He delighteth not in the strength of the horse ,.... It has been his will and pleasure to give the horse strength for the use and service of men, both for labour and war; and as this is a creature of his, and the work of his hands, it must be agreeable to him, Job 39:19 yet a horse, though prepared for the battle, is a vain thing for safety, which is only of the Lord; neither can it deliver any by its great strength; nor are a king and his country saved by the multitude of an host, or by a large cavalry: nor are these what the Lord delights in, nor does he save men for the sake of them; though a well-mounted cavalry may be a pleasing sight to men, and they may raise their expectations, and promise themselves great things from them; yet these are of no account with God, who can save as well without them as with them, Proverbs 21:31 . The Targum is,
"he delighteth not in the strength of those that ride on horses;'
that are well mounted, and pride themselves in it; and are equipped for war, and are mighty to engage in it, and prepared to make their escape in danger: Kimchi's note is,
"he delighteth not in man, who puts his confidence in the strength of the horse;'
see Psalm 20:8 ;
he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man ; in which his strength lies, and of which he is apt to glory; but should not, it being displeasing to God; who delights not therein, but in lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, Jeremiah 9:23 ; not in the legs of a man of war, as Arama; which are strong to stand his ground, or swift to flee away when hard-pressed; see Amos 2:14 ; so the Targum,
"he takes no pleasure in the legs of men that run;'
that are swift to run races, or to flee in battle; to this sense are the notes of Jarchi and Kimchi. It seems to intend the infantry in an army, as the cavalry before; and both intimate that neither horse nor foot are to be trusted in for safety, how pleasing or promising they may be, since God seeth not as man does: or reference may be had to athletic exercises of horse and foot races, of wrestling, combats, &c.; men may delight in, but God does not. What are pleasing to him are exercises of a spiritual kind; such as fleeing to Jesus, the strong tower; running the Christian race, to obtain the incorruptible crown; wrestling against principalities and powers, and such acts of grace as are next mentioned.