Luke 1:69
And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;
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(69) Hath raised up an horn of salvation.—The symbolism of the horn comes from Psalm 132:17, where it is used of the representative of the House of David, and answers to the “Anointed” of the other clause of the verse. It originated obviously in the impression made by the horns of the bull or stag, as the symbols of strength. Here, following in the steps of the Psalmist, Zacharias uses it as a description of the coming Christ, who is to be raised up in the House of David.

1:67-80 Zacharias uttered a prophecy concerning the kingdom and salvation of the Messiah. The gospel brings light with it; in it the day dawns. In John the Baptist it began to break, and increased apace to the perfect day. The gospel is discovering; it shows that about which we were utterly in the dark; it is to give light to those that sit in darkness, the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. It is reviving; it brings light to those that sit in the shadow of death, as condemned prisoners in the dungeon. It is directing; it is to guide our feet in the way of peace, into that way which will bring us to peace at last, Ro 3:17. John gave proofs of strong faith, vigorous and holy affections, and of being above the fear and love of the world. Thus he ripened for usefulness; but he lived a retired life, till he came forward openly as the forerunner of the Messiah. Let us follow peace with all men, as well as seek peace with God and our own consciences. And if it be the will of God that we live unknown to the world, still let us diligently seek to grow strong in the grace of Jesus Christ.And hath raised up a horn - A horn is a symbol of strength. The figure is taken from the fact that in horned animals the strength lies in the "horn." Particularly, the great power of the rhinoceros or unicorn is manifested by the use of a single horn of great "strength," placed on the head near the end of the nose. When the sacred writers, therefore, speak of great strength they often use the word "horn," Psalm 148:14; Deuteronomy 33:17; Daniel 7:7-8; Daniel 7:21. The word salvation, connected here with the word "horn," means that this "strength," or this mighty Redeemer, was able to save. It is possible that this whole figure may be taken from the Jewish "altar." On each of the four corners of the altar there was an eminence or small projection called a "horn." To this persons might flee for safety when in danger, and be safe, 1 Kings 1:50; 1 Kings 2:28. Compare the notes at Luke 1:11. So the Redeemer "may be" called the "horn of salvation," because those who flee to him are safe.

In the house - In the family, or among the descendants of David.

69. horn of salvation—that is "strength of salvation," or "mighty Salvation," meaning the Saviour Himself, whom Simeon calls "Thy Salvation" (Lu 2:30). The metaphor is taken from those animals whose strength is in their horns (Ps 18:2; 75:10; 132:17).

house of … David—This shows that Mary must have been known to be of the royal line, independent of Joseph; of whom Zacharias, if he knew anything, could not know that after this he would recognize Mary.

See Poole on "Luke 1:68"

And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us,.... Meaning the Messiah, whom God had now raised up:

in the house of his servant David; in David's family, he being now conceived by a virgin of his house; and who, in a little time, would be born in Bethlehem, the city of David. He is called "an horn of salvation", because he is a powerful Saviour. "Horn" denotes power; it being that to a beast, as the arm is to a man, by which it defends itself, and pushes down its enemies; and "salvation" is the work Christ came to effect, and for which he was raised up, and sent: and a Saviour he is, and a mighty one, as appears from his doing and suffering what he has; as bearing all the sins of his people, and making reconciliation for them; obeying all the precepts of the law, and undergoing the penalty of it; being made a curse, and becoming obedient to death, even the death of the cross: as also, from his delivering them from sin, Satan, and the law, which no other could have done; and from his grappling with, conquering, spoiling, and destroying all his, and our enemies. Moreover, the word "horn" signifies regal power, honour, and dignity; see Daniel 7:24 and so may not only denote the work of Christ as a Saviour, but his office also as a King, who in the discharge of that is likewise a Saviour; for he not only rules, and governs, but protects, defends, and preserves his, people, by his power; see 1 Samuel 2:10.

And hath raised up an {i} horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;

(i) This word horn, in the Hebrew language, signifies strength, and it is a metaphor taken from beasts that fight with their horns: And by raising up the might of Israel is meant that the kingdom of Israel was defended, and the enemies of it laid on the ground, even then when the strength of Israel seemed to be utterly gone.

Luke 1:69. κέρας σ. = βασιλείαν, because kings were anointed with a horn of oil, or = δύναμιν, because in their horn all horned animals have their power (Euthy. Zig.); a thoroughly Hebrew symbol.—ἐν οἴκῳ Δ., pointing to a descendant of David, who has wrought signal deliverance for Israel.

69. a horn of salvation] A natural and frequent metaphor. Ezekiel 29:21, “In that day will I cause the horn of the house of Israel to bud forth.” Lamentations 2:3, “He hath cut off … all the horn of Israel.” Psalm 132:17; 1 Samuel 2:10, “He shall exalt the horn of His anointed.” A Rabbinic writer says that there are ten horns—those of Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, Moses, the horn of the Law, of the Priesthood, of the Temple, and of Israel; and some add of the Messiah. They were all placed on the heads of the Israelites till they sinned, and then they were cut off and given to the Gentiles. Schöttgen, Hor. Hebr. ad loc. We find the same metaphor in classic writers. “Tunc pauper cornua sumit,” Ov. Art. Am. i. 239; “addis cornua pauperi,” Hor. Od. iii. xxi. 18.

his servant] The word does not here mean ‘son’ in the original, being the rendering of the Hebrew ebed, Psalm 132:10.

Luke 1:69. Κέρας, a horn) Psalm 132:17. This term signifies abundance and kingly strength. The article was not suitable to be added at that early period. So also Luke 1:68; Luke 1:71; Luke 1:78. Afterwards the fact of itself claimed these names more openly as belonging to Jesus Christ alone.—σωτηρίας, of salvation) In allusion to the name, Jesus: comp. Luke 1:71; Luke 1:77. John only gave the knowledge of salvation: the Lord gave salvation itself.—Δαυὶδ, David) Psalm 132:17; Psalm 132:6.—παιδὸς) עבד, servant, Psalm 132:10.

Luke 1:69Horn

Compare Psalm 132:17.

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