No oxen, an empty crib


In The Book of Proverbs, Chapter 14 Verse 4 mentions:
Where there are no oxen, the crib remains empty
Please explain.


Where there are no oxen to pull the plow for planting, the crib for holding harvested crops remains empty.

It is the antithesis of the other half of the verse: “but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.”


ah you are thinking crib as in cradle? Not so… means feed/hay store, feeding trough.


definition of crib from

  1. a child’s bed with enclosed sides.
    **2. a stall or pen for cattle.
  2. a rack or manger for fodder, as in a stable or barn. **
  3. a bin for storing grain, salt, etc.

using the second and third meanings you can see that if you have no oxen then the stall or pen used to keep that animal would be empty and the container used to hold its food would also be empty since there would be no need to fill it.

a note on this verse from the USCCB website says:
“If one has no animals, one does not have the burden of keeping the crib full, but without them one will have no crops to fill the barn”


When one has no ability to earn a living, one does not have children.


From Haydock’s Catholic Commentary

“Ver. 4. Empty. As the land has not bee cultivated. (Haydock) — Strength, or number of oxen. (Calmet) — “The virtue of the preachers is manifested where there are many converted to produce fruit.” (St. Gregory vii. ep. viii.)”


It should say: … As the land has not been cultivated…

closed #8

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