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Adjacent Words

Shepard, Sam
Shepherd bird
shepherd dog
Shepherd kings
shepherd's check
shepherd's clock
Shepherd's club
shepherd's crook
shepherd's dog
Shepherd's needle
shepherd's pie
shepherd's pipe
shepherd's plaid
shepherd's pouch
shepherd's purse

Shepherd definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

1. A man employed in tending, feeding and gaurding sheep in the pasture.
2. A swain; a rural lover.
3. The pastor of a parish, church or congregation; a minister of the gospel who superintends a church or parish, and gived instruction in spiritual things. God and Christ are in Scripture dinominated Shepherds, as they lead, protect and govern their people, and provide for their wilfare.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: a clergyman who watches over a group of people
2: a herder of sheep (on an open range); someone who keeps the sheep together in a flock [syn: sheepherder, shepherd, sheepman] v
1: watch over like a shepherd, as a teacher of her pupils
2: tend as a shepherd, as of sheep or goats

Merriam Webster's

I. noun Etymology: Middle English sheepherde, from Old English sc?aphyrde, from sc?ap sheep + hierde herdsman; akin to Old English heord herd Date: before 12th century 1. a person who tends sheep 2. pastor 3. German shepherd II. transitive verb Date: 1790 1. to tend as a shepherd 2. to guide or guard in the manner of a shepherd <shepherded the bill through Congress>

Oxford Reference Dictionary

n. & v. --n. 1 (fem. shepherdess) a person employed to tend sheep, esp. at pasture. 2 a member of the clergy etc. who cares for and guides a congregation. --v.tr. 1 a tend (sheep etc.) as a shepherd. b guide (followers etc.). 2 marshal or drive (a crowd etc.) like sheep. Phrases and idioms: the Good Shepherd Christ. shepherd dog a sheepdog. shepherd's crook a staff with a hook at one end used by shepherds. shepherd's needle a white-flowered common plant, Scandix pecten-veneris, with spiny fruit. shepherd's pie a dish of minced meat under a layer of mashed potato. shepherd's plaid 1 a small black and white check pattern. 2 woollen cloth with this pattern. shepherd's purse a white-flowered hairy cornfield plant, Capsella bursa-pastoris, with triangular or cordate pods. Etymology: OE sceaphierde (as SHEEP, HERD)

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Shepherd Shep"herd, n. [OE. schepherde, schephirde, AS. sce['a]phyrde; sce['a]p sheep + hyrde, hirde, heorde, a herd, a guardian. See Sheep, and Herd.] 1. A man employed in tending, feeding, and guarding sheep, esp. a flock grazing at large. 2. The pastor of a church; one with the religious guidance of others. Shepherd bird (Zo["o]l.), the crested screamer. See Screamer. Shepherd dog (Zo["o]l.), a breed of dogs used largely for the herding and care of sheep. There are several kinds, as the collie, or Scotch shepherd dog, and the English shepherd dog. Called also shepherd's dog. Shepherd dog, a name of Pan. --Keats. Shepherd kings, the chiefs of a nomadic people who invaded Egypt from the East in the traditional period, and conquered it, at least in part. They were expelled after about five hundred years, and attempts have been made to connect their expulsion with narrative in the book of Exodus. Shepherd's club (Bot.), the common mullein. See Mullein. Shepherd's crook, a long staff having the end curved so as to form a large hook, -- used by shepherds. Shepherd's needle (Bot.), the lady's comb. Shepherd's plaid, a kind of woolen cloth of a checkered black and white pattern. Shephered spider (Zo["o]l.), a daddy longlegs, or harvestman. Shepherd's pouch, or Shepherd's purse (Bot.), an annual cruciferous plant (Capsella Bursapastoris) bearing small white flowers and pouchlike pods. See Illust. of Silicle. Shepherd's rod, or Shepherd's staff (Bot.), the small teasel.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Shepherd Shep"herd, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Shepherded; p. pr. & vb. n. Shepherding.] To tend as a shepherd; to guard, herd, lead, or drive, as a shepherd. [Poetic] White, fleecy clouds . . . Shepherded by the slow, unwilling wind. --Shelley.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

(shepherds, shepherding, shepherded) 1. A shepherd is a person, especially a man, whose job is to look after sheep. N-COUNT 2. If you are shepherded somewhere, someone takes you there to make sure that you arrive at the right place safely. She was shepherded by her guards up the rear ramp of the aircraft. VERB: usu passive, be V-ed prep/adv

Easton's Bible Dictionary

a word naturally of frequent occurence in Scripture. Sometimes the word "pastor" is used instead (Jer. 2:8; 3:15; 10:21; 12:10; 17:16). This word is used figuratively to represent the relation of rulers to their subjects and of God to his people (Ps. 23:1; 80:1; Isa. 40:11; 44:28; Jer. 25:34, 35; Nahum 3:18; John 10:11, 14; Heb. 13:20; 1 Pet. 2:25; 5:4).

