
1 Samuel 25:11; 1 Samuel 25:36; 2 Samuel 13:23
First fleece of, belonged to priests and Levites
Tribute paid in
2 Kings 3:4; 1 Chronicles 5:21; 2 Chronicles 17:11
1 Chronicles 21:17; Psalms 74:1; Jeremiah 13:20
Of lost sinners
Matthew 9:36; Matthew 10:6
Of the righteous
Jeremiah 50:17; Jeremiah 26:34; Matthew 26:31; Mark 14:27; John 10:1-16
Of the defenselessness of ministers
Parable of the lost
Matthew 18:11-13; Luke 15:4-7
Sheep were an important part of the possessions of the ancient Hebrews and of eastern nations generally. The first mention of sheep occurs in (Genesis 4:2) They were used in the sacrificial offering,as, both the adult animal, (Exodus 20:24) and the lamb. See (Exodus 29:28; Leviticus 9:3; 12:6) Sheep and lambs formed an important article of food. (1 Samuel 25:18) The wool was used as clothing. (Leviticus 13:47) "Rams skins dyed red" were used as a covering for the tabernacle. (Exodus 25:5) Sheep and lambs were sometimes paid as tribute. (2 Kings 3:4) It is very striking to notice the immense numbers of sheep that were reared in Palestine in biblical times. (Chardin says he saw a clan of Turcoman shepherds whose flock consisted of 3,000,000 sheep and goats, besides 400,000 Feasts of carriage, as horses, asses and camels.) Sheep-sheering is alluded to (Genesis 31:19) Sheepdogs were employed in biblical times. (Job 30:1) Shepherds in Palestine and the East generally go before their flocks, which they induce to follow by calling to them, comp. (John 10:4; Psalms 77:20; 80:1) though they also drive them. (Genesis 33:13) The following quotation from Hartley's "Researches in Greece and the Levant," p. 321, is strikingly illustrative of the allusions in (John 10:1-16) "Having had my attention directed last night to the words in (John 10:3) I asked my man if it was usual in Greece to give names to the sheep. He informed me that it was, and that the sheep obeyed the shepherd when he called them by their names. This morning I had an opportunity of verifying the truth of this remark. Passing by a flock of sheep I asked the shepherd the same question which I had put to the servant, and he gave me the same answer. I then had him call one of his sheep. He did so, and it instantly left its pasturage and its companions and ran up to the hands of the shepherd with signs of pleasure and with a prompt obedience which I had never before observed in any other animal. It is also true in this country that a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him. The shepherd told me that many of his sheep were still wild, that they had not yet learned their names, but that by teaching them they would all learn them." The common sheer, of Syria and Palestine are the broad-tailed. As the sheep is an emblem of meekness, patience and submission, it is expressly mentioned as typifying these qualities in the person of our blessed Lord. (Isaiah 53:7; Acts 8:32) etc. The relation that exists between Christ, "the chief Shepherd," and his members is beautifully compared to that which in the East is so strikingly exhibited by the shepherds to their flocks [SHEPHERD]
SHEEP, noun sing. and plu.
1. An animal of the genus Ovis, which is one of the most useful species that the Creator has bestowed upon man, and its wool constitutes a principal material of warm clothing, and its flesh is a great article of fool. The sheep is remarkable for its harmless temper ant its tmidity. the varieties are numerous.
2. In contempt, a silly fellow.
3. Figuratively, God's people are called sheep, as being under the government and protection of Christ, the great Shepherd.
An ancient gate of Jerusalem.
Nehemiah 3:1; Nehemiah 3:32; Nehemiah 12:39; John 5:2
SHEE'P-BITE, verb transitive [sheep and bite.] To practice petty thefts. [Not in use.
SHEE'P-BITER, noun One who practices petty thefts. [Not in use.]
SHEE'PCOT, noun [sheep snd cot.] A small inclosure for sheep; a pen.
A strong fenced enclosure for the protection of the sheep gathered within it (Numbers 32:24; 1 Chronicles 17:7; Psalms 50:9; 78:70). In John 10:16 the Authorized Version renders by "fold" two distinct Greek words, aule and poimne, the latter of which properly means a "flock," and is so rendered in the Revised Version. (See also Matthew 26:31; Luke 2:8; 1 Corinthians 9:7.) (See FOLD.)
SHEE'PFOLD, noun [sheep and fold.] A place where sheep are collected or confined.
One of the gates of Jerusalem mentioned by Nehemiah (3:1, 32; 12:39). It was in the eastern wall of the city.
one of the gates of Jerusalem as rebuilt by Nehemiah. (Nehemiah 3:1,32; 12:39) It stood between the tower of Meah and the chamber of the corner, ch. (Nehemiah 3:1,32) or gate of the guard-house, ch. (Nehemiah 12:39) Authorized Version, "prison-gate." The latter seems to have been at the angle formed by the junction of the wall of the city of David with that of the city of Jerusalem proper, having the sheep-gate on the north of it. The position of the sheep-gate may therefore have been on or near that of the Bab el Kattanin.
SHEE'PHOOK, noun [sheep and hook.] A hook fastened fastened to a pole, by which shepherds lay hold holsd on hte legs of their sheep.
1. Like a sheep; bashfus; timorous to excess; over-modest; meanly diffident.
2. Pertaining to sheep.
SHEE'PISHLY, adverb Bashfully; with mean timidity or diffidence.
SHEE'PISHNESS, noun Bashfulness; excessive modesty or diffidence; mean timorousness.
Occurs only in John 5:2 (marg., also R.V., "sheep-gate"). The word so rendered is an adjective, and it is uncertain whether the noun to be supplied should be "gate" or, following the Vulgate Version, "pool."
SHEE'P-M'ARKET, noun noun A place where sheep are sold.
(John 5:2) The world "market" is an interpolation of our translators. We ought probably to supply the word "gate."
SHEE'P-M'ASTER, noun [sheep and master.] A feeder of sheep; one that has the care of sheep.
SHEE'P'S-EYE, noun [sheep and eye.] A modest diffident look, such as lovers casst at their mistresses.
SHEE'P-SHANK, noun [sheep and shank.] Among seamen, a knot in a rope make to shorten it, as on a runner or a tie.
SHEE'P'S-HEAD, noun [sheep and head.] A fish caught on the shores of Connecticut and of Long Island, so called from the resemblance of its head to that of a sheep. It is esteemed delicious food.
SHEE'P-SHEARER, noun [sheep and shear.] One that shears or cuts off the wool from sheep.
1. The act of shearing sheep.
2. The time of shearing sheep; also, a feast make on that occasion.
SHEE'PSKIN, noun The skin of a sheep; or the lether prepared from it.
SHEE'P-STEALER, noun [sheep and steal.] One that steals sheep.
SHEE'P-STEALING, noun the act of stealing sheep.
SHEE'P-WALK, noun [sheep and walk.] Pasture for sheep; a place where sheep feed.