From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [1]

1: Ζῷον (Strong'S #2226 — Noun Neuter — zoon — dzo'-on )

primarily denotes "a living being" (zoe, "life"). The Eng., "animal," is the equivalent, stressing the fact of life as the characteristic feature. In  Hebrews 13:11 the AV and the RV translate it "beasts" ("animals" would be quite suitable). In 2Pet.2:12;   Jude 1:10 , the AV has "beasts," the RV "creatures." In the Apocalypse, where the word is found some 20 times, and always of those beings which stand before the throne of God, who give glory and honor and thanks to Him,  Revelation 4:6 , and act in perfect harmony with His counsels,  Revelation 5:14;  6:1-7 , e.g., the word "beasts" is most unsuitable; the RV, "living creatures," should always be used; it gives to zoon its appropriate significance. See Creature.

2: Θηρίον (Strong'S #2342 — Noun Neuter — therion — thay-ree'-on )

to be distinguished from zoon, almost invariably denotes "a wild beast." In  Acts 28:4 , "venomous beast" is used of the viper which fastened on Paul's hand. Zoon stresses the vital element, therion the bestial. The idea of a "beast" of prey is not always present. Once, in  Hebrews 12:20 , it is used of the animals in the camp of Israel, such, e.g., as were appointed for sacrifice: But in the Sept. therion is never used of sacrificial animals; the word ktenos (see below) is reserved for these.

 Revelation 11:7 13:1-18 14:9,11 15:2 16:2,10,13 17:3-17 19:19,20 20:4,10

3: Κτῆνος (Strong'S #2934 — Noun Neuter — ktenos — ktay'-nos )

primarily denotes "property" (the connected verb ktaomai means "to possess"); then, "property in flocks and herds." In Scripture it signifies, (a) a "beast" of burden,  Luke 10:34;  Acts 23:24 , (b) "beasts" of any sort, apart from those signified by thereion (see above),  1—Corinthians 15:39;  Revelation 18:13 , (c) animals for slaughter; this meaning is not found in the NT, but is very frequent in the Sept.

4: Τετράπους (Strong'S #5074 — Adjective — tetrapous — tet-rap'-ooce )

"a four-footed beast" (tetra, "four," and pous, "a foot") is found in  Acts 10:12;  11:6;  Romans 1:23 .

5: Σφάγιον (Strong'S #4968 — Noun Neuter — sphagion — sfag'-ee-on )

from sphazo, "to slay," denotes "a victim slaughtered for sacrifice, a slain beast,"  Acts 7:42 , in a quotation from  Amos 5:25 .

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [2]

Representing two distinct Hebrew words, Bihemah and Chay , "cattle" and "living creature," or "animal." Βeir means either collectively all cattle ( Exodus 22:4;  Psalms 78:48) or specially beasts of burden ( Genesis 45:17). The "beheemah" answer to the hoofed animals. In Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14 some principal divisions of the animal kingdom are given; the cloven footed, chewing the cud, Ruminantia . The aim of Scripture is not natural science, but religion. Where system is needful for this, it is given simple and effective for the purposes of religion. If Scripture had given scientific definitions, they would have been irrelevant and even marring to the effect designed. The language is therefore phenomenal, i.e. according to appearances.

Thus the hare and hyrax have not the four stomachs common to ruminant animals, but they move the jaw in nibbling like the ruminants. The hare chews over again undigested food brought up from the aesophagus though not a genuine ruminant. The teeth of the rodentia grow during life, so that they necessarily have to be kept down by frequent grinding with the jaws; this looks like rumination. The hare and the coney represent really the Rodentia ; (the Coney, or Hyrax, though a pachyderm, is linked with the hare, because externally resembling the rodentia;) swine, Pachydermata ; "whatsoever goeth upon his paws," "all manner of beasts that go on all four," carnivora: only those of a limited district, and those at all possible to be used as food, are noticed, it is noteworthy that it is only "every animal of the field" that Jehovah brought to Adam to name, namely, animals in any way useful to man ( Genesis 2:19), mainly the Herbivora . (See Coney ; HYRAX.) Dominion is not specified as given over the (wild, savage) "beasts of the earth" (mainly Carnivora ), but only "over all the earth."

