Fitted on the neck of oxen for the purpose of binding to them the traces by which they might draw the plough, etc. (Numbers 19:2; Deuteronomy 21:3). It was a curved piece of wood called
In Jeremiah 27:2; 28:10,12the word in the Authorized Version rendered "yoke" is
Motah , which properly means a "staff," or as in the Revised Version, "bar."
These words in the Hebrew are both used figuratively of severe bondage, or affliction, or subjection (Leviticus 26:13; 1 Kings 12:4; Isaiah 47:6; Lamentations 1:14; 3:27). In the New Testament the word "yoke" is also used to denote servitude (Matthew 11:29,30; Acts 15:10; Galatians 5:1).
In 1Sam 1 Samuel 19:21, Job 1:3 the word thus translated is
, Which signifies a pair, two oxen yoked or coupled together, and hence in 1 Samuel 14:14 it represents as much land as a yoke of oxen could plough in a day, like the Latin
. In Isaiah 5:10 this word in the plural is translated "acres."
These dictionary topics are from M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain, copy freely.
Easton, Matthew George. "Entry for 'Yoke'". "Easton's Bible Dictionary".