a-stra' (ta`ah, "to wander," "to err"; planaomai, "to go astray," each carrying the idea of being lost): With one exception (Ex 23:4 "his ass going astray") used metaphorically of moral wandering, going astray in paths of error and sin, like "sheep going astray" (1Pe 2:25 the King James Version; Isa 53:6; Ps 119:176). This wandering may be due (1) to inherent evil (Ps 58:3); (2) to false shepherds (Jer 50:6); contrast the beautiful and classic passage, Mt 18:12-13, the Son of man (verse 12) seeketh that which is gone astray. No word more vividly portrays sin as a straying, a separation from God. To be morally "astray" is to be "lost."
Dwight M. Pratt