But the word is used also metaphorically to denote the projecting corners of the altar of burnt offerings ( Exodus 27:2 ) and of incense ( 30:2 ). The horns of the altar of burnt offerings were to be smeared with the blood of the slain bullock ( 29:12 ; Leviticus 4:7-18 ). The criminal, when his crime was accidental, found an asylum by laying hold of the horns of the altar ( 1 Kings 1:50 ; 2:28 ).
The word also denotes the peak or summit of a hill ( Isaiah 5:1 , where the word "hill" is the rendering of the same Hebrew word).
This word is used metaphorically also for strength ( Deuteronomy 33:17 ) and honour ( Job 16:15 ; Lamentations 2:3 ). Horns are emblems of power, dominion, glory, and fierceness, as they are the chief means of attack and defence with the animals endowed with them ( Daniel 8:5 Daniel 8:9 ; 1 Samuel 2:1 ; 1 Samuel 16:1 1 Samuel 16:13 ; 1 Kings 1:39 ; 22:11 ; Joshua 6:4 Joshua 6:5 ; Psalms 75:5 Psalms 75:10 ; 132:17 ; Luke 1:69 , etc.). The expression "horn of salvation," applied to Christ, means a salvation of strength, or a strong Saviour ( Luke 1:69 ). To have the horn "exalted" denotes prosperity and triumph ( Psalms 89:17 Psalms 89:24 ). To "lift up" the horn is to act proudly ( Zechariah 1:21 ).