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Hebrew: תְּעַקֵּ֔ר

Meaning: to hamstring

Israel’s kings were prohibited from trying to build up large stables of chariot horses. Rather than keeping, selling, or killing enemy horses, twice Scripture mentions that Israel’s leaders crippled them instead. This involved severing the Achilles tendon of the hind legs of captured horses, making them useless to the Israelites or their enemies as war horses (1 Chronicles 18:4).

God specifically told Joshua to do this once.

“Then the Lord said to Joshua, ‘Do not be afraid because of them, for tomorrow at this time I will deliver all of them slain before Israel; you shall hamstring their horses and burn their chariot with fire.’” —Joshua 11:6 NASB

In defeating King Hadadezer of Zobah,

David captured from him 1,700 horsemen and 20,000 foot soldiers; and David hamstrung the chariot horses, but reserved enough of them for 100 chariots.” —2 Samuel 8:4; 1 Chronicles 18:4 NASB


Article Version: March 14, 2019