Dr. Alice C. Linsley
This horned altar was excavated by a team led by Yohanan Aharoni in 1973 at Beersheba. The photograph is of the original reassembled altar when it was still at the site. Beersheba is where Abraham spent his last years. This altar was constructed about 1000 years after Abraham's time.
Before 1000 B.C. the Horite and Sethite Hebrew priests had dispersed out of the Nile Valley into Canaan, Mesopotamia, and Anatolia. They had a custom of building stone altars with horns along the Nile. The space between the horns was a negative (apophatic) solar image representing the High God. In ancient Egyptian tst represented horns or a horned animal.
In this article we explore the biblical data surrounding horned altars.
Exodus 27:2 gives this instruction for the construction of a horned altar by the Israelites (Jacob's clan).
Leviticus 4:7 indicates that there was a smaller horned altar upon which incense was burned. It explains how the blood was to be put on the horns of this altar.
The priest shall put some of the blood on the horns of the altar of fragrant incense that is in the tent of meeting before the Lord; and the rest of the blood of the bull he shall pour out at the base of the altar of burnt offering, which is at the entrance of the tent of meeting.
He [the priest] shall put some of the blood on the horns of the altar that is before the Lord in the tent of meeting; and the rest of the blood he shall pour out at the base of the altar of burnt offering that is at the entrance of the tent of meeting.
Psalm 118:27 describes the procession to the horned altar in preparation for the sacrifice.
The king is urged to rise, to "gather his bones together, shake off your dust" and enter into immortality. By eating the sacrifice, the deceased king becomes one with the sacred bull. The Eucharist echoes this ancient belief that the believer becomes one with Messiah when partaking by faith.
It appears that the "kmhw bread of Horus" is what the Church Fathers regard as the Bread which is the medicine of immortality and the antidote against death. Horus is the Greek for the ancient Egyptian HR, meaning Most High One.
Concerning himself, Jesus said that "unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day" (John 6:53-54).