According to Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma (in reference to John 21:15-17):

"Feed" in ancient and biblical language means, in its application to human beings, rule or govern (cf. Acts 20:28).

And Acts 20:28:

Take heed to yourselves, and to the whole flock, wherein the Holy Ghost hath placed you bishops, to rule the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. (Douay-Rheims)

QUESTION: What are some ancient (or Old Testament) references which demonstrate the linguistic equivalence of the terms "to feed" and "to govern (or rule)"?


1 Answer 1


See, for example:

Jer. 23:1-2--- Woe to the pastors, that destroy and tear the sheep of my pasture, saith the Lord. Therefore thus saith the Lord the God of Israel to the pastors that feed my people: You have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold I will visit upon you for the evil of your doings, saith the Lord. (D-R)

Or, Mic. 5:2-4--- AND THOU, BETHLEHEM Ephrata, art a little one among the thousands of Juda: out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be the ruler in Israel: and his going forth is from the beginning, from the days of eternity. Therefore will he give them up even till the time wherein she that travaileth shall bring forth: and the remnant of his brethren shall be converted to the children of Israel. And he shall stand, and feed in the strength of the Lord, in the height of the name of the Lord his God: and they shall be converted, for now shall he be magnified even to the ends of the earth. (D-R)

Or, Mic. 7:14--- Feed thy people with thy rod, the flock of thy inheritance, them that dwell alone in the forest, in the midst of Carmel: they shall feed in Basan and Galaad according to the days of old. (D-R)

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .