ESV - 14 That on the day I punish Israel for his transgressions, I will punish the altars of Bethel, and the horns of the altar shall be cut off and fall to the ground.
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In Ezek 1:10, the four living creatures each had four faces: one of a man (representing rational intelligence), One of a lion (representing courage and royalty), one of an ox (representing power to act), and one of a eagle (representing the all-seeing eye of God). Each of these is an aspect of God's sovereignty in human affairs. The horns on the altar indicated that the sacrifices performed there gave to God the justification to intervene as forcibly as an ox into the lives of the Israelites. Grasping the horns meant appealing to God through the power and authority of the sacrifices. Asylum was granted because otherwise it might imply that the sacrifices were not meaningful. The one exception to the rule was Joab (1 Kings 2:28-34) who caught hold of the horns, but was executed anyway because he had shed innocent blood. Cutting off the horns meant that the sacrifices would be in vain because God would refuse to intervene.
Taking hold of the Horn on the Altar meant appealing through the sacrifice. The horn is symbolic of the death of the object of sacrifice; the ram that had the horn. This was of the Old Covenant. In the New Covenant the Ultimate Sacrifice is made; The Lamb of God. Laying hold of the Horn (Old Covenant) is tantamount to laying plea by the Blood of Atonement (the Blood of the Lamb) where the New Testament believer gets refuge and pardon. The Power of the Blood of the Lamb of God!
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