2 Chronicles 18:16

Hebrew Bible

15 The king said to him, “How many times must I make you solemnly promise in the name of the Lord to tell me only the truth?” 16 Micaiah replied, “I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains like sheep that have no shepherd. Then the Lord said, ‘They have no master. They should go home in peace.’” 17 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Didn’t I tell you he does not prophesy prosperity for me, but disaster?”

Judith 11:20


18 Then I will come and tell you, so that you may go out with your whole army, and not one of them will be able to withstand you. 19 Then I will lead you through Judea, until you come to Jerusalem; there I will set your throne. You will drive them like sheep that have no shepherd, and no dog will so much as growl at you. For this was told me to give me foreknowledge; it was announced to me, and I was sent to tell you." 20 Her words pleased Holofernes and all his servants. They marveled at her wisdom and said,

 Notes and References

"... “sheep without a shepherd ” The phrase, while not a direct quotation, has a strong Old Testament and early Jewish pedigree It is used in contexts of military and political upheaval. See Numbers 27:17, 2 Chronicles 18:16 and Judith 11:19. The phrase culminates in a Davidic messianic expectation. As in these other cases, the phrase connotes the predicament of Israel in the absence of a royal political figure. It implies the inauguration of the restoration of a territorial kingdom of Israel over which God’s Davidic Shepherd-King will reign with his under-shepherds (Matthew 10:1-5; 19:28) ..."

Willitts, Joel "Zionism in the Gospel of Matthew: Do the People of Israel and the Land of Israel Persist as Abiding Concerns in the Gospel of Matthew?" in McDermott, Gerald R. (ed.) The New Christian Zionism: Fresh Perspectives on Israel & the Land (pp. 107-140) InterVarsity Press, 2016

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