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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Ram (2)

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(אִיל , dyil; κριός ). As this animal, fattened, was a favorite article of food (Genesis 31:38; Ezekiel 39:18), it was considered, when offered as sacrifice, of higher value than sheep and lambs (Genesis 15:9, Numbers 15:5-6; Numbers 23:1 sq.; Numbers 28:11 sq., Numbers 28:28 sq.; Micah 6:7), and the legal ritual gave exact directions on the sacrifice of them. The rams were sometimes burnt-offerings (Leviticus 8:18; Leviticus 8:21; Leviticus 9:2; Leviticus 16:3; Numbers 7:15; Psalm 46:15; Isaiah 1:11; Ezekiel 45:23, etc.), sometimes thank-offerings (Leviticus 9:4; Leviticus 9:18; Numbers 6:14; Numbers 6:17; Numbers 7:17; Numbers 28:11, etc.), sometimes trespass-offerings (Leviticus 5:15; Leviticus 18:25; Leviticus 6:6; comp. Leviticus 19:21; Numbers 5:8; Ezra 10:19, etc.). The ram, too, appears not only in public and private offerings in general, but especially in the purifying sacrifices of the Nazarite (Numbers 6:14) and the sacrifices of Priestly Consecration. It was not used as a sin-offering. In 2 Chronicles 29:21 only the seven he-goats belong to the sin-offering, as 2 Chronicles 29:23 shows; the rams, with the other animals, forming the burnt- offering. The use of the ram as thank- and trespass-offering is pointed out in Exodus 29:22 (comp. Leviticus 8:16; Leviticus 9:19; Isaiah 34:6). The Greeks and Romans used rams for sacrifice only exceptionally; yet comp. Pliny, H. N. 34:19, 19. In Egypt this was more frequent (Wilkinson, v, 191 sq.); only in the Thebais it was prohibited, save at the great annual festival of Amman (Herod. ii, 42). On the symbolic use of the ram in Daniel to signify the Persian empire, (See CATTLE), No. II; and on the (See BATTERING-RAM), see s.v. The use of ram's skins for covering is alluded to in Exodus 25:5; Exodus 26:14; Exodus 36:19; Exodus 39:34, and is still common in Palestine, where they are also "dyed red" (Exodus 25:5) for the use of the shoemakers (Thomson, Land and Book, i, 139). (See SHEEP).


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McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Ram (2)'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/tce/r/ram-2.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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