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Dictionaries :: Cattle

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Below are articles from the following dictionary:
Easton's Bible Dictionary


abounded in the Holy Land. To the rearing and management of them the inhabitants chiefly devoted themselves (Deu 8:13; 12:21; 1Sa 11:5; 12:3; Psa 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 (1Ki 19:19), and were employed for carrying burdens (1Ch 12:40). They were driven with a pointed rod (Jdg 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 (Deu 25:4). Whosoever stole and sold or slaughtered an ox must give five in satisfaction (Exd 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; Deu 22:1,4). An ox and an ass could not be yoked together in the plough (Deu 22:10).

(2.) Small cattle. Next to herds of neat cattle, sheep formed the most important of the possessions of the inhabitants of Palestine (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; Jos 6:21; 1Sa 14:32; 15:3). There were many who were owners of large flocks (1Sa 25:2; 2Sa 12:2, comp. Job 1:3). Kings also had shepherds "over their flocks" (1Ch 27:31), from which they derived a large portion of their revenue (2Sa 17:29; 1Ch 12:40). The districts most famous for their flocks of sheep were the plain of Sharon (Isa 65:10), Mount Carmel (Mic 7:14), Bashan and Gilead (Mic 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 (Exd 2:16). Sometimes they were kept by hired shepherds (Jhn 10:12), and sometimes by the sons of the family (1Sa 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 (1Sa 25:4; 2Sa 13:23). They were folded at night, and guarded by their keepers against the attacks of the lion (Mic 5:8), the bear (1Sa 17:34), and the wolf (Mat 10:16; Jhn 10:12). They were liable to wander over the wide pastures and go astray (Psa 119:176; Isa 53:6; Hsa 4:16; Mat 18:12).

Goats also formed a part of the pastoral wealth of Palestine (Gen 15:9; 32:14; 37:31). They were used both for sacrifice and for food (Deu 14:4), especially the young males (Gen 27:9,14,17; Jdg 6:19; 13:15; 1Sa 16:20). Goat's hair was used for making tent cloth (Exd 26:7; 36:14), and for mattresses and bedding (1Sa 19:13,16). (See GOAT.)


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