Learning Biblical Hebrew
8/31/10 at 01:48 PM 0 Comments

The horns of the alter- a place of protection.

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In the old ages, there was a place, which the safest to the murderer- the horns of the altar. There were four horns to the altar, where the priest used to splash the blood over during the sacrifice.
Due to his holiness, the altar was the place that helped to protect the people. However, if the man was a murderer intentionally, he could be taken away from this sacred place as written in Exodus 21:14-
"וְכִי-יָזִד אִישׁ עַל-רֵעֵהוּ, לְהָרְגוֹ בְעָרְמָה--מֵעִם מִזְבְּחִי, תִּקָּחֶנּוּ לָמוּת"
"And if a man comes presumptuously upon his neighbor, to slay him with guile; thou shall take him from Mine altar that he may die"

One of the most famous stories with the horns of the altar is with Adonijah, the son of David that thought he would be the king after his father. When he saw that Solomon was anointed to king, he became afraid and held in the horns of the altar as written in one kings 1:50-
"וַאֲדֹנִיָּהוּ, יָרֵא מִפְּנֵי שְׁלֹמֹה; וַיָּקָם וַיֵּלֶךְ, וַיַּחֲזֵק בְּקַרְנוֹת הַמִּזְבֵּחַ"
"And Adonijah feared because of Solomon; and he arose, and went, and caught hold on the horns of the altar."

Now my dearest friends, a small question to you- who held in the horns of the altar, and they didn't help him?

Shanna tova!

Main phrases of the post + transcription + translation

Hebrew Transcription Translation

בְּמֵזִיד bemēzîd Intentionally

הִתִּיז hittîz Splashed

אָחַז בְּקַרְנוֹת הַמִּזְבֵּחַ 'āhaz beqarnôt hamizbēah Seized the horns of the altar

דָּם dām Blood


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