What is prophetic significance of the four horns of the altar?

Exodus 29:12, Horns of the altar. The four horns of the altar of sacrifice was the place where the blood of atonement was sprinkled (also Lev 4:4, 17, 18, 25, 30, 34; 8:15; 9:9; 16:18).

Altar of Sacrifice

Horn in Hebrew is qeren meaning “horn, hill or ray.” This word is used to describe the rays of light rays emanating from the face of Moses after his encounter with YHVH (Exod 34:29) and the horns of an animal (Ps 69:31).

In ancient cultures, the horn was a metaphor for physical strength or spiritual power (Deut 33:17; 2 Sam 22:3; Ps 18:2). Elsewhere, YHVH is referred to as man’s “horn of salvation” meaning he is the strength of our salvation. The Hebrew word for salvation is yesha meaning “deliverance, rescue, safety, welfare, victory, prosperity.” The root of yesha is the verb yasha meaning “to save, to deliver, to give victory.” Not only is YHVH called our “horn of salvation” in the Tanakh, but this designation is applied to Yeshua as well in the Testimony of Yeshua (Luke 1:69).

Interestingly, Yeshua is a derivative of the Hebrew name Yehoshua (or Joshua), which also derives from yasha. It should be evident from this quick study that the horns of the altar are a picture of Yeshua, who is the horn or strength of our salvation and who shed his blood for our sins on the altar of the cross.

This being the case, why then are there four horns on the altar? This is likely symbolic of the four attributes of Yeshua, even as the four colors of cloth used throughout the tabernacle prophetically symbolize the same thing: crimson speaks to Yeshua’s humanity, purple to his kingship, blue to his divinity, and white to his sinlessness or righteousness.

Additionally, the Jewish sages view the four horns as symbolizing the four corners of the earth, for, in Hebraic thought, the earth is nothing more than a large altar dedicated to Elohim.


9 thoughts on “What is prophetic significance of the four horns of the altar?

  1. Also, if you think about it, they could also foreshadow (maybe, in a way) the 4 “gospels” Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, who all emphasize a different attribute of Yeshua??

    • Yes … The Lord showed me nearly 30years ago that the seraphim which Ezekiel saw with the four faces represented the gospels. In a vision I saw the seraphim and watched as their wings became scripture.. all flying in the same direction(affirmation/confirmation)

  2. Thank you for this! I searched for info about what the horns represented and the commentaries I found was void of any valuable information in my opinion. I was glad to run into this info here. Very insightful. Thank you.

  3. Again we Jesus our Lord Jesus in all his spender. He is the Alter, he is the sacrifice that once and for all removed our sin, he is the the horns of the alter our strength, He is our all in all..Dont you just love him?

  4. Also Jesus was crucified on Golgotha, the Place of the Skull. Horns come from skulls, so in a manner they be prophetic of the literal place Jesus would die, which in turn may harken back and connect to the original sacrificial altar. And the phrase “the four corners of the earth” is a common way to say “everywhere on earth,” so the four horns may show that Jesus’ sacrifice was “a ransom for all” and that He “desires all people to be saved” (1 Tim 2:6,4), and that it’s the four Gospels’ attributes (Wendy), and that these Gospels will be “will be proclaimed throughout the whole world” (Matt 24:14).

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