OAK

As many as six varieties of the oak are found in Palestine. Dr. Robinson speaks of one at Hebron which had a trunk twenty-two and a half feet in circumference; and saw the crests and sides of the hills beyond the Jordan still clothed, as in ancient times, with magnificent oaks, Isa 2:13 Zec 11:2. The oak is often referred to in Scripture, Ge 35:8 Isa 44:14 Am 2:9. There is, however, a second Hebrew word often translated "oak," which is supposed to denote the terebinth or turpentine-tree, called butm by the Arabs, Ge 35:4 Jud 6:11,19 2Sa 18:9,14. It is translated "elm" in Hosea 4.13, and "teil-tree" in Isa 6:13, in which passages the true oak is also mentioned. In many passages where "plain" or "plains" occurs, we should probably understand "terebinth" or "a grove of terebinths," Ge 12:6 13:18 14:13 18:1 De 11:30 Jud 9:6.

This tree was found in all countries around the Mediterranean, and in Palestine grew to a large size. It was very long-lived. For many ages after Christ, a tree of this kind near Heron was superstitiously venerated as one of those under which Abraham dwelt at Mamre. Under the welcome shade of oaks and other large trees many public affairs were transacted; sacrifices were offered, courts were held, and kings were crowned, Jos 24:26 Jud 6:11,19 9:6. See GROVE.

OATH

A solemn affirmation accompanied by an appeal to the Supreme Being. God has prohibited all false oaths, and all useless and customary swearing in ordinary discourse; but when the necessity or importance of a matter requires an oath, he allows men to swear by his name, Ex 22:11 Le 5:1. To swear by a false god was an act of idolatry, Jer 5:7 12:16.

Among the Hebrews an oath was administered by the judge, who stood up, and adjured the party who was to be sworn. In this manner our Lord was adjured by Caiaphas, Mt 26:63. Jesus had remained silent under long examination, when the high priest, rising up, knowing he had a sure mode of obtaining an answer said, "I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ." To this oath, thus solemnly administered, Jesus replied that he was indeed the Messiah.

An oath is a solemn appeal to God, as to an all-seeing witness that what we say is true, and an almighty avenger if what we say be false, Heb 6:16. Its force depends upon our conviction of the infinite justice of God; that he will not hold those guiltless who take his name in vain; and that the loss of his favor immeasurable outweighs all that could be gained by false witness. It is an act of religious worship; on which account God requires it to be taken in his name, De 10:20, and points out the manner in which it ought to be administered, and the duty of the person who swears, Ex 22:11 De 6:18 Ps 15:4 24:4. Hence atheists, who profess to believe that there is no God, and persons who do not believe in a future state of reward and punishment, cannot consistently take an oath. In their mouths an oath can be only profane mockery.

God himself is represented as confirming his promise by oath, and thus conforming to what is practiced among men, Heb 6:13,16-17. The oaths forbidden in Mt 5:34-35 Jas 5:12, must refer to the unthinking, hasty, and vicious practices of the Jews; otherwise Paul would have acted against the command of Christ, Ro 1:9 Ga 1:20 2Co 1:23. That person is obliged to take an oath whose duty requires him to declare the truth in the most solemn and judicial manner; though undoubtedly oaths are too often administered unnecessarily and irreverently, and taken with but slight consciousness of the responsibility thus assumed. As we are bound to manifest every possible degree of reverence towards God, the greatest care is to be taken that we swear neither rashly nor negligently in making promises. To neglect performance is perjury, unless the promise be contrary to the law of nature and of God; in which case no oath is binding. See CORBAN, and VOWS.

A customary formula of taking an oath was "The Lord do so to me, and more also;" that is, the lord slay me, as the victim sacrificed on many such occasions was slain, and punish me even more than this, if I speak not the truth, Ru 1:17 1Sa 3:17. Similar phrases are these: "As the Lord liveth," Jud 8:19 "Before God I lie not," Ro 9:1; "I say the truth in Christ," 1Ti 2:7; "God is my record," Php 1.8. Several acts are alluded to as accompaniments of an oath; as putting the hand under the thigh, Ge 24:2 47:29; and raising the hand towards heaven, Ge 14:22,23 De 32:40 Re 10:5.

