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What are the horns at the alter ?

Adonijah seized the horn’s of the alter.

1 Kings 1:51

ESV - 51 Then it was told Solomon, "Behold, Adonijah fears King Solomon, for behold, he has laid hold of the horns of the altar, saying, 'Let King Solomon swear to me first that he will not put his servant to death with the sword.'

Clarify Share Report Asked March 08 2021 Mini Gloria Gaxiola

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
The horns of the altar mentioned in the cited verse were a feature commanded by God in the instructions that He gave to Moses for the building of the tabernacle in Exodus 25-27, and were apparently a distinctive feature of Israelite worship (in contrast to that of other religions).

They were projections at the four corners of the altar of burnt offerings, and were probably similar in appearance to the horns of bulls. They were not attached to the altar, but were an integral part of its construction. They were symbols of power, protection, and help, as well as of glory and salvation. They were coated with brass or bronze to prevent them from being damaged by the fire or smoke produced by sacrificial offerings.

Various passages in the Bible describe the horns as being clung to by criminals taking sanctuary in the tabernacle (as in the passage cited in the question); having the blood of sin offerings applied to them (Leviticus 4:7); and having festal sacrifices bound to them (Psalm 118:27).

(Previous ebible.com discussion of the horns of the altar is also viewable at https://ebible.com/questions/1654-what-was-the-significance-of-the-horns-of-the-altar)

March 08 2021 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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