(properly and usually בּל פָּרָשׁ. ba'al parash', master of a horse). Our translation would make it appear that a force of cavalry accompanied Pharaoh in his pursuit — "his horsemen" (Ex 14:9 etc.). It is, however, a fact not a little remarkable, that in the copious delineations of battle-scenes which occur in the monuments, and which must have been coeval with these events, in which, moreover, everything that could tend to aggrandize the power or flatter the pride of Egypt would be introduced, there never occurs any representation of Egyptian cavalry. The armies are always composed of troops of infantry armed with the bow and spear, and of ranks of chariots drawn by two horses. Both Diodorus and Herodotus attribute cavalry to the early Pharaohs; and some eminent antiquarians, as Sir Gardiner Wilkinson, endeavor to account for the absence of such a force in the pictorial representations consistently with its existence. But professor Hengstenberg has maintained, and not without some degree of probability, that the word "horsemen" of the above passage should rather be rendered "chariot riders." We quote his words: "It is accordingly certain that the cavalry, in the more ancient period of the Pharaohs, was but little relied on. The question now is, what relation the declarations of the passage before us bear to this result. Were the common view, according to which riding on horses is superadded with equal prominence to the chariot of war, in our passage, the right one, there might arise strong suspicion against the credibility of the narrative. But a more accurate examination shows that the author does not mention Egyptian cavalry at all; that, according to him, the Egyptian army is composed only of chariots of war, that he therefore agrees in a wonderful manner with the native Egyptian monuments. And this agreement is the more minute, since the second division of the army represented upon them, the infantry, could not, ill the circumstances of our narrative, take part in the pursuit. The first and principal passage concerning the constituent parts of the Egyptian army which pursued the Israelites is that in Ex 14:6-7 "And he made ready his chariot, and took his people with him; and he took six hundred chosen chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt, and chariot-warriors upon all of them." Here Pharaoh's preparation for war is fully described. It consists, first, of chariots, and, secondly, of chariot warriors. Cavalry are no more mentioned than infantry. This passage, which is so plain, explains the second one (ver. 9), where the arrival of this same army in sight of the Israelites is plainly and graphically described, in order to place distinctly before the reader the impression which the view made upon the Israelites: "And the Egyptians followed them and overtook them, where they were encamped by the sea, all the chariot-horses of Pharaoh, and his riders, and his host" (Egypt and Moses, ch. 4). SEE CHARIOT.
In the same connection we may remark that, although the Egyptian warriors usually rode two in a chariot only, yet it appears, from the use of the peculiar term שָׁלַישׁ., shalish' (lit. third, A.V. "captain"), applied to the charioteers destroyed in the Red Sea (Ex 15:4), and to other officers (2Sa 23:8, etc.), that occasionally at least three persons were accustomed to ride together in battle; and this is confirmed by the fact that in some of the delineations on the Egyptian monuments we find two persons represented as principals in a war-car, while a third manages the reins. SEE CAPTAIN.
Among the Assyrians, on the other hand, single riders on horseback were not uncommon, although with them, too, the cavalry arm of the military service consisted chiefly of chariots. SEE ARMY.