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Holman Bible Dictionary
David captured chariots from the Syrians and destroyed most of them, but reserved one hundred (2 Samuel 8:3-4 ). In so doing, he disobeyed God and introduced their use to Israel. David's son, Solomon, multiplied their numbers to strengthen the defense of his country, building chariot cities (1 Kings 9:19 ). In Megiddo what appears to be stalls and feeding troughs from King Ahab's time have been discovered. These were sufficient for about 450 horses.
The horse was used for war by Syrians (1 Kings 20:20 ), the Philistines (2 Samuel 1:6 ), the Medes and Persians (Jeremiah 50:42 ), and the Romans (Acts 23:23 ,Acts 23:23,23:32 ). By contrast, and as a sign of the peacefulness of the Messiah's kingdom, Jesus rode into Jerusalem upon an ass, not a horse (John 12:12-15 ).
Considerable opposition to the horse arose in Israel, seeing horses as symbols of pagan luxury and dependence on physical power for defense. Prophets condemned trusting in horses rather than the Lord for victory (Isaiah 31:1; Ezekiel 17:15 ). Yet, horses became so common in Jerusalem that a royal palace near the city had a special horse gate (2 Chronicles 23:15 ) and a gate of the city was also called the Horse Gate (Jeremiah 31:40; Nehemiah 3:28 ).
Horses are often used as symbols of swiftness (Jeremiah 4:13 ), strength (Job 39:19 ), and sure-footedness (Isaiah 63:13 ). The most detailed description of a horse is found in Job 39:19-25 . In prophecy horses also play an important role as in Joel 2:4-5 and Revelation 6:1-8 where four horses of different colors are associated with different tragedies. See Animals; Megiddo .
C. Dale Hill
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Horse'. Holman Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hbd/h/horse.html. 1991.