Sidebar to: Is the Bible full of fantastic creatures? Part 1: Jealous God and Unicorns?
First of all, let’s dispense with the idea that the Bible speaks of the mythical magical type of unicorns pictured above – the type that most people think about when they hear the word “unicorn”. In fact the word “unicorn”- as it is understood today, is so far removed from the meaning of the original Hebrew word ראם (reh-ahm) that modern translations have chosen to not even use the word, preferring instead “wild ox.” Some translations using “wild ox”: NIV, ESV, NKJV, NASB, NRSV among others. That’s appropriate since 1. “wild ox” is the primary meaning given in the standard reference – BDB and 2. Its a word that could refer to what many commentators conclude the Hebrew word points to – the aurochs – a wild ox now extinct. The problem with that understanding is that all the wild oxen we’re familiar with have two horns. Which gets back to the main question I want to examine: