Hi, kids! I’m Lottie the Lamb.
A lamb is a young sheep. There are lots of sheep in the world—hundreds of breeds and over 1 billion domesticated sheep.
People have been shepherding (looking after) sheep since soon after Creation, just 6,000 years ago. The Bible says that Abel, Adam’s second son, was “a keeper of sheep” (Genesis 4:2).
Today, several countries are known for keeping sheep, such as Australia, Britain, India, Iran, and New Zealand.
You probably think of sheep as wooly and white. But not all of us sheep look the same. We can have long, short, or curly wool in various colors, from white and dark brown to gray and black and even spotted. And some sheep, called hair sheep, don’t have wool at all.
Did you know that the wool on some sheep breeds doesn’t stop growing? And in 2015, one sheep gave 89 pounds of fleece!
God gave sheep special vision. Thanks to horizontal pupils (the black center of the eye), we are able to see behind us without turning our heads to help protect us from predators.
Our stomach has four parts. After the food enters the first two parts of our stomach, we bring up our food and chew it again (this is called “chewing cud”). You might think this sounds gross, but this process allows us to get the most nutrients out of our food.
You might have heard people talking about something being “as dumb as sheep.” Lots of people think we’re unintelligent because we live in flocks, follow a leader, are easily frightened, and tend to panic. But sheep can remember humans and other sheep for years, and we can tell when someone is angry, happy, and sad.
The Bible talks about several shepherds: Abel, Jacob, Joseph’s brothers, David, the Prophet Amos, and the shepherds who worshipped Jesus when he was born. Moses was tending sheep in the desert when God spoke to him in a burning bush (Exodus 3). And in Psalm 23, David compared himself to a sheep with God as his Shepherd.
But most important, Jesus is called the Lamb of God. God promised in the Old Testament that he would send a savior to die for sinners. Like the lambs in the Old Testament that people sacrificed in the temple, Jesus laid down his life for sinners on the Cross.
When we ask God to forgive us of our sin, he will because Jesus died in our place. Even before he created the world, God knew that Jesus would be the sacrificial Lamb. He always was and always will be the only sacrifice God needed to forgive our sin.
Species: O. aries
Weight: Ewes usually weigh 100–220 pounds while rams weigh between 100–350 pounds.
Life Span: 10–12 years, but some can live up to 20 years.