So in  Psalms 8:7 man's dominion is over "the beasts of the field." Noah is not said to take into the ark beasts of the earth; but in  Genesis 9:9-10, "beasts of the earth" are distinguished from "all that go out of the ark." Next to fear of a deluge was their fear of the beasts of the earth; but God assures men "the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth" ( Genesis 9:2). Symbolically, man severed from God and resting on his own physical or intellectual strength, or material resources, is beastly and brutish. He is only manly when Godly, for man was made in the image of God. So Asaph describes himself, when envying the prosperous wicked," I was as a beast before Thee" ( Psalms 73:22). "Man in honor (apart from God) abideth not, he is like the beasts that perish" ( Psalms 49:12).

The multitude opposing Messiah are but so many "bulls" and "calves" to be stilled by His "rebuke" ( Psalms 68:30). Those "that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, as natural brute beasts, are made only to be taken and destroyed" ( 2 Peter 2:12). So persecutors of Christians, as Paul's opponents at Ephesus ( 1 Corinthians 15:32). The "beast" (Revelation 13; Revelation 15; Revelation 17; Revelation 19) is the combination of all these sensual, lawless, God opposing features. The four successive world empires are represented as beasts coming up out of the sea whereon the winds of heaven strove (Daniel 7). The kingdom of Messiah, on the contrary, is that of "the Son of MAN," supplanting utterly the former, and alone everlasting and world wide. In Revelation 4; 5, the four cherubic forms are not "beasts" (as KJV), but "living creatures" ( Zoa ).

The "beast" ( Theerion ) is literally the wild beast, untamed to the obedience of Christ and God ( Romans 8:7). The "harlot" or apostate church (compare  Revelation 12:1, etc., with  Revelation 17:1, etc.;  Isaiah 1:21) sits first on the beast, which again is explained as "seven mountains upon which she sitteth"; probably seven universal God-opposed empires (contrast  Jeremiah 51:25 with  Isaiah 2:2) of which the seven-hilled Rome is the prominent embodiment, namely, Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Mede Persia, Greece, Rome (including the modern Latin kingdoms), and the Germano-Sclavonic empire.

The woman sitting on them is the church conformed to the world; therefore the instrument of her sin is retributively made the instrument of her punishment (Ezekiel 23;  Jeremiah 2:19;  Revelation 17:16). "The spirit of man," even as it normally ascends to God, whose image he bore, so at death "goeth upward"; and the spirit of the beast, even as its desires tend downward to merely temporal wants, "goeth downward" ( Ecclesiastes 3:21). God warns against cruelty to the brute ( Deuteronomy 22:6-7). He regarded the "much cattle" of Nineveh ( Jonah 4:11). He commanded that they should be given the sabbath rest. As to the creature's final deliverance, see  Romans 8:20-23.

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [3]

