(the representative in various passages in the A.V. of the Hebrews words . בּהֵמָה, behemah´, a large quadruped in general, usually "beast", SEE BEHEMOTH; in Nu 20:4, and Ps 78:48, בּעַיר, beïr´, grazing animals, elsewhere "beast;" so the Gr. βοσκήματα, as beingfd, 2 Macc. 12:11, or θρέμματα, from being reared, Joh 4:12; most frequently and characteristically מַקנֶה, mikneh´, apossession, as sometimes rendered-from the fact that Oriental wealth ["substance," Job 1:3,10] largely consisted in this kind of property; like the Gr. κτήνη, as being possessed, 1 Macc. 12:23; also idiomatically, שֶׂה, seh, Ge 30:32; Isa 7:25; Isa 43:23; Eze 34:17,20,22, an individual sheep or limb, as elsewhere rendered; or צאֹן, tson, Ge 30:39-43; Ge 31:8,10,12,41,43; Ec 2:7, sheep collectively or a flock, as rendered elsewhere), in scriptural usage, embraces the tame quadrupeds employed by mankind for domestic purposes, as oxen, buffaloes, horses, sheep, goats, camels, and asses (Ge 1:25; Ge 13:2; Ge 32:13-17; Eze 12:28; Eze 34:19; Nu 20:19; Nu 32:16; Ps 50:10). See each of these in their alphabetical place.
The Holy Land was eminently distinguished for its abundance of cattle, to the management and rearing of which the inhabitants, from the earliest times, chiefly applied themselves, as indeed they have always constituted the principal and almost only possession of a nomade race. In this case, wealthy people were exposed to all the vicissitudes of the seasons (Ge 31:40). Moses was a shepherd during his exile, Shamgar was taken from the herd to be. a judge in Israel, and Gideon from his threshing- floor (Jg 6:11), as were Jair and Jephthah from the keeping of sheep; Saul and David might also be mentioned. Some of the prophets were called from that employment to the prophetic dignity, as Elisha was from the plough (1Ki 19:19), and Amos from being a herdsman. But the tending of flocks was not confined to the men. Rachel, the daughter of Laban, kept her father's sheep (Ge 29:9), and Zipporah and her six sisters had the care of their father Jethro's flocks, who was a prince or priest of Midian (Ex 2:16). The following is a general treatment of the subject under its two great sections. SEE HERD; SEE FLOCK.
⇒Bible concordance for CATTLE.
I. Neat Cattle. — These are designated collectively by the Hebrews term בָּקָר, bakar; single animals of this kind are called אִלּוּŠ, alluph', an "ox," or שׁוֹר, shor (Chald. תּוֹר, tor), a "bullock;" the calves are styled עֵגֶל, e'gel, often a yearling — fem. עֶגלָה eglah´, a "heifer" (also a young cow, even when broken to the yoke, Jg 14:18; Ho 10:11); when grown, but still in full youthful vigor, פָּר, par, a steer — fem. פָּרָה, .parah´, a heifer (juvencus, juvenca; comp. Varro, Res Rust. 2:5, 8). The nomadic Abrahamidma (like the Homeric chiefs, see Feith, Antiq. Hom. p. 405) already practiced the raising of cattle (Ge 12:16; Ge 18:7; Ge 24:35; Ge 32:5; Ge 34:28; comp. 13:5), and when they emigrated into Egypt still carried it on (Ex 10:9,24; Ex 12:32 sq.). In later times, also, this was a principal pursuit of the Israelites, especially in several districts of Palestine (De 8:13; De 12:21; 1Sa 11:5; 1Sa 12:3; 2Sa 12:2; Ps 144:14; Jer 3:24; Jer 5:11; Judith 8:6, etc.). The oxen are there somewhat small, with short horns, and a bunch ,of fat on the shoulders (Hasselquist, Travels, p. 180; comp. Shaw, Travels, p. 150). The finest herds and strongest bullocks were found in Bashan, beyond Jordan (Nu 32:4); hence the Bashanite steers are often put metaphorically for formidable enemies (Ps 22:13), while Bashanite cows are a symbol of stately women (Am 1:4). In the district west of the Jordan, the plain of Sharon, extending to the Mediterranean Sea, afforded the finest pastures (Isa 65:10; see Jerome in loc.). Even the kings had their herdsmen (1Ch 28:21). There was great demand for neat cattle; many hundreds were yearly slaughtered in sacrifice (and these were animals of the finest quality, as among other nations, see Herod. 