SHEEP - probation
- Generally, tá próbata were animals, but especially smaller animals such as sheep and goats
- In some texts as in John 21:16, 17 the word is found in its diminutive form, probátion, little sheep. This is to be distinguished from arnı́on (721), lamb. Probátion was used as a term of endearment. Sheep, on account of their simplicity, mildness, inoffensiveness, patience and obedience, are used as emblems of believers in Christ
- The more general senses ‘cattle’ or ‘small cattle’ scarcely merit serious attention for our lit., though they are barely poss. in certain passages.
- probably neuter of a presumed derivative of 4260; something that walks forward (a quadruped), i.e. (specially), a sheep (literally or figuratively): — sheep(-fold).
- used (among the Ionians and Dorians) of all four-footed cattle
- Since the distribution of sheep throughout the world is somewhat less than that of goats, there may be more difficulties involved in finding an adequate term. In some instances terms for sheep are actually based upon a term for goat. For example, among Eskimos goats are well known because there are wild goats in the mountains, and sheep are accordingly called in some dialects ‘woolly goats’ or ‘goats that have wool.’ Among the Maya in Yucatan sheep were introduced by the Spanish and were first described as being ‘cotton deer,’ and the name still persists. 6 In some areas where sheep are not known at all, the meat of sheep is known, and accordingly sheep may be called by the name of the meat, for example, ‘mutton animals.’ But in most places where sheep are not indigenous, there is nevertheless some term for them, usually based upon a borrowing from a dominant language.
- For the translator, however, there are often problems involving the connotations of the term for sheep and for related expressions concerning their behavior and the ways in which they are ‘led.’ As already noted under the discussion of goats (4.19), sheep are frequently less prized than goats, and therefore it may seem strange in biblical texts to find sheep being given a preferential rating. What may appear even more difficult to understand is the suggestion that sheep are led by a shepherd rather than being driven. This fact may require some type of marginal note to accompany the text if people are to understand the basis for a number of similes and metaphors of the Scriptures. Furthermore, if the experience which people have of sheep is only their knowledge about wild sheep, then obviously references to the helplessness of sheep will be either meaningless or even contradictory. Again, a marginal note is in order.
- The noun πρόβατον occurs twice in Homer in the pl. with ref. to domesticated quadrupeds generally (Il. 14.124; 23.550; cf. the collective πρόβασις in Od. 2.75). This sense is found also in the early class. period, but the narrower meaning “sheep” becomes standard in Attic and Hel. writers. The term likely derives from the vb. προβαίνω G4581 (“to go forward, go before”), and some explain the semantic connection by pointing out that in mixed herds the small livestock (esp. the sheep), being weaker than the other animals, went ahead of them. The word can be used fig. as a term of abuse for anything inferior (e.g., of simpletons, Aristoph. Nub. 1203). It can also have a positive sense, however; Epict. comments that those over whom a king rules are sheep, and thus the ruler wails “as the shepherd [ποιμήν G4478] wails when a wolf carries off one of their sheep” (3.22.35). Various derivatives are attested, such as the diminutive προβάτιον (not a common term).
- The term πρόβατον is rare in older Gk. and does not occur at all in the tragic dramatists. The dimin. προβάτιον is also rare in Gk. In gen. πρόβατον means a. four-footed animals as distinct from those that swim or creep, esp. tame domestic animals, Hom. Il., 14, 124; Hdt., IV, 61; mares of Diomedes, Pind. Fr., 305; oxen, Hdt., IV, 61; horses, VI, 56; sacrificial animals, Hdt., I, 188, 207. πρόβατον soon comes to be used for small animals, so Hom. Il., 23, 550 (opp. ἵπποι); in Hdt., I, 133; VIII, 137 τὰ λεπτὰ τῶν προβάτων are sheep and goats. In Attic the ref. is esp. to sheep, Aristoph. Av., 714, so, too, the pap., P. Tebt., I, 53, 7; 64b, 16.
- The LXX uses próbaton for small cattle, offerings, and booty, as well as for a gift on the manumission of slaves (cf. Gen. 30:38; 22:7; Num. 31:28ff.; Dt. 15:14). The people are sheep (2 Sam. 24:17; Is. 63:11; Num. 27:17), and God is their shepherd (Ps. 100:3) who leads and saves them (Pss. 77:20; 78:52). Moses or the king may act on God’s behalf (Ps. 77:20; Jer. 13:10). The sheep suffer severely at the hands of unfaithful shepherds (Ezek. 34:23ff.). On their own they stray (Ps. 119:176; Is. 53:6). The innocent Servant is dumb like a sheep (Is. 53:7). With the restoration, the people will increase like sheep (Ezek. 36:24).
- πρόβατον; probaton, probatou, to (from probainō, properly, ‘that which walks forward’), from Homer down, the Septuagint chiefly for ṣoʾn, then for s′eh, sometimes for kebes′ and kes′eb (a lamb), properly, any four-footed, tame animal accustomed to graze, small cattle (opposed to large cattle, horses, etc.), most common a sheep or a goat; but especially a sheep, and so always in the N.T.:
- probaton; from 4260; cattle, esp. sheep, goats: —sheep(36), sheep’s(1).
