The Hebrews were fond of using metaphors. The expression, horn of salvation, is taken from those animals whose strength was in their horns. It was a familiar term in the psalmody of the agricultural Jews.
The Hebrew word for horn, yovel, comes from a root meaning “ram,” whose horns were used for numerous purposes. Most prominent of these was the ram’s horn trumpet, the Shophar, used as a musical instrument.
They were also used as containers to hold liquids, including anointing oil, or sometimes as an ink-horn. Horns were used to denote powers or rulers.1
Furthermore, “it is used in the Bible as a symbol of strength — from the horn of a fighting animal.”2
Luke wrote, “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for He … has raised up a horn of salvation for us” (1:68, 69). The symbolism applies to the power of God coming in the Person of Christ to accomplish deliverance, or salvation. “Horn of salvation” means “a mighty Savior.”3
“Jesus gave me the passport to life.”4
© 2017 D & L Publications
- Adult Teacher Supplement, Fourth Quarter, October, November, December, 1968, Fourth Annual Volume, Gospel Publishing House, Springfield, MO, 65802, p. 16
- Word Meanings in the New Testament, Ralph Earle, Hendrickson Publisher, Inc., P. O. Box 3473, Peabody, MA, 01961-3473, Copyright 1974, p. 54
- Pulpit Helps, Chattanooga, TN: AMG International, February 1998