“The most common biblical picture of the leader is the shepherd. However, the biblical vision of the shepherd is quite different from ours.
The biblical shepherd is, like our conception of the shepherd, a figure who is gentle, nurturing, and protective of the flock.
However, a large proportion of the biblical images of the shepherd focus upon the shepherd as a figure of conflict and violence, someone who protects the sheep by killing wolves, bears, and lions, who fights off thieves, bandits, and rival shepherds, who lays down his life for the flock.
The shepherd is clearly called to act out of love, but this love is far from a generic niceness.
Rather, because the shepherd loves the sheep, he gives the wolves no quarter. Attacking wolves is the loving thing to do. The sheep are comforted by the rod with which the shepherd drives off or destroys enemies, like God brought the land of Egypt to its knees using the rods of the shepherds Moses and Aaron.”
(Photo: Deutsche Fotothek)