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John 10:11-12

Context

10:11 “I am the good 1  shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life 2  for the sheep. 10:12 The hired hand, 3  who is not a shepherd and does not own sheep, sees the wolf coming and abandons 4  the sheep and runs away. 5  So the wolf attacks 6  the sheep and scatters them.

1 tn Or “model” (see R. E. Brown, John [AB], 1:386, who argues that “model” is a more exact translation of καλός [kalos] here).

2 tn Or “The good shepherd dies willingly.”

sn Jesus speaks openly of his vicarious death twice in this section (John 10:11, 15). Note the contrast: The thief takes the life of the sheep (10:10), the good shepherd lays down his own life for the sheep. Jesus is not speaking generally here, but specifically: He has his own substitutionary death on the cross in view. For a literal shepherd with a literal flock, the shepherd’s death would have spelled disaster for the sheep; in this instance it spells life for them (Compare the worthless shepherd of Zech 11:17, by contrast).

3 sn Jesus contrasts the behavior of the shepherd with that of the hired hand. This is a worker who is simply paid to do a job; he has no other interest in the sheep and is certainly not about to risk his life for them. When they are threatened, he simply runs away.

4 tn Grk “leaves.”

5 tn Or “flees.”

6 tn Or “seizes.” The more traditional rendering, “snatches,” has the idea of seizing something by force and carrying it off, which is certainly possible here. However, in the sequence in John 10:12, this action precedes the scattering of the flock of sheep, so “attacks” is preferable.



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