ox(en)

A castrated bull used throughout the OT period for ploughing (1 Kgs. 19:19) and hauling (Num. 7:3), and also as sacrifices (1 Kgs. 8:63), which is surprising, since a castrated animal was deformed and therefore unclean (cf. 2 Sam. 5:8). But the numbers mentioned for these sacrifices exceed a realistic measure, so evidently the narrator is primarily concerned to demonstrate Solomon's generosity and piety. There were some humane regulations: an ox and an ass were not to be unequally hitched together (Deut. 22:10) and they were to be rested on the Sabbath (Exod. 23:12). When treading out the grain, oxen were not to be muzzled (Deut. 25:4). This last prohibition is quoted by Paul (1 Cor. 9:9) with the surprised comment, ‘Is it for oxen that God is concerned?’

Dictionary of the Bible.

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