7 occurrences in 7 dictionaries

Reference: Goat


A well-known animal, resembling the sheep, but covered with hair instead of wool. Large flocks of them were kept by the Jews, Ge 27:9; 1Sa 25:2; 2Ch 17:11. They were regarded as clean for sacrifice, Ex 12:5; Le 3:12; Nu 15:27; and their milk and the young kids were much used for food, De 14:4; Jg 6:19; Pr 27:27; Lu 15:29. The common leather bottles were made of their skins. Several kinds of goats were kept in Palestine: one kind having long hair, like the Angora, and another, long and broad ears. This kind is probably referred to in Am 3:12, and is still the common goat of Palestine.

Herodotus says, that at Mendes, in Lower Egypt, both the male and female goat were worshipped. The heathen god Pan was represented with the face and thighs of a goat. The heathen paid divine honors also to real goats, as appears in the table of Isis. The abominations committed during the feast of these infamous deities cannot be told.

WILD GOATS are mentioned in 1Sa 24:2; Job 39:1; Ps 104:18. This is doubtless the Ibex, or mountain goat, a large and vigorous animal still found in the mountains in the peninsula of Sinai, and east and south of the Dead Sea.

These goats are very similar to the bouquetin or chamois of the Alps. They feed in flocks of a score or two, wit one of their number acting as a sentinel. At the slightest alarm, they are gone in an instant, darting fearlessly over the rocks, and falling on their horns from a great height without injury. Their horns are two or three feet long, and are sold by the Arabs for knife-handles, etc. For SCAPEGOAT, see EXPIATION.

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Illustration: Syrian Goat Illustration: Wild Goat

(1.) Heb 'ez, the she-goat (Ge 15:9; 30:35; 31:38). This Hebrew word is also used for the he-goat (Ex 12:5; Le 4:23; Nu 28:15), and to denote a kid (Ge 38:17,20). Hence it may be regarded as the generic name of the animal as domesticated. It literally means "strength," and points to the superior strength of the goat as compared with the sheep.

(2.) Heb 'attud, only in plural; rendered "rams" (Ge 31:10,12); he-goats (Nu 7:17-88; Isa 1:11); goats (De 32:14; Ps 50:13). They were used in sacrifice (Ps 66:15). This word is used metaphorically for princes or chiefs in Isa 14:9, and in Zec 10:3 as leaders. (Comp. Jer 50:8.)

(3.) Heb gedi, properly a kid. Its flesh was a delicacy among the Hebrews (Ge 27:9,14,17; Jg 6:19).

(4.) Heb sa'ir, meaning the "shaggy," a hairy goat, a he-goat (2Ch 29:23); "a goat" (Le 4:24); "satyr" (Isa 13:21); "devils" (Le 17:7). It is the goat of the sin-offering (Le 9:3,15; 10:16).

(5.) Heb tsaphir, a he-goat of the goats (2Ch 29:21). In 8/5'>Da 8:5,8 it is used as a symbol of the Macedonian empire.

(6.) Heb tayish, a "striker" or "butter," rendered "he-goat" (Ge 30:35; 32:14).

(7.) Heb 'azazel (q.v.), the "scapegoat" (Le 16:8,10,26).

(8.) There are two Hebrew words used to denote the undomesticated goat:, Yael, only in plural mountain goats (1Sa 24:2; Job 39:1; Ps 104:18). It is derived from a word meaning "to climb." It is the ibex, which abounded in the mountainous parts of Moab. And 'akko, only in De 14:5, the wild goat.

Goats are mentioned in the New Testament in Mt 25:32-33; Heb 9:12-13,19; 10:4. They represent oppressors and wicked men (Eze 34:17; 39:18; Mt 25:33).

Several varieties of the goat were familiar to the Hebrews. They had an important place in their rural economy on account of the milk they afforded and the excellency of the flesh of the kid. They formed an important part of pastoral wealth (Ge 31:10,12; 32:14; 1Sa 25:2).

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1. Wild goat, yeliym, the ibex of ancient Moab.

2. The goat deer, or else gazelle, aqow.

3. The atuwd, "he goat", the leader of the flock; hence the chief ones of the earth, leaders in mighty wickedness; the ram represents headstrong wantonness and offensive lust (Isa 14:9; Zec 10:3; compare Mt 25:32-33; Eze 34:17). As the word "shepherds" describes what they ought to have been, so "he goats" what they were; heading the flock, they were foremost in sin, so they shall be foremost in punishment. In Song 4:1 the hair of the bride is said to be "as a flock of goats that appear from mount Gilead," alluding to the fine silky hair of some breeds of goat, the angora and others. Amos (Am 3:12) speaks of a shepherd "taking out of the mouth of the lion a piece of an ear," alluding to the long pendulous ears of the Syrian breed. In Pr 30:31 a he goat is mentioned as one of the "four things comely in going," in allusion to the stately march of the leader of the flock.

4. Sair, the goat of the sin-offering (Le 9:3), "the rough hairy goat" (Da 8:21). Sa'ir is used of devils (Le 17:7), "the evil spirits of the desert" (Isa 13:21; 34:14).

