Ark of the Covenant - Bible History Online
Bible History Online

Sub Categories

    Back to Categories

    September 25    Scripture



    More Bible History




    Ancient Cattle CATTLE The domestic cattle of Israel have been much like those raised in the West, only there have not been as many kinds of breed. In the time of Israel's prosperity, cattle were much more numerous than they have been among the Arabs today, and were probably better developed animals. The ancient Jews used the cattle for sacrifices, and for this purpose they had to be without flaws. The Arabs do not use cattle for meat very much, but rather use sheep and goat meat. Various words are used in our English Bible to indicate cattle. The word "ox" is often used, and it is sometimes indicated that this animal was especially fatted for table use. "Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith" (Proverbs 15:17). The words "bull" or "bullock" are used in Scripture to designate the male cattle. The bullock was one of animals that could be offered under the law of Moses as a burnt offering (Leviticus 1:5). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

    Ancient Yokes The yoke. The yoke is a rude stick that fits the necks of the cattle. Two straight sticks project down each side, and a cord at the end of these sticks and underneath the cattle's necks holds the yoke on the necks. These yokes of wood are often spoken of in the Scriptures (Jeremiah 28:13, etc.). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

    Bull Calves Bull calves were often used in Bible times for meat. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

    Cattle in Easton's Bible Dictionary abounded in the Holy Land. To the rearing and management of them the inhabitants chiefly devoted themselves (Deut. 8:13; 12:21; 1 Sam. 11:5; 12:3; Ps. 144:14; Jer. 3:24). They may be classified as, (1.) Neat cattle. Many hundreds of these were yearly consumed in sacrifices or used for food. The finest herds were found in Bashan, beyond Jordan (Num. 32:4). Large herds also pastured on the wide fertile plains of Sharon. They were yoked to the plough (1 Kings 19:19), and were employed for carrying burdens (1 Chr. 12:40). They were driven with a pointed rod (Judg. 3:31) or goad (q.v.). According to the Mosaic law, the mouths of cattle employed for the threshing-floor were not to be muzzled, so as to prevent them from eating of the provender over which they trampled (Deut. 25:4). Whosoever stole and sold or slaughtered an ox must give five in satisfaction (Ex. 22:1); but if it was found alive in the possession of him who stole it, he was required to make double restitution only (22:4). If an ox went astray, whoever found it was required to bring it back to its owner (23:4; Deut. 22:1, 4). An ox and an ass could not be yoked together in the plough (Deut. 22:10). (2.) Small cattle. Next to herds of neat cattle, sheep formed the most important of the possessions of the inhabitants of Israel (Gen. 12:16; 13:5; 26:14; 21:27; 29:2, 3). They are frequently mentioned among the booty taken in war (Num. 31:32; Josh. 6:21; 1 Sam. 14:32; 15:3). There were many who were owners of large flocks (1 Sam. 25:2; 2 Sam. 12:2, comp. Job 1:3). Kings also had shepherds "over their flocks" (1 Chr. 27:31), from which they derived a large portion of their revenue (2 Sam. 17:29; 1 Chr. 12:40). The districts most famous for their flocks of sheep were the plain of Sharon (Isa. 65: 10), Mount Carmel (Micah 7:14), Bashan and Gilead (Micah 7:14). In patriarchal times the flocks of sheep were sometimes tended by the daughters of the owners. Thus Rachel, the daughter of Laban, kept her father's sheep (Gen. 29:9); as also Zipporah and her six sisters had charge of their father Jethro's flocks (Ex. 2:16). Sometimes they were kept by hired shepherds (John 10:12), and sometimes by the sons of the family (1 Sam. 16:11; 17:15). The keepers so familiarized their sheep with their voices that they knew them, and followed them at their call. Sheep, but more especially rams and lambs, were frequently offered in sacrifice. The shearing of sheep was a great festive occasion (1 Sam. 25:4; 2 Sam. 13:23). They were folded at night, and guarded by their keepers against the attacks of the lion (Micah 5:8), the bear (1 Sam. 17:34), and the wolf (Matt. 10:16; John 10:12). They were liable to wander over the wide pastures and go astray (Ps. 119:176; Isa. 53:6; Hos. 4:16; Matt. 18:12). Goats also formed a part of the pastoral wealth of Israel (Gen. 15:9; 32:14; 37:31). They were used both for sacrifice and for food (Deut. 14:4), especially the young males (Gen. 27:9, 14, 17; Judg. 6:19; 13:15; 1 Sam. 16:20). Goat's hair was used for making tent cloth (Ex. 26:7; 36:14), and for mattresses and bedding (1 Sam. 19:13, 16). (See GOAT -T0001509.)

