These are the generations of Yaakov. Yosef, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren, being still a lad even with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives; and Yosef brought evil report of them unto their father. GENESIS 37:2 (The Israel Bible™)

It is no coincidence that so many Biblical heroes are shepherds. The simple profession is ideal for two reasons. On the one hand, the abundance of time for quiet reflection and meditation allows the shepherd to develop an intimate relationship with the Lord. On the other hand, a shepherd who excels in his work acquires a deep sensitivity to the needs of each and every sheep in his flock. What Joseph learns as a young shepherd enables him to become a paradigm for all future generations for the service of God and the service of man.

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