As a frequent bible reader, I have often encountered the word Shepherd. It has been used in both a literal way and metaphorically. The New and Old Testaments have referred to the word Shepherd in different scriptures and contexts. Last Sunday, as I was preaching to my Sunday school class, we reviewed a few bible verses that referred to the Shepherd. Since we wanted to learn more about what the Bible says, I was curious to answer the question, how many times is the Shepherd mentioned in the Bible?
The Bible mentions Shepherd a total of 43 times. This is in the King James Version. It appears in 40 passages. It is mentioned most in the book of Jeremiah. It seems only once in Numbers, exodus, Hebrews, Acts, Hosea, Amos, 2 Chronicles, and 1 King. The New Testament refers to the Shepherd 16 times. According to the Bible, the word Shepherd represents Christ’s relation to his followers because Christ is the Shepherd, and his followers are the Sheep. The Bible also says that it was used to refer to church leaders by Paul. Lastly, it refers to the people who look after and tend to sheep.
In this article, join me as I examine the number of times the Shepherd is mentioned in the Bible, in the New and Old Testaments. We will explore some of the bible verses referring to it and what the Bible says about shepherds. By the end of this article, you will be able to understand the different teachings about a shepherd and how you can apply the teachings to your life as a Christian. Read on to learn more about the significance of a shepherd in the Bible.
Bible Verses About Shepherd
Luke 2:8 – this scripture talks about the shepherds who were looking after their Sheep during the night. They were in a field.
Matthew 9:36 – this passage explains how Jesus’ preaching and miracles have attracted many followers. Jesus becomes compassionate as he observes the large crowd of people. He compares the group to a flock of Sheep with no shepherd.
1 Peter 2:25 – reveals God’s intention for individuals who have found freedom in Christ. They should voluntarily submit to all authorities for the glory of God. It refers to the people who had gone astray from God’s word. The followers are called the Sheep, and the Lord is the Shepherd.
John 10:14 – Jesus, the Shepherd, expresses his love for his Sheep, who are religious followers, by saying that he knows his Sheep.
Psalms 23:1-6 – The Bible states that David said these words. It mentions that the Shepherd leads his flock. The people of the Lord are His Sheep, and He is their Shepherd.
What was a shepherd in the Bible?
According to the Bible, a shepherd tends to a flock of goats or sheep. A shepherd was a protector and a leader. The reaper is another name used to refer to a shepherd. In the Bible, the Shepherd’s duties include providing for the safety and welfare of the animals. In addition, he is in charge of giving his flock water and food. The Shepherd guards his Sheep against wild animals that might try to eat them. Additionally, he will defend them from predators that might try to steal their food or hurt them in any other way. This is seen in 1 Samuel 17:34-36 where David kills a bear and a lion on several instances to protect his flock.
John 10:11 explains that Shepherd was the word used to refer to Jesus. In this passage, Jesus explains that He is the Shepherd, and His followers, who are His sheep, recognize him. The Bible also suggests that a shepherd was a religious leader or authority figure. This is seen in the book of Ezekiel 34:23, which explains how the shepherds, who are Israel’s leaders, oppressed the flock, God’s followers.
What did Jesus mean when He said, “I am the good Shepherd?”
“I am” refers to Jesus’ distinctive, heavenly identity and mission. These words emphasize that He has a distinct personality. Jesus meant that he was divine, and he was the primary Shepherd. The words “the” highlight that Jesus meant there was no other shepherd like him as he was not the son of man but the son of God.
“Good” refers to that which is admirable, sound, excellent, and lovely. It suggests a good outer appearance and a decent character inside. In this expression, Jesus ultimately refers to His founded kindness, righteousness, and glory. He is the one who watches over, leads, and cares for His flock, similar to how a shepherd does with Sheep.
What does it mean that the Lord is my Shepherd (Psalm 23)?
King David’s Psalm 23 expresses trust and faith in God. The verse means that God is nurturing and loving. The psalmist would certainly have been familiar with David’s representation of God as a nurturing shepherd because he spent much of his childhood tending to his father’s Sheep.
This scripture highlights the Lord’s personal protection, direction, and affection for his people. It also means that the Lord, as a shepherd, is a leader. We can trust him as he is the Universe’s ruler. Having God as our Shepherd, we shall never be in want as he will provide for every need.
Who were shepherds in the Bible?
The Bible suggests that shepherds were people who signified peace and tranquillity. In the Bible, most times, shepherds were young boys. Some scriptures imply that Jesus was a shepherd at one time. Some of the shepherds included the sons of Jacob, Abel, Isaac, Abraham, Lot, Laban, Rachel, David, Moses, and Amos.
They devote much time to caring for and protecting their flocks. Shepherds were also compassionate individuals because they sincerely cared about the welfare of their sheep. Shepherds are sympathetic and understanding of them. This can be seen in Matthew 9:36. Jesus felt great compassion when He saw the crowd. He yearned to be their Shepherd.
The Bible also implies that Shepherds were loving and caring as they would never take a rod and strike a sheep with it or be envious of a sheep because it is cleaner and healthier. He is understanding of them, friendly, and patient with them.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.