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The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

One of the fables of Aesop:

The phrase appears roughly 700 years later in the New Testament and is recorded the Gospel of Matthew (7:15-16). Jesus said, “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them.” (New International Version)

According to the fable, a hungry wolf came upon a sheep‘s fleece lying on the ground in a field. The wolf realized that if it wore the fleece, it would look like a sheep from a distance. That would enable the wolf to sneak up on a flock of sheep and steal a lamb for its supper, before the shepherd noticed his presence.

The wolf put on the fleece, and went off in search of a flock of sheep. It spied a flock of sheep just as the sun was setting, and approached the flock. Just as it was about to pounce on a lamb, a shepherd came by, looking for a sheep to slaughter for supper. Thinking the disguised wolf was a sheep, the shepherd quickly grabbed and killed the wolf.

An alternative version is, another wolf is sneaking around looking for a sheep for dinner, and pounces on the wolf in sheep’s clothing, killing it and eating it for supper instead of a real sheep.

The intended lesson was, Frauds and liars are always discovered, eventually, and pay for their actions accordingly.” The moral is sometimes also told as “The evil doer often comes to harm through his own deceit”.

 

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