HORSE

HORSE (Heb. סוּס). The present-day horse is descended from the wild species which formerly roamed the steppes of Asia   and Africa in herds and of which only one species survives today in Central Asia. The horse was introduced into the Near East from Iran, whence its Sumerian name "donkey of the mountain," i.e., from the other side of the Zagros. Manuals for the care of horses survive in Ugaritic, Hittite, and Akkadian. Characteristic of the Middle East region is the swift Arab horse, the Equus caballus orientalis, drawings of which are common on Egyptian, Assyrian, and Babylonian steles. Being largely mountainous, Ereẓ Israel was not noted for breeding horses, which are by nature animals of the steppes and plains. They were consequently regarded as a luxury and something strange in Ereẓ Israel. In the Pentateuch the king is admonished that "he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses" (Deut. 17:16). The prophets similarly warned against promoting horse breeding (Isa. 2:7; 31:1; Hos. 14:4; et al.). In the plain the horse and iron chariots were formidable implements of war (Judg. 4:13). A powerful description of the war horse is given in Job (39:19–25). Having imported horses, Solomon bred and traded in them (I Kings 10:28–29). "A chariot of the sun" harnessed to horses, which was used in idolatrous worship, was removed by King Josiah (II Kings 23:11). Although Isaiah (28:28) describes how corn was threshed by driving horses over the threshing floor (parash here means "horse," fars in Arabic), the horse was apparently not much used as a draft animal in biblical times, being in this respect not particularly efficient in Ereẓ Israel. Hence the ox, mule, and ass were preferred for the purpose; the horse was used for war. The earliest military use of the horse was to pull the chariot. Mounted cavalry do not appear until the first pre-Christian millennium. In mishnaic and talmudic times, too, the horse was not highly regarded as a draft animal, one baraita enumerating its six drawbacks in this respect (Pes. 113b). Nonetheless, Rav in Babylonia cautioned his pupil Rav Assi not to "live in a town in which no horse neighs and no dog barks," since the horse senses an enemy and warns its owners (Pes. 113a; and see rashi ibid.). The horse sleeps for a very brief period, according to a Midrash for only 60 respirations at night (Suk. 26b), and hence in the Talmud one who takes a nap is said to "sleep like a horse" (Ber. 3b). -BIBLIOGRAPHY: F.S. Bodenheimer, Animal and Man in Bible Lands (1960), 49. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: C. Cohen and D. Sivan, The Ugaritic Hippiatric Texts: A Critical Edition (1983); D. Pardee, Les texts hippiatriques (1985); M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (1988), 288; E. Firmage, in: ABD, 6, 1136–37. (Jehuda Feliks / S. David Sperling (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • Horse — (h[^o]rs), n. [AS. hors; akin to OS. hros, D. & OHG. ros, G. ross, Icel. hross; and perh. to L. currere to run, E. course, current Cf. {Walrus}.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) A hoofed quadruped of the genus {Equus}; especially, the domestic horse ({Equus… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • horse — [hôrs] n. pl. horses or horse [ME hors < OE hors, hros, akin to Ger ross (OHG hros), prob. < IE base * (s)ker , to leap (or < ? * k̑ers , to run > L cursus)] 1. a domesticated or wild, perissodactylous mammal (Equus caballus), raised… …   English World dictionary

  • Horse — steht für: H.O.R.S.E., Poker Spielart Horse (Ballspiel), Basketballvariante Horse (Film), Experimentalfilm von Andy Warhol (1965) Siehe auch: Black Horse Crazy Horse Dark Horse Horse Cave Horse Island Paint Horse Shire Horse …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • horse — ► NOUN 1) a large four legged mammal with a flowing mane and tail, used for riding and for pulling heavy loads. 2) an adult male horse, as opposed to a mare or colt. 3) (treated as sing. or pl. ) cavalry. 4) a frame or structure on which… …   English terms dictionary

  • Horse — (h[^o]rs), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Horsed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Horsing}.] [AS. horsion.] 1. To provide with a horse, or with horses; to mount on, or as on, a horse. Being better horsed, outrode me. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. To sit astride of; to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Horse — [hɔ:s ], das; [engl. horse, eigtl. = Pferd, Tabuwort] (Jargon): Heroin. * * * Horse [hɔ:s], das; [engl. horse, eigtl. = Pferd, Tabuwort] (Jargon): Heroin …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Horse — Horse, v. i. To get on horseback. [Obs.] Shelton. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • horse — hȯ(ə)rs n, pl hors·es also horse a large solid hoofed herbivorous mammal of the genus Equus (E. caballus) domesticated since prehistoric times …   Medical dictionary

  • Horse — [hɔ:s] das; <aus gleichbed. engl. amerik. horse, eigtl. »Pferd«> (Jargon) Heroin …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

  • Horse — 〈[hɔ:s] n.; Gen.: ; Pl.: unz.; umg.〉 Heroin [Etym.: engl., eigtl. »Pferd« (verhüllend)] …   Lexikalische Deutsches Wörterbuch


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