Unicorns and the Bible – The Hidden Link
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 in this post.
Are Unicorns Mentioned in the Holy Book?
Irish Rovers had a hit song in 1967 called “The Unicorn”. The song is about 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 didn’t enter the Ark, but just kept playing. Is it just a song, or does the Bible actually have something to do with unicorns?
Related: Unicorn songs for kids and adults
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 through 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 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?
In many developed countries, the church is losing more and more members. 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?
In conclusion, this is what the Bible says about unicorns:
- Unicorns are mentioned in the Bible, but only in King James Version. Newer translations don´t mention unicorns.
- 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 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 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. 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 in the comment section below!
I find your Unicorn website unique. The pink color scheme with buttons turning blue when you hover over them resonates with its fantasy theme. It is clean, well organized and navigation from one section of the website to another is seamless.
Except for Psalm 92:10 which I know very well, I am not even aware there are other mentions of unicorn in the Bible. I know the unicorn commands strength; I am not aware of its association to the virgin. Thanks for the education.
I am however not in support of the re-introduction of the unicorn in the Bible as you have advocated. I think it will be a double-edged sword at best. While it might succeed in bringing back young Christian believers, a fast diminishing demographic, it will negatively impact older conservative Christians. They will see the Bible tampered with and the message tainted.
Thank you so much for your feedback, I really appreciate it.
I understand your opinion on the re-introduction of unicorns in the Bible. You’re probably right that everyone would not like this change, if it would take place. However, unicorns were originally mentioned in the Bible, so bringing them back wouldn’t mean adding something new really. It would simply mean bringing something back to the Bible that was there in the first place.
Thank you again for visiting my site and sharing your opinion on unicorns in the Bible!
I honestly had no idea that unicorns were ever mentioned in the Bible, but I do not use the King James version so I guess I just was not aware that it was taken out in many other versions. Now that I do know, I will do some research and see why the references may have been removed.
Adding them back in would be a good idea if that was the original interpretation I think. Adding some more magic to the Bible cannot harm anything, and as you say, it might get more people to actually open the book and read for themselves about the unicorns and more.
It does add some credence to the idea that these are not mythical creatures and I like that too. My kids were always crazy about unicorns, as are my grandchildren.
For some reason, there is some mystical power that they bring out in people – imagination, dreams and hope, kindness and care are all terms and emotions I can think of that manifest themselves when you are around unicorns!
I´m not quite sure if the unicorn parts were just taken away from the modern version of the Bible, or did they just replace the word ´unicorn´ with another translation. I haven’t read the Bible with that much detail to be honest. Anyhow, the word ´unicorn´ can not be found in the modern version of the Bible.
Nobody seems to know what the original interpretation of the Hebrew word re´em was. However, ´unicorn´ is one of the possible translations, so it is not a wrong one. Besides, if unicorns were added to the Bible again, people could still decide themselves what the unicorns refer to. They could refer to real unicorns, or the unicorn could be a symbol to Jesus, God or something else.
Whatever interpretation people would make, I´m sure reading about unicorns in the Bible would bring people positive associations. Just like you mentioned, imagination, dreams and hope are brought out, when unicorns are mentioned. So, if it´s by any means relevant, I think unicorns should be mentioned whenever possible! 🙂
That’s a really interesting article, and one which tweaked my curiosity due to the fantasy novels I used to read when I was younger – I was a big fan of unicorns (and The Clash of The Titans movie!!!).
I think you’ve hit the nail on the head here when you suggest that the word ‘unicorn’ could mean something else within the text of the bible…although it could mean something else which is extremely close to the mythical animal. Do you think it could mean/be a similar, now extinct animal?
Happy to hear that, Chris! The Clash of the Titans, I haven’t seen that film. I´m gonna have to find it and watch it.
That´s a good question. The ´unicorn´, which is in Hebrew re´em, is commonly translated as a wild ox, which is an extinct animal. The ´unicorns´ in Bible are described as strong animals, so they could also be oxen.
But I´d like to believe they meant to say ´unicorn´, because unicorn is a mythical animal. Unicorn is also a symbol of purity and truth. A wild ox was a real and quite common animal when the Bible was written, so it makes more sense to me they would rather write about a unicorn; a mythical animal with religious symbolism.
Interesting subject regarding Unicorns and the Bible. Must confess I still read the King James version, the new version does not have the same charm as that of the James’ version.
It is an interesting point that if Unicorns were returned to the Bible, would it interest more the younger generation, the truth is unless they were returned we will never know.
Thank you for raising such an interesting point.
Thank you, Stuart! Really, you are still reading the King James version of the Bible? I understand you, because based on the parts of it I have read, the language is old and charming. And of course, the unicorns are mentioned!
Yes, someone would have to be the one to take the first step, so that unicorns could be returned to the Bible. Or then some church could just start using the King James version of the Bible, and see what would happen.
I have never once thought that unicorns were real but after reading this post it has got me thinking.
I’m not saying I believe they are real, or ever where but I love the idea of what they represented to different people but in my opinion they were just talking about a rhinosorous if I’m honest
I can imagine people reading the bits from the king James version of the bible and thinking it was about the devil but I don’t think that myself.
Do you really think they represented something or do you honk that they were a real animal years ago?
Many unicorn encounters in the history were indeed encounters with a rhino. People just didn’t know what rhinos (or unicorns) look like, so they thought they were unicorns.
I don´t think they were referring to the devil with the unicorn in the Bible. That is because the unicorn symbolized purity and truth. I think the unicorn in the Bible was mostly symbolic, but I´d like to believe unicorns have really existed, and actually still exist. They have become rare, but they are still hiding around the world.
Wow! How fascinating. I had always assumed that unicorns were fictional characters and hadn’t even considered the possibilities of them potentially being real. You make a very valid point and brought up good examples in the bible. I found this article very interesting. Thank you for taking the time to educate us!
Thank you for your feedback, I appreciate it. In history, people truly believed in unicorns. At least up until 17th century, majority of people in Europe believed unicorns were real animals.
I found your post so informative. I am a Muslim. But I have some knowledge about Bible. By reading your post I come to know about the Unicorns and their link with Bible. By researching you said that all the quotes about unicorn was mentioned in King James Version of the Bible. But it is not mentioned in the new version of the Bible. I think unicorns should be mentioned in the Bible again because I think this unicorn symbolises the truth, strength and purity. What do you think? Am I right or am I wrong?
Hi, thank you so much for your feedback. Also, very interesting having a Muslim´s point of view for this topic! I certainly agree, unicorns should be mentioned in the modern version of the Bible too. I think they were removed from the Bible, because unicorns were considered a fairy tale and thus out of date. But today, unicorns are very popular again, and we need the truth, strength and purity they represent. So, I think they match with the message of the Bible and Christianity.