The Bible is full of all sorts of surprises. Of course, you have to know your translations, of which there are about 96 different English translations of the complete Bible. Unicorns, however, are in only one translation – the King James Version, of course.
I know you can’t wait to find out where the unicorns are, so let’s get right to it!
God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn. ~ Numbers 23:22
God brought him forth out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn: he shall eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their bones, and pierce them through with his arrows. ~ Numbers 24:8
His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth: and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh. ~ Deuteronomy 33:17
Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib? Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? Or will he harrow the valleys after thee? ~ Job 39:9, 10
Save me from the lion’s mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns. ~ Psalm 22:21
He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn. ~ Psalm 29:6
But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil. ~ Psalm 92:10
And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness. ~ Isaiah 34:7
Sadly, linguists have learned that re’em, which is translated as unicorn in the King James Version, actually refers to aurochs , an extinct large wild cow that once inhabited Europe, Asia, and North Africa. No doubt the translators used poetic license, but unicorns are much more exciting than over-grown cows. Some Creationists, however, believe it to be a triceratops, while some believe it to be a rhinoceros. I guess if you can’t have unicorns, you might as well have dinosaurs!
The image used at the beginning of this post is from the church floor of San Giovanni Evangelista in Ravenna, Italy.