OBADIAH

1. The chief officer of king Ahab’s household, who preserved the lives of one hundred prophets from the persecuting Jezebel, by concealing them in two caves and furnishing them with food, 1Ki 18:4.

2. The fourth of the minor prophets, supposed to have prophesied about 587 B. C. It cannot indeed be decided with certainty when he lived, but it is probable that he was contemporary with Jeremiah and Ezekiel, who denounced the same dreadful judgments on the Edomites, as the punishment of their pride, violence, and cruel insulting over the Jews after the destruction of their city. The prophecy, according to usher, was fulfilled about five years after the destruction of Jerusalem.

3. Eight or ten others of this name are mentioned in 1Ch 3:21 7:3 8:38 9:16,44 12:9 27:19 2Ch 17:7 34:12 Ezr 8:9 Ne 10:5.

OBED

Son of Boaz and Ruth, and grandfather of David, Ru 4:17. See also the genealogies of Christ, Mt 1:5 Lu 3:32.

OBED-EDOM

A Levite, whose special prosperity while keeper of the ark after the dreadful death of Uzziah encouraged David to carry it up to Jerusalem. Obed-edom and his sons were made doorkeepers of the tabernacle at Jerusalem, 2Sa 6:10-12; 1Ch 15:18-24; 16:38; 26:4- 8,15.

ODED

A prophet of the Lord, who, being at Samaria when the Israelites under king Pekah returned from the war against Judah and brought 200,000 captives, went to meet them, and remonstrated with them; so that the principal men in Samaria took care of the prisoners, gave them clothes, food, and other assistance, and carried the feeble on asses. Thus they conducted them to Jericho, 2Ch 28:9, etc.

OFFENCE

This word answers to two different terms in the original, the one signifying a breach of the law, Ro 5:15,17, the other a stumbling-block or cause of sin to others, Mt 5:29; 18:6-9; or whatever is perverted into an occasion or excuse for sin, Mt 15:12; Joh 6:61; Ro 9:33; Ga 5:11.

OFFERING

In the Hebrew, an offering, minchah, is distinguished from a sacrifice, zebah, as being bloodless. In our version, however, the word offering is often used for a sacrifice, as in the case of peace offerings, sin offerings, etc. Of the proper offerings, that is, the unbloody offerings, some accompanied the sacrifices, as flour, wine, salt; others were not connected with any sacrifices. Like the sacrifices, some, as the first fruits and tenths, were obligatory; other were voluntary offerings of devotion. Various sorts of offerings are enumerated in the books of Moses. Among these are,

1. Fine flour, or meal;

2. Cakes baked in an oven;

3. Cakes baked on a plate or shallow pan;

4. Cakes cooked in deep vessel by frying in oil, (English version, "frying pan," though some understand here a gridiron or a plate with holes;)

5. First fruits of the new corn, either in the simple state or prepared by parching or roasting in the ear, or out of the ear. The cakes were kneaded with olive oil, or fried in a pan, or only dipped in oil after they were baked. The bread offered for the altar was without leaven; for leaven was never offered on the altar, nor with the sacrifices, Le 2:11-12. But they might make presents of common bread to the priests and ministers of the temple. Honey was never offered with the sacrifices, but it might be presented alone, as first fruits, Le 2:11-12. Those who offered living victims were not excused from giving meal, wine, and salt, together with the greater sacrifices. Those who offered only oblations of bread or of meal offered also oil, incense, salt, and wine, which were in a manner their seasoning. The priest in waiting received the offerings from the hand of him who brought them, laid a part on the altar, and reserved the rest for his own subsistence as a minister of the Lord. Nothing was wholly burned up but the incense, of which the priest retained none. See Le 2:2,13 Nu 15:4-5.

In some cases the law required only offerings of corn or bread, as when they offered the first fruits of harvest, whether offered solemnly by the nation, or as the devotion of private persons. The unbloody offerings signified, in general, not so much expiation, which was the peculiar meaning of the sacrifices, as the consecration of the offerer, and all that he had to Jehovah. Only in the case of the poor man, who could not afford the expense of sacrificing an animal, was an unbloody offering accepted in its stead, Le 5:11. See SACRIFICES.

