John 10:3
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

New Living Translation
The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

English Standard Version
To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

Berean Study Bible
The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen for his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

Berean Literal Bible
To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice. And he calls the own sheep by name and leads them out.

New American Standard Bible
"To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

King James Bible
To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The doorkeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

International Standard Version
It's to him the gatekeeper opens the gate, and it's his voice the sheep hear. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

NET Bible
The doorkeeper opens the door for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

New Heart English Bible
The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
“To this one the gate keeper opens the gate and the flock hears his voice; he calls his sheep by their names and leads them out.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep respond to his voice. He calls his sheep by name and leads them out of the pen.

New American Standard 1977
“To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out.

Jubilee Bible 2000
To him the porter opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

King James 2000 Bible
To him the gatekeeper opens; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out.

American King James Version
To him the porter opens; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out.

American Standard Version
To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.

Douay-Rheims Bible
To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.

Darby Bible Translation
To him the porter opens; and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out.

English Revised Version
To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.

Webster's Bible Translation
To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.

Weymouth New Testament
To him the porter opens the door, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by their names and leads them out.

World English Bible
The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out.

Young's Literal Translation
to this one the doorkeeper doth open, and the sheep hear his voice, and his own sheep he doth call by name, and doth lead them forth;
Study Bible
Jesus the Good Shepherd
2But the one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen for his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4When he has brought out all who are his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.…
Cross References
Proverbs 27:23
Know well the condition of your flocks, And pay attention to your herds;

John 10:4
When he has brought out all who are his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.

John 10:9
I am the gate. If anyone enters through Me, he will be saved. He will come in and go out and find pasture.

John 10:16
I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them in as well, and they will listen to My voice. Then there will be one flock and one shepherd.

1 John 4:6
We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. That is how we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of deception.

3 John 1:14
Instead, I hope to see you soon and speak face to face. Peace to you. The friends here send you greetings. Greet each of our friends there by name.

Revelation 3:20
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and dine with him, and he with Me.
Treasury of Scripture

To him the porter opens; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out.

the porter.

Isaiah 53:10-12 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he has put him to grief: when …

1 Corinthians 16:9 For a great door and effectual is opened to me, and there are many adversaries.

Colossians 4:3 With praying also for us, that God would open to us a door of utterance, …

1 Peter 1:12 To whom it was revealed, that not to themselves, but to us they did …

Revelation 3:7,8,20 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things …

the sheep.

John 10:4,16,26,27 And when he puts forth his own sheep, he goes before them, and the …

John 6:37,45 All that the Father gives me shall come to me; and him that comes …

Songs 8:13 You that dwell in the gardens, the companions listen to your voice: …

and he.

John 10:14,27 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine…

Exodus 33:17 And the LORD said to Moses, I will do this thing also that you have …

Romans 8:30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom …

Philippians 4:3 And I entreat you also, true yoke fellow, help those women which …

2 Timothy 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God stands sure, having this seal, …

Revelation 20:15 And whoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into …

and leadeth.

Psalm 23:2,3 He makes me to lie down in green pastures: he leads me beside the …

Psalm 78:52,53 But made his own people to go forth like sheep, and guided them in …

Psalm 80:1 Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you that lead Joseph like a flock; …

Isaiah 40:11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs …

Isaiah 42:16 And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead …

Isaiah 49:9,10 That you may say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in …

Jeremiah 31:8,9 Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them …

Jeremiah 50:4-6 In those days, and in that time, said the LORD, the children of Israel …

Ezekiel 34:11-16 For thus said the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, will both search my …

Revelation 7:17 For the Lamb which is in the middle of the throne shall feed them, …

