Unicorns in the Bible.
Years ago, when a good friend of mine informed me that unicorns were mentioned in the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible (9 times) I was intrigued. I used some of the scripture in my Unibear book in hopes of getting the conversation about Jesus started with children.
Later, when a Christian school explained that it was a translation error and has thus been rectified in future printings of the bible, it left me with questions of: if this was a translation error, what other errors are in the bible? This is not a good question to ask – the bible is about faith and that question tested my faith.
So, when God tickled my curiosity with the thought of, “check earlier versions of the bible,” I did and was pleasantly surprised with what I found. I discovered that the word unicorn was used in the 1395 Wycliff translation and then the 1525 Tyndale version translated by William Tyndale who is considered to be the most influential Bible translator in history as well as the “architect of the English Language.” Nice!
In fact, unicorns were mentioned in the Coverdale’s Bible 1535, Taverner’s Bible, the Great Bible, the Bishops Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, the Greek Septuagint version (vnicorn with a V), theItalian Diodati 1649, Las Sagradas Escrituras of 1569, as well as the Spanish Reina Valera of 1602, all of which preceded the King James Bible.
Plus, all of those Bibles before King James, had the word unicorn 10 times – King James removed a line of scripture containing the word unicorn! Plus, not to get off topic, but in previous translations, Unicorn was found in Job 39:12-13 when King James’ was Job 39:9-10 meaning there is some missing scripture… but I digress.
What is a Unicorn?
This animal is characterized by something lifted up or high and in a prominent position. It is very strong – “God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn.” Num. 23:22. It is also used in a symbolic way in our Lord’s prophetic prayer as recorded in Psalms 22:21 “Save me from the lion’s mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.” There was no literal lion present when Christ died, but Satan, as a roaring lion, was present, for it was his hour and the power of darkness. There were no literal unicorns present either, but they symbolically or spiritually were present and assisted our Lord Jesus in His greatest hour of need.
The unicorn was untamable, as can be seen in Job 39:9 – 12, where God asks Job “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? Wilt thou trust him, because his strength is great? or wilt thou leave thy labour to him? Wilt thou believe him, that he will bring home thy seed, and gather it into thy barn?”
This passage shows that the unicorn, whatever it was, could not be tamed at all, nor used in farming to plow the fields like an ox can. This, as well as other verses, show that many modern versions, like the NKJV, NIV, and NASB, are incorrect in their rendering of this word as “wild ox”. The wild ox is nothing more than a “wild guess” and pure speculation on the part of the modern bible editors. A wild ox is like a wild horse. It CAN be tamed by placing a yoke on its neck. God’s question to Job was intended to produce a definite ‘NO’ not a ‘Yeah, I can do that’.
One other verse that puts the lie to the modern versions’ use of “wild ox”, is Psalms 92:10. But my HORN shalt thou exalt like the HORN of AN UNICORN…” The NASB, NIV, NKJV read: “You have exalted my HORN like THAT OF A WILD OX.” Now, I ask you a simple question. How many horns does a wild ox have? Not one, but two.
Unicorn means literally, “one – horned.” Daniel Webster’s Dictionary of 1828 defined unicorn as “an animal with one horn; the monoceros.”
Orthodox Christianity teaches that the Bible was inspired and authored by the Holy Spirit of God using human instruments. And many Christians believe that—in its original languages of Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic—it is without error and fault. Yet since I cannot read those languages, I have to take what is written in faith.
Unicorns in History
There are many historical accounts of the unicorn. In 416 BC, the Greek physician Ctesias set out to attend to the Persian King Darius II, where he spent 18 years. He later wrote a book called Indica, in which he said: “There are in India certain wild asses which are as large as horses, and larger. They have a horn on the forehead which is about eighteen inches in length.”
Pliny the Elder, in the first century AD, describes “an exceedingly wild beast called the Monoceros (one – horned) it makes a deep lowing noise, and one black horn, two cubits long projects from the middle of its forehead. This animal, they say, cannot be taken alive.”
Aristotle frequently mentioned the unicorn. He said in one passage: “I have found that wild asses as large as horses are to be found in India. It has a horn on the brow, about one cubit and a half in length.”
Julius Caesar said they could be found in the Hercynian Forest, and Alexander the Great is said to have seen one before attempting to invade a certain territory, and took it as a sign not to attack, because the land was protected.
Unicorn imagery dates back to the Indus Valley Civilization (about 3300 BC to 1300 BC) in South Asia which includes Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. The Chinese wrote about unicorns as far back as 2700 BC. The Greeks, Babylonians and Persians spoke of the unicorn’s symbolism and purity. Plus, there are stone drawings, ancient artifacts, tapestries, stories and more all mentioning, describing or detailing the unicorn.
Just because we don’t see them today does not mean they did not ever exist and dismissing the idea by rewriting the translations do nothing but rewrite history.
So, the next time you read a book or article explaining that even with all of these historical accounts dating back more than 5300 years, they want to tell you that a unicorn is a myth, ask yourself why they insist on rewriting history. Why do YOU think they want to claim that something that has been talked about, written about, drawn, painted and sculpted for over 5000 years – is a myth? And why is the unicorn becoming so prominent now – yet depicted in such a negative, deplorable and despicable way? Unicorns are beauty and light. They are powerful and strong. They represent the presence and power of God. The unicorn is also suggested in Isaiah 34, that the unicorn was a symbol of God’s eternal judgment on humankind for all their sins.
Maybe the devil eradicated the unicorn? Maybe he is why they are now extinct. And maybe now, he is using the unicorn to sway our opinions, knowledge and understanding because the Unicorn is coming back (as Jesus is) and he doesn’t want us to recognize the truth. But that is just my opinion – and I am just a story-teller. One must use discerning judgement:
Discerning Judgment is the ability to perceive, understand, and judge things clearly, especially those that are not obvious or straightforward. It is the power to see what is not evident to the average mind. Discerning is a conscious effort to carefully and considerately explore the moral right and wrong of a situation, or an opinion, or an action, with the desire, in the end, to honor God and serve those involved.
*A lot of the information I found and reference is from Baptist Brethren blog.
Why am I bringing up all of this Historical Unicorn Information?
Easy – I wrote a book entitled “The First Unicorn” and it is my way of telling the story of how the first unicorn came to be. How God wanted him to represent, love, kindness and healing, and how important it is to not mistake the good unicorns from the bad ones.
Almost everyone knows what a unicorn is, but do you know where they came from? Who was the first unicorn? How did he get his golden horn? And why did others follow in his footsteps?
Aden is a young horse, who believes that giving of his time and gifts is the best way to share hope in the world. One evening, he is visited by an angel who bestows a gift of gold upon his forehead, “You cannot see or spend it. It’s for others to behold.”Yet, when he returns home that evening, the herd sees the horn as a weapon and chases him away.
Sad but not discouraged, Aden continues to help and care for others. However, when his mother gets injured, he discovers his horn can perform miracles. It was that first miracle that softened the hearts of the others and inspired them to lead a God-filled life as well.
This story is about love, acceptance, kindness and giving. It is the story of the First Unicorn and how God’s creation would succeed at greatness.
“Anything is possible if love is what you choose. Miracles can happen if you share the good news.”
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