    Cattle in Naves Topical Bible (Of the bovine species) -Used for sacrifice 1Ki 8:63 -See HEIFER -See OFFERINGS -Sheltered Ge 33:17 -Stall-fed Pr 15:17 -Gilead adapted to the raising of Nu 32:1-4 -Bashan suitable to the raising of Ps 22:12; Eze 39:18; Am 4:1

    Cattle in Smiths Bible Dictionary [BULL].

    Cattle in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE kat'-'-l (behemah, "a dumb beast"; miqneh, "a possession" from qanah, "to acquire" (compare Arabic qana', "to acquire," and Greek kienos, "beast," and plural ktenea, "flocks," from ktaomai, "to acquire," flocks being both with the Homeric peoples and with the patriarchs an important form of property; compare English "fee"); tso'n "small cattle," "sheep" or goats (compare Arabic da'n, "sheep"); seh, a single sheep or goat (compare Arabic shah); mela'khah, "property," from la'akh, "to minister" (compare Arabic malakah and mulk, "property," from malak, "to possess"); meri' "fatling" (1 Ki 19); thremma (Jn 4:12), "cattle," i.e. "that which is nourished," from trepho, "to nourish"; baqar, "kine," "oxen" (compare Arabic baqar, "cattle"); shor, tor (Dan 4:25), tauros (Mt 22:4), "ox" or "bull"; bous, "ox" (Lk 13:15); 'eleph, only in the plural, 'alaphim, "oxen" (Ps 8:7)): From the foregoing and by examination of the many references to "cattle," "kine" or "oxen" it is apparent that there are important points of contact in derivation and usage in the Hebrew, Greek and English terms. It is evident that neat cattle were possessed in abundance by the patriarchs and later Israelites, which is fax from being the case in Israel at the present day. The Bedouin usually have no cattle. The fellachin in most parts of the country keep them in small numbers, mostly for plowing, and but little for milk or for slaughtering. Travelers in the Holy Land realize that goat's milk is in most places easier to obtain than cow's milk. The commonest cattle of the fellachin are a small black breed. In the vicinity of Damascus are many large, fine milch cattle which furnish the delicious milk and cream of the Damascus bazaars. For some reason, probably because they are not confined and highly fed, the bulls of Israel are meek creatures as compared with their European or American fellows. In English Versions of the Bible the word "cattle" is more often used in a wide sense to include sheep and goats than to denote merely neat cattle. In fact, baqar, which distinctively denotes neat cattle, is often rendered "herds," as tso'n, literally "sheep," is in a large number of instances translated "flocks." A good illustration is found in Gen 32:7: "Then Jacob .... divided the, people (`am) that were with him, and the flocks (tso'n), and the herds (baqar), and the camels (gemallim), into two companies (machanoth)." For the last word the King James Version has "drove" in Gen 33:8, the Revised Version (British and American) "company." Next to tso'n, the word most commonly rendered "flock" in English Versions of the Bible is `edher, from root "to arrange," "to set in order." `Edher is rendered "herd" in Prov 27:23, and in Joel 1:18 it occurs twice, being rendered "herds of cattle," `edhre baqar, and "flocks of sheep," `edhre ha-tso'n. Miqneh is rendered "flock" in Nu 32:26, "herd" in Gen 47:18, and "cattle" in a large number of passages. Other words rendered "flock" are: mar`ith (r. ra`ah (Arabic ra`a), "to pasture"), once in Jer 10:21; `ashteroth tso'n, "flocks of thy sheep," the Revised Version (British and American) "young of thy flock," in Dt 7:13, etc., `ashiaroth being...

    Cattle Scripture - 1 Chronicles 5:21 And they took away their cattle; of their camels fifty thousand, and of sheep two hundred and fifty thousand, and of asses two thousand, and of men an hundred thousand.

