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ATS Bible Dictionary

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Additional Resources
• Nave's Topical Bible
» Lost sheep
» Sheep
» Sheep gate
» Sheep market
• Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
» Animals; traps for: & Clean, Dog, Sheep
» Gates
» Sheep; eating: & Skins, Animals
• Torrey's Topical Textbook
» Sheep
• Easton's Bible Dictionary
» Sheep
» Sheep-fold
» Sheep-gate
» Sheep-market
• Fausset's Bible Dictionary
» Sheep
» Sheep Gate
» Sheep Market
• Smith's Bible Dictionary
» Sheep
• International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
» Market, Sheep
» Sheep
» Sheep Gate
» Sheep Market
» Sheep Tending
» Sheep-Master
» Sheep-Shearing
Greek - tending sheep
Greek - sheep, sheepfold, sheep's
Greek - sheep market, sheep
Hebrew - sheep
Hebrew - sheep
Hebrew - sheep, sheepcotes, sheepfold, sheepshearers, Sheep, sheepfolds
Hebrew - sheep
Hebrew - sheepmaster, sheep breeder, sheepherders
Hebrew - sheep, sheep and another, sheep and one
Hebrew - sheep
Hebrew - mountain sheep

Of the Syrian sheep, according to Dr. Russell, there are two varieties; the one called Bedaween sheep, which differ in no respect from the larger kinds of sheep among us, except that their tails are somewhat longer and thicker; the others are those often mentioned by travellers on account of their extraordinary tails; and this species is by far the most numerous. The tail of one of these animals is very broad and large, terminating in a small appendage that turns back upon it. It is of a substance between fat and marrow, and is not eaten separately, but mixed with the lean meat in many of their dishes, and also often used instead of butter. A common sheep of this sort, without the head, feet, skin, and entrails, weighs from sixty to eighty pounds, of which the tail itself is usually ten or fifteen pounds, and when the animal is fattened, twice or thrice that weight, and very inconvenient to its owner.

The sheep or lamb was the common sacrifice under the Mosaic law; and it is to be remarked, that when the divine legislator speaks of this victim, he never omits to appoint that the rump or tail be laid whole on the fire of the altar, Exodus 29:22 Leviticus 3:9. The reason for this is seen in the account just given from Dr. Russell; from which it appears that this was the most delicate part of the animal, and therefore the most proper to be presented in sacrifice to Jehovah.

The innocence, mildness, submission, and patience of the sheep or lamb, rendered it peculiarly sheep and lamb, rendered it peculiarly suitable for a sacrifice, and an appropriate type of the Lamb of God, John 1:29. A recent traveller in Palestine witnessed the shearing of a sheep in the immediate vicinity of Gethsemane; and the silent, unresisting submission of the poor animal, thrown with its feet bound upon the earth, its sides rudely pressed by the shearer’s knees, while every movement threatened to lacerate the flesh, was a touching commentary on the prophet’s description of Christ, Isaiah 53:7 Acts 8:32-35.

There are frequent allusions in Scripture to these characteristics of the sheep, and to its proneness to go astray, Psalms 119:176 Isaiah 53:6. It is a gregarious animal also; and as loving the companionship of the flock and dependant of the protection and guidance of its master, its name is often given to the people of God, 2 Kings 22:17 Psalms 79:13 80:1 Matthew 25:32. Sheep and goats are still found in Syria feeding indiscriminately together, as in ancient times, Genesis 30:35 Matthew 25:32,33. The season of sheep shearing was one of great joy and festivity, 1 Samuel 25:5,8,36 2 Samuel 13:23.

Sheep-cotes or folds, among the Israelites, appear to have been generally open houses, or enclosures walled round, often in front of rocky caverns, to guard the sheep from beasts of prey by night, and the scorching heat of noon, Numbers 32:16 2 Samuel 7:8 Jeremiah 23:3,6 John 10:1-5. See SHEPHERD.

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary published in 1859. Public Domain, copy freely.

Bibliography Information
Rand, W. W. "Entry for 'SHEEP'". "American Tract Society Bible Dictionary".
<>. 1859.


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