(עֲגָלָה, agalah´, from עָגִל, to roll; Sept. ἄμαξα [so in Judith 15:11], Vulg. plaustrum; also rendered "wagon," Ge 45:19,21,27; Ge 46:5; Nu 7:3,6-8; and "chariot" in Ps 46:9, SEE CART- WHEEL ), a vehicle moving on wheels, and usually drawn by cattle (2Sa 6:6), to be distinguished from the chariot drawn by horses. SEE CHARIOT.
1. The carts which the king of Egypt sent to assist in transporting Jacob's family from Canaan (Ge 45:19,27) were manifestly not used in the latter country, but were peculiar to Egypt. These carts or wagons were, of course, not war-chariots, nor such curricles as were in use among the Egyptian nobility. The ready means of transport and travel by the Nile seems to have rendered in a great measure unnecessary any other wheel- carriages than those for war or pleasure. The sculptures, however, exhibit some carts as used by a nomade people (enemies of the Egyptians) in their migrations (comp. Figs. 1 and 2, below).
2. Elsewhere (Nu 7:3,6; 1Sa 6:7) we read of carts used for the removal of the sacred arks and utensils. These also were drawn by two oxen. In Rossellini we have found a very curious representation of the vehicle used for such purposes by the Egyptians (Fig. 3). It is little more than a platform on wheels; and the apprehension which induced Uzzah to put forth his hand to stay the ark when shaken by the oxen (2Sa 6:6) may suggest that the cart employed on that occasion was not unlike this, as it would be easy for a jerk to displace whatever might be upon it. SEE ARK.
3. In Isa 28:27-28, a threshing-dray or sledge is to be understood. SEE AGRICULTURE.
As it appears that the Israelites used carts, they doubtless employed them sometimes in the removal of agricultural produce. The load or bundles appear to have been bound fast by a large rope; hence "a cartrope" is made in Isa 5:18, a symbol of the strong attachment to sinful pleasures and practices induced by long and frequent habit. Carts and wagons were either open or covered (Nu 7:3), and were used for conveyance of persons (Ge 45:19), burdens (1Sa 6:7-8), or produce (Am 2:13). As there are no roads in Syria and Palestine -and the neighboring countries, wheel-carriages for any purpose except conveyance of agricultural produce are all but unknown; and though modern usage has introduced European carriages drawn by horses into Egypt, they were unknown there also in times comparatively recent (Stanley, Sinai and Pal. p. 135; Porter, Damascus, 1:339; Lynch, Narrative, p. 75, 84; Niebuhr, Voyage, 1:123; Layard, Nineveh, 2:75; Mrs. Poole, Englishwoman in Egypt, 2d series, p. 77). The only cart used in Western Asia has two wheels of solid wood (Olearius, Travels, p. 418; Ker Porter, Travels, 2:533). A bas-relief at Nineveh represents a cart having wheels with eight spokes, drawn by oxen, conveying female captives; and others represent carts captured from enemies with captives, and also some used in carrying timber and other articles (Layard, Nineveh, 2:396; Nin. and Bab. p. 134, 447, 583; Mon. of Babylon, pt. 2, pls. 12, 17). Fourwheeled carriages are said by Pliny (Nat. Hist. 7:56) to have been invented by the Phrygians (Wilkinson, Anc. Egypt. Abridgment, 1:384, 385; 2:39, 47). The carts used in India for conveying goods, called suggar or hackeri, have two wheels, in the former case of solid wood, in the latter with spokes. They are drawn by oxen harnessed to a pole (Capper, India, p. 346, 352), SEE WAGON.