ONE MAY WONDER WHY the shepherd of ancient Israel was so marginalized, the lowest rung on the social ladder, when the qualities of the lowly shepherd were the gauge by which the rest of society was measured—caring, watchful, responsive, responsible. Because the people of Biblical times lived a pastoral life and witnessed firsthand the dependency of sheep on their shepherd, it was natural for the people to draw parallels between the literal shepherd's care of his sheep and their dependency on God to care for them.
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