And he said, lo, [it is] yet high day
Noonday, when the sun is highest; at which time in those hot countries flocks used to be made to lie down in shady places, and by still waters, to which the allusion is in ( Psalms 23:2 ) ( Song of Solomon 1:7 ) ; or however the sun was still up very high, and there was a great deal of the day yet to come; for so the phrase is, "yet the day is great" or "much" F3, a long time still untonight:
neither [is it] time that the cattle should be gathered together;
off of the pastures, to be had home, and put into folds, which was usually done in the evening:
water ye the sheep, and go [and] feed [them];
give them water out of the well to drink, and then lead them out the pastures, and let them feed until the night is coming on: this he said not in an authoritative way, or in a surly ill natured manner, and as reproving them for their slothfulness; but kindly and gently giving his advice, who was a shepherd himself, and knew what was proper to be done; and this appears by the shepherds taking in good part what he said, and returning a civil answer.