OG

An Amoritish king of Bashan east of the Jordan, defeated and slain by the Israelites under Moses. He was a giant in stature, on e of the last of the Rephaim who had possessed that region; and his iron bedstead, fourteen feet long, was preserved after his death as a relic. Ashtaroth-carnaim and Edrei were his chief cities; but there were many other walled towns, and the land was rich in flocks and herds. It was assigned by Moses to the half-tribe of Manasseh, Nu 21:33 32:33 De 1:4 3:1-13 4:47 31:4 Jos 2:10 12:4 13:30.

OIL

Was employed from the earliest periods in the east, not only for the purpose of consecration, but to anoint the head, the beard, and the whole person in daily life, Ge 28:18. See ANOINTING. It was also universally used for food, Eze 16:13. Fresh and sweet olive oil was greatly preferred to butter and animal fat as a seasoning for food, and to this day in Syria almost every kind of food is cooked with oil. It had a place also among the meat-offerings in the temple, being usually mixed with the meal of the oblation, Le 5:11 6:21. For lamps, also, pure olive oil was regarded as the best, and was used in illuminating the tabernacle. These many uses for oil made the culture of the olive-tree an extensive and lucrative business, 1Ch 27:28 Eze 27:17 Ho 12:1. Oil was as much an article of storage and of traffic as corn and wine, 2Ch 32:28 Ezr 3:7.

The best oil was obtained from the fruit while yet green by a slight beating or pressing, Ex 27:20 29:40. The ripe fruit is now, and has been from ancient times, crushed by passing stone rollers over it. The crushed mass is then subjected to pressure in the oil-mill, Hebrew, gath-shemen. The olive-berries are not now trodden with the feet. This, however seems to have been practiced among the Hebrews, at least to some extent when the berries had become soft by keeping, Mic 6:15. Gethsemane, that is, oil-press, probably took its name originally from some oil-press in its vicinity. See OLIVE.

OINTMENTS

Were much used by the ancient Hebrews, not chiefly for medical purposes as among us, but as a luxury, Ru 3:3 Ps 104:15 So 1:2 Mt 6:17 Lu 7:46. Their perfumery was usually prepared in olive oil, and not in volatile extracts and essences. The sacred ointment is described in Ex 30:22-33. The ointments of the rich were made of very costly ingredients, and their fragrance was highly extolled, Isa 39:2 Am 6:6 Mt 26:7-9 Joh 12:5. See ANOINTING.

OLIVE

This is one of the earliest trees mentioned in Scripture, and has furnished, perhaps ever since he deluge the most universal emblem of peace, Ge 8:11. It is always classed among the most valuable trees of Palestine, which is described as a land of oil olive, and honey, De 6:11 8:8 Hab 3:17. No tree is more frequently mentioned in the Greek and Roman classics. By the Greeks it was dedicated to Minerva, and employed in crowning Jove, Apollo, and Hercules. The olive is never a very large or beautiful tree, and seldom exceeds thirty feet in height: its leaves are dark green on the upper surface, and of a silvery hue on the under, and generally grow in pairs. Its wood is hard, like that of box, and very close in the grain. It blossoms very profusely, and bears fruit every other year.

The flower is at first yellow, but as it expands, it becomes whiter, leaving a yellow center. The fruit resembles a plum in shape and in color, being first green, then pale, and when ripe, black. It is gathered by shaking the boughs and by beating them with poles, De 24:20 Isa 17:6, and is sometimes plucked in an unripe state, put into some preserving liquid, and exported. It is principally valuable for the oil it produces, which is an important article of commerce in the east. A full-sized tree in full bearing vigor is said to produce a thousand pounds of oil, Jud 9:8,9 2Ch 2:10. The olive delights in a stony soil, and will thrive even on the sides and tops of rocky hills, where there is scarcely any earth; hence the expression "oil out of the flinty rock," etc., De 32:13 Job 29:6. It is an evergreen tree, and very longlived, an emblem of a fresh and enduring piety, Ps 52:8. Around an old trunk young plants shoot up from the same root, to adorn the parent stock when living, and succeed it when dead; hence the allusion in describing the family of the just, Ps 128:3. It is slow of growth, and no less slow to decay. The ancient trees now in Gethsemane are believed by many to have sprung from the roots of those, which witnessed the agony of our Lord. The "wild olive-tree" is smaller than the cultivated, and inferior in all its parts and products. A graft upon it, from a good tree, bore good fruit; while a graft from a "wild" olive upon a good tree, remains "wild" as before.

