International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
ten'-ding: The Scriptural allusions to pastoral life and the similes drawn from that life are the most familiar and revered in the Bible. Among the first verses that a child learns is "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not wants" (Psalm 23:1 the King James Version, the English Revised Version). What follower of the Master does not love to dwell on the words of the "Good Shepherd" chapter in the Gospel of John (John 10)? Jesus must have drawn a sympathetic response when He referred to the relationship of sheep to shepherd, a relationship familiar to all His hearers and doubtless shared by some of them with their flocks. As a rule the modern traveler in the Holy Land meets with disappointment if he comes expecting to see things as they were depicted in the Bible. An exception to this is the pastoral life, which has not changed one what since Abraham and his descendants fed their flocks on the rich plateaus East of the Jordan or on the mountains of Palestine and Syria. One may count among his most prized experiences the days and nights spent under the spell of Syrian shepherd life.