The phrase “black sheep” is used to describe someone who is different or out of place within a group, often in a negative way. It can also refer to someone who is considered to be a disgrace or a disappointment to their family or social group.

The phrase is thought to have originated in the 1700s as a reference to sheep with black wool, which was considered less valuable than white sheep in the wool industry.


Black Sheep Meaning in the Bible

The phrase “black sheep” is symbolic of an outcast or misfit in the Bible. The phrase originates from the biblical parable of the Prodigal Son, where a younger son goes away and squanders his money, eventually becoming a “black sheep” to shame and embarrassment of his father and other sons.

Overall, the phrase “black sheep” is symbolic of those who have sinned, gone astray, and become outcasts from their community or family.


Although the phrase is derogatory in nature, it serves to remind us that everyone can be forgiven and reconciled even after falling away from the flock.

Matthew 25:32-33

Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left.-


Matthew 25:32-33

Matthew 25_32-33


Matthew 25:32-33 is a passage from the New Testament of the Bible, in which Jesus is speaking about the final judgment.

This passage can be interpreted as saying that at the final judgment, all people will be judged according to their actions and not their status or reputation.

Those who have lived a life of compassion, kindness, and love will be rewarded with eternal life, while those who have lived a life of selfishness and disregard for others will be condemned.

Therefore, it is not about being a ‘black sheep’ or not, but about how one has lived life.

What is the symbolic meaning of sheep in the Bible?

In the Bible, sheep are often used as a symbol of God’s people or the faithful.

Additionally, sheep are often used to symbolize the Israelites, the chosen people of God, in the Old Testament.

The imagery of God as the shepherd and Israel as the sheep is used to convey God’s loving care and protection for his people.

Overall, the symbol of sheep in the Bible represents the faithful followers of God, who are dependent on Him for guidance, protection, and provision, and those who will be known by God and will hear His voice.

Psalm 23:1-3

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.-

Psalm 23:1-3

Psalm 23_1-3

According to this verse, Christians are regarded as sheep while God is the shepherd.

Just as a sheep needs a shepherd to guide it to green pastures and still waters, the faithful need God to guide them in the paths of righteousness.

The imagery of green pastures and still waters symbolizes the abundance and peace that God provides for His people.

Black Sheep Personality

A “black sheep” personality refers to someone who is perceived as being different or deviant from the norm within a family or group.

This term is often used to describe a person who does not conform to the expectations or values of their family or community and may be viewed as an outcast or outsider as a result.

The phrase is also used to describe a person who is considered to be a disgrace or embarrassment to their family or group. It’s a metaphor, it’s not referring to any actual sheep.

Matthew 10:6

But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.-

Matthew 10:6

Matthew 10_6

This verse is part of Jesus’ instructions to his disciples as he sends them out to spread his message and heal the sick.

The passage is understood as Jesus telling his disciples to first focus on preaching the gospel to the Jews, who were considered the “lost sheep of Israel” because they had strayed from their religious beliefs.

Luke 15:4

What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?-

Luke 15:4

Luke 15_4

This verse is a reminder that God cares for everyone, even those who are seen as outsiders or different.

It emphasizes that God will not give up on someone who is “lost” or “misunderstood” and that He’s always searching for them.

It is a message of hope and redemption for those who may be struggling with feelings of rejection or alienation.

Black Sheep Spiritual Meaning

The black sheep can represent the individual who does not conform to societal or religious norms and may be seen as a symbol of nonconformity or individuality.

Christianity, the phrase “black sheep” is often used to refer to individuals who have strayed from the teachings of the faith or who have engaged in immoral or sinful behavior.

This can be seen as a metaphor for being lost or separated from God, and in need of redemption or forgiveness.

Isaiah 53:6

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.-

Isaiah 53:6

Isaiah 53_6

This verse is often interpreted as a reference to Jesus as the “shepherd” who takes upon himself the sins of humanity and offers salvation and redemption to those who have gone astray.