Yet, "contrary to nature," the sinner engrafted on Christ partakes of His nature and bears good fruit, Ro 11:13-26.

OLIVES, MOUNT OF

Eze 11:23, called also OLIVET, 2Sa 15:30, a ridge running north and south on the east side of Jerusalem, its summit about half a mile from the city wall, and separated from it by the valley of the Kidron. It is composed of chalky limestone, the rocks everywhere showing themselves. The olive-trees that formerly covered it, and gave it its name, are now represented by a few trees and clumps of trees which ages of desolation have not eradicated. There are three prominent summits on the ridge; of these the southernmost, which is lower than the other two, is now known as the "Mount of Corruption," because Solomon defiled it by idolatrous worship, 1Ki 11:5-7 2Ki 23:13. Over this ridge passes the road to Bethany, the most frequented road to Jericho and the Jordan. The sides of the Mount of Olives towards the west contain many tombs, cut in the rocks.

The central summit rises two hundred feet above Jerusalem, and presents a fine view of the city, and indeed of the whole region, including the mountains of Ephraim on the north, the valley of the Jordan on the east, a part of the Dead Sea on the southeast, and beyond it Kerak in the mountains of Moab. Perhaps no spot on earth unites so fine a view, with so many memorials of the most solemn and important events. Over this hill the Savior often climbed in his journey to and from the holy city. Gethsemane lay at its foot on the west, and Bethany on its eastern slope, Mt 24:3 Mr 13:3. It was probably near Bethany, and not as tradition says on the middle summit, that our lord ascended to heaven, Lu 24:50 Ac 1:12, though superstition has built the "Church of the Ascension" on the pretended spot, and shows the print of his feet on the rock whence he ascended! From the summit, three days before his death, he beheld Jerusalem, and wept over it, recalling the long ages of his more than parental care and grieving over its approaching ruin. Scarcely any thing in the gospels moves the heart more than this natural and touching scene. No one can doubt that it was God who there spoke; his retrospect, his predictions of his future judgments in the earth, Zec 14:4. See view of the central summit in GETHSEMANE. Also SEPULCHRES.

OMEGA

The last letter of the Greek alphabet. See A.

OMER

A measure of capacity among the Hebrews; the tenth part of an ephah; a little more than five pints.

OMRI

Was general of the army of Elah king of Israel; but being at the siege of Gibbethon, and hearing that his master Elah was assassinated by Zimri who had usurped his kingdom, he raised the siege, and being elected king by his army, marched against Zimri, attacked him at Tirzah, and forced him to burn himself and all his family in the palace in which he had shut himself up. After his death, half of Israel acknowledged Omri for king, the other half adhered to Tibni, son of Ginath, which division continued four years. When Tebni was dead, the people united in Acknowledging Omri as king of all Israel, who reigned twelve years, six years at Tirzah, and six at Samaria, 1Ki 16:8-28.

Tirzah had previously been the chief residence of the kings of Israel; but when Omri purchased the hill of Shomeron, 1Ki 16:24, he built there a new city, which he called Samaria, from the name of the previous possessor, Shemer or Shomer, and here fixed his royal seat. From this time Samaria was the capital of the Kingdom of the ten tribes. It appears, under the name of Beth-Omri, on the stone tablets recently exhumed by Layard from the ruins of Nineveh.

ON

See HELIOPOLIS.

ONESIMUS

Had been a slave to Philemon of Colosse, and had run away from him, and fled to Rome; but being converted to Christianity through preaching of Paul, he was the occasion of Paul’s writing the epistle to Philemon, Col 4:9 Phm 1:10.