2:41; Xenoph. Cyrop. 8:31; Varro, Res Rust. 2:5, 11; Pliny, 8:10, etc.), others were employed for food or festive occasions (De 12:21; 2Sa 12:4; Tobit 8:21; Mt 23:4), as then generally beef (1Sa 14:32; 1Ki 19:21; comp. 4:23; Ne 5:18), and still oftener veal was a feast to the Israelites (Ge 18:7; 1Sa 28:24; Am 6:4; Lu 15:23,27,30), it being anciently regarded as an act of wanton prodigality to slay useful agricultural beasts (compare Apollon. Rhod. 2:655 sq.) in order to enjoy their flesh (AElian, Var. Hist. 5:14; Anim. 12:34; Varro, R. R. 2:5, 6; Pliny, Hist. Nat. 8:70; Valer. Max. 8:1; Cic. Nat. Deor. 2:65). SEE FOOD. The milk was used either sweet or curdled, and was made also into cheese. SEE MILK; SEE CHEESE; SEE BUTTER. Cattle were yoked to the plough (De 22:10; 1Ki 19:19 sq.; Isa 30:24; Am 6:12; Job 1:14; comp. Jg 14:18; Josephus, Ant. 12:4, 6), likewise for draught (Nu 7:3,7; 1Sa 6:7; 2Sa 6:3,6), and were sometimes employed for burdens (1Ch 12:40; comp. AElian, Anim. 7:4), but especially for threshing (comp. Baba Mezia, 6:4; Chelim, 16:7). SEE AGRICULTURE. They were driven (Jg 3:31; 1Sa 13:21; compare Sirach 38:25; Ac 9:5) with a pointed stick (מִלמָד, malmad´, or דָּרבָּן, dorban,; κέντρον or βούκεντρον, also βουπλήξ) in Iliad, 6:135, Lat. stimulus [comp. Schol. ad Pindar, Pyth. 2:173]), an instrument employed also for horses (Ovid, Metam. 2:127; see Schöttgen, De stimulo bourn, Frcf. a V. 1717). SEE GOAD. During summer cattle ranged under the open sky. In the stalls (2Ch 32:28) their fodder (Pr 14:4; Lu 13:15) was placed in a crib (אֵבוּס, ebus'; φάτνη). Besides fresh grass and meadow-plants. (Da 4:29; Nu 22:4), meslin (בּלַיל, belil´, Job 6:5; Isa 30:24; תֶּבֶן, te´ben, Isa 11:7) is mentioned as provender of cattle, a mixed food, like the Roman farrago (Gesenius, Thesaur. p. 212). That salt (to gratify the appetite) was" added may be inferred from Isa 30:24 (see Gesenius in loc.). SEE SALT. Cattle were greatly annoyed by insects, and perhaps the קֶרֶוֹ, ke´rets (A. V. "destruction"), of Jer 46:20, indicates some sort of such noxious creature, namely, the gadfly or aestrus (see Hitzig in loc.; otherwise Gesenius in loc.). SEE BEEVE.
In the Mosaic law the following enactments relate especially to oxen:
1. The mouth of the threshing-cattle was not to be- bound so as to prevent their eating the provender spread under them (compare Burckhardt, Proverbs, p. 67). SEE MUZZLE. Hence the term "threshing oxen" sometimes stands for fat or well-conditioned animals (Jer 1; Jer 11; see Rosenmüller in loc.).
2. Whoever stole and then sold or slaughtered an ox must give five oxen in satisfaction (Ex 22:1); but if the animal was found alive in the possession of the thief, he was merely required to make double restitution (Ex 22:4). SEE THEFT.
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3. Whoever met an ox that had fallen or strayed was under obligation immediately to help it up and bring it back to the owner (Ex 23:4; De 22:1,4), an injunction the more needful in a country not only thinly inhabited, but intersected by many desert tracts. SEE PALESTINE.
