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John 10:5

    John 10:5 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    They will not go after another who is not their keeper, but will go from him in flight, because his voice is strange to them.

    Webster's Revision

    And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.

    World English Bible

    They will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him; for they don't know the voice of strangers."

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.

    Clarke's Commentary on John 10:5

    And a stranger will they not follow - That is, a man who, pretending to be a shepherd of the flock of God, is a stranger to that salvation which he professes to preach. His mode of preaching soon proves, to those whose hearts are acquainted with the truths of God, that he is a stranger to them; and therefore, knowing him to have got into the fold in an improper way, they consider him a thief, a robber, and a murderer; and who can blame them if they wholly desert his ministry? There are preachers of this kind among all classes.

    Barnes' Notes on John 10:5

    A stranger ... - This was literally true of a flock. Accustomed to the voice and presence of a kind shepherd, they would not regard the command of a stranger. It is also true spiritually. Jesus by this indicates that the true people of God will not follow false teachers - those who are proud, haughty, and self-seeking, as were the Pharisees. Many may follow such, but humble and devoted Christians seek those who have the mild and self-denying spirit of their Master and Great Shepherd. It is also true in reference to those who are pastors in the churches. They have an influence which no stranger or wandering minister can have. A church learns to put confidence in a pastor; he knows the wants of his people, sees their danger, and can adapt his instructions to them. A stranger, however eloquent, pious, or learned, can have few of these advantages; and it is more absurd to commit the churches to the care of wandering strangers, of those who have no permanent relation to the church, than it would be for a flock to be committed to a foreigner who knew nothing of it, and who had no particular interest in it.

    The pastoral office is one of the wisest institutions of heaven. The following extract from The Land and the Book (Thomson) will show how strikingly this whole passage accords with what actually occurs at this day in Palestine: "This is true to the letter. They are so tame and so trained that they follow their keeper with the utmost docility. He leads them forth from the fold, or from their houses in the villages, just where he pleases. Since there are many flocks in such a place as this, each one takes a different path, and it is his business to find pasture for them. It is necessary, therefore, that they should be taught to follow, and not to stray away into the unfenced fields of grain which lie so temptingly on either side. Anyone that thus wanders is sure to get into trouble. The shepherd calls sharply from time to time to remind them of his presence. They know his voice and follow on; but if a stranger call, they stop short, lift up their heads in alarm, and, if it is repeated, they turn and flee, because they do not know the voice of a stranger.

    This is not the fanciful costume of a parable; it is simple fact. I have made the experiment repeatedly. The shepherd goes before, not merely to point out the way, but to see that it is practicable and safe. He is armed in order to defend his charge, and in this he is very courageous. Many adventures with wild beasts occur not unlike that recounted by David, and in these very mountains; for, though there are now no lions here, there are wolves in abundance; and leopards and panthers, exceedingly fierce, prowl about these wild wadies. They not unfrequently attack the flock in the very presence of the shepherd, and he must be ready to do battle at a moment's warning. I have listened with intense interest to their graphic descriptions of downright and desperate fights with these savage beasts. And when the thief and the robber come (and come they do), the faithful shepherd has often to put his life in his hand to defend his flock. I have known more than one case in which he had literally to lay it down in the contest. A poor faithful fellow last spring, between Tiberias and Tabor, instead of fleeing, actually fought three Bedouin robbers until he was hacked to pieces with their khanjars, and died among the sheep he was defending."

    Wesley's Notes on John 10:5

    10:5 They will not follow a stranger - One whom Christ hath not sent, who doth not answer the preceding description. Him they will not follow - And who can constrain them to it? But will flee from him - As from the plague. For they know not the voice of strangers - They cannot relish it; it is harsh and grating to them. They find nothing of God therein.