Isaiah 1:18

Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.-

Isaiah 1:18

Isaiah 1_18

This verse can be interpreted as a reminder that even those who have been cast out or rejected by society or religion can be forgiven and made clean through God’s grace.

It is a message of hope and redemption for the black sheep and a reminder that no one is beyond the reach of God’s love and forgiveness.

Parable of the Black Sheep

The parable of the prodigal son in the bible is a suitable example to use as a parable of the black sheep.

Luke 15:20-24

So he got up and went back to his father. While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; ………-

Luke 15:20-24

Luke 15_20-24

The prodigal son represents the black sheep of the family, the one who is different and does not fit in.

The son’s request for his inheritance and subsequent wild living can be seen as a rejection of his family and their values, much like the black sheep’s difference is rejected by the other sheep in the flock.

The Prodigal Son can be seen as a powerful illustration of the idea that even those who have strayed or been rejected can be welcomed back and forgiven.

Why do they Call it Black Sheep?

Whether he is a shame to the family or just doesn’t appear to fit in, the black sheep is the odd one out.

The occurrence of a black-fleeced sheep in a flock of white sheep, which is unusual, is where the expression got its start.

According to folklore, black sheep were often seen as the outcasts of their flock, since the majority of sheep were white.

This is thought to have originated in the early 1800s in the UK, where sheep were bred for their wool.

In some flocks, an occasional black sheep would be produced, and they were often seen as different or unwelcome.

This is thought to have resulted in the phrase being used with the same meaning today, to refer to someone who stands out or is considered an outcast.

Black Sheep of the Family Meaning

It is often used to describe someone who does not conform to the family’s values or ideals and may have a negative impact on the family’s reputation or status.

For example, a black sheep of the family may be someone who has a criminal record, a drug addiction, or a history of financial problems.

However, it’s also used to describe the person who is not following the same path as the rest of the family, and who has different beliefs or lifestyles.

How do you know if you’re a black sheep?

There are many ways one can actually know and feel like the black sheep. here are a few instances that can help;

  1. You feel like you don’t fit in with the rest of your family or friends. You may have different interests, beliefs, or values than others.
  2. You feel like you are constantly judged or criticized by your family or friends. They may have high expectations for you or be disappointed in your choices.
  3. You have a hard time relating to your family or friends and feel like you have to hide parts of yourself to be accepted.
  4. You may have experienced rejection or exclusion from your family or friends because of your differences.
  5. You might feel like you are not respected or valued by your family or friends.

It’s important to note that being a “black sheep” doesn’t mean you’re a bad person, it’s more about feeling different and not fitting in with a specific group of people.

It’s also important to remember that everyone’s family and social dynamics are different, what might be considered a black sheep in one family, might not be in another one.

The Black Sheep of the Family turns into the Goat Meaning

The phrase “the black sheep of the family turns into the goat” is a metaphor that is used to describe someone who has gone through a transformation or redemption.

It is typically used to describe someone who was seen as an outsider or a misfit but eventually turned their life around and found success.

The phrase suggests that while they may have been considered the “black sheep” of the family before, they have now become the “goat” and are now respected, admired, and appreciated.

It implies that the person has changed for the better and is now seen in a more favorable way by the family.

When the Black Sheep Becomes Successful

When the “black sheep” of a family or group becomes successful, it can be seen as a surprise or even a shock to others.

This is because the person was often viewed as someone who would not be able to achieve success or was not expected to.

The phrase “black sheep” often carries a negative connotation and implies that the person is different or out of place within the group.

When the black sheep becomes successful, it can be a source of inspiration to others and a reminder that people should not be judged or underestimated based on appearances or preconceived notions.

It also shows that success can come from unexpected places and that everyone has the potential to achieve it.

Additionally, it could also signify that being different or unique is not a hindrance to one’s personal growth.

It can also be a source of pride and validation for the black sheep themselves, as they have overcome any negative stereotypes or expectations placed on them.

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