The word appears with three references.- 1 . It signifies simply an irrational animal ( 2 Peter 2:12); a beast of burden ( Acts 23:24); an animal used for food ( Revelation 18:13), or for sacrifice ( Hebrews 13:11); or it is used as symbolizing Nature in its highest forms of nobility, strength, wisdom, and swiftness ( Revelation 4:6 ff.; cf. Ezekiel 1 and Isa 6).- 2 . St. Paul writes that he fought with ‘beasts’ at Ephesus ( 1 Corinthians 15:32). If these were actual beasts, then the Apostle, who had come off conqueror in the fight, instead of being handed over to the executioner, was set free by the provincial magistrate (cf. C. v. Weizsäcker, Das apostol. Zeitalter , 1886, p. 328 [Eng. translation, The Apostolic Age , i. (1894) 385]; A. C. McGiffert, The Apostolic Age , 1897, p. 280ff.). The uncertainties and difficulties of this position are, however, so serious that it is commonly abandoned in favour of a metaphorical interpretation, and for these reasons: ( a ) St. Paul was a Roman citizen; ( b ) neither in Acts nor in 2 Cor. is there any allusion to an actual conflict with beasts; ( c ) had he so fought, he would not have survived. Ignatius, referring to his journey to Rome where he was to suffer martyrdom, wrote, ‘I am bound to ten leopards, that is, a troop of soldiers …’ ( ad Romans 5 ). Some explain St. Paul’s allusion by Acts 19; but this tumult was probably later, and such explanation disagrees with  1 Corinthians 16:8-9. Ramsay alleges a mixture of Greek and Roman ideas-in the Greek lecture-room St. Paul would become familiar with the Platonic comparison of the mob with a dangerous beast, and as a Roman citizen he would often have seen men fight with beasts in the circus ( St. Paul , 1895, p. 230f.). Max Krenkel ( Beiträge zur Aufhellung der Gesch. und der Briefe des Apost. Paulus , Brunswick, 1890, pp. 126-152) suggests that Christians used ‘beast’ (cf. Revelation 13) with a cryptic reference to Rome’s power (cf. the four beasts in  Daniel 8:3 ff.). We are certain only that St. Paul referred to some extreme danger from men through which he had passed in Ephesus, of which the Corinthians had heard (P. W. Schmiedel, Hand-Kommentar zum Neuen Testament , Freiburg i. B., 1893, p. 198).-3. In Rev. ( Revelation 11:7;  Revelation 13:1 ff.) two beasts are described, one ( Revelation 13:1-10; cf.  Daniel 7:17 ff.) symbolizing the hostile political world-power of Rome and the kings of Rome as vassals of Satan, the other ( Revelation 13:11-18) the hostile religious power of false prophecy (cf.  Revelation 16:13;  Revelation 19:20;  Revelation 20:10) and magic, enlisted as ally of the political power-a false Christ or Antichrist, by which the worship of the Caesar was imposed on the provinces. See, further, articleApocalypse.

C. A. Beckwith.

Easton's Bible Dictionary [4]

 Exodus 22:5 Numbers 20:4,8,11 Psalm 78:48 Genesis 45:17 Proverbs 9:2 Isaiah 60:6 Revelation 18:13 1 Corinthians 15:39 Luke 10:34 Acts 23:24 Acts 7:42

When used in contradistinction to man ( Psalm 36:6 ), it denotes a brute creature generally, and when in contradistinction to creeping things ( Leviticus 11:2-7;  27:26 ), a four-footed animal.

The Mosaic law required that beasts of labour should have rest on the Sabbath ( Exodus 20:10;  23:12 ), and in the Sabbatical year all cattle were allowed to roam about freely, and eat whatever grew in the fields ( Exodus 23:11;  Leviticus 25:7 ). No animal could be castrated ( Leviticus 22:24 ). Animals of different kinds were to be always kept separate ( Leviticus 19:19;  Deuteronomy 22:10 ). Oxen when used in threshing were not to be prevented from eating what was within their reach ( Deuteronomy 25:4;  1co.9:9 ).

This word is used figuratively of an infuriated multitude ( 1 Corinthians 15:32;  Acts 19:29; Compare  Psalm 22:12,16;  Ecclesiastes 3:18;  Isaiah 11:6-8 ), and of wicked men ( 2 Peter 2:12 ). The four beasts of  Daniel 7:3,17,23 represent four kingdoms or kings.