    Cattle Scripture - 2 Chronicles 35:8 And his princes gave willingly unto the people, to the priests, and to the Levites: Hilkiah and Zechariah and Jehiel, rulers of the house of God, gave unto the priests for the passover offerings two thousand and six hundred [small cattle], and three hundred oxen.

    Cattle Scripture - Deuteronomy 28:11 And the LORD shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers to give thee.

    Cattle Scripture - Deuteronomy 30:9 And the LORD thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good: for the LORD will again rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy fathers:

    Cattle Scripture - Deuteronomy 5:14 But the seventh day [is] the sabbath of the LORD thy God: [in it] thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that [is] within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou.

    Cattle Scripture - Genesis 1:25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that [it was] good.

    Cattle Scripture - Genesis 47:6 The land of Egypt [is] before thee; in the best of the land make thy father and brethren to dwell; in the land of Goshen let them dwell: and if thou knowest [any] men of activity among them, then make them rulers over my cattle.

    Cattle Scripture - Genesis 8:17 Bring forth with thee every living thing that [is] with thee, of all flesh, [both] of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth.

    Cattle Scripture - Joshua 8:2 And thou shalt do to Ai and her king as thou didst unto Jericho and her king: only the spoil thereof, and the cattle thereof, shall ye take for a prey unto yourselves: lay thee an ambush for the city behind it.

    Cattle Scripture - Leviticus 5:2 Or if a soul touch any unclean thing, whether [it be] a carcase of an unclean beast, or a carcase of unclean cattle, or the carcase of unclean creeping things, and [if] it be hidden from him; he also shall be unclean, and guilty.

    Cows Milk-giving cows, sometimes called "milch kine," were in common use (I Samuel 6:7; Deuteronomy 32:14). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

    Killing the Fatted Calf Two occasions called for the slaying of this animal. First, if a special guest was to be received and thus honored, the calf was then killed. When the witch of Endor entertained King Saul with a meal, the account says that she "had a fat calf in the house; and she hasted, and killed it" (I Samuel 28:24). The well-known New Testament example was when the prodigal's father said to his servants, "Bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry" (Luke 15:23). It was the custom to kill the animal, cook it, and then eat it, in quick succession. Abraham, Gideon, Manoah, the witch of Endor, as well as the prodigal's father, are examples of this. The Bedouin Arabs do this today when unexpected guests arrive. These Orientals would appear to be expert in the art.36 Second, the "fatted calf' was sometimes slain as a special sacrifice or offering unto the LORD. The prophet Amos mentions "the peace-offerings of your fat beasts" (Amos 5:22, Keil). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

    Oxen But the chief use of oxen was by the farmer in his various activities. The Jews used the oxen where the modern farmer has used the horse. Oxen were put under the yoke and made to pull the plow. Cows as well as bulls were utilized, the latter having been castrated. "Elisha was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen" (I Kings 19:19). Oxen were used in threshing grain. "Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn [grain]" (Deuteronomy 25:4). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

    The Fatted Calf Special use of the fatted calf. The "fatted calf" as used by the Jews served a special purpose. This calf was stall-fed as is indicated by the prophet Malachi: "And grow up as calves of the stall" (Malachi 4:2). This animal is not only allowed to eat all that he wants to eat, but he is forced to eat more. The whole family, and especially the children, are interested in feeding it. It is fattened up in order that it may be killed for some special occasion. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

    Turning Cattle Loose During part of the year, the cattle in Israel are allowed to graze. In the thickly populated sections, a boy will act as herdsman to see that they do no harm. But in the thinly populated districts, the farmers will sometimes turn their herds loose and let the cattle forage, hunting their own pasturage. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

    Wild Bulls While doing this they take on some of the characteristics of a wild animal. The Bible refers to some of these habits. The Psalmist cried: "Many bulls have compassed me, strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round. They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion" (Psalm 22:12). The prophet Joel referred to the custom of turning herds loose to search for their own pastures: "How do the beasts groan! the herds of cattle are perplexed, because they have no pasture" (Joel 1:18). Under the dire conditions described by the prophet, the cattle could find no pasturage. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]