[b-hebrew] "Pit" in Exodus 21:33-34

Randall Buth randallbuth at gmail.com
Tue Apr 5 08:31:44 EDT 2011

> Does anyone have an idea what kind of "pit" the verses envision a person
> having on his property, that would be have a large enough opening for an ox
> to fall into and be deep enough for the ox to be killed?

My assumption
Like one of the laddered cisterns at Neot Qedumim. It needs to be big
enough for a person to climb down on occasion with a bucket or a shovel.
Such a hole would be big enough for a bovine to slip through lengthwise
if their back feet slipped down the hole. Qal vaHomer for larger cisterns with
spiral staircases, though one might argue that those were group cisterns.
The ox could easily drown in either case, or certainly break a leg, get
sick, and die. Falling down that well in Be'er-sheva` would do the trick, too.
Though that is a be'er, like what YitsHaq dug in Gen 26.

I suppose that an ox could drown in a yeqev 'wine vat', too, if people can
drown in a bathtub.
Randall Buth, PhD
Biblical Language Center
Learn Easily - Progress Further - Remember for Life

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list