Hatin' on Horses

Just started teaching a study on Psalms today in my parish.  One of the texts we looked at was Psalm 33 and I was reminded from verse 17 that there is a lot of hatin’ on horses in the Old Testament.  Here’s a sampling:

  1. Useless is the horse for safety; its great strength, no sure escape. (Psa 33:17 NAB)
  2. Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, who depend upon horses; Who put their trust in chariots because of their number, and in horsemen because of their combined power, But look not to the Holy One of Israel nor seek the LORD! (Isa 31:1 NAB)
  3. you shall set that man over you as your king whom the LORD, your God, chooses. He whom you set over you as king must be your kinsman; a foreigner, who is no kin of yours, you may not set over you.  But he shall not have a great number of horses; nor shall he make his people go back again to Egypt to acquire them, against the LORD’S warning that you must never go back that way again.
    (Deu 17:15-16 NAB)

There are number of other texts that are similar.  Two things are at work, namely the horse’s association with war and the horse’s association with Egypt.   Surely this is not the whole story as the Biblical authors were probably more well disposed to horses at times of military strength, but even still I suppose the Bible is not a book for horse lovers.

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