HORN

Since wild animals used their horns to defend themselves or attack their enemies, Israelites often spoke of the horn as a symbol of power (Deut 33:17; 1 Kings 22:11; Ps 18:2; 22:21; 75:5,10; 92:10; Zech 1:21; Luke 1:69; Rev 5:6). Sometimes horns were symbolic of powerful rulers (Dan 7:7,24; 8:20; Rev 17:3,12). People used certain kinds of horns as musical instruments, particularly on ceremonial occasions (2 Sam 6:15). In times of battle, the blowing of horns, like the blowing of trumpets or bugles, was a means of making declarations or sending signals (Josh 6:4,13; Judg 7:18; 1 Cor 14:8).

Other horns were made into containers for the oil used in the ceremonial anointing of kings and priests (1 Sam 16:13; 1 Kings 1:39). Ornamental horns projected from the four corners of the altars of the tabernacle. The priests applied the blood of certain sacrifices to these horns as part of the ritual for the cleansing of sin (Exod 27:2; 29:12; 30:1-2,10). Israelite law did not permit the widespread ancient practice of clinging to the horns of the altar to escape punishment for murder (Exod 21:14; 1 Kings 1:51; 2:29).

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