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.

More importantly, the horns on the four corners of the altar prophetically and symbolically point to the fact that Yeshua’s blood poured out at the cross saves all humans (from the four corners of the earth who would trust in him) from their sins.


33 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)

      • Wow.! awesome vision… obviously The Ruach wanted to show you this..Re The seraphim.

      • Looks here like many are in the book of Revelation as I am right now, and looking for the meaning(s) of several of the things John is writing about. Interesting times we are living in, and it’s great to see and know many have eyes to see and ears to hear in these times. Thank you for your insight here, it is a blessing to many.

      • Thank you for sharing your insight, I had never put the Seraphim and the four Gospels together like that.

  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.

    • I felt the same way, and this really spoke to me! So glad our Lord sent me in this direction. He loves to teach us!

  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).

  5. Question- what is the meaning or significance of the sacrificial blood being put on the horns of the altar?

    • Good question. For some reason, the last sentence of the article that answers your question got clipped off. It should have read:

      More importantly, the horns on the four corners of the altar prophetically and symbolically point to the fact that Yeshua’s blood poured out at the cross saves all humans (from the four corners of the earth who would trust in him) from their sins.

      I went back and added that sentence back into my article.

  6. Thank you and God bless for providing this insight on the four horns of the altar. God recently spoke to me and said, “Grab hold of the 4 horns of the altar and don’t let go.” We need to be in presence now more than ever.

  7. the above comment about “grabbing hold of the horns of the alter”, is so important to me. I don’t regularly think of the horns, but just recently the Lord told me to hold on to the horns of the alter, when I asked how long there was no answer. So I’ve gone digging to see what I could find about the horns. I felt like I was in the Holy of Holies, I was wearing the priestly garments. I have wondered what all this meant..so where was the alter with horns. I know the horns mean power, authority, and that is about it.
    thank you

    • Same case here.The Lord told me to hold on to the horns of the altar today morning.And my spirit was responding in acceptance to this.But honestly speaking I didn’t know what this meant.So here I am and I bless the Lord for the insight.

  8. I always wonder about the altar of God in ancient time.
    It means that there is a very close relationship between the altar of God and the significant death of our Lord Jesus Christ.

  9. This event took place on the Sin Offering. Since horns represent power and perhaps authority lets not forget that it is possible that the blood placed on the 4 horns may represent the 4 places of piercing on Jesus on the cross. (head, left hand, right hand and feet) The priest also poured out the rest of the blood at the base of the alter which may represent the piercing of the side of Christ after he died.

    • I equally share same thoughts with you. Infact that was what led my Google search here. I’m so glad I saw your comment like it took the words out of my mouth

  10. Thanks for sharing! I have been looking for information on the horns of the altar because the Lord told me something weird during a time of prayer, so I’m doing my due diligence and testing it. (“The horns of the altar are your strength.”)

    This will be just one patch in the quilt of my understanding.

  11. Or as my thoughts think that the 4 points of the cross on which Christ bought our salvation could be likened to the 4 horns of the altar. I recall evidently when 1 Kings 1:50 “Adonijah, in great fear of Solomon, went to the Tent of the LORD ‘s presence and took hold of the corners of the altar.”
    1 Kings 1:50 GNBDK I like to hold on to this verse when we are told to lay our burdens down to Jesus at yhe foot of the cross.

    Ireally dont know, I might be wrong but thoughts like this have been on my mind and a Google search led me here.

  12. Thanks for helping me understand ‘horn’. You have blessed me with your knowledge; perhaps my books on Lulu.com will bless you.

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