(Heb. malmad, only in Judges 3: : 31 ), an instrument used by ploughmen for guiding their oxen. Shamgar slew six hundred Philistines with an ox-goad. "The goad is a formidable weapon. It is sometimes ten feet long, and has a sharp point. We could now see that the feat of Shamgar was not so very wonderful as some have been accustomed to think."
In 1 Samuel 13:21 , a different Hebrew word is used, dorban , meaning something pointed. The expression ( Acts 9:5 , omitted in the RSV), "It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks", i.e., against the goad, was proverbial for unavailing resistance to superior power.
A pointed stick.
The words of the wise are as GOADS, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd. ( Ecclesiastes 12:11 )
( Judges 3:31 ; 1 Samuel 13:21 ) The Hebrew word in the latter passage probably means the point of the plough-share . The former word does probably refer to the goad, the long handle of which might be used as a formidable weapon. The instrument, as still used in countries of southern Europe and western Asia, consists of a rod about eight feet long, brought to a sharp point and sometimes cased with iron at the head.
god (dorebhan, malmadh; kentron):
The goad used by the Syrian farmer is usually a straight branch of oak or other strong wood from which the bark has been stripped, and which has at one end a pointed spike and at the other a flat chisel-shaped iron. The pointed end is to prod the oxen while plowing. The flattened iron at the other end is to scrape off the earth which clogs the plowshare. The ancient goad was probably similar to this instrument. It could do villainous work in the hands of an experienced fighter (Judges 3:31). If 1 Samuel 13:21 is correctly translated, the goads were kept sharpened by files.
"The words of the wise are as goads" (Ecclesiastes 12:11). The only reference to goads in the New Testament is the familiar passage, "It is hard for thee to kick against the goad" (Acts 26:14). It was as useless for Saul to keep on in the wrong way as for a fractious ox to attempt to leave the furrow. He would surely be brought back with a prick of the goad.
James A. Patch
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