What is a Horse?
, Gen 49:17, one of the noblest of animals, of which Job gives a most poetic description, ch. Job 39:19-25. In the early periods of the world the laboring-beasts were chiefly oxen and asses, while horses were used by kings and warriors, either mounted or harnessed to chariots. Ex 14:9, 1 Sam 14:23; Esth 6:8. The use of horses by the Israelites was discouraged. Deut 17:16; Josh 11:6. The reason is perhaps explained in Isa 31:1, Isa 31:3. In Solomon's time, however, horses were common among them, and he probably imported them from Syria and Egypt. 1 Kgs 4:26; 1 Kgs 10:26, 1 Kgs 10:29; 2 Chr 1:14-17; 2 Chr 9:25. At the present day the horse is the usual conveyer of travellers through Palestine and Syria, as the camel is in the desert and the donkey in Egypt. Horses were consecrated to idol-gods, 2 Kgs 23:11, and are often employed by the prophets, under different colors, to denote the character of future dispensations, Zech 1:8; Zech 6:2-6; and so also are angels represented under the figure of horses, 2 Kgs 2:11; 2 Kgs 6:15-17, because of the characteristic strength, fleetness, and courage of that animal.