- πρόβατον probaton is a noun occurring forty times with the primary meaning “sheep,” though it may also indicate any kind of small herd animal or cattle.
- b) The etymological fallacy. The myth of point meaning is closely related to the etymological fallacy. Words represent dynamic phenomena, their possible range of associated referents constantly changing, and changing unpredictably. In contemporary English the word “gay” has taken on a new meaning that is not recoverable from its etymology, and the word “presently” in most dialects of English no longer means “at once,” “in the present,” “now,” but its logical opposite, “not-at-once,” “not-now,” “not-in-the-present,” but “in-the-future.” Although it is true that the meanings of some compound lexemes may be deduced from their constituents (Greek ἀνθρωπάρεσκος, G473, man-pleaser), it is less evident why Greek πρόβατον (G4585), whose constituents suggest something that goes forward, should denote a sheep (!) (David Black, Linguistics for Students of New Testament Greek, 1988, 72, on a page that contains several ingenuous etymological notations).
- We have already made reference to the problem posed by paralinguistic gesture and the particular problem of winking. The relevant vb. קָרַץ is associated with the eye in Ps 35:19; Prov 10:10; 6:13, with the lips in Prov 16:30, and in Job 33:6 with clay. Its cognates carry the meaning “to cut.” In Ethiopic, for example, qäräṣe means incise, shear, cut, while a derived nominal is used for shears (Wolf Leslau, Concise Dictionary of Ge’ez, 1989, 84). We note particularly the hapleg. nominal form in Jer 46:20 is identified as some kind of stinging fly, gadfly (RSV), arguably “cutting” or “incising” creatures. The concept of “cutting” is appropriate to the passage in Job 33, and it is then tempting to interpret the association with winking in terms of a “sharp” flicker of the eyelid. But even if this process were correct, it could yield no clue at all to the meaning of the gesture, and the sharp flicker of the eyelid has no correlate in the compression of the lips. Semantic change is arbitrary, and the attempt to relate meanings to [Vol. 1, p. 147] etymologies must give way to the process of relation to usage and such clues as may be provided by context.
- From probainō, ‘that which walks forward’
- Among the Ionians and Dorians all four-footed cattle
- The LXX uses próbaton for small cattle
- Smaller animals such as sheep and goats
- most common a sheep or a goat; but especially a sheep, and so always in the N.T.:
GOAT - erı́phion
- 2055. ἐρίφιον erı́phion; gen. eriphı́ou, neut. noun, a diminutive of ériphos (2056), a goat. A kid, young goat (Matt. 25:33). The words ériphos, a young goat, and the diminutive erı́phion, appear in the picture of the last judgment where they are contrasted with sheep (próbata ). The point of contrast lies in the color rather than the character of the animals, the sheep being pure white while the goats are mostly covered with long black hair. In Song 4:1, the locks of the beloved are compared to “a flock of goats, that appear from Mount Gilead.” The Son of Man shall separate all the nations “as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats” (Matt. 25:32), which simile is quite true to pastoral life. Sheep and goats pasture together, but never trespass on each other’s domains; they are kept together but they do not mix; they may be seen to enter the fold in company, but once inside they are kept separate.
- 2056. ἔριφος ériphos; gen. erı́phou, masc. noun. A kid, young goat
- ἐρίφιον, ου, τό (s. next entry; Athen. 14, 661b; PThéad 8, 11 al.; Tob 2:13) dim. of ἔριφος, properly ‘kid’ but also goat (cp. the interchange betw. ἐ. and ἔριφος Tob 2:12, 13) Lk 15:29 v.l.; Mt 25:33 the imagery here relates to the fact of a separation, not an evaluation of goats as such (cp. vs. 32 ἔριφος).—DELG s.v. ἔριφος. M-M.
- Kid or goat.
- 2055. ἐρίφιον eriphion, er-if´-ee-on; from 2056; a kidling, i.e. (genitive case) goat (symbolically, wicked person): — goat.
- 4.19 ἔριφος, ου m; ἐρίφιον, ου n (the diminutive of ἔριφος but without special diminutive meaning)4 — ‘kid, he-goat’ in the singular and ‘goats’ in the plural (in the plural form both male and female goats are included in the reference).
- ἔριφος: ὁ ποιμὴν ἀφορίζει τὰ πρόβατα ἀπὸ τῶν ἐρίφων ‘the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats’ Mt 25:32; ἐμοὶ οὐδέποτε ἔδωκας ἔριφον ‘you never gave me a kid’ Lk 15:29.
- ἐρίφιον: στήσει τὰ μὲν πρόβατα ἐκ δεξιῶν αὐτοῦ τὰ δὲ ἐρίφια ἐξ εὐωνύμων ‘he will place the sheep on his right hand but the goats on the left’ Mt 25:33.
- 2055. ἐρίφιον; erifion, erifiou, to, and erithos, erifiou, ho, a kid, a young goat: Matt. 25:32f; Luke 15:29. (Ath. 14, p. 661 b.)*
- Young goat
- Young animal related to a goat
- Young goat
- Small cattle (LXX) - Translated as sheep in Matthew.
- Sheep and goats - Translated as sheep in Matthew.
- Young goat - Translated as goat in Matthew.
- Young animal related to a goat - Translated as goat in Matthew.