Unicorns are no strangers to religion. The Chinese unicorn, qilin, is mentioned in the Taoist and Buddhist mythology. How about unicorns and the Bible? Are unicorns mentioned in the Bible? This is what we are going to find out today.
We will also discuss what the unicorn represents in Christianity, and whether new versions of the Bible with unicorns quotes should be printed. The verses with unicorns in the King James Version will also be quoted on this post.
Are Unicorns Mentioned in the Holy Book?
Irish Rovers had a hit song in 1967 called “The Unicorn”. The song is about the Noah´s Ark; Noah could not persuade unicorns to get in the Ark, because they just wanted to play in the water. According to this song, there are no longer unicorns, because they did n´t enter the Ark, but just kept playing. Is it just a song, or does the Bible actually have something to do with unicorns?
Unicorns can indeed be found in the Bible. Unicorns are mentioned 9 times in the King James Version of The Bible. The original Hebrew word used is re´em, which could mean a unicorn, a rhinoceros or a wild ox. The wild ox is the preferred translation in the modern translations of the Bible. However, “unicorn” is the word that was used in the King James Bible.
So, what does the King James Version of the Bible say about unicorns? These are the 9 unicorn quotes:
Numbers 23:22 “God brought them out of Egypt, he hath as it were the strength of a unicorn.”
Numbers 24:8 “God brought him forth out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of a unicorn; he shall eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their bones, and pierce them trough with his arrows.”
Deuteronomy 33:17 “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.”
Job 39:9 “Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib?”
Job 39:10 “Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee?”
Psalms 22:21 “Save me from the Lion´s mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.”
Psalms 29:6 “He maketh them also skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn.”
Psalms 92:10 “But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of a unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil.”
Isaiah 34:7 “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.”
Again, these quotes are only found in the King James Version of the Bible. The word “unicorn” is not mentioned in the new versions of the Bible.
Why Are Unicorns Mentioned in the Bible?
The discussion about the unicorn and the Bible most often focuses on just arguing, whether the unicorns in the Bible are actual unicorns, or rhinos or something else.
Now that we know unicorns are mentioned in the Bible, though, I think a more interesting question is, why are the unicorns mentioned in the Bible? What do they symbolize?
Physiologus, an ancient Christian bestiary, describes the unicorn as a strong animal only a virgin can catch. A unicorn sees a virgin and lays its head on her lap, and falls asleep. The unicorn has been interpreted as the Christ, the virgin being Virgin Mary.
In the Bible, unicorns are also described as strong animals. Even God is compared to a unicorn: “His horns are like the horns of unicorns.” So, the unicorns might also refer to God´s power.
Should Unicorns Be Included in the Holy Book Again?
I´m going to say my honest opinion here. Here in Finland, and I suppose in many developed countries, the church is losing more and more members. People, especially young people, don´t seem to find the teachings of the Bible resonate with them.
Now, imagine what would happen, if the church would start talking about unicorns. Unicorns are super popular these days. They especially attract young people. What if new editions of the Bible were printed with unicorns mentioned again? In a mass on Sunday, the priest would talk about the Kingdom of God, where unicorns await. And think about the social media campaigns that could be made by mixing unicorns and Christianity!
Unicorns might indeed be the solution to get more people to join the church. Unicorns were part of the Bible once, and now would be the perfect time to bring them back!
Unicorns and the Bible – The Perfect Match?
Unicorns are mentioned in the Bible, but only in King James Version. Newer translations don´t mention unicorns. This is also a question of translation; the original Hebrew word re´em could be translated as a unicorn, a rhinoceros or a wild ox.
Unicorns are mentioned in 9 verses in King James’s Version. The unicorn can be seen as an allegory to the Christ and even God. Physiologus, an ancient Christian bestiary has a legend of a unicorn caught by a virgin. The unicorn has been interpreted as The Christ, and the virgin as Virgin Mary.
Should unicorns be brought back to the new version of the Bible? I think so. After all, unicorns were mentioned in the Holy Book once, and now they could be brought back. People, especially young people, love unicorns these days. If the church wants to get more members, the unicorns might be the perfect solution.
Do you think unicorns should be mentioned in the Bible again, and why? What does the unicorn in the Bible symbolize in your opinion? Please share your thoughts on in the comment section below!