4. An ox and an ass must not be yoked together to the plough (De 22:10). This prohibition is evidently akin to those relating to heterogeneous combinations, although Michaelis (Mos. Recht, 3:149) gives it another interpretation. SEE DIVERSE. Respecting unruly cattle (Ex 21:28 sq.), SEE DAMAGES. It was considered unmerciful to take the only beast of a widow in pawn (Job 24:3). SEE DEBT. On the subject generally, see Bochart, Hieroz. 1:268 sq.; Ugolino, De Re Rust. Hebr. (in his Thesaur. 19), 2:9 sq. For the symbolical worship of the young bull, SEE CALF, GOLDEN. Compare BEAST.
II. Small Cattle:
1. Sheep. — These are designated collectively by צאֹן, tson (a general term, like μῆλον and pecus, including also goats), singly by שֶׂה, seh; while רָחֵל, rachel´, means ewe; אִיַל, a´yil, wether (Chald. דּכִר, dekar´); כִּר, Kar, a fat pasture lamb; כֶּבֶשׂ, ke´bes, a lamb of one to three years (comp. Gesen.´ Thes. p. 659); טָלֶה, taleh´ (or טלַי, tell´), a suckling or milk- lamb; מַשׁנַים, mishnim´ ("fatlings," 1Sa 15:9), is an obscure term, possibly signifying two-year-old lambs (oves secundarias, Columella, Res
Rust. 7:3; comp. Bochart, Hieroz. 1:469). Next to neat herds, sheep formed the most important staple of Oriental nomadic pursuits in Aramaea (Ge 29; Ge 30) and Palestine (Ge 12:16; Ge 13:5; Ge 20:14; Ge 21:27; Ge 24:35; Ge 32:5; Ge 34:28), as in Egypt (Ge 47:17; Ex 9:3), Arabia Petraea and Deserta (Ex 2:16,19; Ex 3:1; Nu 31:32; Isa 34:6; Isa 60:7), and Moabitis (2 Kings, in, 4; Isa 16:1). In military feuds between such tribes, we always find sheep mentioned among the booty of the victors (Nu 31:32; Jos 6:21; 1Sa 14:32; 1Sa 15:3 sq.; 27:9; 1Ch 5:21, etc.). The same is still universally true of modern Bedouin Arabs, whose traffic in sheep (comp. Eze 26:21) is their leading mark of prosperity and even opulence (comp. Arvieux, 3:132). The patriarchs had large flocks of sheep in Palestine, as later in Egypt or Goshen (Ex 10:9,24; compare Hengstenberg, Pent. p. 5 sq.); also upon the occupation of Canaan by the Israelites, sheep-breeding continued to be the chief employment of a large part of the population down to the latest period, being carried on amid the numerous open tracts and hills of the country (Isa 7:25), many of which were productive of saline plants (comp. De 1:3; De 8:13; De 28:4; Jg 6:4; 1Sa 22:19; 2Sa 12:2; Pr 27:23; Ec 2:7; Jer 3:24; Jer 5:17; Ho 5:6; Joe 1:18; Judith 8:6, etc.). There were rich owners of flecks (1Sa 25:2; 2Sa 12:2; comp. Job 1:3; Job 42:12), and even kings had their shepherds (1Ch 27:31; Am 7:1; compare 2Ch 32:28), from whom they derived a revenue of sheep and wool as presents (2Sa 17:29; 1Ch 12:40) or tribute (2Ki 3:4; Isa 16:1). Among the regions most favorable for sheep- rearing are mentioned the plain of Sharon (Isa 65:10), Matthew Carmel (Mic 7:14), Bashan (Ezekiel 39), and Gilead (Micah 50, 100.). The sheep in the patriarchal age were tended oftentimes by the daughters of the owners (Ge 29:9; compare Ex 2:16); later by overseers or hired men (Joh 10:12); sometimes by the sons of the family (1Sa 16:11; 1Sa 17:15). SEE SHEPHERD. The keepers gave their sheep, especially the bell-wethers, regular names (Joh 10:3; compare Theocr. 5:102 sq.; Aristot. Anim. 6:16; Longin. Pastor. 