Sebast   ancient Samaria  April 17th  1839-horses-in-the-bible 650x308Drawing by David Roberts, 1839 (PD/1923)

 

"Hast thou given the horse strength; Hast thou clothed his neck with thunder?
Canst thou make him afraid as a grasshopper?
The glory of his nostrils is terrible. He paweth in the valley, and rejoiceth in his strength:
He goeth on to meet the armed men. He mocketh at fear, and is not affrighted;
Neither turneth he back from the sword. The quiver rattleth against him,
The glittering spear and the shield. He swalloweth the ground with fierceness and rage:
Neither believeth he that it is the sound of the trumpet.
He saith among the trumpets, Ha, ha; And he smelleth the battle afar off,
The thunder of the captains, and the shouting" (Job 39:19-25).

Horses are one of the most fascinating creatures that God created!

 

    The Bible by far holds an exciting glimpse of horses of the past.  Many modern publications assume that the Word of God is just a book of theoretical doctrine.   Yet those who embrace the scriptures, feast on the abundance of this timeless Book.  They know that the Bible offers a varied message that touches every facet of life. The Christian horseman or woman can look at the Bible to see that our Creator understands the nature of the horse and its usefulness and importance to mankind.   One can only picture the pleasure our Creator had in fashioning such a creature that would aid and delight man, woman and child for generations.

    Horses play a prominent role in the Bible as sources of transportation, army, commerce, royal gifts, pagan worship and symbols of wealth, character, and
prophesies.

The Bible on a Horse's Nature

  • Training Needed- "Be not like the horse or the mule, which lack understanding, which must have their mouths held firm with bit and bridle, or else they will not come with you" (Psalm 32:9 AMP).
  • Discipline Necessary-"A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey, and a [straight, slender] rod for the backs of the [self confident] fools" (Proverbs 26: 3 AMP).
  • Vain for Victory- "A horse is devoid of value for victory; neither does he deliver any by his great strength" (Psalm 33:17 AMP).
  • Fearless-"...as the horse rushes like a torrent into battle" (Jeremiah 8:6 AMP).

 Standard of Ur - WarStandard of Ur, Source: Wikipedia

Forces of War-


    Throughout the course of Biblical history, horses were the mounts of kings, princes, conquerors, and soldiers. To ride a horse implied war, doom and victory. Men of peace did not typically ride horses but rode donkeys, mules, camels and drove oxen carts as these animals did not herald threats of war. In fact, horses were such a symbol of army strength in Bible times that God charged the Israelite kings not to keep many horses.  The Lord did not want the Israelites to trust in their resources of strength, but He wanted them to rely on Himself for deliverance and victory from their enemies.

"You shall surely set as king over you him who the Lord your God will choose...but he shall not multiply horses to himself or cause the people to return to Egypt in order to multiply horses..."(Deuteronomy 17:15a,16 AMP)

"The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but deliverance and victory are of the Lord." (Proverbs 21:31 AMP)

Egyptian-chariotsEqyptian Chariots, Wikipedia 

Great Host Of War Horses In The Bible

The Egyptian Army dashed into the Red Sea - Exodus 14:

The entire Egyptian army (over 600 chariots*) was in pursuit of the Israelites after Pharaoh had set them free. God completely overcomes the Egyptian army, horses and chariots and saves the Israelites.

* a chariot usually equaled four horses; a horseman equaled one horse

 

Winner of a Roman chariot race 300x271Roman Chariot Mosaic (3rd Century A.D.), WikipediaTransportation

 

    Horse played their role as transportation pulling a chariot in teams of two to four horses abreast (side by side) and serving as mounts to horsemen.

"And went with [Joseph] both chariots and horsemen..." (Genesis 50:9a AMP)

"...he who rides the horse..." (Amos 9:15 AMP)

 

Commerce

 

    Horses were imported and exported in Bible times.  Chariot cities were built to stable horses.  There were the horsemen, charioteers, chariot and saddle craftsmen, bit makers, etc., etc., etc., Horses generated a lot of work for the workman, just like today!

"Solomon's horses were brought out of Egypt, and the king's merchants received them in droves, each at a price.  A chariot could be brought out of Egypt for 600 shekels of silver, and a horse for 150.  And so to all the kings of the Hittites and of Syria they were exported by the king's
merchants."  (1 Kings 10:28 & 29 AMP)

 233px-roman-chariotRoman Horse Handler (3rd Century A.D.), Wikipedia

Chariot and Horsemen Cities- "And Solomon had...cities for his chariots and cities for his horsemen..." (1 Kings 9:19 AMP).

"Solomon collected chariots and horsemen; he had 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horsemen, which he stationed in the chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem" (1 Kings 10:26 AMP).

"Solomon also had 40,000 stalls for his chariots and 12,000 horsemen"  (1 Kings 4:26 AMP).

 

Hired Horsemen-"But Solomon made no slaves of the Israelites; they were ...chariot officers, and the horsemen" (1 Kings 9:22 AMP).

 

Pagan Worship

 

    Man has always highly prized horses.  There's something in the manner of the horse, in his majesty and poise that tends to draws out the pride of man.  God never intended the horse to be worshiped but for this incredible creature to draw our praise, admiration and reverence to our Creator.  During the time of King Josiah, the Israelites had embraced sun worship.  Out of obedience to God's direction, righteous Josiah destroyed the remains of idol worship.

 

"And Josiah...removed the horses that the kings of Judah had devoted to the sun from the entrance of the house of the Lord...and he burned the chariots of the sun with fire" (2 Kings 23:10a, 11).

 

Royal Gift

 

"Every man brought tribute: vessels of silver and gold, garments, equipment, spices, horses, and mules, so much year by year" (1Kings 10:25 AMP).

 

Symbolic Meanings in Prophesy

     The Lord used horses as symbols of government, conquerors, famine, pestilence, death, and war.  Here are the listed references:

God Governs & Watches the Ways of Man- "I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the
myrtle trees that were in the bottom; and behind him were there red horses, speckled and white. Then said I, O my Lord, what are these? And the angel that talked with me said unto me," I will shew thee what these be."  And the man that stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, "These are they whom the Lord hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth."  And they answered the angel of the Lord that stood among the myrtle trees, and said, "We have walked to and fro through the earth, and, behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest" (Zechariah 1:8-11).

"And I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came four chariots out from between two mountains; and the mountains were mountains of brass.  In the first chariot were red horses; and in the second chariot black horses; and in the third chariot white horses; and in the fourth chariot grisled and bay horses. Then I answered and said unto the angel that talked with me, "What are these, my Lord?"  And the angel answered and said unto me, "These are the four spirits of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth"...and He said, "Get you hence, walk to and fro through the earth".  So they walked to and fro through the earth" (Zechariah 6: 1-5, 7b).

 

Apocalypse vasnetsovApocalypse by Vasnet, Source: Wikipedia

 The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

Conqueror- White Horse - Revelation 6:2

Warfare and Bloodshed- Red Horse - Revelation 6:4

Famine- Black Horse - Revelation 6:5

Death- Pale Horse - Revelation 6:8

 

 

Glorious Return of Jesus Christ

"And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war.  His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns; and He had a name written, that no men know, but He Himself.  And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called The Word Of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean" (Revelation 19:11-14).

 

 

 

 

 

 

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