Unicorns are a popular creature of mythology but did you know some people interpret them into the Bible? I recently came across a reference to unicorns which stated:
The word “unicorn” is based on the Hebrew word re’em (“horned animal”), in early versions of the Old Testament translated as “monokeros”, meaning “one horn”, which became “unicorn” in English.
I couldn’t let this one pass by, particularly since:
(1) the Old Testament was written in Hebrew not Greek, so the Greek transliteration monokeros is hardly authoritative,
(2) I have never come across a reference to unicorns myself in any of my translations of the Bible so this was news to me,
(3) but also since I find the mythological links between Christ and unicorns quite intriguing and am always open to learning more about mythology.
Anyway, with a bit of searching I came across a article on Unicorns, Satyrs and the Bible by Apologetics Press where it asserts unicorns do make an ‘appearance’ in the Bible, but only in the King James Version (KJV) where His Highness failed to go back to the original Hebrew and botched up the translation. Not the first time for the KJV translators made a mistake now is it! Anyway if you ever have a rainy day and feel like scanning the KJV Bible, try looking up Numbers 23:22; 24:8; Deuteronomy 33:17; Job 39:9,10; Psalms 22:21; 29:6; 92:10; Isaiah 34:7 for a chuckle. Don’t bother with more contemporary translations that go back to the Hebrew as you’ll never find unicorns there.
The irony of all this fussing about the appearance or not of unicorns in the Bible is that real unicorns do exist, or at least in a fashion. I recently learned from Margot Alder’s book “Drawing Down the Moon” that a technique for ‘creating’ unicorns was recovered by a Dr W. Franklin Dove and commercialised by Neo-Pagan pioneers Morning Glory and Oberon Zell, the founder of the Church of all Worlds. You can find a synopsis of the process at Book of the Unicorn.
How do I approach this though? Well I don’t read unicorns into the bible myself, that’s for sure. But I think the unicorn myths themselves hint at Jesus, for the blood of the unicorn gives eternal life.