Shepherds in the Bible
As we turn to the Old Testament, the role of a shepherd is described many times. Isaiah describes the shepherd in detail, and the Bible also mentions shepherds as Joseph’s servants. This article explains the job of a shepherd and the characteristics of a good shepherd. We’ll also examine the character of a shepherd in the Bible and why shepherds are so important. And finally, we’ll explore the role of shepherds in the lives of Joseph and his sons.
Job of shepherd in the Old Testament
The Old Testament records the job of shepherd several times. It is in the Old Testament that sheep are portrayed as a symbol of the people of God. The Israelites were under Roman rule during this time, and they were waiting for the coming of the son of David. One of the prophets of the time, Zechariah, referred to sheep as sheep, and said that God would send a good shepherd from the house of David to guide them. His ministry began in 520BC.
The shepherd’s role in the Old Testament is a role of protection and care for the flock. This means not only feeding them but also providing them with water and protecting them from wild animals. Shepherds are also often considered to be peacemakers. Those who serve as shepherds have the responsibility to keep the flock healthy and free of disease.
Despite this role, the leadership in the Old Testament was abysmal. With the exception of David, the nation of Israel was led by leaders who failed to provide a good shepherd. Prophets throughout the Old Testament envisioned a time when God would send a good shepherd to care for the people.
Characteristics of a good shepherd
There are certain characteristics that a good shepherd must possess. First and foremost, a good shepherd is personally involved with his flock. He calls them by name, and he feels their heads. Besides this, a good shepherd is always willing to go above and beyond what an average shepherd does to protect his flock.
Shepherds should be 100% committed to their sheepfold. They will guide and protect their flock and make them feel safe. They spend days or weeks with the sheep and never leave them without first ensuring their safety. That is a good example for other members of the flock. A good shepherd also teaches his sheep to be alert to false leaders.
A good shepherd inspires others and makes them want to follow him. It is important to remember that God prepared Moses for leading the Israelites, but first he served as a shepherd for 40 years. Being humble is another essential characteristic of great leaders. It is essential to be aware of the wants and needs of others.
The shepherd’s ultimate concern is the welfare of his flock. This is because sheep have a natural predator – the devil. If a sheep wanders away, it is vulnerable to being attacked. Similarly, a good shepherd has a sheepfold and guards the flock against predators.
Isaiah’s description of a shepherd
The Bible describes the traits of a good shepherd and shows the focus a leader should have. The poor leaders of Israel failed to fulfill this focus. However, there is good news for shepherds. God will send His son as the Good Shepherd. He will lead and care for His people.
As a good shepherd, a shepherd provides nourishment and refreshment for his flock. Green pastures provide a resting place and a constant supply of food. The sheep are also given water that is refreshing and welcoming. This is especially important in the area where water is in short supply.
There are seven references to shepherds in the book of Isaiah. Twice, it is a reference to an actual shepherd, once to God’s Old Testament lawgiver Moses, and once to the promised Messiah. However, shepherds are also referenced twice to wicked leaders who brought down God’s judgment on their people.
The words of Isaiah in chapter 49 describe God as a tender shepherd. The words of Isaiah are similar to the attributes of a shepherd, but the language used differs. In chapter 49, Isaiah expands on his theme. The use of the word shepherd in Isaiah’s prophecy is symbolic, and the metaphor is meant to convey a sense of confidence and security.
Joseph’s servants were shepherds
The title of one of Joseph’s servants in the bible is Shepherd. It is the title of a position that is abominable in the eyes of the world. The family was not willing to listen to Joseph’s request, but God was gracious and opened doors for Joseph.
Joseph was kept from succumbing to Egyptian culture by the fact that his servants were shepherds. The Egyptians were not accustomed to intermingling with serfs. Egypt was in a border land, Goshen, and it would be a shame for the Egyptians to associate with these slaves. The brothers also kept away from the Egyptians in order not to provoke jealousy in them.
Joseph’s brothers ignored his advice and did not tell Pharaoh that his brothers were shepherds. Instead, they went to Beersheba, where they offered sacrifices to the god of their father Isaac. Joseph realized that the people were starving, so he decided to trade their cattle for food. He also made a deal with Pharaoh’s priests.
Initially, Joseph’s brothers were forbidden to keep sheep or cattle in Egypt, but he was able to convince Pharaoh to give them a separate territory so they could protect their religion and culture from the Egyptians. As a result, they were allowed to settle in Goshen, a fertile area near the mouth of the Nile.
Saul’s servants were shepherds
Some of Saul’s servants were shepherds. For instance, the chiefest of his herdsmen was named Doeg the Edomite. These men were assigned to look after the flocks and livestock that Saul had given to them. This was to ensure that these men would fulfill the trust that Saul placed in them. However, the chiefest did not have this exact role.
The horn of oil was a ram’s horn that was filled with olive oil. This was used to anoint kings. The story is told in 1 Samuel 16:14-23. The horn of oil was also used for ceremonial cleansing before holy feasts.
The mass killing of the priests damages Saul’s ability to lead. Priests have the Urim and Thummim, which allow them to seek God’s will. Without priests, Saul would be unable to ask for God’s will. Hence, he would turn to sorcery. The high priest Abiathar, however, is the only priest who escapes the slaughter. As a result, David’s band was delayed. In the meantime, a fast rider meets up with Saul’s army. He had an urgent message for Saul.
Joshua was Israel’s next leader
After Moses’ death, Joshua stepped into the essential position of leader. But unlike his predecessor, Joshua did not usurp power, but rather he served God alone. During Joshua’s lifetime, Israel served the Lord and worshipped Him. This faithfulness, however, began to wane by the time of the Judges. It was largely due to the faithfulness of Joshua’s predecessor, Moses.
Joshua was considered the heir to Moses, and he was entrusted with the leadership of the people of Israel. His main task was to lead Israel to its divine inheritance. This included destroying armies and forts that stood in the way. Later Israelite kings would follow his example. As a result, Joshua is considered a prototype of future Israelite leaders. Although his actions may not have been the most ideal, his deeds were seen as righteous.
Joshua is the successor to Moses, but he also became a prophet in his own right. He led the Israelites into the land of Canaan after the death of Moses. He believed that God had commanded the Israelites to kill Canaanite population centers. He also established important religious shrines and apportioned tribal territories for settlement. Although there are many controversies regarding the historical accuracy of Joshua’s life, his life and behavior remains a compelling example of following God’s will.
The Bedouin shepherds of the Biblical desert were responsible for discovering a collection of ancient texts – the Dead Sea Scrolls. These texts are of tremendous religious, cultural, historical, and linguistic value. Over the past century, tens of thousands of fragments were discovered. But only a handful of scholars had access to them. And until recently, no one had known how these scrolls were found.
Bedouin shepherds did not face the same kind of predators as David, but their work was just as demanding. Sheep were easy prey, and shepherds had to be vigilant in protecting their flocks from wild animals. Traditionally, Bedouin shepherds kept a dog to protect their flocks from predators. While the Bible does not mention Bedouin shepherds in detail, a few of its references to shepherds also mention dogs.
The Bedouin tribe has undergone several changes over the years. They are known by many different names. The Assyrians called them Arabaa, and in Arabic they are referred to as a’rab. While many Bedouins have abandoned their nomadic lifestyle, many still practice the traditional Bedouin culture.