Ox, Oxen

Ox, Oxen (see Cattle).

Source: [Anon-Animals]

* Aurochs, or wild ox (urus, bos primigenius), is undoubtedly the rimu of the Assyrian inscriptions, and consequently corresponds to the re’em or rêm of the Hebrews. The latter word is translated sometimes in our D.V. by rhinoceros (Numbers 23:22; 24:8; Deuteronomy 33:17; Job 39:9, 10), sometimes by unicorn (Psalm 22:21; 29:6; 92:10; Isaiah 34:7). That the re’em, far from being unicorn, was a two-horned animal, is suggested by Ps., xxii, 21, and forcibly evidenced by Deut., xxxiii, 17, where its horns represent the two tribes of Ephraim and Manasses. That, moreover, it was akin to the domestic ox is shown from such parallelisms as we find in Ps., xxiv, 6, where we read, according to the critical editions of the Hebrew text: “The voice of Yahweh makes Lebanon skip like a bullock, and Sirion like a young re’em”; or Is., xxxiv, 7: “And the re’em shall go down with them, and the bulls with the mighty”; and still more convincingly by such implicit descriptions as that of Job, xxxix, 9, 10: “Shall the rêm be willing to serve thee, or will he stay at thy crib? Canst thou bind the rêm with thy thong to plough, or will he break the clods of the valleys after thee?” These references will be very clear, the last especially, once we admit the re’em is an almost untamable wild ox, which one would try in vain to submit to the same work as its domestic kin. Hence there is very little doubt that in all the above-mentioned places the word aurochs should be substituted for rhinoceros and unicorn. The aurochs is for the sacred poets a familiar emblem of untamed strength and ferocity. It no longer exists in western Asia.