Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Fairy Tales in the Bible: Unicorns

The bible is full of fairy tales that simply cannot be true. Some of them are more incredulous than others. But perhaps one of the most silly and ridiculous ones is that of the unicorn. After all, unicorns are just pagan mythology right? Or are they? If we are to believe the bible, they were/are real despite the fact that we have never found a single shred of evidence than anything like a unicorn ever existed. Take these verses.

Job 39:9-12 (King James Version)

9.Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib?
10.Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee?
11.Wilt thou trust him, because his strength is great? or wilt thou leave thy labour to him?
12.Wilt thou believe him, that he will bring home thy seed, and gather it into thy barn?

Yep, god is talking to Job about a unicorn.

Isaiah 34:7 (King James Version)

7.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.

See, according to the superstitious hebrews of the day, unicorns were every bit as real as a bull.

Psalm 29:6 (King James Version)

6.He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn.

They were real enough to the superstitious tribal people that they could compare a calf to a unicorn.

In context, it is clear that these references are not in some mythical non-existing fashion, but that they really believed this singled horned magic creature of legend was real. Not something made up, but real and really existed. For the bible to be real and perfect, that means that we have to accept that unicorns are real and exist.

Or, we can acknowledge that unicorns didn't exist and are fairy tales. Just like the whole of the bible itself. Fairy tale myths born from a superstitious people in a time of superstition before science existed.

For your pleasure, here are some other scriptures that mention unicorns.

Numbers 23:22 (King James Version)

22.God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn.

Deuteronomy 33:17 (King James Version)

17.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.

Psalm 22:21 (King James Version)

21.Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.

Psalm 92:10 (King James Version)

10.But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil.

As we can see, the tribal peoples were very much believers in these mythical creatures. And apparently, so was god.


Anonymous said...

The KJV mistranslated "wild ox" as "unicorn." Not that crazy...

konquererz said...

Interesting, I'll compare it to some other translations and see what they say. Thanks for the tip!

RtPt said...

"not that crazy"...

The word for today is understatement.

Anonymous said...

Actually the Bible doesn't mention unicorns at all. Some people on the internet are so fascinated with unicorns that they want a mythical creature "unicorn" to be in the Bible. Instead of getting information on the internet....pick up an actual Bible. Any version such as The New King James, King James, New International Version.....trust me you won't find any mention of unicorns. God Bless!

konquererz said...

ACTUALLY, if you had read my post "anonymous" you would see I quoted from the KJV bible you just touted. And, since you said something about it, I have read the entire bible no less than 25 times. Who knows how many times doing bible studies.
kjv, rkjv, NIV, NAS, RNAS, Living Bible, direct translation bible (features direct translations from the earliest known texts like Hebrew, latin, and greek), four version comparison bibles.
I also have 3 bible dictionaries, 2 concordances, 5 deep study bibles, and a picture bible I had when I was a kid. I have read all of them. I was a christian for 25 years, a study leader for 10 of those.

So don't attempt to "school" me on actually reading the bible. I most certainly have read it and studied it more indepth than you would even dare too. And again, I quote the King James Version, if you had actually read the post. It most certainly does say unicorn.

to the previous Anonymous poster. The direct translation bible has it as "horse with a single horn" as verse, which means unicorn. Funny how the bible is "inspired" and "perfect" until something like unicorns is in there. Then its a mistranslation. Kind of like the mistranslation in Isaiah of "he shall be born of a virgin" which is wrong. The word is "almah" which in all other parts of the bible is translated as young woman. Bethulah is the word used everywhere else in the bible to mean virgin. But I'm sure you will cling to that mistranslation and ignore it because it is inconvenient.

konquererz said...

Another thought just occurred to me. The christians who translated this must have believed in unicorns, other wise it wouldn't have been translated as such. Which means the people who pushed this along through history believed in fairy tale creatures as well. Not a great thing to be made evident.

As well, reading the verses, they apparently exalted wild oxen quit a bit don't you think? No, a grand unicorn, that makes more sense, because it was thought to be a gift from the gods. But an oxen?

BTW, just in case you think I'm being a bit harsh here, I called up my previous pastor. I never agreed with him but he still believes the KJV is the best translation, made BEFORE christians started trying to make the bible "make sense" to the modern world. Funny, he didn't remember these verses, so I enlightened him. Wonder what he thinks now.

Sarah said...

Who said the unicorn was a mythical creature? Why is it not just an extinct creature? One that existed back in the old testament times, and does not exist now. Like the Dodo perhaps.

Robbyn said...

When studying the text of any ancient document, it is important to take into account the origin of the words used in each translation. The term 'unicorn' does not mean here a magical white horse with one horn. That just happens to be the use of the word today. The term re'em is in the original text and may refer to an ox or even a rhinoceros. For a cursory view into the scholarly debate on the subject, I would suggest this article, though there are many good articles available if you Google "unicorns in the bible:"


Anonymous said...

Mistranslations from interpretation is a probable conclusion; perhaps this word is also mistranslated- as an old reference for a rhinoceros instead of the unicorn since the rhino tends to be wild and stronger than the horse

Anonymous said...

This is utter nonsense!!!! I am not a scholar of the bible, but I know it does not mention the word unicorn in Psalms!!! Believe what you want. I believe in fairy tales and if the bible is a fairy tale, well I believe!!!!

jetnick said...

>>Believe what you want. I believe in fairy tales and if the bible is a fairy tale, well I believe!!!!<<

Atheist here.