Holman Bible Dictionary [5]

 Ecclesiastes 3:18-21 Genesis 1:24 Genesis 1:30 Leviticus 11:1-8 Genesis 1:24 Genesis 2:20 Exodus 19:13 Exodus 22:10 Numbers 3:13Animals

Apocalyptic literature such as Daniel and Revelation utilize beasts of various sorts in their symbolism (see  Psalm 74:19;  Jeremiah 12:9 ). Daniel saw four great beasts who represented four great kings arise out of the sea ( Daniel 7:2-14 ). These four beasts would ncthreaten God's kingdom, but God's people would prevail over them ( Daniel 7:18 ).

The Book of Revelation speaks of two beasts. The first beast arises out of the sea ( Revelation 13:1 ), is seven headed, and derives its authority from the dragon ( Revelation 12:3;  Revelation 13:4 ). This beast has several of the characteristics of the four beasts of  Daniel 7:1 . The second beast arises out of the earth ( Revelation 13:11 ). It serves the first beast by seeking devotees for it and is referred to as the “false prophet” ( Revelation 16:13;  Revelation 19:20;  Revelation 20:10 ). Both the beast and the false prophet persecute the church but are finally judged by Christ ( Revelation 19:20; see  2 Thessalonians 2:6-12 ). See Behemoth; Leviathan .

Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT Words [6]

Behêmâh ( בְּהֵמָה , Strong'S #929), “beast; animal; domesticated animal; cattle; riding beast; wild beast.” A cognate of this word appears in Arabic. Biblical Hebrew uses behêmâh about 185 times and in all periods of history.

In Exod. 9:25, this word clearly embraces even the larger “animals,” all the animals in Egypt: “And the hail smote throughout all the land of Egypt all that was in the field, both man and beast.…” This meaning is especially clear in Gen. 6:7: “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air.…” In 1 Kings 4:33, this word seems to exclude birds, fish, and reptiles: “He [Solomon] spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes.”

The word behêmâh can be used of all the domesticated beasts or animals other than man: “And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and [wild] beast of the earth after his kind …” (Gen. 1:24, first occurrence). Psalm 8:7 uses behêmâh in synonymous parallelism with “oxen” and “sheep,” as though it includes both: “All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field.” The word can, however, be used of cattle only: “Shall not their cattle and their substance and every beast of theirs [NASB, “animals”] be ours?” (Gen. 34:23).

In a rare use of the word, it signifies a “riding animal,” such as a horse or mule: “And I arose in the night, I and some few men with me; neither told I any man what my God had put in my heart to do at Jerusalem: neither was there any beast with me, save the beast that I rode upon” (Neh. 2:12).

Infrequently, behêmâh represents any wild, four-footed, undomesticated beast: “And thy carcase shall be meat unto all fowls of the air, and unto the beasts of the earth, and no man shall [frighten] them away” (Deut. 28:26).

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [7]


1 . In OT (1) behçmâh , commonly used for a quadruped, sometimes tr. [Note: translate or translation.] ‘cattle’; see   Genesis 6:7;   Genesis 7:2 ,   Exodus 9:9-10;   Exodus 9:25 ,   Leviticus 11:2 etc. (2) chayyâh , used of animals in general but specially ‘wild beasts’; see   Genesis 7:14;   Genesis 8:1;   Genesis 9:2 etc. (3) be‘îr sometimes tr. [Note: translate or translation.] ‘beasts’ and sometimes ‘cattle’; see   Genesis 45:17 ,   Exodus 22:5 etc. (4) zîz , ‘wild beasts,’   Psalms 50:11;   Psalms 80:13 .

2 . In NT (1) thçrion  :   Mark 1:13 ,   Acts 28:4 (a viper),   Titus 1:12 ,   Hebrews 12:20 ,   James 3:7 , and over 30 times in Rev. (2) zôon , of the ‘beasts’ (AV [Note: Authorized Version.] ), or ‘living creatures’ (RV [Note: Revised Version.] ), round about the throne (  Revelation 5:1-14;   Revelation 6:1-17;   Revelation 8:1-13;   Revelation 11:1-19 , etc.).

