But he shall not multiply horses to himself
That he might not put his trust and confidence in outward things, as some are apt to trust in horses and chariots; and that he might not tyrannise over and distress his subjects by keeping a number of horses and chariots as a standing army, and chiefly for a reason that follows; he was to have no more than for his own chariot, so Jarchi, and so the Misnah F7 and Maimonides F8; the Targum of Jonathan restrains it to two:
nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should
which was a country that abounded with them, and therefore he was not to encourage, and much less oblige his subjects to travel thither or trade with that people for the sake of increasing his stock of horses, ( Isaiah 31:1 Isaiah 31:3 )
forasmuch as the Lord hath said unto you, ye shall henceforth return no
more that way;
not that going into Egypt on any account whatsoever was forbidden, as for trade and merchandise in other things, or for shelter and safety, for which some good men fled thither; but for outward help and assistance against enemies, and for horses on that account, and particularly in order to dwell there, from which the Jews in the times of Jeremiah were dissuaded by him, and threatened by the Lord with destruction, in case they should, ( Jeremiah 42:15-22 ) . When the Lord said this is not certain; it may be when they proposed to make a captain, and return unto Egypt; or he said this in his providence, this was the language of it ever since they came out of it, or however this he now said; see ( Deuteronomy 28:68 ) .
F7 Sanhedrin, c. 2. sect. 4.
F8 Hilchot Melachim, c. 3. sect. 3.