Why is ‘Schäfer’ German for shepherd?

By Baldmichael Theresoluteprotector’sson

5th September, 2022

Afghan shepherd

Why indeed? Apparently ‘hirte’ is also a word for shepherd which seems rather odd.

However, it is in the phonetics you see. ‘Hirte’ sound similar to ‘herder’, someone who herds or protects the flock.

‘Gute Hirte’ means ‘good shepherd’ in German. I thought I would look at the anagrams. And as Jesus said he was the good shepherd, I thought I would consider the results in that context.

True eight – Jesus says He is the way the truth and the life. And eight is a number associated with Him.


eg hurt tie – He binds up the wounded – Ezekiel 34 v. 16

eg ruth tie – He binds up with compassion (Ruth means compassion) – Matthew 9 v. 36.

When He saw the crowds, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.


Er thug tie – He binds up the strong man who would attack the flock – Ezekiel 34 v. 16

I greet hut – He and the Father will make their home with you, whether it is a hut or not!

Jesus replied, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word. My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.

eg ie truth – He is truth and is an example of truth.

Hug it tree – He is the Tree of Life whom we can hug!


This is a useful link about Jesus being the good shepherd.


Going back to the German, hirte can sound like hurter, someone who hurts. And there are the evil shepherds, those who hurt the flock. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing which Ezekiel 34 talks about as Jeremiah in 23 v. 2.

Therefore this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says about the shepherds who tend My people: “You have scattered My flock and driven them away, and have not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for the evil of your deeds, declares the LORD

Interestingly, Francis Schaeffer’s surname derives from Schäfer. He was of part German ancestry which should not be surprising. He co-founded the L’Abri community in Switzerland with his wife Edith.


In the article it says of his legacy which includes the Covenant Theological Seminary establishing the Francis A. Schaeffer Institute, and ‘The purpose of the school is to train Christians to demonstrate compassionately and defend reasonably what they see as the claims of Christ on all of life.’

But why is Schäfer German for shepherd? Because you are ‘safer’ with a shepherd, a good shepherd than without!

In fact an anagram of Schafer is Chr safe. Chr is the first letters of Christ, so you could say in Christ you are safe.

It’s in the phonetics, and in the word.

And in the beginning was the word…

Author: alphaandomega21

Baldmichael Theresoluteprotector'sson. When not posting pages or paging posties, trying to be a good husband, and getting over a long term health issue, I am putting the world to rights. I have nothing better to do, so why not? But of course that includes dancing, being funny (in more than one sense), poking fun at life, poking fun at myself, deflating the pompous, reflating the sad. Seeking to heal the whole of the soul (and body where possible). In short making life as good as it possibly can be for others as well as myself. You can't say fairer than that. But if you can, please say. People need to know.

3 thoughts on “Why is ‘Schäfer’ German for shepherd?”

  1. Very nicely done and highly significant!
    By the way, I’m a huge “Tree Hugger!” Plant and transplant many on my property.
    But that is only one reason I’m drawn to the story within; the most important component of course is “The Good Shepherd” who is the reason for all and good enough for all!
    Let’s climb into that Tree of Life!

    Liked by 1 person

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