The sheep-shearing is done in the springtime, either by the owners (Genesis 31:19; 38:13; Deuteronomy 15:19; 1 Samuel 25:2,4) or by regular "shearers" (gazaz) (1 Samuel 25:7,11; Isaiah 53:7). There were special houses for this work in Old Testament times (2 Kings 10:12,14). The shearing was carefully done so as to keep the fleece whole (Judges 6:37). The sheep of a flock are not branded but spotted. Lime or some dyestuff is painted in one or more spots on the wool of the back as a distinguishing mark. In 2 Kings 3:4, Mesha, the chief or sheikh of Moab, was a sheep-master, literally, "a sheep spotter."

James A. Patch

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Entry for 'SHEEP-SHEARING'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". 1915.