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yoke Summary and Overview

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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 Smith's 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 Schaff's Bible Dictionary

YOKE . This was much lighter than ours, and probably much larger, so that the cattle stood farther apart and the plough could more easily be made to avoid obstructions. It was simply a stick Yoke in Use in Palestine. a, b, timber of the yoke; c, d, the bows; e, f, pegs between which, at g, the end of the shaft comes, the shaft itself having been run through the rope between f and the cross-piece of wood h, i. laid upon the necks of the cattle, to which it was held by thongs instead of wooden bows, and in a similar manner it was attached to the plough-beam. In modern Syria wooden pins are sometimes used instead of thongs, the lower ends of which are held by a parallel stick under the necks of the oxen. The yoke was an appropriate emblem of subjection and of slavery, imprisonment, and severe rule, while the removal of it indicated the corresponding deliverance. Gen 27:40; Jer 2:20; Matt 11:29-30. Breaking the yoke also represents the rejection of authority. Nah 1:13. __________________________________________________________________ Z.

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).