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Yoke

yok (('ol) bar, (motah) staff)
RELATED:
Earing, Ox, Yoke-Fellow
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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. ( Numbers 19:2 ; Deuteronomy 21:3 ). It was a curved piece of wood called 'ol .

(2) In Jeremiah 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 ( Leviticus 26:13; 1 Kings 12:4 ; Isaiah 47:6 ; Lamentations 1:14 ; 3:27 ). In the New Testament the word "yoke" is also used to denote servitude ( Matthew 11:29 , 11:30 ; Acts 15:10 ; Galatians 5:1 ).

(3) In 1 Samuel 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 Samuel 14:14 it represents as much land as a yoke of oxen could plough in a day, like the Latin jugum . In Isaiah 5:10 this word in the plural is translated "acres."


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Hitchcock's Dictionary of Bible Names

(no entry)

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Smith's Bible Dictionary

(1) A well-known implement of husbandry, frequently used metaphorically for subjection, e.g. ( 1 Kings 12:4 , 12:9 - 11 ; Isaiah 9:4 ; Jeremiah 5:5 ) hence an "iron yoke" represents an unusually galling bondage. ( Jeremiah 28:48 ; 28:13 )

(2) A pair of oxen, so termed as being yoked together. ( 1 Samuel 11:7 ; 1 Kings 19:19 , 19:21 ) The Hebrew term is also applied to asses, ( Judges 19:10 ) and mules, ( 2 Kings 5:17 ) and even to a couple of riders. ( Isaiah 21:7 )

(3) The term is also applied to a certain amount of land, ( 1 Samuel 14:14 ) equivalent to that which a couple of oxen could plough in a day, ( Isaiah 5:10 ) (Authorized Version "acre"), corresponding to the Latin jugum.


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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

yok:

(1) The usual word is 'ol (Genesis 27:40, etc.), less commonly the (apparently later) form moTah (Isaiah 58:6, etc.; in Nab 1:13 moT), which the Revised Version (British and American) in Jeremiah 27 , 28 translates "bar" (a most needless and obscuring change). The Greek in Apocrypha (Sirach 28:19, etc.) and in the New Testament (Matthew 11:29, etc.) is invariably zugos. Egyptian monuments show a yoke that consisted of a straight bar fastened to the foreheads of the cattle at the root of the horns, and such yokes were no doubt used in Palestine also; but the more usual form was one that rested on the neck (Genesis 27:40, etc.). It was provided with straight "bars" (moToth in Leviticus 26:13; Ezekiel 34:27) projecting downward, against which the shoulders of the oxen pressed, and it was held in position by thongs or "bonds" (moceroth in Jeremiah 2:20 ; 5:5 ; 27:2 ; 30:8 ; 'aghuddoth in Isaiah 58:6, "bands"), fastened under the animals' throats. Such yokes could of course be of any weight (1 Kings 12:4), depending on the nature of the work to be done, but the use of "iron yokes" (Deuteronomy 28:48 ; Jeremiah 28:13) must have been very rare, if, indeed, the phrase is anything more than a figure of speech.

What is meant by "the yoke on their jaws" in Hosea 11:4 is quite obscure. Possibly a horse's bit is meant; possibly the phrase is a condensed form for "the yoke that prevents their feeding"; possibly the text is corrupt.

See JAW.

The figurative use of "yoke" in the sense of "servitude" is intensely obvious (compare especially Jeremiah 27 , 28). Attention needs to be called only to Lamentations 3:27, where "disciplining sorrow" is meant, and to Jeremiah 5:5, where the phrase is a figure for "the law of God." This last use became popular with the Jews at a later period and it is found, e.g. in Apocrypha Baruch 41:3; Psalter of Solomon 7:9; 17:32; Ab. iii.7,. and in this sense the phrase is employed. by Christ in Matthew 11:29 f. "My yoke" here means "the service of God as I teach it" (the common interpretation, "the sorrows that I bear," is utterly irrelevant) and the emphasis is on "my." The contrast is not between "yoke" and "no yoke," but between "my teaching" (light yoke) and "the current scribal teaching'; (heavy yoke).

(2) "Yoke" in the sense of "a pair of oxen" is tsemedh (1 Samuel 11:7, etc.), or zeugos (Luke 14:19).

See also UNEQUAL; YOKE-FELLOW.




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bible commentary, bible history, bible reference, bible study, define, motah, 'ol, tsemedh, yoke

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