From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [1]

בקר , in Arabic, boekerre and bykar, the male of horned cattle of the beeve kind, at full age, when fit for the plough. Younger ones are called bullocks. Michaelis, in his elaborate work on the laws of Moses, has proved that castration was never practised. The rural economy of the Israelites led them to value the ox as by far the most important of domestic animals, from the consideration of his great use in all the operations of farming. In the patriarchal ages, the ox constituted no inconsiderable portion of their wealth. Thus Abraham is said to be very rich in cattle,   Genesis 24:35 . Men of every age and country have been much indebted to the labours of this animal. So early as in the days of Job, who was probably contemporary with Isaac, "the oxen were ploughing, and the asses were feeding beside them," when the Sabeans fell upon them, and took them away. In times long posterior, when Elijah was commissioned to anoint Elisha, the son of Shaphat, prophet in his stead, he found him ploughing with twelve yoke of oxen,  1 Kings 19:19 . For many ages the hopes of oriental husbandmen depended entirely on their labours. This was so much the case in the time of Solomon, that he observes, in one of his proverbs, "Where no oxen are, the crib is clean," or rather empty; "but much increase is by the strength of the ox,"  Proverbs 14:4 . The ass, in the course of ages, was compelled to bend his stubborn neck to the yoke, and share the labours of the ox; that still the preparation of the ground in the time of spring depended chiefly on the more powerful exertions of the latter. When this animal was employed in bringing home the produce of the harvest, he was regaled with a mixture of chaff, chopped straw, and various kinds of grain, moistened with acidulated water. But among the Jews, the ox was best fed when employed in treading out the corn; for the divine law, in many of whose precepts the benevolence of the Deity conspicuously shines, forbad to muzzle him, and, by consequence, to prevent him from eating what he would of the grain he was employed to separate from the husks. The ox was also compelled to the labour of dragging the cart or wagon. The number of oxen commonly yoked to one cart appears to have been two,  Numbers 7:3;  Numbers 7:7-8; 1 Samuel 5, 7;  2 Samuel 6:3;  2 Samuel 6:6 .

The wild ox, תאו ,  Deuteronomy 14:5 , is supposed to be the oryx of the Greeks, which is a species of large stag.

Smith's Bible Dictionary [2]

Ox. There was no animal in the rural economy of the Israelites, or indeed in that of the ancient Orientals generally, that was held in higher esteem, than the ox and deservedly so, for the ox was the animal, upon whose patient labors depended, all the ordinary operations of farming.

Oxen were used for ploughing,  Deuteronomy 22:10;  1 Samuel 14:14; etc.;

for treading out corn,  Deuteronomy 25:4;  Hosea 10:11; etc.;

for draught purposes, when they were generally yoked in pairs,  Numbers 7:3;  1 Samuel 6:7; etc.;

as beasts of burden,  1 Chronicles 12:40;

their flesh was eaten,  Deuteronomy 14:4;  1 Kings 1:9; etc.;

they were used in the sacrifices;

cows supplied milk, butter, etc.  Deuteronomy 32:14;  2 Samuel 17:29;  Isaiah 7:22.

Connected with the importance of oxen, in the rural economy of the Jews, is the strict code of laws, which was mercifully enacted by God, for their protection and preservation. The ox that threshed the corn was by no means to be muzzled; he was to enjoy rest on the Sabbath , as well as his master.  Exodus 23:12;  Deuteronomy 5:14. The ox was seldom slaughtered.  Leviticus 17:1-6.

It seems clear from  Proverbs 15:17 and  1 Kings 4:23, that cattle were, sometimes, stall-fed, though as a general rule, it is probable that they fed in the plains, or on the hills of Palestine. The cattle that grazed at large in the open country would no doubt, often become fierce and wild, for it is to be remembered that, in primitive times, the lion and other wild beasts of prey roamed about Palestine. Hence, the force of the Psalmist's complaint of his enemies.  Psalms 22:13.

Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types [3]

 Job 1:14 (c) As in other cases where these two animals are mentioned together, the ox represents the believer who has been made clean by the sacrifice of the lamb, while the ass, an unclean animal, represents the unsaved man who has not been redeemed. In this case the oxen were producing value for their owner, and this the Christian does. The ass was eating up what the owner had, and was not producing any value. This is as the sinner does.

 Isaiah 1:3 (b) This type represents the Christian who is more interested in his blessed Lord than he is in His gifts. The ass represents the unsaved, who is more interested in the gifts than in the Giver.

 Isaiah 32:20 (c) Our Lord is teaching us that His people should be busy at profitable work for Him among all people (the waters), and that we should have a part in sending forth those who will labor for our Lord in every clime and nation.

 Isaiah 66:3 (b) Our Lord uses this strange language to express His feelings about those who come to Him with a good offering from a bad heart. These people were enemies of our Lord while they were performing the religious rites prescribed by the law of Moses. They were hypocrites, and the Lord saw through their hypocrisy.

 Ezekiel 1:10 (b) This symbol represents the Lord Jesus as the servant of GOD and the servant of man. The ox lives entirely for the service of others. It is a beast of burden and is used for no other purpose. Our Lord JESUS was GOD's servant, as we read in  Isaiah 42:1. He also came to serve us, as we read in  Luke 22:27. This same figure is used about our Lord in  Ezekiel 10:14, and again in  Revelation 4:7.