E. W. G. Masterman.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [8]

Besides the ordinary use of this word — such as distinguishing all animals from man,  Exodus 9:10;  Psalm 36:6; and as specifying quadrupeds from fowls and creeping things,  Genesis 8:19 — the word is used symbolically for:

a. the ignorance of man,  Psalm 73:22; and for his acting as an irrational creature, that is, without conscience before God. The word is beir, translated 'brutish' in  Psalm 94:8;  Jeremiah 10:8,14,21;  Jeremiah 51:17 .

b. Great worldly powers, cheyva, θηρίον , having different characters according to the symbolic creature specified, but signifying in each case the absence of all moral connection with God: used by Daniel for the four great kingdoms,  Daniel 7:3-23; and in  Revelation 13:1 to   Revelation 20:10 for the revived Roman empire and for the Antichrist.

c. God's executive powers in creation and providence, ζῶον, unhappily translated 'beasts' in the A.V. in  Revelation 4:6-9 , etc., where it should be 'living creatures,' as in Ezekiel. See Living Creatures

Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types [9]

 Daniel 7:3 (a) These beasts represent four great kingdoms, all of them cruel, evil and Satanic in their power and influence. They caused great sorrow and desolation in the earth. These four kingdoms were the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Grecian under Alexander the Great, and the Roman Empire.

 1 Corinthians 15:32 (a) The word is used here by the servant of GOD to indicate the character of the men who opposed Paul and persecuted him in Ephesus. We often use the term "beast" to describe men who are unusually cruel, fierce and heartless.

 Titus 1:12 (a) Paul used the word "beast" to describe selfish men who lived for their own comfort and pleasure and oppressed others in order to obtain what they wanted for themselves.

 2 Peter 2:12 (b) The animal here is typical of ungodly men who live lustful, fleshly lives. They are not interested in cultivating the refining, ennobling things of life, but seek to gratify the lusts of the flesh.

Webster's Dictionary [10]

(1): (n.) A game at cards similar to loo.

(2): (n.) A penalty at beast, omber, etc. Hence: To be beasted, to be beaten at beast, omber, etc.

(3): (n.) As opposed to man: Any irrational animal.

(4): (n.) Fig.: A coarse, brutal, filthy, or degraded fellow.

(5): (n.) Any four-footed animal, that may be used for labor, food, or sport; as, a beast of burden.

(6): (n.) Any living creature; an animal; - including man, insects, etc.

King James Dictionary [11]

BEAST, n. L. bestia. See Boisterous.

1. Any four footed animal, which may be used for labor, food or sport distinguished from fowls, insects, fishes and man as beasts of burden, beasts of the chase, beasts of the forest. It is usually applied to large animals. 2. Opposed to man, it signifies any irrational animal, as in the phrase "man and beast." So wild beast. 3. Figuratively, a brutal man a person rude, coarse, filthy, or acting in a manner unworthy of a rational creature. 4. A game at cards. Hence to beast.

Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology [12]

See Antichrist

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [13]

the translation of בְּהֵמָה , Behemah ' , dumb animals, Quadrupeds, the most usual term; also of בִּעִיר , beir' , grazing animals, Locks or Herds,  Exodus 22:5;  Numbers 20:4;  Numbers 20:8;  Numbers 20:11;  Psalms 78:48; once Beasts Of Burden,  Genesis 45:17; חִי , Chay, Chaldee חִיָּא , Chaya ' , a wild Beast, frequently occurring; נֶפֶשׁ , Ne ' Phesh, Creature or Soul, only once in the phrase "beast for beast,"  Leviticus 24:18; טֶבִח , To ' Bach, slaughter, once only for Eatable Beasts,  Proverbs 9:2; and כִּרְכָּרוֹת , Kirkaroth ' ,

