Matthew 18:12
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?

New Living Translation
"If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away, what will he do? Won't he leave the ninety-nine others on the hills and go out to search for the one that is lost?

English Standard Version
What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray?

New American Standard Bible
"What do you think? If any man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go and search for the one that is straying?

King James Bible
How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
What do you think? If a man has 100 sheep, and one of them goes astray, won't he leave the 99 on the hillside and go and search for the stray?

International Standard Version
"What do you think? If a man has 100 sheep and one of them strays, he leaves the 99 in the hills and goes to look for the one that has strayed, doesn't he?

NET Bible
What do you think? If someone owns a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go look for the one that went astray?

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
How does it seem to you? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them will go astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine in the mountain and go on searching for that lost one?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"What do you think? Suppose a man has 100 sheep and one of them strays. Won't he leave the 99 sheep in the hills to look for the one that has strayed?

Jubilee Bible 2000
What do you think? If a man had a hundred sheep and one of them went astray, would he not leave the ninety-nine and go into the mountains and seek that which is gone astray?

King James 2000 Bible
How think you? if a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, does he not leave the ninety and nine, and go into the mountains, and seek that which is gone astray?

American King James Version
How think you? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, does he not leave the ninety and nine, and goes into the mountains, and seeks that which is gone astray?

American Standard Version
How think ye? if any man have a hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and go unto the mountains, and seek that which goeth astray?

Douay-Rheims Bible
What think you? If a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them should go astray: doth he not leave the ninety-nine in the mountains, and go to seek that which is gone astray?

Darby Bible Translation
What think ye? If a certain man should have a hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, does he not, leaving the ninety and nine on the mountains, go and seek the one that has gone astray?

English Revised Version
How think ye? if any man have a hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and go unto the mountains, and seek that which goeth astray?

Webster's Bible Translation
How think ye? if a man hath a hundred sheep, and one of them is gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and go to the mountains, and seek that which is gone astray?

Weymouth New Testament
What do you yourselves think? Suppose a man gets a hundred sheep and one of them strays away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go and look for the one that is straying?

World English Bible
"What do you think? If a man has one hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, doesn't he leave the ninety-nine, go to the mountains, and seek that which has gone astray?

Young's Literal Translation
'What think ye? if a man may have an hundred sheep, and there may go astray one of them, doth he not -- having left the ninety-nine, having gone on the mountains -- seek that which is gone astray?
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

18:7-14 Considering the cunning and malice of Satan, and the weakness and depravity of men's hearts, it is not possible but that there should be offences. God permits them for wise and holy ends, that those who are sincere, and those who are not, may be made known. Being told before, that there will be seducers, tempters, persecutors, and bad examples, let us stand on our guard. We must, as far as lawfully we may, part with what we cannot keep without being entangled by it in sin. The outward occasions of sin must be avoided. If we live after the flesh, we must die. If we, through the Spirit, mortify the deeds of the body, we shall live. Christ came into the world to save souls, and he will reckon severely with those who hinder the progress of others who are setting their faces heavenward. And shall any of us refuse attention to those whom the Son of God came to seek and to save? A father takes care of all his children, but is particularly tender of the little ones.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 12. - The parable that follows teaches the same lesson as the preceding verse. It is found in Luke 15:1-7, with some variations, delivered to a different audience and under different circumstances, as Jesus often repeated his instructions and teaching according to the occasion. How think ye? What say ye to the following case? Thus the Lord engages the disciples' attention. An hundred sheep. A round number, representing a considerable flock. If but one of these stray, the good Shepherd regards only the danger and possible destruction of this wanderer, and puts aside every other care in order to secure its safety. The ninety and nine. These must be left for a time, if he is to conduct the search in person. It may he that some idea of probation is here intended, as when Jesus let the disciples embark on the lake while he himself remained on the shore. Many of the Fathers interpret the ninety-nine as representing the sinless angels, the lost sheep as man, to seek and save whom Christ left heaven, i.e. became incarnate. This, indeed, may be a legitimate application of the parable, but is inexact as an exposition of the passage, which regards the whole flock as figuring the human race. The sheep that remained safe and true to their Master are the righteous; the errant are the sinners, which, however few, are the special care of the merciful Lord. Into the mountains (ἐπὶ τὰ ὔρη). There is much doubt whether these words are to be joined with goeth (πορευθεὶς), as in both our versions, or with leave (ἀφεὶς), as in the Vulgate, Nonne relinquit nonaginta novem in montibus? In the former case we have a picture of the toil of the shepherd traversing the mountains in search of the lost. But this does not seem to be the particular point contemplated, nor is any special emphasis assigned to this part of the transaction. In the parable as recounted by St. Luke (Luke 15:4), we read, "Doth he not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go?" So here it is best to render, Doth he not leave the ninety and nine upon the mountains? The shepherd is not regardless of the safety and comfort of the flock during his temporary absence; he leaves them where they are sure to find pasture, as they roam over (ἐπὶ with accusative) the hill tops, which, catching clouds and dew, are never without fresh grass. So Psalm 147:8, "Who covereth the heaven with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains." Seeketh. The lost sheep would not return of itself. Such erring souls Jesus seeks by the inspiration of his Spirit, by allowing distress and sorrow, by awakening conscience and memory, by ways manifold which may lead the sinner to "come to himself."

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

How think ye,.... Or, as the Arabic, "what do you think?" what is your opinion of this matter? what is your sense of it? how does it appear to you? It is a Talmudic way of speaking, the same with "what do you think?" what is your judgment? So the Rabbins, after they have discussed a point among themselves, ask (k), , "what is our opinion?" or what do we think upon the whole? Christ here appeals to his disciples, makes them judges themselves in this matter, and illustrates it by a familiar instance of a man's seeking and finding his lost sheep, and rejoicing at it.

