This kind of qualifies as a head slap moment, LOL. So even as kid, I noticed how close pastor sounds and looks to pasture. And the fact that pastoral means “having to do with country life” was something I learned a long time ago. But I never actually paused to wonder why our word for a minister is so directly related to all this farm stuff.
But duh. It’s because pastor is actually directly from a Latin word, meaning…want to take a guess? “Shepherd.” Of course!! So it’s no wonder it shares a root with pasture.
It’s been a part of the English language since the 14th century and has pretty much always carried both meanings since pastor was used in Church Latin to denote those who tend the spiritual flock of souls. It didn’t become a verb, however, until the 1870s.