5:17 and 19), and familiarized these animals with their voice so as to follow them (comp. 2Sa 12:2). The sheep roamed all summer in the open air, being folded only at night (Nu 32:16; 2Ch 32:28) in a pen (גּדֵרָה, gederah´; Talmud, דור), where, in exposed positions, they were guarded by sentries (Lu 2:8). In the daytime they appear to have been sometimes sheltered from the heat of the sun in caverns (כּרוֹת, Zep 2:6; which, however, according to others, signifies only pits, i.e. cisterns for watering the sheep). Shepherds' dogs were indispensable (Job 30:1). Of the young, which sheep bear twice a year, the autumn lambs were considered the more vigorous (Varro, Res Rust. 2:2, 18; Colum. R. R. 7:3; Pliny, 8:72; comp. Hamaker, Miscell. Phoenic. p. 117 sq.). The flesh of the sheep, especially that of wethers and lambs, was, as with modern Arabs (Wellsted, Trav. p. 121), a highly esteemed food (1Sa 25:18; Isa 22:13; Am 6:4; Tobit 7:9; 8:21), and was essential to a well-spread board (1Ki 4:23; Nehemiah v. 18). The milk of sheep was also an article of culinary use (De 32:14; comp. Diod. Sic. 1:18; Pliny 28:33; Strabo, 17:835; Colum. R. R. 7:2; Dioscor. 2:75). Sheep, especially lambs and rams (q.v.), were a prominent animal in sacrifices (q.v.), and a stock of them was often sacrilegiously offered for sale in the Jewish temple (Joh 2:14). The wool (צֶמֶר, tse´mer, or גֵּז, gez), which, on account of the pasturing of the flock under the open sky, attained a high degree of fineness (as in Spain), was wrought into garments (Le 13:47; De 22:11; Eze 34:3; Job 31:20; Pr 27:26; Pr 31:13), and the Israelites were obliged to pay tithes of this product (De 18:4). Sheep- shearing (Ge 38:12) was a rural festive occasion (1Sa 25:4; 2Sa 13:23). As enemies of the shepherd are named the lion (Mic 5:7), the bear (1Sa 17:34) and the wolf (Sirach 13:21; Mt 10:16; John x,: 12; conip. Isa 11:6; Isa 65:25), which might easily carry off a single animal in the extensive and solitary pastures, although even this was often rescued by the sheep-tender (1Sa 17:34 sq.). SEE LION. The sheep were very liable also to stray in the wide pasturages (Ps 109:31; Isa 53:6; Ho 4:16; Mt 18:12). On the "rot," or disease peculiar to flocks, see Bochart, 1:596; Aristot. Anim. 9:3. The color of sheep is in the East generally white (Ps 147:16; Isa 1:18; Da 7:9; Song 6:5; Re 1:14; comp. Eze 27:18); although black (חוּם, dusky, Ge 30:32) ones are also found (Colum. R. R. 7:2; Pliny, 8:73; comp. Wellsted, 1:213; Ruppell, Abyssin. 2:21), as well as spotted and grizzled (Ge 30:32), peculiarities which shepherds knew how to produce artificially (Ge 30:37 sq.; Strabo, 10:449; Pliny, 31:9; comp. Rosselini, Monum. Civil. 1:246). See JACOB. A peculiar species of sheep (Ovis laticaudata, Linn.) is found in the East, with a long fat tail (אִליָה, ayah´, Arab. alyat, A. V. "rump;" Le 3:9; Le 7:3; Le 8:25; Le 9:19) of 10 to 15, and sometimes 40 to 50 pounds' weight, turned up at the end, and often drawn by the animal upon a board or small two-wheeled cart (Herod. 3:113; Aristot. Anim. 8:28; Pliny, 8:75; Died. Sic. 2:54; AElian, Anm. 3:3; 10:4; Olear. Persian. 5:8; Kampfer, Amoen. p. 506 sq.; Lucas, Reise nach d. Levante, p. 183; Russel, Aleppo, 2:8; Descript. de l'Egypte, 23:197 sq.; Oedman, Samml. 4:75 sq.; comp. Korte, Reise, p. 429; Robinson, Res. 2:169, 180; Schubert, 3:118). That the same contrivance was customary with the Jews may be seen from the Mishna (Shabb. 5:4). This kind of sheep is farther distinguished from the common species of the Bedouins by its turned-up nose, and long, pendent ears. On the Mosaic enactments respecting the rights of property in sheep ( Ex 22; De 22), see above. Compare generally Bochart, Hieroz. 1:451 sq.; Michaelis, Verm. Schrift. 1:118 sq. In Daniel 8 the Persian empire (king) is personified by a ram. SEE PERSIA. On this figure (which represents the subjects as a flock), see Lengerke, Daniel, p. 365 sq. SEE SHEEP.