(3) To him the porter openeth.--The word "porter" is not, perhaps, misleading to many, but for the sake of the possible few, it may be noted that door-keeper is what is here meant. There is no further interpretation of what, in the spiritual fold, corresponds to the office of the porter, whereas the door and the shepherd are successively made the texts of fuller expositions of Christ's own work. We are not, therefore, to regard "the porter" as an essential part of the allegory (comp. John 10:5), nor need we trouble ourselves with the various expositions which have been given of it. At the same time, we should not forget that the thought is one which impressed itself on the mind of St. Paul. At Ephesus "a great and effectual door was opened unto him" (1Corinthians 16:9); "when he came to Troas to preach Christ's gospel a door was opened unto him of the Lord" (2Corinthians 2:12); the Colossians are exhorted to pray that "a door of the word (the gospel) may be opened, to speak the mystery of Christ" (Colossians 4:3); at the close of the first missionary journey he and Barnabas told how "God had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles" (Acts 14:27). We have St. Paul's authority, therefore, for understanding by the "door-keeper," if we are to interpret it here, the Holy Spirit, whose special work it is to determine who are shepherds and sheep, and to call each to the work and position given to him by God. We must be careful to note, with this interpretation, that St. Paul gives divine titles to Him who thus opens the door, lest, from the humble position of the porter in the material fold, we should be led to unworthy thoughts of Him who is "neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding."

And the sheep hear his voice.--The reference is here to the whole of the sheep in the fold; they are all roused as they hear a shepherd's cry, which is the signal for their being led forth to the pastures.

And he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.--Now the sheep of the shepherd's own flock are thought of. They are singled out from the rest, each one by its own name. A mountain shepherd in our own country, and even a shepherd's dog, will know a single sheep among hundreds from other flocks, and there is nothing more strange in the sheep being trained to know its own name and its shepherd's voice. We have to think, also, of a much closer relationship between the owner and his sheep, which were almost part of his family, than any with which we are familiar. All animals learn to know those who love and protect them, and the Eastern shepherd was as much with his sheep as we are with the domestic animals. (Comp. 1Samuel 17:34-37; 2Samuel 12:3.) The practice was not unknown in the West, for Aristotle tells us that "in each flock they train the bell-wether to lead the way, whenever he is called by name by the shepherd" (History of Animals, vi. 19); and Theocritus has handed down to us the names by which the Shepherd Lacon addressed three of his flock:--

"Ho, Curly-horn; Ho, Swift-foot, leave the tree,

And pasture eastward where ye Baldhead see."

Idyll. v. 102, 3.

(3) The reference in Luke 10:3 to the wolves among whom they would be as lambs, throws light upon John 10:12. He who would lay down His life for them would expose them to the wolves because He as the Good Shepherd would save them from the wolf.

And it was at Jerusalem.--Better, And the Feast of the Dedication was being held at Jerusalem.--Although St. John gives no hint that our Lord had left the neighbourhood of Jerusalem, this specific mention of the city implies a return from a distance, for the words would be out of place if He had continued there during the interval since John 10:21. They cannot be restricted to the feast, which was not confined to Jerusalem, but was universally observed by the Jews.

The reference in the margin warns us against the error of understanding "the Feast of the Dedication" as a feast in honour of the dedication of Solomon's or Zerubbabel's temple. We know of no annual festival connected with these dedications, and the statement that this feast was "in the winter" makes it almost certain that it was the feast instituted, B.C. 164, by Judas Maccabus, in commemoration of the cleansing of the Temple after its profanation by Antiochus Epiphanes (1 Maccabees 4:52-59). It extended over eight days, beginning on the 25th of the month Kisleu, which answers to parts of our November and December. It is still called "Chanuca," the Dedication, while St. John's Greek name for it, which was adopted by the Vulgate (Encnia), is familiar to English ears in connection with another commemoration. In this, as in other rejoicings, illumination was a prominent feature, and it was sometimes called the "Feast of Lights." The Temple and private houses were illuminated, and it was customary in the houses of the more wealthy and pious Jews to have a light for each member of the family, increasing by an additional light for each evening of the feast. The illumination has been sometimes traced to the discovery in the temple by the Maccabees of a vial of oil, sealed with the high priest's ring. This, it is said, was sufficient for the lamps for one evening only, but was miraculously multiplied so as to suffice for eight evenings, which was therefore devoted to annual illuminations in remembrance of this gift of God (Talmud, Shabbath 216).

