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With one exception (Ex 23:4 "his ass going astray") used metaphorically of moral wandering, going astray in paths of error and sin, like "sheep going astray" (1Pe 2:25 the King James Version; Isa 53:6; Ps 119:176).
This wandering may be due
(1) to inherent evil (Ps 58:3);
(2) to false shepherds (Jer 50:6); contrast the beautiful and classic passage, Mt 18:12,13, the Son of man (verse 12) seeketh that which is gone astray. No word more vividly portrays sin as a straying, a separation from God. To be morally "astray" is to be "lost."
Dwight M. Pratt
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