Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Sheep

Matterhorn Sheep©WikiC

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Sheep

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)

I suppose you think you already know as much about sheep and lambs as I can tell you, and perhaps you do. Yet I dare say you never took up your Bible to see how many times they are mentioned there, or how many beautiful things are said about them. Abel, who, as you know, was the third man that lived on the earth, was a

keeper of sheep;

and there have always been a great many shepherds in the world from that time to this. Some of the men who lived in old times had a great many sheep. Job had seven thousand, which God allowed to be taken from him; but afterwards gave him twice as many-fourteen thousand. At the time when Solomon’s beautiful temple was dedicated to God, he offered a sacrifice of a hundred and twenty thousand sheep. If you want to know how many that is, try to think of a pasture with a hundred sheep in it-then think of a hundred pastures, just like it, with just as many sheep in each-then think of those hundred pastures taken twelve times over, and you will begin to understand how many there were. It is not common with us to have persons whose whole business it is to take care of sheep, but that was always the way in Bible countries. This was not done by servants, at least not always; for a great many rich men employed their children as shepherds. Rachel, who was afterwards the wife of Jacob,

kept her father’s sheep

-so did Jacob’s twelve sons-so did Moses for his father-in-law.

Sheep Fold©WikiC

Sheep Fold©WikiC

When God was about to make David king, he sent Samuel the prophet to do it by anointing him, or putting oil upon his head. David had six brothers, and Samuel did not know which of all the sons was to be king; but both he and their father Jesse supposed it would be one of the older ones, and nobody remembered even to call little David, who had been left with the sheep, until they found that he was the one whom God had chosen. David often spoke of his shepherd-life after he became a king, and even when he was an old man. You remember that most beautiful psalm of his, the twenty-third,

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want: he maketh me to lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me beside the still waters.

That is the way they are accustomed to do in those countries: the shepherd walks on, and the sheep follow where he wishes them to go. So Christ says,

And when he (the shepherd) putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.

The sheep in many countries are in danger from wolves, which prowl about and try to carry them off; so it is necessary to watch them by night as well as by day. You remember the shepherds were watching their flocks by night when the bright angels appeared to tell the glad tidings that A SAVIOR had come; and they were the first to hear that sweet song in the stillness of the night, when all around were hushed in sleep.

Good Shepherd

Good Shepherd

The sheep is so timid and gentle that it needs the protection of man, and without the care of the shepherd would often stray away and be lost, or devoured by other animals. David says,

I have gone astray like a lost sheep;

and in Isaiah we read,

All we like sheep have gone astray.

Is not this true of us-that we have gone away, far away, from Jesus our good shepherd? Perhaps, dear child, you are wandering still; but why should you thus go on, alone, and every hour in danger? Why should you, when he calls you back with his voice of kindness, and is ready to

gather you with his arms, and carry you in his bosom.

as the shepherd does his tender lambs?


Harriet Newell Cook – Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Nave’s Topical Bible – Sheep

Torrey’s Topical Textbook – Sheep

(Photos ©WikiC)


Lee’s Four Word Thursday – 3/24/16


The Nat’l Geo photograph is identified as being from Vashlovani National Park in eastern Georgia (i.e., former Soviet Union “Georgia”, not the one that produces peaches in America!).



Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of Me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad. (Matthew 26:31)

The Nat’l Geo photograph is identified as being from Vashlovani National Park in eastern Georgia (i.e., former Soviet Union “Georgia”, not the one that produces peaches in America!).


More Daily Devotionals


Birds of the Bible – More Value

Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) by Nikhil

Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) by Nikhil

We have mentioned the sparrow many times in the blog and about how God takes care of them, as in the following articles:

Birds of the Bible – God’s Care for BirdsSparrow IISparrow I and Eye of the Beholder – House Sparrows

This time, I would like point out the part about being of “more value.” In Matthew 10:29-33, the two sparrows are mentioned as being sold for a farthing, a very small amount. According to A. Barnes’ Notes, “The argument is, that if He takes care of birds of the least value, if He regards so small a thing as the hair of the head, and numbers it, He will certainly protect and provide for you. You need not, therefore, fear what man can do to you.”

Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.(Matthew 10:29-33 KJV)

Northern Raven (Corvus corax) by Ray

Northern Raven (Corvus corax) by Ray

Also: “Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.” (Luke 12:7 NASB);  “Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds?” (Luke 12:24 NKJV) and He said to them, “What man is there among you who has a sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will he not take hold of it and lift it out? “How much more valuable then is a man than a sheep! So then, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” (Matthew 12:11-12 NASB)

We see then that “man” has more value than sparrows, ravens, birds, and sheep just from these few verses. Yet, each of them are greatly valued by their creator. Where else are things of value mentioned in Scripture?

David had the opportunity to kill King Saul, but he valued the life of the king more.

May the LORD repay every man for his righteousness and his faithfulness; for the LORD delivered you into my hand today, but I would not stretch out my hand against the LORD’s anointed. And indeed, as your life was valued much this day in my eyes, so let my life be valued much in the eyes of the LORD, and let Him deliver me out of all tribulation.” (1 Samuel 26:23-24 NKJV)

Wisdom and understanding have great value and Job mentions it in Job 28.

But where can wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? “Man does not know its value, Nor is it found in the land of the living. (Job 28:12-13 NASB)

Where then does wisdom come from? And where is the place of understanding? “Thus it is hidden from the eyes of all living And concealed from the birds of the sky. (Job 28:20-21 NASB)

Zechariah in his prophecy of the future, tells about the price of Christ the Lord as 30 shekels (pieces) of silver.

Then the LORD said to me, “Throw it to the potter, that magnificent price at which I was valued by them.” So I took the thirty shekels of silver and threw them to the potter in the house of the LORD. (Zechariah 11:13 NASB)

We are of great value to the Lord, so much so, that He gave His Life for our salvation. If you know the Lord as Savior, then, that “knowing Christ Jesus,” has tremendous value.

More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, (Philippians 3:8 NASB)

We trust you do know the Lord and realize how much He loves you and cares for you. Much more than the critters, whom he cares for tremendously.

See also Gospel Message