Bleating question

Here's this week's i.ucc Bible study blog entry:

Sheep and goats are similar
  • Both have hooves
  • Both are herbivores
  • They have similar lifespans (in the wild from 7-13 years)
  • Both are considered to be "The first domesticated animal" from about 10,000 years ago (Iran)
  • Both thrive best in herds
  • Though from different species – there have been instances of sheep-goat hybrids that have survived.
  • Geneticists have also produced sheep-goat chimera – animals having cells from both sheep and goats (they’ve also been called "geep")
  • Both are considered "clean" animals by Jewish custom
  • Both make similar sounds (it’s called "bleating")

Sheep and goats are different
  • They have different tails (goat tails are short and upturned – sheep tails are longer and they hang down.)
  • Beards – male goats have them – sheep don’t
  • Curiosity: Goats are inquisitive and somewhat playful. Sheep . . . aren’t

As symbols in this week’s Bible reading from Matthew 25:31-46, sheep and goats appear to be very different.

  • Goats represent those who claim to follow God yet ignore the needs of their neighbor.
  • Sheep represent those who claim to follow God and live that claim unaware.

And sure, there are other ideas and interpretations as to exactly who these sheep and goats are and what they really represent. But this week I’m wondering something different:

How are these sheep and goats alike?

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