"swift beasts," i.e. dromedaries,  Isaiah 9:20, (See Cattle); in the New Test. properly Ζῶον , an Animal; Θηρίον , a Wild Beast, often; Κτῆνος , a Domestic Animal, as property, for merchandise,  Revelation 18:13; for food,  1 Corinthians 15:39; or for service,  Luke 10:34;  Acts 23:24; and Σφάγιον , an animal for sacrifice, a Victim,  Acts 7:42. In the Bible, this word, when used in contradistinction to Man ( Psalms 36:6), denotes a brute creature generally; when in contradistinction to Creeping Things ( Leviticus 11:2-7;  Leviticus 27:26), it has reference to four-footed animals; and when to Wild Mammalia, as in  Genesis 1:25, it means domesticated cattle. TSIYIM', צִיִּים ("wild beasts,"  Isaiah 13:21;  Isaiah 34:14; Jeremiah 40:39), denotes wild animals of the upland wilderness. OCHIM', חִים ("doleful creatures,"  Isaiah 13:21), may, perhaps, with more propriety be considered as "poisonous and offensive reptiles." SEIRIM', שְׂעִירִים , shaggy ones, is a general term for apes not Satyrs ( Isaiah 13:21;  Isaiah 34:14; much less "devils,"  2 Chronicles 11:15), a pagan poetical creation unfit for Scriptural language; it includes SHEDIM', שֵׁדִים ("devils,"  Deuteronomy 32:17;  Psalms 106:37), as a species. (See Ape). TANNIM', תִּנִּים , are monsters of the deep and of the wilderness boas, serpents, crocodiles, dolphins, and sharks. (See Animal).

The zoology of Scripture may, in a general sense, be said to embrace the whole range of animated nature; but, after the first brief notice of the creation of animals recorded in Genesis, it is limited more particularly to the animals found in Egypt, Arabia, Palestine, Syria, and the countries eastward, in some cases to those beyond the Euphrates. It comprehends mammilla, birds, reptiles, fishes, and invertebrate animals. See each animal in its alphabetical order. Thus, in animated nature, beginning with the lowest organized in the watery element, we have first שֶׁרֶוֹ , SHE'RETS, "the moving creature that hath life," animalcula, crustacea, insecta, etc.; second, תִּנִּינִם , TANNINIM', fishes and amphibia, including the huge tenants of the waters, whether they also frequent the land or not, crocodiles, python- serpents, and perhaps even those which are now considered as of a more ancient zoology than the present system, the great Saurians of geology; and third, it appears, birds, עו ֹ '''''Š''''' Oph "flying creatures" ( Genesis 1:20); and, still advancing (cetaceans, pinnatipeds, whales, and seals being excluded), we have quadrupeds, forming three other divisions or orders:

(1st.) cattle, בֵּהֵמָה , BEHEMAH', embracing the ruminant herbivora, generally gregarious and capable of domesticity;

(2d.) wild beasts, חִיּה , CHAYAH', carnivora, including all beasts of prey; and

(3d.) reptiles, רֶמֶשׂ , RE'MES, minor quadrupeds, such as creep by means of many feet, or glide along the surface of the soil, serpents, annelides, etc.; finally, we have man, אָדָם , ADAM', standing alone in intellectual supremacy.

The classification of Moses, as it may be drawn from Deuteronomy, appears to be confined to Vertebrata alone, or animals having a spine and ribs, although the fourth class might include others. Taking man as one, it forms five classes:

(1st.) Man;

(2d.) Beasts;

(3d.) Birds;

(4th.) Reptiles;

(5th.) Fishes.

