ChristianAnswers.Net WebBible Encyclopedia
Fitted on the neck of oxen for the purpose of binding to them the traces by which they might draw the plough, etc. (Numbers 19:2; Deuteronomy 21:3). It was a curved piece of wood called 'ol.
In Jeremiah 27:2; 28:10, 12 the word in the Authorized Version rendered “yoke” is motah, which properly means a “staff,” or as in the Revised Version, “bar.”
These words in the Hebrew are both used figuratively of severe bondage, or affliction, or subjection (Leviticus 26:13; 1 Kings 12:4; Isaiah 47:6; Lam. 1:14; 3:27).
In the New Testament, the word “yoke” is also used to denote servitude (Matthew 11:29, 30; Acts 15:10; Galatians 5:1).
In 1 Samuel 11:7, 1 Kings 19:21, Job 1:3 the word thus translated is tzemed, which signifies a pair, two oxen yoked or coupled together, and hence in 1 Samuel 14:14 it represents as much land as a yoke of oxen could plough in a day, like the Latin jugum. In Isaiah 5:10 this word in the plural is translated “acres.”