5. Azazeel, "the scape-goat" (Le 16:8,10,26 margin) (See ATONEMENT, DAY OF.) The "he goat" represented Graeco-Macedonia; Caranus, the first king of Macedon, was in legend led by goats to Edessa, his capital, which he named "the goat city." The one-horned goat is on coins of Archclaus king of Macedon, and a pilaster of Persepolis. So Da 8:5.

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The well-known animal, regarded as clean under the Levitical economy, and having a large place in the sacrifices. Goats formed an important item in the property of the patriarchs. In Daniel's prophecy of the kingdoms, that of Greece was compared to a 'rough he goat,' but with a notable horn between his eyes. 8/5'>Da 8:5,8,21. The goats, in the sessional judgement of the living nations, represent the lost, in contrast to the saved, who are compared to sheep. Mt 25:32-33. THE WILD GOATS were larger animals and lived on the mountains. 1Sa 24:2; Job 39:1; Ps 104:18.

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There appear to be two or three varieties of the common goat, Hircus agagrus, at present bred in Palestine and Syria, but whether they are identical with those which were reared by the ancient Hebrews it is not possible to say. The most marked varieties are the Syrian goat(Capra mammorica, Linn.) and the Angora goat (Capra angorensis, Linn.), with fine long hair. As to the "wild goats,"

1Sa 24:2; Job 39:1; Ps 104:18

it is not at all improbable that some species of ibex is denoted.

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GOAT, ??. There are other names or appellations given to the goat, as,

1. ?????, 1Ki 20:27, which means the ram-goat, or leader of the flock.

2. ??????, a word which never occurs but in the plural, and means, the best prepared, or choicest of the flock; and metaphorically princes, as, Zec 10:3, "I will visit the goats, saith the Lord," that is, I will begin my vengeance with the princes of the people. "Hell from beneath is moved for thee, to meet thee at thy coming; it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the great goats of the earth," Isa 14:9; all the kings, all the great men. And Jeremiah, speaking of the princes of the Jews, says, "Remove out of the midst of Babylon, and be as the he-goats before the flocks," Jer 1; 8.

3. ????, a name for the goat, of Chaldee origin, and found only in Ezr 6:17; 8:35; Da 8:5,21.

4. ?????, from ??, a goat, and ???, to wander about, Le 16:8, "the scape-goat."

5. ???, hairy, or shaggy, whence ??????, "the shaggy ones." In Le 17:7, it is said, "And they shall no more offer their sacrifices unto devils," (seirim, "hairy ones,") "after whom they have gone a whoring." The word here means idolatrous images of goats, worshipped by the Egyptians. It is the same word that is translated satyrs, in Isa 13:21; where the LXX render it ????????, demons. But here they have ????????, to vain things or idols, which comes to the same sense. What gives light to so obscure a passage is what we read in Maimonides, that the Zabian idolaters worshipped demons under the figure of goats, imagining them to appear in that form, whence they called them by the names of seirim; and that this custom, being spread among other nations, gave occasion to this precept. In like manner we learn from Herodotus, that the Egyptians of Mendes held goats to be sacred animals, and represented the god Pan with the legs and head of that animal. From those ancient idolaters the same notion seems to have been derived by the Greeks and Romans, who represented their Pan, their fauns, satyrs, and other idols, in the form of goats: from all which it is highly probable, that the Israelites had learned in Egypt to worship certain demons, or sylvan deities, under the symbolical figure of goats. Though the phrase, "after whom they have gone a whoring," is equivalent in Scripture to that of committing idolatry, yet we are not to suppose that it is not to be taken in a literal sense in many places, even where it is used in connection with idolatrous acts of worship. It is well known that Baal-peor and Ashtaroth were worshipped with unclean rites, and that public prostitution formed a grand part of the worship of many deities among the Egyptians, Moabites, Canaanites, &c.

The goat was one of the clean beasts which the Israelites might both eat and offer in sacrifice. The kid, ???, is often mentioned as a food, in a way that implies that it was considered as a delicacy. The ???, or wild goat, mentioned De 14:5, and no where else in the Hebrew Bible, is supposed to be the tragelaphus, or "goat-deer." Schultens conjectures that this animal might have its name, ob fugacitatem, from its shyness, or running away. The word ???, occurs 1Sa 24:3; Job 39:1;

Ps 104:18; Pr 5:19: and various have been the sentiments of interpreters on the animal intended by it. Bochart insists that it is the ibex, or "rock-goat." The root whence the name is derived, signifies to ascend, to mount; and the ibex is famous for clambering, climbing, and leaping, on the most craggy precipices. The Arab writers attribute to the jaal very long horns, bending backward; consequently it cannot be the chamois. The horns of the jaal are reckoned among the valuable articles of traffic, Eze 27:15. The ibex is finely shaped, graceful in its motions, and gentle in its manners. The female is particularly celebrated by natural historians for tender affection to her young, and the incessant vigilance with which she watches over their safety; and also for ardent attachment and fidelity to her mate.

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