Come up, ye horses; and rage, ye chariots
These are either the words of Pharaoh, giving orders to his cavalry and charioteers to make haste and come up to battle, not doubting of victory: or rather of the Lord by the prophet, ironically calling upon the horsemen in the Egyptian army to come on and engage with the enemy, and behave gallantly; and those in the chariots to drive, Jehu like, ( 2 Kings 9:20 ) , with great swiftness, force, and fury, to make their chariots rattle again, and run about here and there like madmen, as the word F21 signifies, to throw the enemy into confusion and disorder if they could: and let the mighty men come forth:
out of the land of Egypt, as Abarbinel; or let them come forth, and appear in the field of battle with courage and greatness of mind, and do all their might and skill can furnish them with, or enable them to do: the Ethiopians and the Lybians, that handle the shield;
or Cush and Phut, both sons of Ham, and brethren of Mizraim, from whence Egypt had its name, ( Genesis 10:6 ) ; the posterity of these are meant. The Cushites or Ethiopians were near neighbours of the Egyptians, and their allies and confederates. The Lybians or Phuteans, as the Targum, were the posterity of Phut, who dwelt to the westward of Egypt, and were the auxiliaries of that nation, and with the Ethiopians and Lydians are mentioned as such in ( Ezekiel 30:4 Ezekiel 30:5 ) ; as here. The shield was a weapon they much used in war, and were famous for their skill in it, and are described by it. The Egyptians were remarkable for their shields: Xenophon F23 describes them as having shields reaching down to their feet; and which covered their bodies more than the breast plates and targets of the Persians did; which helped them to push forward, having them on their shoulders, so that the enemy could not withstand them: and the Lydians, that handle [and] bend the bow;
these were the posterity of Ludim the son of Mizraim, ( Genesis 10:13 ) ; and were the Lydians in Africa, and not in Asia, who sprung from Lud the son of Shem, ( Genesis 10:22 ) ; they were famous for their skilfulness in the use of bows and arrows; see ( Isaiah 66:19 ) ; now these are called together to use their military skill, and show all the courage they were masters of; and yet all would be in vain. Bochart F24 endeavours to prove, by various arguments, that these Lydians were Ethiopians; and, among the rest, because they are here, and in ( Isaiah 66:19 ) ; described as expert in handling, bending, and drawing the bow; which he proves, by the testimonies of several writers, the Ethiopians were famous for; that bows were their armour; and that theirs were larger than others, even than the Persians, being four cubits long; that they were very dexterous in shooting their arrows; took sure aim, and seldom missed.
F21 (wllhth) "insanite", Pagninus, Montanus, Cocceius, Schmidt; "insano impetu agitamini", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.
F23 Cyropaedia, l. 6. c. 14. & l. 7. c. 9.
F24 Phaleg. l. 4. c. 26. col. 266.