ONESIPHORUS

A Christian friend of Paul at Ephesus, who came to Rome while the apostle was imprisoned there for the faith, and at a time when almost every one had forsaken him. This is supposed to have occurred during Paul’s last imprisonment, not long before his death. Having found Paul in bonds, after long seeking him, he assisted him to the utmost of his power, and without regard to danger; for which the apostle implored the highest benedictions on him and his family, 2Ti 1:16-18 4:19.

ONION

One of the vegetables of Egypt for which the Hebrews murmured in the desert, Nu 11:5. Hasselquist says that the onions of Egypt are remarkably sweet, mild, and nutritious. Juvenal, Pliny, and Lucian satirize the superstitious regard of the Egyptians for this bulb.

ONO

A town of Benjamin, near Lydda, 1Ch 8:12; Ezr 2:33. The "plain of Ono" is supposed to denote a portion of the Plain of Sharon near Ono, Ne 6:2; 11:35.

ONYCHA

An ingredient of the sacred incense, whose fragrance perfumed the sanctuary alone, Ex 30:34. It is conjectured to mean the Blatta Bryzantina of the shops; an article which consists of the cover or lid of a species of muscle, and when burnt emits a musky odor. The best onycha is found in the Red Sea, and is white and large.

ONYX

A nail, the eleventh stone in the high priest’s breastplate, Ex 28:20. The modern onyx has some resemblance to the agate; and the color of the body of the stone is like that of the human nail; hence its name. The Hebrew word so translated is not known with certainty to signify the onyx; but denoted some valuable stone, Ge 2:12; Ex 25:7; 28:9-12,20. A species of marble resembling the onyx was known to the Greeks, and may have been the "onyx-stones" stored up by David for the temple, 1Ch 29:2.

OPHEL

A quarter of Jerusalem adjacent to the temple, and therefore occupied by the Nethinim, Ne 3:26,27 11:21. It appears to have been enclosed by a wall, and fortified by a strong tower, 2Ch 27:3 33:14; and is thought to be meant by the Hebrew OPHEL, translated" strong-hold," in Mic 4:8. There can be little doubt that the name belongs to the lower ridge into which Mount Moriah sinks, south of the area of the mosque. It is one hundred yards wide, and extends six hundred yards to the south, terminating in a bluff forty or fifty feet high above the pool of Siloam. It is separated from Mount Zion on the west by the valley called Tyropoeon, and is now devoted to the culture of olives, figs, and other fruit.

OPHIR

1. One of the sons of Joktan, who settled in southern Arabia, Ge 10:26-29.

2. A country to which the ships of Solomon traded, and which had for a long time been celebrated for the purity and abundance of its gold, Job 22:24 28:16. "Gold of Ophir" was proverbially the best gold, Ps 45:9 Isa 13:12. The only passages which give us any information as to the location of Ophir are 1Ki 9:26-28 10:11,22 22:48, with the parallel passages in 2Ch 8:18 9:10,21 20:36,37; from which it appears that the so called "ships of Tarshish" went to Ophir; that these ships sailed from Ezion-geber, a port of the Red Sea; that a voyage was made once in three years; that the fleet returned freighted with gold, peacocks, apes, spices, ivory, algumwood, and ebony. Upon these data interpreters have undertaken to determine the situation of Ophir; but they have arrived at different conclusions. Josephus places it in the peninsula of Malacca. Others have placed it at Sofala, in South Africa, three mines of God and silver have been found, which appear to have been anciently and extensively worked. Others still suppose it to have been Southern Arabia.

OPHRAH

1. A town of the Benjamites, located by Eusebius five miles east of Bethel; near which site stands the modern village Taiyibeh, on a conical hill, Jos 18:23; 1Sa 13:17.

2. A town of Manesseh where Gideon resided; and where after his death his ephod was superstitiously adored, Jud 6:11-24; 8:27.

