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Sheepfold

SHEEPCOTE (See SHEEP PEN)


SHEEP PEN, SHEEPFOLD (Heb. gedhērâh, mikhlâh, mishpethayin, nāweh, Gr. aulē). An enclosure intended for the protection of sheep and also to keep them from wandering out and getting lost. These folds were simple walled enclosures, usually without roofs, with the walls covered with thorns to keep out robbers. Several flocks would usually pass the night in one fold under the care of a shepherd who guarded the door. Each shepherd knew his own sheep and was known by them. (See John.10.1-John.10.6.)


SHEEPCOTE, SHEEPFOLD (גְּדֵרָה, H1556, מִכְלָא, H4813, נָוֶה, H5659; αὐλή, G885, enclosure, court, stall, fold).

An enclosure which served for the protection of sheep from the hazards of weather, robbers, and wild beasts. Located near the home of one of the owners or on the hills where the sheep grazed, it was roofless, walled by stone, and had only one door. It usually housed several flocks, each of which retained its own identity since each shepherd knew his sheep by name and was on intimate terms with them (John 10:3-5).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)


James A. Patch