Cavalry | Free Online Biblical Library

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CAVALRY kăv’ ăl rĭ (רֶ֫כֶב, H8207, LXX ἱππεύς, G2689, meaning horseman). Introduced about 1200 b.c., the cavalry served two purposes: (a) a mount from which a warrior could fire upon, or strike, his enemy, and (b) to be a terror to the foot soldiers which he charged. They kept close to the chariots.

Horsemen were present in both David’s and Solomon’s reigns (cf. 2 Sam 8:3, 4; 15:1; 1 Kings 4:26; 10:26; 2 Chron 9:25). The mule was also popular (cf. 2 Sam 13:29; 18:9).

While carrying an archer, the horse was guided by shifts of weight or by pressure of the legs of the rider. The spear carrying rider could use reins, but the use of saddle, stirrups and spurs were late innovations. The mounted horse was employed only in open battle to attack the flanks or the rear of the enemy.


Y. Yadin, The Art of Warfare in Biblical Lands (1963), I, 5; II, 284-287, 297.