What are “beeves?”


by Shawn Brasseaux

While appearing to be an archaic word, you will be surprised to learn that “beeves” is actually the plural form of a noun we use quite often. Have you guess it yet? (Hint: Think “beef!”)

It appears seven times in the King James Bible:

  • Leviticus 22:19: “Ye shall offer at your own will a male without blemish, of the beeves, of the sheep, or of the goats.”
  • Leviticus 22:21: “And whosoever offereth a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the LORD to accomplish his vow, or a freewill offering in beeves or sheep, it shall be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no blemish therein.”
  • Numbers 31:28: “And levy a tribute unto the LORD of the men of war which went out to battle: one soul of five hundred, both of the persons, and of the beeves, and of the asses, and of the sheep:….”
  • Numbers 31:30: “And of the children of Israel’s half, thou shalt take one portion of fifty, of the persons, of the beeves, of the asses, and of the flocks, of all manner of beasts, and give them unto the Levites, which keep the charge of the tabernacle of the LORD.”
  • Numbers 31:33: “And threescore and twelve thousand beeves,….”
  • Numbers 31:38: “And the beeves were thirty and six thousand; of which the LORD’S tribute was threescore and twelve.”
  • Numbers 31:44: “And thirty and six thousand beeves,….”

Strong’s has the following: “H1241 בָּקָר bâqâr, baw-kawr’; from H1239; a beeve or an animal of the ox family of either gender (as used for plowing); collectively, a herd:—beeve, bull (+ -ock), + calf, + cow, great (cattle), + heifer, herd, kine, ox.”

This Hebrew word appears 182 times in the Hebrew text of the King James Bible. Our 1611 translators handled it as follows: “ox” (78 times), “herd” (44 times), “beeves” (7 times), “young” (18 times), “young” (with H1121—ben) (17 times), “bullock” (6 times), “bullock” (with H1121—ben) (2 times), “calf” (with H1121—ben) (2 times), “heifer” (2 times), “kine” (2 times), “bulls” (1 time), “cattle” (1 time), “cow’s” (1 time), “great” (1 time).

Also see:
» What are “kine?”
» What is the “purtenance?”
» What is “scurvy?”