[b-hebrew] quesiton about Song of the Sea
ben.crick at argonet.co.uk
Sun Mar 28 18:28:33 EST 2004
On Sun 28 Mar 2004 (09:39:06), villandra at austin.rr.com wrote:
> Our leader in our bible study class Wednesday said that in those days
> everyone in the Near East, certainly Pharaho's armies, used horsedrawn
> chariots, not rode horses, and that noone rode horses until the 8th
> century. I don't know if this is true. But I sure would have
> expected Pharaoh's horses to have been mainly pulling chariots - unless
> the passages taht talk about horse and rider actually mean something
> else or have another origin.
My understanding was that the Chariot MeR:KaBaH (Genesis 41:43) was a four
wheeler, drawn by four onagers (donkeys). This was a ceremonial "State
Landau", not a military chariot. Root RKB means 'to Ride'; this is a
passenger-carrying vehicle. They are mentioned in the Kueltepe Tablets from
Asia Minor in the 19th century. See DJ Wiseman, /Illustrations from Biblical
Archaeology/, London, 1958, p 18f. This depicts Sumerian chariotry et al from
Ur c. 2500 BCE. (British Museum 121201).
These heavy vehicles were superseded in the first half of the second
millennium BCE by light 2-wheeled chariots of wood and bronze, without seats
and without room for passengers. There was just one "bus-bar" for the riders
to hang on to. The 2-man crew consisted of a driver and a fighter. They were
drawn by one or two horses, the newly domesticated SuWS, imported from the
steppes of what is now Russia.
The Babylonians had horses in the time of Hammurabi c. 1750 BCE; and they
were used with devastating effect by the Hyksos against Egypt in c. 1730 BCE.
This was chariotry, not cavalry.
Revd Ben Crick, BA CF ZFC Yb
<ben.crick at NOSPAM.argonet.co.uk>
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