on Luke 1 :69
And hath raised up a horn of salvation - That is, a mighty and glorious Savior: a quotation from Psalm 18:2. Horns are the well known emblems of strength, glory, and power, both in the sacred and profane writers, because the strength and beauty of horned animals consist in their horns. Horns have also been considered as emblems of light; therefore the heathen god Apollo is represented with horns, to point out the power, glory, and excellence of the solar light. The Chaldee paraphrast sometimes translates קרן keren, horn, by מלכות malcuth, or מלכותא malcutha, 1 Samuel 2:10; Jeremiah 48:25, which signify a kingdom: but it is likely that the allusion is here made to the horns of the altar; and as the altar was a place of refuge and safety, and those who laid hold on its horns were considered to be under the protection of the Lord, so, according to the expression of Zacharias, Jesus Christ is a new altar, to which whosoever flees shall find refuge.
Some imagine that this form of speech is taken from the custom of ancient warriors, who had a horn of steel on the top of their helmets, which ordinarily lay flat, till the person came victorious from battle, and then it was erected, as emblematical of the victory gained. Such a horn as this is represented on the helmet of the Abyssinian kings and warriors: see the plates in Bruce's Travels. To this custom of wearing or lifting up the horn, the following scriptures are thought to allude: 1 Samuel 2:10; Psalm 112:9; Psalm 148:4; Lamentations 2:17. In ancient gems and coins, this form of the horn on helmets is easily discernible, sometimes flat, sometimes erected. A horn, filled with various fruits, was also the emblem of abundance among the ancients: hence their cornu copia, or horn of plenty. From all this we may learn that the Lord Jesus gives a luminous, powerful, prevalent, glorious, and abundant Salvation or Refuge to mankind.
In the house of his servant David - Or, in the family: so the word οικος, house, is often used in the Sacred Writings. In Luke 1:32, the angel states that Mary was of the family of David; and Zacharias, who, from the nature of his office, must have been well acquainted with the public genealogical tables, attests the same thing. This is a matter of considerable importance; because it shows forth the truth of all the prophetic declarations, which uniformly state that the Messiah should come from the family and sit on the throne of David.
on Luke 1 :69
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.
on Luke 1 :69
1:69 A horn - Signifies honour, plenty, and strength. A horn of salvation - That is, a glorious and mighty Saviour.