King James Bible Dictionary



The Bible

Bible Usage:


  • Included in Eastons: Yes
  • Included in Hitchcocks: No
  • Included in Naves: No
  • Included in Smiths: Yes
  • Included in Websters: Yes
  • Included in Strongs: Yes
  • Included in Thayers: Yes
  • Included in BDB: Yes

Strongs Concordance:

Easton's Bible Dictionary

Smith's Bible Dictionary

(a collection of cattle), Herdsmen. The herd was greatly regarded in both the patriarchal and the Mosaic period. The ox was the most precious stock next to horse and mule. The herd yielded the most esteemed sacrifice, (Numbers 7:3; Psalms 69:31; Isaiah 66:3) also flesh meat, and milk, chiefly converted probably, into butter and cheese. (32:14; 2 Samuel 17:29) The agricultural and general usefulness of the ox in ploughing, threshing, and as a beast of burden, (1 Chronicles 12:40; Isaiah 46:1) made a slaughtering of him seem wasteful. Herdsmen, etc., in Egypt were a low, perhaps the lowest, caste; but of the abundance of cattle in Egypt, and of the care there bestowed on them, there is no doubt. (Genesis 47:6,17; Exodus 9:4,20) So the plague of hail was sent to smite especially the cattle, (Psalms 78:48) the firstborn of which also were smitten. (Exodus 12:29) The Isr'lites departing stipulated for, (Exodus 10:26) and took "much cattle" with them. ch. (Exodus 12:38) Cattle formed thus one of the traditions of the Isr'litish nation in its greatest period, and became almost a part of that greatness. The occupation of herdsman was honorable in early times. (Genesis 47:6; 1 Samuel 11:5; 1 Chronicles 27:29; 28:1) Saul himself resumed it in the interval of his cares as king, also Doeg was certainly high in his confidence (1 Samuel 21:7) Pharaoh made some of Joseph's brethren "rulers over his cattle." David's herd-masters were among his chief officers of state. The prophet Amos at first followed this occupation.

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

HERD, noun

1. A collection or assemblage; applied to beasts when feeding or driven together. We say, a herd of horses, oxen, cattle, camels, elephants, bucks, harts, and in Scripture, a herd of swine. But we say, a flock of sheep, goats, or birds. A number of cattle going to market is called a drove.

2. A company of men or people, in contempt or detestation; a crowd; a rabble; as a vulgar herd

HERD, noun A keeper of cattle; used by Spenser, and still used in Scotland, but in English now seldom or never used, except in composition, as a shepherd, a goatherd, a swineherd.

HERD, verb intransitive To unite or associate, as beasts; to feed or run in collections. Most kinds of beasts manifest a disposition to herd

1. To associate; to unite in companies customarily.

2. To associate; to become one of a number or party.

HERD, verb transitive To form or put into a herd

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

HERD'GROOM, noun A keeper of a herd.

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

HERD'ING, participle present tense Associating in companies.

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

HERD'LESS, noun A shepherdess.

Webster's 1828 Dictionary


HERDS'MAN, noun A keeper of herds; one employed intending herds of cattle.

1. Formerly, the owner of a herd.

Easton's Bible Dictionary

In Egypt herdsmen were probably of the lowest caste. Some of Joseph's brethren were made rulers over Pharaoh's cattle (Genesis 47:6, 17). The Israelites were known in Egypt as "keepers of cattle;" and when they left it they took their flocks and herds with them (Exodus 12:38). Both David and Saul came from "following the herd" to occupy the throne (1 Samuel 9; 11:5; Psalms 78:70). David's herd-masters were among his chief officers of state. The daughters also of wealthy chiefs were wont to tend the flocks of the family (Genesis 29:9; Exodus 2:16). The "chief of the herdsmen" was in the time of the monarchy an officer of high rank (1 Samuel 21:7; comp. 1 Chronicles 27:29). The herdsmen lived in tents (Isaiah 38:12; Jeremiah 6:3); and there were folds for the cattle (Numbers 32:16), and watch-towers for the herdsmen, that he might therefrom observe any coming danger (Micah 4:8; Nahum 3:8).