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    September 29    Scripture

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    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]

    Carpenter Products Products of the carpenter. There are several products of the Eastern carpenter's skill. Many have wondered what JESUS as a carpenter made. There is an old tradition that has come down to us, that he was a maker of plows and yokes. The yoke, and most of the plow, with the exception of the iron ploughshare, are constructed of wood, and so would be the task of the carpenters. As there were many farmers among the ancient Hebrews, as there are among the Arab peasants today, there would be a great demand for yokes and plows. Other products of the carpenter would include wooden locks and wooden keys for houses, doors, roofs, windows, low tables, chairs or stools and chests for storage use. The carpenter's most ornamental work would include paneling of the roof, latticework for windows, and decorative art on house doors. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

    Oxen ANIMALS USED IN PLOUGHING Use of oxen. In Bible times oxen were used almost exclusively for ploughing. For this reason the expression "a yoke" was used by the Hebrews to mean the measure of land which a yoke of oxen could plough in a day (cf. I Samuel 14:14, and Isaiah 5:10). "Oxen" as the Hebrews used the term, meant both sexes of the animal, cows being used as well as bulls for purposes of draught, but the latter were castrated. This explains the reason for the law specifying concerning a heifer to be used for sacrificial purposes, that it be one "upon which never came yoke" (Numbers 19:2). The law of Moses forbade ploughing with an ox and an ass yoked together (Deuteronomy 22:10). The Apostle Paul spoke of "the unequal yoke" in connection with partnership between believers and unbelievers (II Corinthians 6:14). Today, the Arabs usually make use of oxen in ploughing, but sometimes utilize camels, and occasionally yoke together an ox and a donkey, or a camel and a donkey. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

    Ploughing After the Rain Getting ready for ploughing. The farmer gets ready for ploughing after the first rain starts falling, if he has not already done so before. He will spend the time making sure that his plough is in good repair and ready for action. He may need to cut and point a new goad to use in prodding his team of oxen. He must also see to it that his yoke is smooth and fits the necks of the animals. An ill-shaped or heavy yoke would gall them. The LORD JESUS spoke of "the easy yoke" promised to His obedient followers (Matthew 11:30). When the ground has been softened sufficiently by the rain, then the ploughing can begin. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

    Yoke in Easton's Bible Dictionary (1.) Fitted on the neck of oxen for the purpose of binding to them the traces by which they might draw the plough, etc. (Num. 19:2; Deut. 21:3). It was a curved piece of wood called _'ol_. (2.) In Jer. 27:2; 28:10, 12 the word in the Authorized Version rendered "yoke" is _motah_, which properly means a "staff," or as in the Revised Version, "bar." These words in the Hebrew are both used figuratively of severe bondage, or affliction, or subjection (Lev. 26:13; 1 Kings 12:4; Isa. 47:6; Lam. 1:14; 3:27). In the New Testament the word "yoke" is also used to denote servitude (Matt. 11:29, 30; Acts 15:10; Gal. 5:1). (3.) In 1 Sam. 11:7, 1 Kings 19:21, Job 1:3 the word thus translated is _tzemed_, which signifies a pair, two oxen yoked or coupled together, and hence in 1 Sam. 14:14 it represents as much land as a yoke of oxen could plough in a day, like the Latin _jugum_. In Isa. 5:10 this word in the plural is translated "acres."

    Yoke in Fausset's Bible Dictionary mot, the wooden bow (ol) bound to the ox's neck: the two are combined, "bands of the yoke" (Leviticus 26:13; Ezekiel 34:27; Jeremiah 2:20, rather "thou hast broken the yoke and burst the bands which I laid on thee," i.e. My laws, setting them at defiance, Jeremiah 5:5; Psalm 2:3). Contrast the world's heavy yoke (1 Kings 12:4; 1 Kings 12:9; 1 Kings 12:11; Isaiah 9:11) with Christ's "easy yoke" (Matthew 11:29-30). Tsemed, a pair of oxen (1 Samuel 11:7), or donkeys (Judges 19:10); a couple of horsemen (Isaiah 21:7); also what land a pair of oxen could plow in a day (Isaiah 5:10, "ten acres," literally, ten yokes; Latin: jugum, jugerum; 1 Samuel 14:14).