It is the same as that in Leviticus 11, where beasts are further distinguished into those with solid hoofs, the solipedes of systematists, and those with cloven feet (bisulci), or ruminantia. But the passage specially refers to animals that might be lawfully eaten because they were clean, and to others prohibited because they were declared unclean, although some of them, according to the common belief of the time, might ruminate; for the Scriptures were not intended to embrace anatomical disquisitions aiming at the advancement of human science, but to convey moral and religious truth without disturbing the received opinions of the time on questions having little or no relation to their main object. The Scriptures, therefore, contain no minute details on natural history, and notice only a small proportion of the animals inhabiting the regions alluded to. Notwithstanding the subsequent progress of science, the observation of Dr. Adam Clarke is still in a great measure true, that "of a few animals and vegetables we are comparatively certain, but of the great majority we know almost nothing. Guessing and conjecture are endless, and they have on these subjects been already sufficiently employed. What learning deep, solid, extensive learning and judgment could do, has already been done by the incomparable Bochart in his Hierozoicon. The learned reader may consult this work, and, while he gains much general information, will have to regret that he can apply so little of it to the main and grand question." The chief cause of this is doubtless the general want of a personal and exact knowledge of natural history on the part of those who have discussed these questions (See Zoology).

The Mosaic regulations respecting domestic animals exhibit a great superiority over the enactments of other ancient nations (for those of the Areopagus, see Quintil. Justit. 5, 9, 13; for those of the Zend-avesta, see Rhode, Heil. Sage, p. 438, 441, 445), and contain the following directions:

1. Beasts of labor must have rest on the Sabbath ( Exodus 20:10;  Exodus 23:12), and in the sabbatical year cattle were allowed to roam free and eat whatever grew in the untilled fields ( Exodus 23:11;  Leviticus 25:7). (See Sabbath).

2. No animal could be castrated ( Leviticus 22:24); for that this is the sense of the passage (which Le Clerc combats) is evident not only from tie interpretation of Josephus ( Ant. 5, 8, 10), but also from the invariable practice of the Jews themselves. (See Ox). The scruples that may have led to the disuse of mutilated beasts of burden are enumerated by Michaelis (Mos. Recht, 3, 161 sq.). The prohibition itself must have greatly subserved a higher and different object, namely, the prevention of eunuchs; but its principal ground is certainly a religious, or, at least, a humane one (see Hottinger, Leges Hebr. p. 374 sq.).

3. Animals of different kinds were not to be allowed to mix in breeding, nor even to be yoked together to the plough ( Leviticus 19:19;  Deuteronomy 20:10). (See Diverse).

4. Oxen in threshing were not to be muzzled, or prevented from eating the provender on the floor ( Deuteronomy 25:4;  1 Corinthians 9:9). (See Threshing).

5. No (domestic) animal should be killed on the same day with its young ( Leviticus 22:28), as this would imply barbarity (see Jonathan's Targum in loc.; Philo, Opp. 2, 398). The Jews appear to have understood this enactment to apply to the slaughtering ( שָׁחִט ) of animals for ordinary use as well as for sacrifice (Mishna, Chollin, ch. v). Respecting the ancient law referred to in  Exodus 23:19, (See Victuals). (Comp. generally Schwabe, in the Kirchenzeit. 1834, No. 20). Other precepts seem not to have had the force of civil statutes, but to have been merely injunctions of compassion (e.g.  Exodus 23:5;  Deuteronomy 22:4;  Deuteronomy 22:6-7). The sense of the former of these last prescriptions is not very clear in the original (see Rosenmuller in loc.), as the Jews apply it to all beasts of burden as well as the ass (see Josephus, Ant. 4, 8, 30; comp. Philo, Opp. 2, 39).  Deuteronomy 6:7 sq., however, appears to be analogous to the other regulations under this class (Winer, 2:610). (See Fowl).