The duties of a shepherd in an unenclosed country like Palestine were very onerous. "In early morning he led forth the flock from the fold, marching at its head to the spot where they were to be pastured. Here he watched them all day, taking care that none of the sheep strayed, and if any for a time eluded his watch and wandered away from the rest, seeking diligently till he found and brought it back. In those lands sheep require to be supplied regularly with water, and the shepherd for this purpose has to guide them either to some running stream or to wells dug in the wilderness and furnished with troughs. At night he brought the flock home to the fold, counting them as they passed under the rod at the door to assure himself that none were missing. Nor did his labours always end with sunset. Often he had to guard the fold through the dark hours from the attack of wild beasts, or the wily attempts of the prowling thief (see 1 Sam. 17:34).", Deane's David.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

shep'-erd (ro`eh, ro`i; poimen, "a feeder"): The sheep owner frequently tends the flocks himself (Ge 4:4; 30:40; compare Eze 34:12), but more often he delegates the work to his children (Ge 29:9; 1Sa 16:19; 17:15) or relatives (Ge 31:6). In such cases the sheep have good care because the keepers have a personal interest in the well-being of the animals, but when they are attended by a hireling (1Sa 17:20) the flocks may be neglected or abused (Isa 56:10,11; Eze 34:8,10; Zec 11:15,17; Joh 10:12). The chief care of the shepherd is to see that the sheep find plenty to eat and drink. The flocks are not fed in pens or folds, but, summer and winter, must depend upon foraging for their sustenance (Ps 23:2). In the winter of 1910-11 an unprecedented storm ravaged Northern Syria. It was accompanied by a snowfall of more than 3 ft., which covered the ground for weeks. During that time, hundreds of thousands of sheep and goats perished, not so much from the cold as from the fact that they could get no food. Goats hunt out the best feeding-grounds, but sheep are more helpless and have to be led to their food (compare Nu 27:16,17); nor do they possess the instinct of many other animals for finding their way home (compare Eze 34:6-8). Flocks should be watered at least once a day. Where there are springs or streams this is an easy matter. Frequently the nearest water is hours away. One needs to travel in the dry places in Syria or Palestine, and then enter the watered valleys like those in Edom where the flocks are constantly being led for water, to appreciate the Psalmist's words, "He leadcth me beside still waters." Sometimes water can be obtained by digging shallow wells (Ge 26:18-22,25,32). The shepherd frequently carries with him a pail from which the sheep can drink when the water is not accessible to them. On the mountain tops the melting snows supply the needed water. In other districts it is drawn from deep wells (Ge 29:2; Joh 4:6). The usual time for watering is at noon, at which time the flocks are led to the watering-places (Ge 29:2,3). After drinking, the animals lie down or huddle together in the shade of a rock while the shepherd sleeps. At the first sound of his call, which is usually a peculiar guttural sound, hard to imitate, the flock follow off to new feeding-grounds. Even should two shepherds call their flocks at the same time and the sheep be intermingled, they never mistake their own master's voice (Joh 10:3-5).

The shepherd's equipment is a simple one. His chief garment is a cloak woven from wool or made from sheepskins. This is sleeveless, and so made that it hangs like a cloak on his shoulders. When he sleeps he curls up under it, head and all. During the summer a lighter, short-sleeved `aba or coat is worn. He carries a staff or club (see STAFF), and a characteristic attitude is to make a rest for his arms by placing his staff on his shoulders against the back of his neck. When an especially productive spot is found, the shepherd may pass the time, while the animals are grazing, by playing on his pipe (Jud 5:16). He sometimes carries a sling (qela`) of goat's hair (1Sa 17:40). His chief belongings are kept in a skin pouch or bag (keli) (1Sa 17:40). This bag is usually a whole tawed skin turned wrong side out, with the legs tied up and the neck forming the opening. He is usually aided in the keeping and the defending of the sheep by a dog (Job 30:1). In Syria the Kurdish dogs make the best protectors of the sheep, as, unlike the cowardly city dogs, they are fearless and will drive away the wild beasts. The shepherd is often called upon to aid the dogs in defending the sheep (Ge 31:39; 1Sa 17:34,35; Isa 31:4; Jer 5:6; Am 3:12).


The frequent use of the word "shepherd" to indicate a spiritual overseer is familiar to Bible readers (Ps 23:1; 80:1; Ec 12:11; Isa 40:4; 63:14; Jer 31:10; Eze 34:23; 37:24; Joh 21:15-17; Eph 4:11; 1Pe 5:1-4). We still use the term "pastor," literally, "a shepherd." Leaders in temporal affairs were also called shepherds (Ge 47:17 margin; Isa 44:28; 63:11). "Sheep without a shepherd" typified individuals or nations who had forgotten Yahweh (Nu 27:17; 1Ki 22:17; 2Ch 18:16; Eze 34:5,8; Zec 10:2; Mt 9:36; Mr 6:34).

Jesus is spoken of as the good shepherd (Joh 10:14); chief shepherd (1Pe 5:4); great shepherd (Heb 13:20); the one shepherd (Joh 10:16). "He will feed his flock like a shepherd, he will gather the lambs in his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and will gently lead those that have their young" (Isa 40:11) is a picture drawn from pastoral life of Yahweh's care over His children. A strong sympathy for helpless animals, though sometimes misdirected, is a marked characteristic of the people of Bible lands. The birth of offspring in a flock often occurs far off on the mountain side. The shepherd solicitously guards the mother during her helpless moments and picks up the lamb and carries it to the fold. For the few days, until it is able to walk, he may carry it in his arms or in the loose folds of his coat above his girdle.

See also SHEEP.

James A. Patch

Soule's Dictionary of English Synonyms

n. 1. Herdsman (of sheep). 2. Swain, rural lover. 3. Pastor, minister, clergyman.

Foolish Dictionary

One who depends on a crook for a living.

Moby Thesaurus

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