I find the above comment remarkably refreshing. If all Christians were as honest as the author of that quote, then atheists and Christians could agree on simply that it is indeed a fairy-tale, and that, like belief in Santa Claus, it's just a silly belief that makes one feel better. That's it.

I too have seen the numerous "unicorn" references in the KJV, and how, quite disingenuously, the modern translators (NIV, etc), have translated this into "wild ox".

Obviously, it is embarrasing for any modern person to believe in unicorns. That's the reason modern Christians almost never use the term "Holy Ghost" anymore. Only a feeble mind believes in ghosts and spooks, and thus, the much more palatable "Holy Spirit" was introduced.

Gordon Freeman said...

I just started reading about fairy tales in the bible because I am preparing a text about this for my web site (that's how I ran into this blog). So, I can't say if unicorns in the bible are real or not, (I might conclude that in my article) but it just amazes me how people can actually believe in fairy tale creatures that appear in the bible, like dragons, demons and angels, giants, talking animals like snakes and donkeys, Leviathans, Behemoths, "Screech Owl" (Lilith - demon/Vampire), satyrs, people who lived for almost a thousand years, sticks that turn to snake, The Nephilims, whales of fishes that swallow people and people that survive 3 days in that whale/fish, zombies or people who were dead and turn to life... Pretty long list, huh? Now, ask your self do these creatures really exist(ed), and distinguish them from any other fairy tale that don't include god, I dare you.
I think I made my self clear.

justanotherman said...


Anonymous said...

For the people who want to argue about which translation is better, God gave us a Bible in English that we can understand if we study with HIM in our minds and hearts, the Bible (KJV) always makes sense, but our feeble human minds are not always able to make sense of it! You better believe in GOD and JESUS! Someday every knee will bow and every tongue confess the Jesus Christ is LORD!

Anonymous said...

Well, here goes a large part of the water in the USA on it's way to being poisoned. What if all four reactors fail? I hope it doesn't happen but if it does there's thousands of tons of ultra radioactive material that is going to find it's way to nearly every corner of the earth and that is just one nuclear plant.

Anonymous said...

I just came across this blog randomly. I'm not amazed that so many are mocking God and twisting words. He mentions this would happen in the Bible. I would suggest seeking wisdom so you can read and understand the Bible, otherwise you will make a fool of yourself coming up with what you "think" it says. You can find Youtube links that will help you with understanding of some of the topics you entered, like the Nephilim who produced giants such as Goliath and his brothers (skeletal remains are available throughout the world). Like another who commented, ALL will bow and profess God is Lord! This doesn't mean some, but ALL. Do you choose to side with Satan or God, whose Son Jesus is the only road to Salvation? Jesus will return at any moment, are you prepared?

Anonymous said...

As just a teenager, it astounds me how ridiculous people can be. How can anyone be so bent on proving that another religion is wrong? Now I, having read this blog post, went and researched the 'unicorns' myself on google (taking hardly a moment of time) and found the actual meaning of 'unicorn'. The link is here: http://www.creationtoday.org/why-does-the-bible-mention-unicorns/, but if you're too busy to click on it, here is a shortened version: The term unicorn varied throughout the ages, only within the last 150 or so years has the unicorn taken on a mythological meaning. In the old 1828 Noah Webster’s Dictionary, the word 'unicorn' was defined as 'An animal with one horn; the monoceros. This name is often applied to the rhinoceros.' Notice how this 200-year-old definition of the word “unicorn” says absolutely nothing about a horse. It says nothing about a horse-like animal, or a mythical animal, or a fictitious creature. It says absolutely nothing about mythology whatsoever. But rather, it says that this is a name that is often applied to the rhinoceros.
"Now, anyone who has ever seen a rhinoceros knows that a rhino has two horns — a larger one up front, and a smaller one behind. So, how could a rhinoceros be considered a unicorn?
Well, if you look up the word “rhinoceros” in the same dictionary it says:
Rhinoceros – A genus of quadrupeds of two species, one of which, the unicorn, has a single horn growing almost erect from the nose. This animal when full grown, is said to be 12 feet in length. There is another species with two horns, the bicornis. They are natives of Asia and Africa.
According to Noah Webster, back in the early 1800’s it was understood that there were two species of the rhinoceros. The one-horned species was called “unicorn,” and the two-horned species was called “bicornis.”
So basically, if you get a 200-year-old Noah Webster’s dictionary and look up the word “unicorn” it says “rhinoceros,” and if you look up the word “rhinoceros” it says “unicorn.” That was just 200 years ago. The King James was translated 400 years ago in 1611. One does not have to be good at math to figure this out.
Today’s definition of the word “unicorn” says absolutely nothing about a rhinoceros, and today’s definition of “rhinoceros” says absolutely nothing about a unicorn. The definitions have changed over time.
So, if the definition of “unicorn” has changed in just the past 200 years from rhinoceros to horse, then it doesn’t make much sense to take a modern definition of the word “unicorn” and apply it to a 400-year-old translation of the Bible. That’s illogical."
Therefore, in simple terms, your argument is illogical and I have proved it simply by using logic. Time changes, words change, and proof of this can be seen by looking in a modern dictionary and finding 'OMG' and 'LOL'. Please do not try and label my religion's Holy Bible as a fairy tale, because you are sorely mistaken.
-15 year old Christian female

Anonymous said...

Um, I think it's really important to understand that only in the past 200 years has the word "unicorn" referred to a horse-like mythical creature. Before that, including in Webster's first edition, the word "unicorn" referred to the single-horned species of rhinoceros.
- for a fun explanation, check out this video.