ORACLE

A supernatural communication; applied to single divine revelations and to the entire word of god, Ac 7:38 Ro 3:2 Heb 5:12, etc. It is also spoken of the covering of he ark of the covenant; as if God there sat enthroned, and delivered his oracles, 2Sa 16:23. See MERCY SEAT. In other places, it means the "Holy of Holies" in the temple, where the ark was placed, 1Ki 6:5,16,19 8:6.

Strikingly unlike the true and living oracles of God were the famous counterfeit oracles of numerous heathen temples. The priests who pretended to convey to applicants the responses of their gods, often gave a reply capable of two opposite interpretations, when neither private information nor their own experience or sagacity gave them the clue to a safe answer. Thus Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, was encouraged to a war, with Rome, by an oracle which was found after his defeat to foretell defeat as much as victory: Aio te, Aeacida, Romanos vincere posse.

OREB, and ZEEB

Raven and wolf, two Midianite chiefs, captured after the victory of Gideon, and slain at the spots whither they had fled, and which were afterwards called in memory of them "the rock of Oreb" and the wine- press or cellar of Zeeb, Jud 7:25. Their punishment foretells that of all God’s enemies, Ps 83:12; Isa 10:26.

ORGAN

Ps 150:4, a wind instrument apparently composed of several pipes. It cannot, however, mean the modern organ, which was unknown to the ancients; but refers probably to the ancient syrinx, or pipes, similar to the Pandean pipes, a series of seven or more tubes of unequal length and size, closed at one end, and blown into with the mouth at the other, Ge 4:21 Job 21:12. See MUSIC.

ORION

Job 9:9, one of the brightest constellations of the Southern Hemisphere. The Hebrew chesil signifies, according to the best interpreters and the ancient versions, the constellation Orion, which, on account of its supposed connection with storms and tempests, Virgil calls "nimbosus Orion," stormy Orion. In Job 38:31, fetters are ascribed to him; and this coincides with the Greek fable of the giant Orion, bound in the heavens for an unsuccessful war against the gods.

ORNAN

See ARAUNAH.

ORPAH

The Moabites, Naomi’s daughter-in-law, who remained with her people and gods, when Ruth followed Naomi and the Lord, Ru 1:4-14. The one was taken and the other left.

OSEE

The Greek form of Hosea, Ro 9:25.

OSPREY

A bird of the eagle kind, unfit for food, Le 11:13. It is thought to be the sea eagle, or the black eagle of Egypt. See BIRDS.

OSSIFRAGE

Bone-breaker; in Hebrew Peries, to break; an unclean bird of the eagle family, Le 11:13 De 14:12. Some interpreters think the vulture is intended; others, a mountain bird like the lammergeyer of the Alps, which breaks the bones of wild goats by hunting them over precipices.

OSTRICH

The largest of birds, and a sort of connecting link between fowls and quadrupeds, termed by the Persians, Arabs, and by Greeks, the "camel-bird." It is a native of the dry and torrid regions of Africa and western Asia. The gray ostrich is seven feet high and its neck three feet long; it weighs nearly eighty pounds, and is strong enough to carry two men. The other species, with glossy black wings and white tail, is sometimes ten feet high. The beautiful plumes so highly valued are found on the wings, about twenty on each, those of the tail being usually broken and worn. There are no feathers on the thighs, or under the wings; and the neck is but scantily clothed with thin whitish hairs. The weight of the body and the size and structure of the wings show that the animal is formed for running rather than flying.

The ostrich is described in Job 39:13-18; and in various places where our translation calls it the "owl," Job 30:29 Jer 50:39; or "daughter of the owl," Isa 13:21 34:13 43:20 Mic 1:8. In these and other passages it figures as a bird of the desert. Shy and timorous, it is occasionally driven by hunger to visit and ravage cultivated fields; but is usually found only in the heart of the desert, in troops, or small groups, or mingling familiarly with the herds of wild asses, gnus, and quaggas. Its food is often scarce and poor, plants of the desert "withered before they are grown up;" also snails, insects, and various reptiles; for it has a voracious and indiscrimination appetite, swallowing the vilest and the hardest substances. Job speaks particularly of the speed of the ostrich," She scorneth the horse and his rider." So Xenophon, the biographer of Cyrus, says of the ostriches of Arabia, that none could overtake them, the baffled horsemen soon returning from the chase; and the writer of a voyage to Senegal says, "The ostrich sets off at a hard gallop; but after being excited a little, she expands her wings as if to catch the wind, and abandons herself to a speed so great, that she seems not to touch the ground. I am persuaded she would leave far behind the swiftest English courser."

