Ossifrage Heb. peres = to "break" or "crush", the lammer-geier, or bearded vulture, the largest of the whole vulture tribe. It was an unclean bird (Lev 11:13; Deu 14:12). It is not a gregarious bird, and is found but rarely in Palestine. "When the other vultures have picked the flesh off any animal, he comes in at the end of the feast, and swallows the bones, or breaks them, and swallows the pieces if he cannot otherwise extract the marrow. The bones he cracks [hence the appropriateness of the name ossifrage, i.e., "bone-breaker"] by letting them fall on a rock from a great height. He does not, however, confine himself to these delicacies, but whenever he has an opportunity will devour lambs, kids, or hares. These he generally obtains by pushing them over cliffs, when he has watched his opportunity; and he has been known to attack men while climbing rocks, and dash them against the bottom. But tortoises and serpents are his ordinary food.... No doubt it was a lammer-geier that mistook the bald head of the poet Aeschylus for a stone, and dropped on it the tortoise which killed him" (Tristram's Nat. Hist.).
Ostrich (Lam 4:3), the rendering of Hebrew pl. enim; so called from its greediness and gluttony. The allusion here is to the habit of the ostrich with reference to its eggs, which is thus described: "The outer layer of eggs is generally so ill covered that they are destroyed in quantities by jackals, wild-cats, etc., and that the natives carry them away, only taking care not to leave the marks of their footsteps, since, when the ostrich comes and finds that her nest is discovered, she crushes the whole brood, and builds a nest elsewhere." In Job 39:13 this word in the Authorized Version is the rendering of a Hebrew word (notsah) which means "feathers," as in the Revised Version. In the same verse the word "peacocks" of the Authorized Version is the rendering of the Hebrew pl. renanim, properly meaning "ostriches," as in the Revised Version. (See OWL .)
Othni A lion of Jehovah, a son of Shemaiah, and one of the temple porters in the time of David (Ch1 26:7). He was a "mighty man of valour."
Othniel Lion of God, the first of the judges. His wife Achsah was the daughter of Caleb (Jos 15:16, Jos 15:17; Jdg 1:13). He gained her hand as a reward for his bravery in leading a successful expedition against Debir (q.v.) Some thirty years after the death of Joshua, the Israelites fell under the subjection of Chushan-rishathaim (q.v.), the king of Mesopotamia. He oppressed them for full eight years, when they "cried" unto Jehovah, and Othniel was raised up to be their deliverer. He was the younger brother of Caleb (Jdg 3:8, Jdg 3:9). He is the only judge mentioned connected with the tribe of Judah. Under him the land had rest forty years.
Ouches An Old English word denoting cavities or sockets in which gems were set (Exo 28:11).
Oven Heb. tannur , (Hos 7:4). In towns there appear to have been public ovens. There was a street in Jerusalem (Jer 37:21) called "bakers' street" (the only case in which the name of a street in Jerusalem is preserved). The words "tower of the furnaces" (Neh 3:11; Neh 12:38) is more properly "tower of the ovens" (Heb. tannurim ). These resemble the ovens in use among ourselves. There were other private ovens of different kinds. Some were like large jars made of earthenware or copper, which were heated inside with wood (Kg1 17:12; Isa 44:15; Jer 7:18) or grass (Mat 6:30), and when the fire had burned out, small pieces of dough were placed inside or spread in thin layers on the outside, and were thus baked. (See FURNACE.) Pits were also formed for the same purposes, and lined with cement. These were used after the same manner. Heated stones, or sand heated by a fire heaped over it, and also flat irons pans, all served as ovens for the preparation of bread. (See Gen 18:6; Kg1 19:6.)
Owl (1.) Heb. bath-haya'anah , "daughter of greediness" or of "shouting." In the list of unclean birds (Lev 11:16; Deu 14:15); also mentioned in Job 30:29; Isa 13:21; Isa 34:13; Isa 43:20; Jer 50:39; Mic 1:8. In all these passages the Revised Version translates "ostrich" (q.v.), which is the correct rendering. (2.) Heb. yanshuph , rendered "great owl" in Lev 11:17; Deu 14:16, and "owl" in Isa 34:11. This is supposed to be the Egyptian eagle-owl (Bubo ascalaphus), which takes the place of the eagle-owl (Bubo maximus) found in Southern Europe. It is found frequenting the ruins of Egypt and also of the Holy Land. "Its cry is a loud, prolonged, and very powerful hoot. I know nothing which more vividly brought to my mind the sense of desolation and loneliness than the re-echoing hoot of two or three of these great owls as I stood at midnight among the ruined temples of Baalbek" (Tristram). The LXX. and Vulgate render this word by "ibis", i.e., the Egyptian heron. (3.) Heb. kos , rendered "little owl" in Lev 11:17; Deu 14:16, and "owl" in Psa 102:6. The Arabs call this bird "the mother of ruins." It is by far the most common of all the owls of Palestine. It is the Athene persica, the bird of Minerva, the symbol of ancient Athens. (4.) Heb. kippoz , the "great owl" (Isa 34:15); Revised Version, "arrow-snake;" LXX. and Vulgate, "hedgehog," reading in the text, kippod, instead of kippoz. There is no reason to doubt the correctness of the rendering of the Authorized Version. Tristram says: "The word [i.e., kippoz] is very possibly an imitation of the cry of the scops owl (Scops giu), which is very common among ruins, caves, and old walls of towns... It is a migrant, returning to Palestine in spring." (5.) Heb. lilith , "screech owl" (Isa 34:14, marg. and R.V., "night monster"). The Hebrew word is from a root signifying "night." Some species of the owl is obviously intended by this word. It may be the hooting or tawny owl (Syrnium aluco), which is common in Egypt and in many parts of Palestine. This verse in Isaiah is "descriptive of utter and perpetual desolation, of a land that should be full of ruins, and inhabited by the animals that usually make such ruins their abode."
Ox Heb. bakar , "cattle;" "neat cattle", (Gen 12:16; Gen 34:28; Job 1:3, Job 1:14; Job 42:12, etc.); not to be muzzled when treading the corn (Deu 25:4). Referred to by our Lord in his reproof to the Pharisees (Luk 13:15; Luk 14:5).
Ox Goad Mentioned only in Jdg 3:31, the weapon with which Shamgar (q.v.) slew six hundred Philistines. "The ploughman still carries his goad, a weapon apparently more fitted for the hand of the soldier than the peaceful husbandman. The one I saw was of the 'oak of Bashan,' and measured upwards of ten feet in length. At one end was an iron spear, and at the other a piece of the same metal flattened. One can well understand how a warrior might use such a weapon with effect in the battle-field" (Porter's Syria, etc.). (See GOAD.)
Ozem Strong. (1.) One of David's brothers; the sixth son of Jesse (Ch1 2:15). (2.) A son of Jerahmeel (Ch1 2:25).