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Horse


Horse. The most striking feature in the biblical notices of the horse is the exclusive application of it to warlike operations; in no instance is that useful animal employed for the purposes of ordinary locomotion or agriculture, if we except Isa. 28:28. The animated description of the horse in Job 39:19-25 applies solely to the war-horse. The Hebrews in the patriarchal age, as a pastoral race, did not stand in need of the services of the horse, and for a long period after their settlement in Canaan they dispensed with it, partly in consequence of the hilly nature of the country, which only admitted of the use of chariots in certain localities, Judges 1:19, and partly in consequence of the prohibition in Deut. 17:16, which would be held to apply at all periods. David first established a force of cavalry and chariots, 2 Sam. 8:4; but the great supply of horses was subsequently effected by Solomon through his connection with Egypt. 1 Kings 4:26. Solomon also established a very active trade in horses, which were brought by dealers out of Egypt and resold, at a profit, to the Hittites. With regard to the trappings and management of the horse we have little information. The bridle was placed over the horse’s nose, Isa. 30:28, and a bit or curb is also mentioned. 2 Kings 19:28; Ps. 32:9; Prov. 26:3; Isa. 37:29. In the Authorized Version it is incorrectly given “bridle,” with the exception of Ps. 32. Saddles were not used until a late period. The horses were not shod, and therefore hoofs as hard “as flint,” Isa. 5:28, were regarded as a great merit. The chariot-horses were covered with embroidered trappings. Ezek. 27:20. Horses and chariots were used also in idolatrous processions, as noticed in regard to the sun. 2 Kings 23:11.