 1 Corinthians 9:9 (b) By this figure the Lord is describing our obligation to the servant of GOD who preaches and teaches in the church of GOD. As the animal who works for his owner is entitled to the food, so the servant of GOD is entitled to remuneration from those whom he serves.

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [4]

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,  1 Kings 19:21 , and constituting no small part of the wealth of the Hebrews in their pastoral life,  Genesis 24:35   Job 1:14   42:12 . Oxen were used in agriculture for ploughing,  1 Kings 19:19; and for treading out the grain, during which they were not to be muzzled,  1 Corinthians 9:9 , but well fed,  Isaiah 30:24 . The testing of a new yoke of oxen is still a business of great importance in the East, as of old,  Luke 14:19 . A passage in Campbell's travels in South Africa well illustrates the proverbial expression, "as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke,"  Jeremiah 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  Deuteronomy 14:5 , is supposed to have been a species of stag or antelope. See Bulls Of Bashan

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [5]

1: Βοῦς (Strong'S #1016 — Noun Masculine — bous — booce )

denotes an "ox" or "a cow,"  Luke 13:15;  14:5,19;  John 2:14,15;  1—Corinthians 9:9 (twice);   1—Timothy 5:18 .

2: Ταῦρος (Strong'S #5022 — Noun Masculine — tauros — tow'-ros )

Latin taurus, is translated "oxen" in  Matthew 22:4;  Acts 14:13; "bulls" in  Hebrews 9:13;  10:4 .

King James Dictionary [6]

OX, n. plu. oxen. pron. ox'n.

The male of the bovine genus of quadrupeds, castrated and grown to his size or nearly so. The young male is called in America a steer. The same animal not castrated is called a bull. These distinctions are well established with us in regard to domestic animals of this genus. When we speak of wild animals of this kind, ox is sometimes applied both to the male and female, and in zoology, the same practice exists in regard to the domestic animals. Sop in common usage, a pair of bulls yoked may be sometimes called oxen. We never apply the name ox to the cow or female of the domestic kind. Oxen in the plural may comprehend both the male and female.

Easton's Bible Dictionary [7]

 Genesis 12:16 34:28 Job 1:3,14 42:12 Deuteronomy 25:4 Luke 13:15 14:5

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [8]

(See Bull .) The law prohibiting the slaughter of clean beasts in the wilderness, except before the tabernacle, at once kept Israel from idolatry and tended to preserve their herds. During the 40 years oxen and sheep were seldom killed for food, from whence arose their lustings after flesh ( Leviticus 17:1-6).

Webster's Dictionary [9]

(n.) The male of bovine quadrupeds, especially the domestic animal when castrated and grown to its full size, or nearly so. The word is also applied, as a general name, to any species of bovine animals, male and female.

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [10]

OX. An ancestor of Judith ( Jdt 8:1 ).

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [11]

OX. —See Animals, vol. i. p. 63b.

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [12]

Having already noticed the domestic beeves under Calf (to which we refer), the few words added here will apply to the breeds of Western Asia and the manner of treating them. The earliest pastoral tribes appear to have had domesticated cattle in the herd; and judging from the manners of South Africa, where we find nations still retaining in many respects primeval usages, it is likely that the patriarchal families, or at least their moveables, were transported on the backs of oxen in the manner which the Caffres still practice, as also the Gwallahs and grain-merchants in India, who come down from the interior with whole droves bearing burdens.

The breeds of Egypt were various, differing in the length and flexures of the horns. There were some with long horns, others with short, and even none, while a hunched race of Nubia reveals an Indian origin, and indicates that at least one of the nations on the Upper Nile had come from the valleys of the Ganges; for it is to the east of the Indus alone that that species is to be found whose original stock appears to be the mountain yak.

The domestic buffalo was unknown to Western Asia and Egypt till after the Arabian conquest: it is now common in the last-mentioned region and far to the south, but not beyond the equator; and from structural differences it may be surmised that there was in early ages a domesticated distinct species of this animal in Africa. In Syria and Egypt the present races of domestic cattle are somewhat less than the large breeds of Europe, and those of Palestine appear to be of at least two forms, both with short horns and both used to the plow, one being tall and lanky, the other more compact; and we possess figures of the present Egyptian cattle with long horns bent down and forwards. From Egyptian pictures it is to be inferred that large droves of fine cattle were imported from Abyssinia, and that in the valley of the Nile they were in general stall-fed, used exclusively for the plow, and treated with humanity. In Palestine the Mosaic law provided with care for the kind treatment of cattle; for in treading out corn—the Oriental mode of separating the grain from the straw—it was enjoined that the ox should not be muzzled , and old cattle that had long served in tillage were often suffered to wander at large till their death—a practice still in vogue, though from a different motive, in India. But the Hebrews and other nations of Syria grazed their domestic stock, particularly those tribes which, residing to the east of the Jordan, had fertile districts for that purpose. Here, of course, the droves became shy and wild; and though we are inclined to apply the passage in , to wild species, yet old bulls, roaming at large in a land where the lion still abounded, no doubt became fierce; and as they would obtain cows from the pastures, there must have been feral breeds in the woods, as fierce and resolute as real wild Uri.

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [13]

( ῎Ωξ , Vulg. Idox ) , given ( Judith 8:1) as the son of Joseph, and father of Mereri, among the ancestors of Judith (q.v.).