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Bible Dictionaries

Easton's Bible Dictionary

Beast

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This word is used of flocks or herds of grazing animals (Exodus 22:5; Numbers 20:4,8,11; Psalm 78:48 ); of beasts of burden (Genesis 45:17 ); of eatable beasts (Proverbs 9:2 ); and of swift beasts or dromedaries (Isaiah 60:6 ). In the New Testament it is used of a domestic animal as property (Revelation 18:13 ); as used for food (1 Corinthians 15:39 ), for service (Luke 10:34; Acts 23:24 ), and for sacrifice (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.

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain.

Bibliography Information
Easton, Matthew George. Entry for 'Beast'. Easton's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/ebd/b/beast.html. 1897.

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