Sense: ruler ⇔ shepherd
n. — a person who rules conceived of as a shepherd.
My servant David shall be king over them; and they shall all have one shepherd (רעה). They shall follow my ordinances and be careful to observe my statutes.
Eze 37:24 (NRSV)
Shepherding imagery was commonly used in relation to rulers in the Ancient Near East. For example, in The Context of Scripture we find this reference to Nabopolassar: “Nabopolassar, the king of justice, the shepherd called by Marduk, the creature of Ninmenna …” Not surprisingly, we also find this type of imagery used in the Bible. We see this in Eze 37:24 above and, according to the Bible Sense Lexicon concordance for this sense, over and over again in Ezekiel chapter 34. But, this might bring other passages to mind. Once we become aware of this metaphor by looking at Ancient Near eastern texts or by finding out about it in a place like the Bible Sense Lexicon, how does this influence the way that we understand texts like Ps 23, “the Lord is my Shepherd,” or John 10, “I am the good shepherd”? Consider revisiting these passages today to ponder whether this metaphor should influence our understanding of them, especially after reading a passage like Ezekiel 34.
What is the Bible Sense Lexicon?
Sense of the Day is based on content from Logos’ Bible Sense Lexicon, which organizes biblical Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek words by meaning based on a variety of semantic relationships. Sense of the Day provides examples of senses in context, along with insight into their application for theology and interpretation.
The Bible Sense Lexicon is a Logos dataset available in Logos 5 Gold and higher base packages. If you’re enrolled in the Logos Academic Discount Program, you can also find the Bible Sense Lexicon in the Biblical Languages base package. Take your studies even further by exploring semantic domains, engaging the biblical text like never before.
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