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Bible Encyclopedias
Goad

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

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Goad Thomas, D.D.
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(מִלְמָד, malmad', an instrument for guiding; the Greeks used the term βουλήξ, Iliad, 6:135, also βούκεντρον, or simply κέντρον; see Scbottgen, De stimulo bousn, Francof. 1717; Hager, De πρὸς κέντρα λακτίζειν, Lips. 1738). "Shamgar, the son of Anath, slew of the Philistines six hundred men with an ox-goad" (Judges 3:31). Maundrell gives us the best account of the ox-goad, which is no doubt the same as that used in the days of Shamgar. "At Khan Leban the country people were now everywhere at plow in the fields in order to sow cotton. 'Twas observable that in plowing they used goads of an extraordinary size; upon measuring of several I found them to be about eight feet long, and at the bigger end six inches in circumference. They are armed at the lesser end with a sharp prickle for driving the oxen, and at the other end with a small spade or paddle of iron, strong and massy, to clear thee plough from the clay that encumbers it in working" (Journal of a Journey from Aleppo to Jerusalem, page 110). This was in the north of Syria. Prof. Hackett says, "The ox-goads that I saw in the south I should judge to be quite as large. It is manifest that such an instrument, wielded by a strong arm, would do no mean execution. It is easy, therefore, to credit the account of Shamgar's achievement. We may suppose, however (so fragmentary is the notice), that he was not entirely alone; that some others rallied to his aid with such instruments of labor as they could snatch at the moment" (Illustrations of Scripture, page 155). (See AGRICULTURE).

In the other passages where the word "goad" occurs it is the representative of a different term in the original; דָּרְבָן dorban´, something pointed (1 Samuel 13:21), or דָּרְבוֹן dorbon´ (Ecclesiastes 12:11), which is, perhaps, properly' the iron point to which the rod or handle, denoted by the previous term, was fixed. This, at least, is the explanation adopted by Jahn (Archaeol. 1:4, § 9) from Rabbinical writers (Gesenius, Thes. page 349). According to others, it may refer to anything pointed, and the tenor of Ecclesiastes 12 allows the sense of a peg or nail anything, in short, which can befastened; while in 1 Samuel 13, the point of the ploughshare is possibly intended (which is likewise understood by the Sept. and Yabg. at Judges ἐν τῷ ἀροτρόποδι, vomere). There are undoubted references to the use of the goad in driving oxen in Sirach 38:25, and Acts 26:14. The expression "to kick against the goads" (Acts 9:5; A.V. "the pricks") was proverbially used by the Greeks for unavailing resistance to superior power (comp. Ascheyl. Agam. 1633; Prom. 323; Eurip. Bacch. 791). The same means of inciting animals to greater speed is probably alluded to in 2 Kings 4:24. (See generally Buckingham, Travels ins Palestine, 1:91; Kitto, Daily Bible Illustr. 2:341; Thomson, Land and Book, 1:501.) (See OX).

Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Goad'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/​encyclopedias/​eng/​tce/​g/goad.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.
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