4684 sheep

4684 sheep

Sheep were a major feature of ancient Israel’s rural economy. Although they were of importance as a source of food and wool, they also symbolise helplessness and the need for guidance.

The economic importance of sheep

As a measure of wealth and God’s blessing 1Sa 25:2; Ps 144:13 See also Ge 12:16; Ge 30:43; Ex 9:3; Ex 22:1; Dt 22:1-2; Jos 6:21; 2Sa 12:2-3; Job 1:3; Job 42:12

As a source of food 1Sa 25:18 See also Lev 7:23; Nu 18:17-18; 1Sa 14:32; 2Sa 17:29; 1Ch 12:40

As a source of wool 2Ki 3:4 See also Ge 31:19; Ge 38:12-13; Dt 18:4; 1Sa 25:7; 2Sa 13:23-24; Eze 27:18

Sheep were used in striking a bargain Ge 21:27 See also Ge 20:14; Ge 30:25-43

The care of sheep was a recognised occupation 1Sa 16:11 See also Ge 29:2-3; Ge 37:13; 1Sa 17:34-35; SS 1:7; Hos 12:12

Sheep were used in sacrifice

Ex 20:24 See also Lev 1:10; Lev 22:19,23; Nu 22:40; Dt 18:3; 1Ki 1:9; 1Ki 8:5; Jn 2:14

The symbolic importance of sheep

Israel without a leader 1Ki 22:17 See also Nu 27:16-17; 2Sa 24:17; Zec 10:2; Zec 13:7; Mt 26:31

Helplessness Isa 53:7; Mt 9:36 See also Ps 44:11; Ps 49:14; Jer 12:3; Mt 10:16; Ro 8:36; Ps 44:22

Judgment Mt 25:32-33 See also Eze 34:17

Sin Isa 53:6; 1Pe 2:25 See also Ps 119:176; Eze 34:16; Mt 18:12

The people that belong to God Ps 100:3 See also Ps 74:1; Ps 78:52; Ps 79:13; Jer 23:1; Jer 50:6; Eze 34:11-15; Mic 2:12

Jesus Christ’s care for his own Lk 12:32; Jn 10:1-16,26-30 See also Jn 21:16-17; Heb 13:20

A picture of God’s future blessings Isa 5:17

See also

1220God as shepherd
2330Christ as shepherd
4478meat
4645fleece
4651goat
4663lamb
4681ram
4693wool
5611watchman
7130flock, God’s
7784shepherd

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