The days of Jesus, shepherds in the fields taught their animals to listen to his own voice. He lovingly took care of his herd. He would lead them to water and better pasture by the sound of his voice. In the spring, a shepherd would lead the sheep near his house to the fresh grass. Also this would be the time to shear sheep and help the lambs to be born. This is a good time and many celebrated when their herd increased with new life. Many people who had herds were smaller and often combined their sheep together with neighboring herds. Shepherds were hired to care for many flocks that were shared together. These hired shepherds were known not to take as good of care of another’s flock as their own. Sheep herding was an occupation that was read about throughout the bible stories. In those days in the summer when a good shepherd would lead his herd out in pasture it was known that he would stay overnight with the herd. He would build out of branches and stone, a pen to keep the sheep safe from predators. This way the entrance or gate would be the shepherd himself and watch what would come into the pen. He was known to lay his life down to protect his herd.
We read for example John 10:1-10
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.