The horse is associated in the OT with warfare, and there are warnings about keeping horses on a large scale (1 Sam. 8: 11–17); this may have been written with Solomon's excesses (1 Kgs. 4: 26) in mind.

There is a description of the horse in battle in Job 39: 19–25. In Zech. 6: 1–8 the prophet describes his vision of chariots drawn by horses patrolling the earth and reporting peace in the north. In Rev. 6: 1–8 the course of human history is symbolized by four horsemen bringing afflictions to humanity: the first horseman rides a white horse, which stands for war; the second horse is red and stands for civil strife, such as happened in Jerusalem hard on the heels of the Roman assault in Jerusalem in 70 CE; the third horse is black, indicating famine; and the fourth is pale green (NRSV, Rev. 6: 8) and the rider's name is Death, implying pestilence.