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Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament

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 Verse 11
Chapter 9
Verse 13
Chapter 11

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John 10:12

He that is a hireling (o mistwtov).
Old word from mistow, to hire (Matthew 20:1) from mistov (hire, wages, Luke 10:7), in N.T. only in this passage. Literally, "the hireling and not being a shepherd" (o mistwtov kai ouk wn poimhn). Note ouk with the participle wn to emphasize the certainty that he is not a shepherd in contrast with mh eiserxomenov in verse 1 (conceived case). See same contrast in 1 Peter 1:8 between ouk idontev and mh orwntev. The hireling here is not necessarily the thief and robber of verses 1,8. He may conceivably be a nominal shepherd (pastor) of the flock who serves only for the money, a sin against which Peter warned the shepherds of the flock "not for shameful gain" (1 Peter 5:2).

Whose own (ou idia).
Every true shepherd considers the sheep in his care "his own" (idia) even if he does not actually "own" them. The mere "hireling" does not feel so.

Beholdeth (tewrei).
Vivid dramatic present, active indicative of tewrew, a graphic picture.

The wolf coming (ton lukon erxomenon).
Present middle predicate participle of erxomai.

Leaveth the sheep, and fleeth (apihsin ta probata kai peugei).
Graphic present actives again of apihmi and peugw. The cowardly hireling cares naught for the sheep, but only for his own skin. The wolf was the chief peril to sheep in Palestine. See Matthew 10:6 where Jesus says: "Behold I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves."

And the wolf snatcheth them and scattereth them (kai o lukov arpazei kai skorpizei).
Vivid parenthesis in the midst of the picture of the conduct of the hireling. Bold verbs these. For the old verb arpazw see John 6:15; Matthew 11:12, and for skorpizw, late word (Plutarch) for the Attic skedannumi, see Matthew 12:30. It occurs in the vision of Ezekiel (Ezekiel 34:5) where because of the careless shepherds "the sheep became meat to all the beasts of the field, and were scattered." Jesus uses arpazw in 10:29 where no one is able "to snatch" one out of the Father's hand.


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright © Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on John 10:12". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". <>. Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960.


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