And it was winter.--Better, It was winter. These words should then be connected with the following verse. Our division breaks the sense.

Verse 3. - To him the porter openeth. The doorkeeper of the fold has been variously interpreted. Bengel and Hengstenberg say, "God himself" is meant; Stier, Alford, and Lange, "the Holy Spirit;" against which interpretations may be urged the subordinate position assigned to the "porter," as compared with the shepherds themselves. Lampe and Godet think that "John the Baptist" was intended; while Meyer and De Wette say that it is one of those elements of the parable which is dropped out of our Lord's own exposition for which we need not seek any special application. Westcott thinks it must vary with the special sense attributed to "sheep" and "shepherd," and float we must think of it as "the Spirit working through his appointed ministers in each case." The "doorkeeper," if Christ be himself the "Door," is the keeper of that door - the agency, the ministry, the ordinances by which the excellences and power of Christ were or are manifested. We are reminded of subsequent use of the imagery in Paul's Epistles (1 Corinthians 16:9; 2 Corinthians 2:12; Colossians 4:3; cf. Acts 14:27); but the full meaning of the phrase is only suggested, and we had better wait for Christ's interpretation of some parts of this allegory. The context provides a specific filling out, first of one part of the imagery, and secondly of another part of it. The two interpretations are not to be forced at one and the same time upon the parable. Our Lord continues: And the sheep hear his voice. When a shepherd approaches the door to fetch the folded sheep which belong to him, the porter opens that door for him i.e. a true shepherd who has at heart the interests of the sheep and of their supreme Owner, finds the way made ready for him. In the fold are many flocks. All the sheep give heed to his voice. He calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. They know a shepherd calls, and then that shepherd addresses his own sheep by name, and he leads these forth into the pasture. Even in our own pastures the shepherds know each sheep by name. Aristotle ('Hist. Anim.,' 6:19) tells us the bell-wether knew his name, and obeyed his shepherd. Archdeacon Watkins gives a quotation from Theocritus' 'Idylls,' charmingly illustrating the habit. The shepherd, by the mere call to his own sheep, would separate them from these which did not belong to him, and lead them forth to their pasture in the wilderness. This method of Oriental life illustrates the function of all true shepherds of men. It has had many partial fulfillments in the history of the Church and of the world. Daring the period of the old theocratic dispensation, many "thieves and robbers" made havoc of the flock; still there were prophetic and kingly men who, sent by God, found their way to the heart of Israel; many came to know that a prophet had been among them, and they followed him. It is equally true now, though all the external conditions are changed. The full application of this part of the allegory is only seen when "the good Shepherd" seeketh his sheep; but the meaning of the first picture is obscured by hurrying on to the enlarged and double exposition which Christ gave of the two parts of his own parable, and much is lost by endeavoring to force into a primary exposition of vers. 1-6 the features borrowed from a twofold interpretation of the separate ideas suggested by the composite image. To him the porter openeth,.... There is nothing in the explanation of this parable given by Christ, that directs to the sense of this clause; the allusion cannot be, as some have thought, to great men, who have porters at their gates, to open them, and let in persons that come and knock; since the parable is concerning the sheepfold, and the shepherd, and the sheep that go into it; and therefore must refer to one that at least, at certain times, stood by the door of the sheepfold, and had the care of it, and opened it upon proper occasions: by whom is designed not Michael the Archangel, nor the Virgin Mary, nor Peter, the supposed doorkeeper of heaven, as say the Papists, nor Moses, as others, who wrote of Christ; nor does it seem so well to understand it of the ministers of the Gospel, who preach Jesus Christ, and open the door of faith, or set open the door of the Gospel, whereby Christ comes into the souls of men, and they come to him; though this is a sense not to be despised; but rather this intends God the Father, from whom Christ, as man and Mediator, derives his authority, and by whom he is let into, and invested with his office, as the shepherd of the sheep; or else the Holy Spirit, who opens the everlasting floors of the hearts of men, of Christ's sheep, and lets him in unto them.