If a man have an hundred sheep; who is the proprietor of them; not the hireling, who has them under his care, and whose the sheep are not; but the owner of them, to whom they belong, and who must be thought to be most concerned for anyone of them that should go astray: a hundred sheep seem to be the number of a flock; at least flocks of sheep used to be divided into hundreds. In a Maronite's will, a field is thus bequeathed (l);

"the north part of it to such an one, and with it , "a hundred sheep", and a hundred vessels; and the south part of it to such an one, and with it , "a hundred sheep", and a hundred vessels; and he died, and the wise men confirmed his words, or his will.''

Such a supposition, or putting such a case as this, is very proper and pertinent.

And one of them be gone astray; which sheep are very prone to; see Psalm 119:176;

doth he not leave the ninety and nine, which are not gone astray, in the place where they are; it is usual so to do:

and goeth into the mountains; alluding to the mountains of Israel, where were pastures for sheep, Ezekiel 34:13 and whither sheep are apt to wander, and go from mountain to mountain, Jeremiah 50:6, and therefore these were proper places to go after them, and seek for them in: but the Vulgate Latin version joins the words "in" or "on the mountains", to the preceding clause, and reads,

doth he not leave the ninety and nine in the mountains; and so read all the Oriental versions, Syriac, Arabic, Ethiopic, and Persic; and in the same manner Theophylact;

and seeketh that which is gone astray? This is usual with men: no man that has a flock of sheep, and though but one strays from it, but takes this method. This parable now may be considered, either as an illustration of the Son of man's coming into this world, to seek, and to save his lost sheep, mentioned in the preceding verse; even the lost sheep of the house of Israel, the little ones that believed in him, who were despised by the Jews. And then by the "ninety and nine", we are not to understand the angels; who never went astray, never sinned, but kept their first estate, whom Christ left in the highest heavens, on the holy mountains of eternity, when he became incarnate, and came down on earth to redeem mankind: for these never go by the name of sheep; nor are they of the same nature and kind with the one that strays, and is sought out; nor is their number, with respect to men, as ninety nine to one; at least it cannot be ascertained; nor were they left by Christ, when he came on earth; for a multitude descended at his birth, and sung glory to God. Nor are the saints in heaven intended, whose state is safe; since it cannot be said of them, as in the following verse, that they went not astray; for they went astray like lost sheep, as others, and were looked up, sought out, and saved by Christ as others; but rather, by them, are meant the body of the Jewish nation, the far greater part of them, the Scribes and Pharisees, who rejected the Messiah, and despised those that believed in him: these were in sheep's clothing, of the flock of the house of Israel, of the Jewish fold; and with respect to the remnant among them, according to the election of grace, were as ninety nine to one: these were left by Christ, and taken no notice of by him, in comparison of the little ones, the lost sheep of the house of Israel he came to save: these he left on the mountains, on the barren pastures of Mount Sinai, feeding on their own works and services; or rather, he went into the mountains, or came leaping and skipping over them, Sol 2:8, encountering with, and surmounting all difficulties that lay in the way of the salvation of his people; such as appearing in the likeness of sinful flesh, bearing, and carrying the griefs and sorrows of his people, obeying the law, satisfying justice, bearing their sins, and undergoing an accursed death, in order to obtain the salvation of his chosen ones, designed by the one sheep "that was gone astray"; who strayed from God, from his law, the rule of their walk, out of his way, into the ways of sin, which are of their own choosing and approving: or, the intention of this parable is, to set forth the great regard God has to persons ever so mean, that believe in Christ, whom he would not have stumbled and offended, and takes special care of them, that they shall not perish; even as the proprietor of a flock of sheep is more concerned for one straying one, than for the other ninety nine that remain.

(k) T. Bab. Sanhedrim, fol. 88. 2.((l) T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 156. 2.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

12, 13. How think ye? If a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, &c.—This is another of those pregnant sayings which our Lord uttered more than once. See on the delightful parable of the lost sheep in Lu 15:4-7. Only the object there is to show what the good Shepherd will do, when even one of His sheep is lost, to find it; here the object is to show, when found, how reluctant He is to lose it. Accordingly, it is added,

Matthew 18:12 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Parable of the Lost Sheep
11"For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost. 12"What do you think? If any man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go and search for the one that is straying? 13"If it turns out that he finds it, truly I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine which have not gone astray.…
Cross References
Psalm 119:176
I have strayed like a lost sheep. Seek your servant, for I have not forgotten your commands.

Ezekiel 34:4
You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally.

Matthew 18:13
And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off.

Luke 15:4
"Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn't he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?
Treasury of Scripture

How think you? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, does he not leave the ninety and nine, and goes into the mountains, and seeks that which is gone astray?

How.

Matthew 21:28 But what think you? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the …

Matthew 22:42 Saying, What think you of Christ? whose son is he? They say to him, …

1 Corinthians 10:15 I speak as to wise men; judge you what I say.

if.

Matthew 12:11 And he said to them, What man shall there be among you, that shall …

Psalm 119:176 I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant; for I do …

Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his …

Jeremiah 50:6 My people has been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to …

Ezekiel 34:16,28 I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven …

Luke 15:4 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, …

John 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd gives his life for the sheep.

1 Peter 2:25 For you were as sheep going astray; but are now returned to the Shepherd …

into.

1 Kings 21:17 And the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying,

Ezekiel 34:6,12 My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and on every high hill: …

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