The Kia ora coo-ee : the magazine for the ANZACS in the Middle East, 1918
Sheep In Palestine
Sheep In Palestine.
Palestine, from the earliest times, has always been a great sheep country, the richest pastures being around Gilead, Ammon, and Moab. It is recorded in 2 Kings, III. 4, that "The King of Moab was a sheep master, and rendered unto the King of Israel an hundred thousand lambs, and an hundred thousand rams, with the wool." Half a century ago, Dr Tristram sat under the tent of a Beni Sakka'r sheih, who pastured his sheep in the ancient plains of Moab, and boasted that his flocks numbered 30,000. For King Solomon's table no fewer that 100 sheep were required daily. Job was the possessor of 14,000 sheep. The pages of the Bible contain some five hundred references to this animal, whose wool in old Testament times was the only material the Israelites possessed for making clothing. Great flocks of sheep were brought out of Egvpt by them. Two breeds of sheep are found in Palestine. One has fine, short wool and resembles the merino; the other is the Syrian sheep, which is distinguished chiefly by its huge fat tail. The former breed belongs to the Northern Hill country and the latter to the Southern parts of Palestine. The tail of a Syrian sheep, may weigh 10 lbs. or more.