Goats are great animals. Compared with sheep, goats are much more versatile and useful especially in 3rd world countries. My wife and I donated 5 goats [Heifer International] to a family in Central Africa for each of our 5 grandchildren at Christmas. I’m not sure that the children fully appreciated the gift, but surely the families that received the goat did.
Frequent commenter Steve and I were called ‘goats’ on another blog, a fundamentalist [c]hristian blog, by a person who, unlike me, reads the bible and knows the ‘laws’ and ‘rules’ and of course, the damnations. Steve and I were, for all practical purposes, placed among the goats. The righteous [c]hristian, naturally, lies with the sheep and, as such, will be taken to Heaven when Jesus returns, but Steve and I will burn, with the goats, forever.
I know, I know. But the trouble is, she actually ‘believes’ all of that stuff. She wrote, “When you are told to go to the left of Jesus where the goats are instead of the right where the sheep will be you will be so full of remorse and guilt and trying to bargain, but it will be too late. Jesus is depicted as the Lamb of God. A lamb was the preferred animal for a burnt offering to God. A goat was after a sheep and other animals below the goat.”
She literally believes this. Apparently, metaphor never gets in the way. If Jesus came to a culture where goat herding was most important, then Jesus would have been ‘depicted’ as the Goat of God. If Jesus came to the Bedouins, then Jesus would have been the Camel of God. What about a culture that finds the lowly jackass to be of the greatest usefulness?
Metaphor is a beautiful linguistic technique which is too often wasted on the illiterate.