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Ancient Ox Carts
The ox carts of the Philistines usually carried women and children being drawn by many oxen, usually four. They were shaped in a square and were made of wood, though sometimes they were made of woven materials. The wheels were made of wood. In the well-known story of the return of the ark of the covenant (1 Samuel 6:7), the Golden Ark was placed on a wooden cart and sent back to Israel.
2 Samuel 6:3 - And they set the ark of God upon a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab that [was] in Gibeah: and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drave the new cart.
Oxen and bullocks were perhaps a larger proportion of the wealth of Oriental peoples in olden times than now. The apostle asks: "Doth God take care for oxen?" "Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the com." ^ The Mosaic law also provided that on the Sabbath "Thine ox and thine ass may rest." ^ The prophet Elisha "was ploviing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the t^'elfth," when Elijah met him and called him to the prophetical work.^ The purchase of oxen was made an excuse for not responding to a social inxitation: "I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them,"* The cows and the calves were trained to the yoke in early times. Thus, when the lords of the Philistines wanted to send back the ark, they said; "Make a new cart, and take two milch kine, on which there hath come no yoke, and tie the kine to the cart, and bring their calves home from them: and take the ark of the Lord and lay it upon the cart." And the prophet calls Ephraim "An heifer that is taught, and loveth to tread out the com." [Orientalisms in Bible Lands]
Smith's Bible Dictionary - Ge 45:19,27; Nu 7:3,7,8 a vehicle
drawn by cattle, 2Sa 6:6 to be distinguished from the chariot drawn
by horses. Carts and wagons were either open or covered, Nu 7:3 and
were used for conveyance of person, Ge 45:19 burdens, 1Sa 6:7,8 or
produce. Am 2:13 The only cart used in western Asia has two wheels
of solid wood.
Easton's Bible Dictionary - A vehicle moving on wheels, and
usually drawn by oxen (2 Sam. 6:3). The Hebrew word thus rendered,
_'agalah_ (1 Sam. 6:7, 8), is also rendered "wagon" (Gen. 45:19). It
is used also to denote a war-chariot (Ps. 46:9). Carts were used for
the removal of the ark and its sacred utensils (Num. 7:3, 6). After
retaining the ark amongst them for seven months, the Philistines
sent it back to the Israelites. On this occasion they set it in a
new cart, probably a rude construction, with solid wooden wheels
like that still used in Western Asia, which was drawn by two milch
cows, which conveyed it straight to Beth-shemesh. A "cart rope," for
the purpose of fastening loads on carts, is used (Isa. 5:18) as a
symbol of the power of sinful pleasures or habits over him who
indulges them. (See CORD ¯T0000898.) In Syria and Israel
wheel-carriages for any other purpose than the conveyance of
agricultural produce are almost unknown.
Cart in the
Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE: kart (`aghalah): The Hebrew word
has been translated in some passages "cart," and in others "wagon."
In one verse only has it been translated "chariot." The context of
the various passages indicates that a distinction was made between
vehicles which were used for carrying baggage or produce and those
used for carrying riders (chariots), although in their primitive
form of construction they were much the same (compare English "cart"
and "carriage"). Carts, like "chariots" (which see), were of
Assyrian origin. They were early carried to Egypt where the flat
nature of the country readily led to their adoption. From Egypt they
gradually found their way among the people of the Palestinian
plains. In the hills of Judea and Central Israel, except where
highways were built (1 Sam 6:12), the nature of the country
prevented the use of wheeled vehicles. 1 Sam 6:7,8,10,11,14 show
that the people of the plains used carts. The men of Kiriath-jearim
found it easier to carry the ark (1 Sam 7:1). Their attempt to use a
cart later (2 Sam 6:3,1; 1 Ch 13:7) proved disastrous and they
abandoned it for a safer way (2 Sam 6:13). That carts were used at a
very early date is indicated by Nu 7:3,7,8. That these vehicles were
not the common mode of conveyance in Israel is shown in Gen 45.
Pharaoh commanded that Joseph's brethren should return to their
father with their beasts of burden (45:21) and take with them
Egyptian wagons (45:19,21; 46:6) for bringing back their father and
their families. The very unusual sight of the wagons was proof to
Jacob of Joseph's existence (45:27). Bible descriptions and ancient
Babylonian and Egyptian pictures indicate that the cart was usually
two-wheeled and drawn by two oxen. With the Arabian conquests and
subsequent ruin of the roads wheeled vehicles disappeared from Syria
and Israel. History is again repeating itself. The Circassians, whom
the Turkish government has settled near Caesarea, Jerash (Gerasa)
and Amman (Philadelphia), have introduced a crude cart which must be
similar to that used in Old Testament times. The two wheels are of
solid wood. A straight shaft is joined to the wooden axle, and to
this a yoke of oxen is attached. On the Philistian plains may be
seen carts of present-day Egyptian origin but of a pattern many
centuries old. With the establishment of government roads during the
last 50 years, European vehicles of all descriptions are fast coming
into the country.
In Egypt, the use of the ilail is unknown. To separate the grain from the straw, the inhabitants prepare, with a mixture of earth, &c., spacious floors, well beat, and very clean. The rice is spread thereon, in thick layers. They have then a sort of cart, formed of two pieces of wood joined together by two cross-pieces. It is almost in the shape of sledges which serve for the conveyance of burdens in the streets of our cities. Between the longer sides of this sledge are fixed, transversely, three rows of small wheels, made of solid iron,^ and narrowed off toward their circumference. On the forepart is a wide and high seat, upon which a man sits, driving two oxen harnessed to the machine. The whole moves on slowly, and always in a circular direction, over every part of the heap of rice, until there remains no more grain in the straw. When it is thus beat, it is spread in the air to be dried. Several men walk abreast, to turn it over, each of whom, with his foot, makes a furrow in the layer of grain ; so that in a few moments the whole mass is moved, and that part which was underneath is again exposed to the air. — Sonnini : Harjmr's Observations^ vol. iv., pp. 134, 135.
The Bible Mentions a lot concerning "Carts"
28:27 - For the fitches are not threshed with a threshing
instrument, neither is a cart wheel turned about upon
the cummin; but the fitches are beaten out with a staff, and the
cummin with a rod.