The word Oxgoad or ox goad was first mentioned in the book of Judges 3:31, where the bible gave an account of how Shamgar the son of Anath slew six hundred Philistines with it. See bible passage below:
And after him was Shamgar the son of Anath, which slew of the Philistines six hundred men with an ox goad: and he also delivered Israel.Judges 3:31
What is an oxgoad?
In a simple and clear description, an oxgoad is a wooden tool, approximately eight feet long, fitted with an iron spike or point at one end, which was used to spur oxen as they pulled a plow or cart. Most times it is made with an iron scraper at the non-pointed end to clear clods of earth from the plowshare when it became weighed down.
The term “oxgoad: appeared just once in the whole of the bible, in Judges 3:31. This tool is a very powerful weapon used by Shamgar, one of the judges of Israel, who slew 600 hundred Philistines using only with this weapon.
Why did Shamgar ussed oxgoad as a weapon?
Shamgar’s use of an ox goad shows how low the men of Judah had been brought at that time by their oppressors. Later, Israel was disarmed to the extent that “not a shield or spear was seen among forty thousand in Israel” (Judges 5:8).
Oxgoad’s description: How does an oxgoad look like?
An oxgoad is a simple farm tool used for prodding or poking working animals (such as oxen) as they work, which may include plowing or moving into a corral. One recent/modern version of an oxgoad for clarity sake is a “cattle prod.”
This tool is fashioned into various designs, but notwithstanding, an oxgoad is a long stick with a pointy end. It is either the wood serving as the shaft of the goad is sharpened to a point, or the point may be made from an iron piece or any strong object. This description best describes a goad or prod of any kind.
Specifically, an oxgoad used by farmers for plowing would have a flattened, curved piece of metal or iron beneath the pointy end. Plowmen used this piece for scraping clumps of dirt that might slow the process.
Other usage of Oxgoads
The word “goad” has been adopted for using words or physical prods to provoke a person to take a desired action. If we’re speaking with the aim to persuade someone to do a thing, here are some examples:
She seemed determined to goad him into a fight. He refused to be goaded by their insults. The runner was goaded on by his desire to keep up with the others.
If a brother or sister in Christ tries goading you on to good works, the words are useful tools. If someone antagonistic to the faith tries goading you into an argument, the words are used as a weapon.
Significance of Oxgoad
Ecclesiastes 12:11 refers to a goad as ox goad: “The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are given by one Shepherd.”
We can clearly observed in the verse above that a comparison is made between the Word of God, its doctrines, and its effects upon the heart of man and an ox goad that pricks, drives, and directs sinners like oxen. The Shepherd uses the Word to prick our consciences, bring us to repentance, and leads us to Christ for eternal salvation.
When an ox was poked with a goad, its response was sometimes to kick out at it in resistance. Naturally, kicking back at the goad was futile, and Jesus used this as an analogy when He confronted Saul on the Damascus Road (Acts 26:14). Jesus asked Saul why he was persecuting Him and reminded him that, just as an ox that kicks against the pricking of the goad can hurt itself, Saul’s continued resistance to the gospel would only result in danger to himself. Saul wisely submitted to the goad and yielded himself to Christ.
- Christianity.com: Why Does the Bible Mention the Oxgoad?
- Gotquestings.org: What is an oxgoad in the Bible?