    Yoke in Naves Topical Bible FIGURATIVE Le 26:13; Isa 9:4; 10:27; Jer 2:20; 5:5; 28:2,4,10; 30:8; La 1:14; 3:27; Mt 11:29,30; Ac 15:10

    Yoke in Smiths Bible Dictionary 1. A well-known implement of husbandry, frequently used metaphorically for subjection, e.g. 1Ki 12:4,9-11; Isa 9:4; Jer 5:5 hence an "iron yoke" represents an unusually galling bondage. De 28:48; Jer 28:13 2. A pair of oxen, so termed as being yoked together. 1Sa 11:7; 1Ki 19:19,21 The Hebrew term is also applied to asses, Jud 19:10 and mules, 2Ki 5:17 and even to a couple of riders. Isa 21:7 3. The term is also applied to a certain amount of land, 1Sa 14:14 equivalent to that which a couple of oxen could plough in a day, Isa 5:10 (Authorized Version "acre"), corresponding to the Latin jugum.

    Yoke in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE yok: (1) The usual word is `ol (Gen 27:40, etc.), less commonly the (apparently later) form moTah (Isa 58:6, etc.; in Nab 1:13 moT), which the Revised Version (British and American) in Jer 27; 28 translates "bar" (a most needless and obscuring change). The Greek in Apocrypha (Sirach 28:19, etc.) and in the New Testament (Mt 11:29 f, etc.) is invariably zugos. Egyptian monuments show a yoke that consisted of a straight bar fastened to the foreheads of the cattle at the root of the horns, and such yokes were no doubt used in Israel also; but the more usual form was one that rested on the neck (Gen 27:40, etc.). It was provided with straight "bars" (moToth in Lev 26:13; Ezek 34:27) projecting downward, against which the shoulders of the oxen pressed, and it was held in position by thongs or "bonds" (moceroth in Jer 2:20; 5:5; 27:2; 30:8; 'aghuddoth in Isa 58:6, "bands"), fastened under the animals' throats. Such yokes could of course be of any weight (1 Ki 12:4 ff), depending on the nature of the work to be done, but the use of "iron yokes" (Dt 28:48; Jer 28:13 f) must have been very rare, if, indeed, the phrase is anything more than a figure of speech. What is meant by "the yoke on their jaws" in Hos 11:4 is quite obscure. Possibly a horse's bit is meant; possibly the phrase is a condensed form for "the yoke that prevents their feeding"; possibly the text is corrupt. See JAW. The figurative use of "yoke" in the sense of "servitude" is intensely obvious (compare especially Jer 27, 28). Attention needs to be called only to Lam 3:27, where "disciplining sorrow" is meant, and to Jer 5:5, where the phrase is a figure for "the law of God." This last use became popular with the Jews at a later period and it is found, e.g. in Apocrypha Baruch 41:3; Psalter of Solomon 7:9; 17:32; Ab. iii.7,. and in this sense the phrase is employed. by Christ in Mt 11:29 f. "My yoke" here means "the service of God as I teach it" (the common interpretation, "the sorrows that I bear," is utterly irrelevant) and the emphasis is on "my." The contrast is not between "yoke" and "no yoke," but between "my teaching" (light yoke) and "the current scribal teaching'; (heavy yoke). (2) "Yoke" in the sense of "a pair of oxen" is tsemedh (1 Sam 11:7, etc.), or zeugos (Lk 14:19).

    Yokes Scripture - Ezekiel 30:18 At Tehaphnehes also the day shall be darkened, when I shall break there the yokes of Egypt: and the pomp of her strength shall cease in her: as for her, a cloud shall cover her, and her daughters shall go into captivity.

    Yokes Scripture - Jeremiah 27:2 Thus saith the LORD to me; Make thee bonds and yokes, and put them upon thy neck,

    Yokes Scripture - Jeremiah 28:13 Go and tell Hananiah, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Thou hast broken the yokes of wood; but thou shalt make for them yokes of iron.