are of different varieties. Probably the flocks of Abraham and Isaac were of the wild species found still in the mountain regions of Persia and Kurdistan. After the Exodus, and as a result of intercourse with surrounding nations, other species were no doubt introduced into the herds of the people of Israel. They are frequently mentioned in Scripture. The care of a shepherd over his flock is referred to as illustrating God's care over his people ( Psalms 23:1 Psalms 23:2 ; 74:1 ; 77:20 ; Isaiah 40:11 ; 53:6 ; John 10:1-5 John 10:7-16 ).
"The sheep of Palestine are longer in the head than ours, and have tails from 5 inches broad at the narrowest part to 15 inches at the widest, the weight being in proportion, and ranging generally from 10 to 14 lbs., but sometimes extending to 30 lbs. The tails are indeed huge masses of fat" (Geikie's Holy Land, etc.). The tail was no doubt the "rump" so frequently referred to in the Levitical sacrifices ( Exodus 29:22 ; Leviticus 3:9 ; 7:3 ; 9:19 ). Sheep-shearing was generally an occasion of great festivity ( Genesis 31:19 ; Genesis 38:12 Genesis 38:13 ; 1 Samuel 25:4-8 1 Samuel 25:36 ; 2 Sam. 13:23-28 ).
M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition,
published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain, copy freely.
[N] indicates this entry was also found in Nave's Topical Bible
[T] indicates this entry was also found in Torrey's Topical Textbook
[S] indicates this entry was also found in Smith's Bible Dictionary
Bibliography InformationEaston, Matthew George. "Entry for Sheep". "Easton's Bible Dictionary".