The Bible

Bible Usage:


  • Included in Eastons: Yes
  • Included in Hitchcocks: No
  • Included in Naves: Yes
  • Included in Smiths: Yes
  • Included in Websters: Yes
  • Included in Strongs: Yes
  • Included in Thayers: Yes
  • Included in BDB: Yes

Strongs Concordance:

Easton's Bible Dictionary

Abounded in the Holy Land. To the rearing and management of them the inhabitants chiefly devoted themselves (Deuteronomy 8:13; 12:21; 1 Samuel 11:5; 12:3; Psalms 144:14; Jeremiah 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 (Numbers 32:4). Large herds also pastured on the wide fertile plains of Sharon. They were yoked to the plough (1 Kings 19:19), and were employed for carrying burdens (1 Chronicles 12:40). They were driven with a pointed rod (Judges 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 (Deuteronomy 25:4). Whosoever stole and sold or slaughtered an ox must give five in satisfaction (Exodus 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; Deuteronomy 22:1, 4). An ox and an ass could not be yoked together in the plough (Deuteronomy 22:10).

2. Small cattle. Next to herds of neat cattle, sheep formed the most important of the possessions of the inhabitants of Palestine (Genesis 12:16; 13:5; 26:14; 21:27; 29:2, 3). They are frequently mentioned among the booty taken in war (Numbers 31:32; Joshua 6:21; 1 Samuel 14:32; 15:3). There were many who were owners of large flocks (1 Samuel 25:2; 2 Samuel 12:2, comp. Job 1:3). Kings also had shepherds "over their flocks" (1 Chronicles 27:31), from which they derived a large portion of their revenue (2 Samuel 17:29; 1 Chronicles 12:40). The districts most famous for their flocks of sheep were the plain of Sharon (Isaiah 65:10), Mount Carmel (Micah 7:14), Bashan and Gilead (Micah 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 (Genesis 29:9); as also Zipporah and her six sisters had charge of their father Jethro's flocks (Exodus 2:16). Sometimes they were kept by hired shepherds (John 10:12), and sometimes by the sons of the family (1 Samuel 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 (1 Samuel 25:4; 2 Samuel 13:23). They were folded at night, and guarded by their keepers against the attacks of the lion (Micah 5:8), the bear (1 Samuel 17:34), and the wolf (Matthew 10:16; John 10:12). They were liable to wander over the wide pastures and go astray (Psalms 119:176; Isaiah 53:6; Hosea 4:16; Matthew 18:12).

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

Naves Topical Index

Of the bovine species.

Used for sacrifice

General references
1 Kings 8:63
Heifer; Offerings

Genesis 33:17

Proverbs 15:17

Gilead adapted to the raising of
Numbers 32:1-4

Bashan adapted to the raising of
Psalms 22:12; Ezekiel 39:18; Amos 4:1
Animals; Bull; Bullock; Cow; Heifer; Kine; Offering

Smith's Bible Dictionary

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

CATTLE, noun

1. Beasts or quadrupeds in general, serving for tillage, or other labor, and for food to man. In its primary sense, the word includes camels, horses, asses, all the varieties of domesticated horned beasts or the bovine genus, sheep of all kinds and goats, and perhaps swine. In this general sense, it is constantly used in the scriptures. See Job 1:3. Hence it would appear that the word properly signifies possessions, goods. But whether from a word originally signifying a beast, for in early ages beasts constituted the chief part of a mans property, or from a root signifying to get or possess. This word is restricted to domestic beasts; but in England it includes horses, which it ordinarily does not, in the United States, at least not in New-England.

2. In the United States, cattle in common usage, signifies only beasts of the bovine genus, oxen, bulls, cows and their young. In the laws respecting domestic beasts, horses, sheep, asses, mules and swine are distinguished from cattle or neat cattle Thus the law in Connecticut, requiring that all the owners of any cattle sheep or swine, shall ear-mark or brand all their cattle sheep and swine, does not extend to horses. Yet it is probable that a law, giving damages for a trespass committed by cattle breaking into an inclosure, would be adjudged to include horses.

In Great Britain, beasts are distinguished into black cattle including bulls, oxen, cows and their young; and small cattle including sheep of all kinds and goats.

3. In reproach, human beings are called cattle