His Horn is Exalted in Honor


“His horn is exalted in honor.” (Psalm 112:9)

Psalm 112 speaks of the blessings that come to the one who fears the Lord and delights in His commands. Such a person is described as gracious, merciful, righteous and generous. The God-fearer is stable, secure and steady in the Lord. He or she will never be moved.

It also says here that “his horn is exalted in honor.” What is meant by this phrase? In the Old Testament “horn” refers to several things: 1) horn of a ram, goat or various animals, 2) horn used as an oil flask, 3) horn used as a wind instrument, 4) horns on altars symbolizing the presence and power of God, and 5) horn used as a metaphor to symbolize strength, power or pride. It is this last use that applies to Psalm 112:9.

There are several examples in the Bible of “horn” being used as a figure for strength or power. The Lord is “the horn of my salvation, my stronghold” (Psalm 18:2). In Daniel’s vision it symbolized men endowed with great power: “The horn that had eyes and a mouth that spoke great things, and that seemed greater than its companions” (Daniel 7:20). Pride-filled men are told, “Do not lift up your horn; do not lift up your horn on high, or speak with haughty neck” (Psalm 75:4-5). The horn imagery is used to show how God humbles the wicked and exalts the righteous: “All the horns of the wicked I will cut off, but the horns of the righteous shall be lifted up” (Psalm 75:10). To have one’s horns exalted by God is to gain victory and salvation: “But you have exalted my horn like that of the wild ox” (Psalm 92:10).

Thus in Psalm 112:9 we should understand “horn” as a symbol for strength, honor, and dignity. God rewards the righteous with honor. He exalts those who fear Him with stature, strength and dignity.

One close parallel is that of Hannah, belittled for not having children, praying at the temple with great distress and bitter weeping. The Lord granted her a son, Samuel, and she responded in praise: “My heart rejoices in the LORD; in the LORD my horn is lifted high” (1 Samuel 2:1 NIV). She used “horn” as a metaphor for her dignity and strength being exalted by the Lord.

Is there anything similar to having one’s horn exalted in honor in the New Testament? We are told the Christian who humbles himself before the Lord will be exalted (James 4:10; 1 Peter 5:6). And there is the promise that your persevering faith in Christ will be honored at His return: “So that the tested genuineness of your faith… may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:7).

There is reward in following the Lord. He will exalt you with honor and strength in glory.

 

Categories: Blog

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