2. Goats. — This kind of stock is usually classed with sheep under the word צאֹן, tson, or (when a single head is intended) שֶׂה, seh, and thus associated with neat cattle, בָּקָר bakar´ (as in Hem. μῆλα, then βόες). The terms for goats individually are: עֵן, ez, a he-goat; שׂעַירִת עַזִּים, seïrath´ izzim´ (shaggy female of the goats), a she-goat; for the buck, more distinctively, there are several terms: תִּיַשׁ, ta´yish; עִתּוּד, attud´; שָׂעַיר, saïr´ (more fully שׂעַיר עַזַּים, seïr´ izzim´, i.e. shaggy male of the goats); צפַיר, tsephir´; גּדַי, gedi´, is a collective term. Goats were reared by the early patriarchs (Ge 15:9; Ge 32:14; Ge 37:31), as by the modern Bedouins; and in later times they also formed an important element (in all the hilly regions of Palestine) of agricultural wealth (comp. 1Sa 25:2; Song 6:5; Pr 27:26; see Eze 27:21). They were used not only for sacrifice, but also for food (De 14:4; comp. Buckingham, 2:67; Robinson, 1:342; Wellsted, p. 406), especially the young males (Ge 27:9,14,17; Jg 6:19; Jg 13:15; 1Sa 16:20), as still in the East (Russel, Aleppo, 2:23). The milk of goats was also an article of food (Pr 27:27), being more wholesome than that of sheep (Pliny, 28:33; comp. Bochart, Hieroz. 1:717;
Prosp. Alpin. Res AEgypt. p. 229). Goat-skins were only employed as clothing by poor persons, or such as chose to wear mean apparel (Heb 11:37). They were generally made into water or wine casks. SEE BOTTLE. Goat's hair was often the material of tent-cloth (Ex 26:7; Ex 36:14; comp. Della Valle, Trav. 1:206; Arvieux, in, 226; Volney, 1:303; Thevenot, in, 196), as well as of matresses and bedding (1Sa 19:13,16; but see on this passage Kolkar, Quaest. Bibl. spec. 2:56 sq.), and frequently of cloaks (Robinson, 1:279). SEE TENT; SEE BOLSTER; SEE CLOTHING. The goats of the nomadic Arabs are generally black; but in Syria (Russel, ut sup.; Thevenot, 2:196; Russegger, 1:712) and Lower Egypt (Sonini, 1:329) there are found goats of a large size, like the European, with hanging ears (often a foot or more in length), and of a bright red color: this species is called Capra Mambrica. Whether the Angora goat (Capra Angorensis of Linn.) (see Hasselquist, p. 285; Tournefort, 3:488; Schubert, 1:379), whose long, soft, silky hair is made into the well-known "'camlet" stuff, was also indigenous to Palestine (Schulz, Leit. 5:28, will have it found on Lebanon), is undetermined; it is possibly that referred to in Song 6:5. On the Mosaic enactment respecting the cooking of a kid in its mother's milk (Ex 23:19; Ex 34:26; De 14:21), SEE KID. The symbol of the Macedonian (Alexander's) empire by a hegoat (צפַיר הָעַזַּים) in Da 8:5 sq., may be illustrated by the epithet AEgean (Αἰγεάδες, q. d. goatmen), applied to the Greek colonies on that part of the Mediterranean Sea (comp. Justin. 7:1, 7). SEE MACEDONIA. See generally Bochart, Hieroz. 1:703. On the Syrian wild goats, SEE IBEX. SEE GOAT.