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Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words
from probaino, "to go forward," i.e., of the movement of quadrupeds, was used among the Greeks of small cattle, sheep and goats; in the NT, of "sheep" only (a) naturally, e.g., Matthew 12:11,12; (b) metaphorically, of those who belong to the Lord, the lost ones of the house of Israel, Matthew 10:6; of those who are under the care of the Good Shepherd, e.g., Matthew 26:31; John 10:1 , lit., "the fold of the sheep," and John 10:2-27; 21:16,17 in some texts; Hebrews 13:20; of those who in a future day, at the introduction of the millennial kingdom, have shown kindness to His persecuted earthly people in their great tribulation, Matthew 25:33; of the clothing of false shepherds, Matthew 7:15; (c) figuratively, by way of simile, of Christ, Acts 8:32; of the disciples, e.g., Matthew 10:16; of true followers of Christ in general, Romans 8:36; of the former wayward condition of those who had come under His Shepherd care, 1 Peter 2:25; of the multitudes who sought the help of Christ in the days of His flesh, Matthew 9:36; Mark 6:34 .
a diminutive of No. 1, "a little sheep," is found in the best texts in John 21:16,17 (some have No. 1); distinct from arnia, "lambs" (ver. 15), but used as a term of endearment.Note: For "keeping sheep," Luke 17:7 , RV, see CATTLE.
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Vines, W. E., M. A. Entry for 'Sheep'. Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/ved/s/sheep.html. 1940.