Previous Next

Table of Contents


Horn. The word “horn” is often used metaphorically to signify strength and honor, because horns are the chief weapons and ornaments of the animals which possess them; hence they are also used as a type of victory. Of strength the horn of the unicorn was the most frequent representative, Deut. 33:17, etc., but not always; comp. 1 Kings 22:11, where probably horns of iron, worn defiantly and symbolically on the head, are intended. Among the Druses upon Mount Lebanon the married women wear silver horns on their heads. In the sense of honor, the word horn stands for the abstract—“my horn,” Job 16:15; “all the horn of Israel,” Lam. 2:3—and so for the supreme authority. It also stands for the concrete, whence it comes to mean king, kingdom. Dan. 8:2, etc.; Zech. 1:18. Out of either or both of these last two metaphors sprang the idea of representing gods with horns.


Horns worn as Head-ornaments by modern Orientals.