And the sheep hear his voice; not the porter's; though they do hear the voice of Christ's ministers, and of God the Father, and of the Holy Ghost; but the shepherd's, even the voice of Christ; and which is no other than the Gospel, which is a voice of love, grace, and mercy; which proclaims peace, pardon, liberty, life, righteousness, and salvation; and which is a soul quickening, alluring, delighting, refreshing, and comforting voice: this the people of Christ are made to hear, not only externally, but internally; so as to understand it, delight in it, and distinguish it from another: and these are called "sheep", and that before conversion; not because they have the agreeable properties of sheep; nor because predisposed unto, and unprejudiced against the Gospel of Christ, for they are the reverse of these; nor can some things be said of them before, as after conversion, as that they hear the voice of Christ, and follow him; nor merely by anticipation, but by reason of electing grace, and because given to Christ the great shepherd, under this character, to be kept and fed by him. And they are so called after conversion, because they are harmless and inoffensive in their lives and conversations; and yet are exposed to the malice, cruelty, and butchery of men; and are meek and patient under sufferings; and are clean, social, and profitable.

And he calleth his own sheep by name; the Ethiopic version adds, "and loves them". These are Christ's own, by the Father's gift of them to him, by the purchase of his own blood, and by the power of his grace upon them; who looks them up, and finds them out, and brings them home, and takes care of them as his own, and feeds them as a shepherd his flock: these he may be said to "call by name", in allusion to the eastern shepherds, who gave names to their sheep, as the Europeans do to their horses, and other creatures, and who could sit and call them by their names: this is expressive not only of Christ's call of his people by powerful and special grace, but of the exact and distinct knowledge he has of them, and the notice he takes of them, as well as of the affection he has for them; see Isaiah 43:1.

And leadeth them out; from the world's goats, among whom they lay, and from the folds of sin, and the barren pastures of Mount Sinai, and their own righteousness, on which they were feeding, and out of themselves, and from off all dependence on anything of their own; and he leads unto himself, and the fulness of his grace, and to his blood and righteousness, and into his Father's presence and communion with him, and in the way of righteousness and truth, and into the green pastures of the word and ordinances, beside the still waters of his sovereign love and grace. 3. To him the porter openeth—that is, right of free access is given, by order of Him to whom the sheep belong; for it is better not to give the allusion a more specific interpretation [Calvin, Meyer, Luthardt].

and the sheep hear his voice—This and all that follows, though it admits of important application to every faithful shepherd of God's flock, is in its direct and highest sense true only of "the great Shepherd of the sheep," who in the first five verses seems plainly, under the simple character of a true shepherd, to be drawing His own portrait [Lampe, Stier, etc.].10:1-5 Here is a parable or similitude, taken from the customs of the East, in the management of sheep. Men, as creatures depending on their Creator, are called the sheep of his pasture. The church of God in the world is as a sheep-fold, exposed to deceivers and persecutors. The great Shepherd of the sheep knows all that are his, guards them by his providence, guides them by his Spirit and word, and goes before them, as the Eastern shepherds went before their sheep, to set them in the way of his steps. Ministers must serve the sheep in their spiritual concerns. The Spirit of Christ will set before them an open door. The sheep of Christ will observe their Shepherd, and be cautious and shy of strangers, who would draw them from faith in him to fancies about him.
Jump to Previous
Calls Door Doorkeeper Ear Forth Gate Gatekeeper Hear Lead Leads Names Open Openeth Opens Porter Sheep Voice Watchman
Jump to Next
Calls Door Doorkeeper Ear Forth Gate Gatekeeper Hear Lead Leads Names Open Openeth Opens Porter Sheep Voice Watchman
Links
John 10:3 NIV
John 10:3 NLT
John 10:3 ESV
John 10:3 NASB
John 10:3 KJV

John 10:3 Biblia Paralela
John 10:3 Chinese Bible
John 10:3 French Bible
John 10:3 German Bible

Alphabetical: and by calls doorkeeper for gate He hear him his leads listen name opens out own sheep The them to voice watchman

NT Gospels: John 10:3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him (Jhn Jo Jn) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
John 10:2
Top of Page
Top of Page