There is a fine description of a war-horse in the book of Job-a book
which some think to be the oldest in the world. It is in the thirty-
ninth chapter. "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."
In the fifth chapter of Judges you will find this verse. "Then were the
horse-hoofs broken by the means of the prancings, the prancings of their
mighty ones." And it seems likely from this, that it was not the custom
to shoe horses in those days, so that their hoofs were more easily
They had horses in Egypt in very ancient times, as you will find if you
read the first part of the book of Exodus. You will see there how the
children of Israel escaped from Egypt, after they had been kept in hard
bondage a great many years; and how when they had gone only a short
distance, the wicked king Pharaoh went after them to try to get them
back. There was a great company of the Israelites, men, women and
children; they had nothing to ride on, and had their flocks and herds
with them, so that they could not go very fast. They took the course
which God directed, and it brought them to the Red Sea, where there were
neither boats nor bridges for them to go over.
Just then they heard that Pharaoh and his army were coming after them.
Some came in chariots of war, and of these there were six hundred drawn
by horses; and a great many more came on horseback. Now what could
these people do? If they went on, they would be drowned; and if they
went back, or stayed where they were, they would fall into the hands of
the Egyptians. God told them not to be afraid, for he would take care
of them; so he divided the waters of the sea, and made a dry road for
them to go through, while the water stood up like a wall on each side of
them. Then the Egyptians followed on, and God let the waters flow down
upon them, so that they were all drowned. Think what a sight it must
have been, when the chariots, and horses, and men, were all surrounded
by that great, mighty water, and then sunk down one after another, so
that they could be seen no more. The children of Israel sang a psalm of
praise after God had saved them in this wonderful manner, and these
words are a part of it: "Sing ye to the Lord, for he hath triumphed
gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea."
In one of the last chapters in the Old Testament you will find these
words, "In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses,
HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD." This speaks of a time which has not yet come,
but for which christians are looking, when this world will not be wicked
as it now is; but when every thing, even the bells of the horses, shall
be holy unto the Lord.