The word "beast" is sometimes used figuratively for brutal, savage men. Hence the phrase, "I fought with wild beasts at Ephesus," alluding to the infuriated multitude, who may have demanded that Paul should be thus exposed in the amphitheatre to fight as a gladiator ( 1 Corinthians 15:32;  Acts 19:29). A similar use of the word occurs in  Psalms 22:12;  Psalms 22:16;  Ecclesiastes 3:18;  Isaiah 11:6-8; and in  2 Peter 2:12;  Judges 1:10, to denote a class of wicked men. A wild beast is the symbol of a tyrannical, usurping power or monarchy, that destroys its neighbors or subjects, and preys upon all about it. The four beasts in  Daniel 7:3;  Daniel 7:17;  Daniel 7:23, represent four kings or kingdoms ( Ezekiel 34:28;  Jeremiah 12:9). Wild beasts are generally, in the Scriptures, to be understood of enemies, whose malice and power are to be judged of in proportion to the nature and magnitude of the wild beasts by which they are represented; similar comparisons occur in/profane authors ( Psalms 74:14). In like manner the King of Egypt is compared to the Crocodile ( Psalms 68:31). The rising of a beast signifies the rise of some new dominion or government; the rising of a wild beast, the rise of a tyrannical government; and the rising out of the sea, that it should owe its origin to the commotions of the people. So the waters are interpreted by the angel ( Revelation 17:15). In the visions of Daniel, the four great beasts, the symbols of the four great monarchies, are represented rising out of the sea in a storm: "I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea, and four great beasts came up from the sea" ( Daniel 7:2-3). In various passages of the Revelation (4:6, etc.) this word is improperly used by our translators to designate the Living Creatures ( Ζῶα ) that symbolize the providential agencies of the Almighty, as in the vision of Ezekiel (ch. i). The "Beast " elsewhere spoken of with such denunciatory emphasis in that book doubtless denotes the heathen political power of persecuting Rome. See Wemys's Symbol. Dict. s.v.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [14]

bēst  : This word occurs often in both Old and New Testaments and denotes generally a mammal (though sometimes a reptile) in distinction to a man, a bird, or a fish. In this distinction the English is fairly in accord with the Hebrew and Greek originals. The commonest Hebrew words behēmāh and ḥai have their counterpart in the Arabic as do three others less often used, be‛ı̄r ( Genesis 45:17;  Exodus 22:5;  Numbers 20:8 the King James Version), nephesh ( Leviticus 24:18 ), and ṭebhaḥ ( Proverbs 9:2 ). Behēmāh and Arabic bahı̄mah are from a root signifying vagueness or dumbness and so denote primarily a dumb beast. Ḥai and Arabic ḥaiwān are from the root ḥāyāh (Arabic ḥaya ), "to live," and denote primarily living creatures. Be‛ı̄r , "cattle," and its root-verb, bā‛ar , "to graze," are identical with the Arabic ba‛ı̄r and , ba‛ara , but with a curious difference in meaning. Ba‛ı̄r is a common word for camel among the Bedouin and the root-verb, ba‛ara , means "to drop dung," ba‛rah being a common word for the dung of camels, goats, and sheep. Nephesh corresponds in every way with the Arabic nephs , "breath," "soul" or "self" Ṭebhaḥ from ṭābhaḥ , "to slaughter," is equivalent to the Arabic dhibḥ from dhabaḥa , with the same meaning. Both θηρίον , thērion ("wild beast"), and ζῷον , zō̇on ("living thing"), occur often in the Apocalypse. They are found also in a few other places, as mammals ( Hebrews 13:11 ) or figuratively ( Titus 1:12 ). Thērion is used also of the viper which fastened on Paul's hand, and this has parallels in classic al Greek. Beasts of burden and beasts used for food were and are an important form of property, hence, κτῆνος , ktḗnos ("possession"), the word used for the good Samaritan's beast ( Luke 10:34 ) and for the beasts with which Lysias provided Paul for his journey to Caesarea ( Acts 23:24 ).

For "swift beast," kirkārōth , "dromedary" ( Isaiah 66:20 the King James Version), see Camel . For "swift beast," rekhesh , see Horse ( Micah 1:13 the King James Version;   1 Kings 4:28 the King James Version, margin; compare   Esther 8:10 ,  Esther 8:14 ). See also Wild Beast .