horn

horn

A word used both literally and symbolically in the Bible. 1 The bony projection from the head of various animals, e.g., of a ram (Gen 22:13); of a bull (Ps 69:31). 2 A musical instrument made from a ram’s horn (Heb. shophar); it was used in worship (2Chr 15:14) as well as in war (Josh 6:4-13). 3 The projection at each of the four corners of an altar (Exod 27:2; Rev 9:13); the precise significance of the symbolism here is not known, however. The instruction to put some blood of a sacrificed bull on the altar horns (Lev 4:7) attests to their importance in Israel’s religious ritual of animal sacrifice. People desiring asylum symbolized that desire by clinging to the altar’s horns (1Kgs 1:50-51; 1Kgs 2:28-34). 4 A receptacle for liquids: for the oil kept in the shrine (1Kgs 1:39) and used for anointing kings (1Sam 16:1; 1Sam 16:13); perhaps for eye makeup (“horn of paint” is the literal meaning of the name of Job’s third daughter, Job 42:14); and for ink (Ezek 9:2-11). 5 A symbol of power, whether in animals (e.g., wild ox, Num 23:22) or human beings (iron horns symbolize a king’s victory in war, 1Kgs 22:11). The term “horn of salvation” denotes royal saving power (Ps 18:2; Luke 1:69). A further development of this theme is found in the use of “horn” for “king” in the visions in Dan 7-8, where the horns refer to specific rulers. In the Revelation to John “horn” signifies supernatural power: the power of the lamb (Rev 5:6), of the dragon (Rev 12:13), of the beast from the sea (Rev 13:1), of the beast from the earth (Rev 13:11), and of the scarlet beast upon which a woman sits (Rev 17:3-16). 6 The crown of a hill, or the hill itself (Isa 5:1).

Gen 22:13

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Ps 69:31

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2Chr 15:14

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Josh 6:4-13

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Exod 27:2

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Rev 9:13

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Lev 4:7

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1Kgs 1:50-51

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1Kgs 2:28-34

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1Kgs 1:39

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1Sam 16:1

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1Sam 16:13

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Job 42:14

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Ezek 9:2-11

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Num 23:22

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1Kgs 22:11

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Ps 18:2

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Luke 1:69

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Dan 7-8

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Rev 5:6

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Rev 12:13

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Rev 13:1

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Rev 13:11

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Rev 17:3-16

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Isa 5:1

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