She scoops out for herself a circular nest in the sand, and lays a large number of eggs; some of which are placed without the nest, as though intended for the nourishment of the young brood. The mother bird, with the help of the sun in the tropics, and of her mate in the cool nights, performs the process of incubation; but her timidity is such that she flies from her nest at the approach of danger, and as Dr. Shaw remarks, "forsakes her eggs or her young ones, to which, perhaps, she never returns; or if she does, it may be too late either to restore life to the one, or to preserve the lives of the others. Agreeably to this account, the Arabs meet sometimes with whole nests of these eggs undisturbed; some of them are sweet and good, others are addled and corrupted. They often meet with a few of the little ones no bigger than well-grown pullets, half starved, straggling and moaning about, like so many distressed orphans for their mother. In this manner the ostrich may be said to be ‘hardened against her young ones, as though they were not hers; her labor,’ in hatching and attending them so far, ‘being vain, without fear,’ or the least concern of what becomes of them afterwards. This want of affection is also recorded in La 4:3, ‘The daughter of my people is become cruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness;’ that is, apparently by deserting her own children, and receiving others in return."

When the ostrich is provoked, she sometimes makes a fierce, angry, and hissing noise, with her throat inflated, and her mouth open; at other times she has a moaning and plaintive cry; and in the night the male repels prowling enemies by a short roar which is sometimes taken for that of a lion, Mic 1:8.

OTHNIEL

Son of Kenaz, and first judge of the Israelites, delivering them from the tyranny of the king of Mesopotamia, and ruling them in peace forty years. His wife Achsa, daughter of his uncle Caleb, was the reward of his valor in taking the city of Debir, Jos 15:17; Jud 1:13; 3:9-10.

OUCHES

Sockets in which precious stones were set, Ex 28:11,25; 39:6.

OVEN

See BREAD.

OWL

A night bird of prey, unfit for food. Several species are found in Palestine, and are mentioned in the Bible; as in Le 11:17 De 14:16 Isa 14:23 34:15 Zep 2:14. One of the words, however, translated "owl," probably means "OSTRICH," (which see;) and another, Le 11:17 De 14:16 Isa 34:11, the ibis or night heron.

OX

The male of the beeve kind when grown, synonymous in the Bible with BULL; a clean animal, by the Levitical law; much used for food, 1Ki 19:21, and constituting no small part of the wealth of the Hebrews in their pastoral life, Ge 24:35 Job 1:14 42:12. Oxen were used in agriculture for ploughing, 1Ki 19:19; and for treading out the grain, during which they were not to be muzzled, 1Co 9:9, but well fed, Isa 30:24. The testing of a new yoke of oxen is still a business of great importance in the East, as of old, Lu 14:19. A passage in Campbell’s travels in South Africa well illustrates the proverbial expression, "as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke," Jer 31:18: "I had frequent opportunities of witnessing the conduct of oxen when for the first time put into the yoke to assist in dragging the wagons. On observing an ox that had been in yoke beginning to get weak, or his hoofs to be worn down to the quick by treading on the sharp gravel, a fresh ox was put into the yoke in his place. When the selection fell on an ox I had received as a present from some African king, of course one completely unaccustomed to the yoke, and attempting to make its escape. At other times such bullocks say down upon their sides or back, and remained so in defiance of the Hottentots, though two or three of them would be lashing them with their ponderous whips. Sometimes, from pity to the animal, I would interfere, and beg them to be less cruel. ‘Cruel,’ they would say, ‘it is mercy; for if we do not conquer him now, he will require to be so beaten all his life.’"

The "wild ox," mentioned in De 14:5, is supposed to have been a species of stag or antelope. See BULLS OF BASHAN.