The domestication of cattle began in prehistoric times. Ancient Sumerian inscriptions refer to the raising of cattle, and from the third millennium B.C.E. they are depicted in Egyptian, Assyrian, and Babylonian drawings as used for plowing (see agriculture ) and milking. Domesticated cattle (Bos taurus) probably originated from the wild ox (Bos primigenius; see wild bull ) from which were domesticated the short- and long-horned cattle, two species found in ancient Egyptian drawings. Yet another ox reared was the humped zebu (Bos indicus). The Bible mentions cattle among the possessions of Abraham (Gen. 12:16), of the other Patriarchs, and of Jacob's sons both in Ereẓ Israel and in Egypt. In the wilderness, the Israelites had a considerable number of cattle. The spoil which they took from the Midianites alone amounted to 72,000 head (Num. 31:33). Cattle were extensively raised in the ample pasture lands of Transjordan, especially in Gilead, which was given as an inheritance to the cattle-raising tribes of Reuben and Gad (Num. 32:1–4, where both sheep and cattle are meant). The "kine of Bashan" were renowned, and being stronger than other breeds of cattle gored them (Amos 1; cf. Ps. 22:13). David appointed special supervisors over the herds that grazed in the broad pastures in the valleys and in Sharon (I Chron., 27:29). With the consolidation and expansion of agriculture in Ereẓ Israel, particularly in the mountainous regions, pasture lands progressively diminished, and cattle began to be reared in sheds where they were fed from mangers. Their feed consisted of shredded straw (Isa. 11:7), grass (Job 40:15), or a mixture of shredded straw and pulses (Isa. 30:24), and in mishnaic and talmudic times chiefly of vetches (see fodder ). Cattle were raised for work in the field and for their meat which was eaten particularly on solemn occasions (cf. Gen. 17:7). Calves fattened for this purpose are referred to as "fatted calves" (I Sam. 28:24) or "calves of the stall" (Jer. 46:21). The provision for Solomon's table included, besides "oxen out of the pastures," also "fat oxen" (I Kings 6:3). Cattle   were extensively used for sacrifices . "Curd of kine" (Deut. 32:14; cf. Judg. 5:25; Job 20:17) was a highly prized food. Cattle are mentioned hundreds of times in the Bible and various terms are used for them. Some are synonyms, while others indicate the cattle's age, sex, characteristics, or employment. Bakar is the generic term for cattle, other terms being alafim ("oxen"), and abbirim ("bulls"). Names indicating sex are par ("young bull"), parah ("cow"), and shor ("ox" or "bull"). Those indicating age are ben-bakar ("young bull"), eglah ("heifer"), and egel ("bull-calf"). -BIBLIOGRAPHY: F.S. Bodenheimer, Ha-Ḥai be-Arẓot ha-Mikra, 2 (1956), 355–63; J. Feliks, Ha-Ḥakla'ut be-Ereẓ Yisrael (1963), 51–56; Dalman, Arbeit, 6 (1939), 160–79; Lewysohn, Zool, 129–34. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: Feliks, Ha-Ẓome'aḥ, 292. (Jehuda Feliks)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • Cattle — Cat tle (k[a^]t t l), n. pl. [OE. calet, chatel, goods, property, OF. catel, chatel, LL. captale, capitale, goods, property, esp. cattle, fr. L. capitals relating to the head, chief; because in early ages beasts constituted the chief part of a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • CATTLE —    Cattle had been reared since the Neolithic in central Italy, although it has recently been suggested by geneticists that some of the white cattle distinctive of northern Etruria today may have had a more recent eastern Mediterranean origin.… …   Historical Dictionary of the Etruscans

  • cattle — mid 13c., from Anglo Fr. catel property (O.N.Fr. catel, O.Fr. chatel), from M.L. capitale property, stock, neuter of Latin adj. capitalis principal, chief, from caput head (gen. capitis; see HEAD (Cf. head)). Cf. sense development of FEE …   Etymology dictionary

  • cattle — [n] bovine animals beasts, bovid mammals, bulls, calves, cows, dogies*, herd, livestock, longhorn*, moo cows*, oxen, shorthorns, stock, strays; concept 394 …   New thesaurus

  • cattle — ► PLURAL NOUN ▪ large ruminant animals with horns and cloven hoofs, domesticated for meat or milk or as beasts of burden; cows and oxen. ORIGIN Old French chatel chattel …   English terms dictionary

  • cattle — [kat′ l] pl.n. [ME & Anglo Fr catel (OFr chatel) < ML captale, property, stock < L capitalis, principal, chief < caput, HEAD: orig. sense in var. CHATTEL] 1. Archaic farm animals collectively; livestock 2. domesticated oxen collectively; …   English World dictionary

  • Cattle — Cow redirects here. For other uses, see Cow (disambiguation). For other uses, see Cattle (disambiguation). Cattle …   Wikipedia

  • cattle — n. 1) to breed; raise (esp. AE), rear (BE) cattle 2) to drive; graze; round up cattle 3) to brand cattle 4) dairy; prize cattle 5) cattle graze 6) a head of cattle; a herd of cattle 7) young cattle are calves 8) female cattle are cows 9) male… …   Combinatory dictionary

  • cattle — cattleless, adj. /kat l/, n. (used with a pl. v.) 1. bovine animals, esp. domesticated members of the genus Bos. 2. Bib. such animals together with other domesticated quadrupeds, as horses, swine, etc. 3. Disparaging. human beings. [1175 1225; ME …   Universalium

  • cattle — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ beef, dairy ▪ Highland, longhorn, shorthorn ▪ native ▪ wild ▪ …   Collocations dictionary

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