XXshep-sher-ing: The sheep-shearing is done in the springtime, either by the owners (Gen 31:19; 38:13; Dt 15:19; 1 Sam 25:2,4) or by regular "shearers" (gazaz) (1 Sam 25:7,11; Isa 53:7). There were special houses for this work in Old Testament times (2 Ki 10:12,14). The shearing was carefully done so as to keep the fleece whole (Jdg 6:37). The sheep of a flock are not branded but spotted. Lime or some dyestuff is painted in one or more spots on the wool of the back as a distinguishing mark. In 2 Ki 3:4, Mesha, the chief or sheikh of Moab, was a sheep-master, literally, "a sheep spotter."
James A. Patch