Unicorns in the Bible

I have read in the Bible of Unicorns. People have said to me that it shows that the KJV is faulty. Can you explain to me what those were?

I addressed the question of unicorns in a Sunday School lesson on Job 39 (verses 9-12). I have copied some notes that I used from that lesson to show that the King James Bible is NOT faulty. I trust that you will be able to see that the new (per)versions and their supporters are the ones who are faulty, and they are in harmony with the enemies (pagans and unsaved skeptics) of God’s holy word.

5 questions are presented to Job concerning “the unicorn.” The questions all pertain to the ability to domesticate this animal. The answers are obviously answered in the negative. This animal cannot be domesticated.

Speaking of questions related to the unicorn, there are many folks out there that would raise doubts about this animal even though every word in this chapter came out of the mouth of God:

  • Most of the commentators wave the magic wand and transform the unicorn into a wild ox. This, of course, is done through unbelief. They don’t believe that there is such an animal as a unicorn.
  • Most, if not all, of the new versions think that “the unicorn” is a mistranslation and should be translated as “the wild ox.” I checked 4 of them: the NIV, the NKJV, the NRSV, and the Living Bible. Four for four. There are some problems with making the unicorn a wild ox:
    • The word unicorn means one-horned. That squares with Psalm 92:10 “But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil.” Wild oxen have 2 horns. The psalmist is likening his one horn to the one horn of the unicorn.
    • In addition, that horn is said to be exalted in Psalm 92:10. To me that indicates a straight horn that points up and not a couple of curved horns.

I read a comment in The Skeptics Annotated Bible, an on-line assault on the King James Bible. Here’s what this professing skeptic had to say about the unicorn in Job 39:9-10—“The unicorn referred to here is probably not the single-horned mythical creature, but rather a wild ox that was mistranslated in the KJV.” My question is: Where did this skeptic learn that the word unicorn was a mistranslation? Could it be that he/she has been listening to these Bible-correctors? If so, how embarrassing is that? How would you like your work and effort to be used by the enemies of God and His word as ammunition against the Lord’s children?

In doing some internet research on the unicorn, I stumbled upon a pagan website. This character had a shrewd observation about Christians who would recommend changing the unicorn into a wild ox: “…most don't realize that proclaiming unicorns 'silly' inadvertently places direct questions of accuracy on their own Bible. There are no less than ten verses in the KJV making direct reference to unicorns....” That’s what Bible-believers have been saying for years about those who say, “A better rendering would be…” or “It’s unfortunate that the King James translators chose this word…” or “The originals say…!” Another beautiful thing is that this pagan associated Christians with the King James Bible.

Of course, all of this reminds us of the first time the LORD said something to a human being on this earth and those words were attacked by devil himself. If you don’t know what I am talking about, read Genesis 2-3 very carefully. It’s all right there.

I came across a great article defending this passage this week. It was written by a man named Will Kinney. I have never heard of him before, but he offered an interesting guess as to what the unicorn might be. One definite possibility is the Indian rhinoceros, of which there are still about 2000 alive today. They used to cover large areas, but are now limited to India and Nepal. They weigh about 4,500 pounds, can run at over 20 miles an hour; they have one large horn on the snout and their scientific name is Rhinoceros UNICORNIS.

In the original 1611 edition of the KJB, the editors placed “or Rhinoceros” in the margin of Isaiah 34:7 where it reads: “And the unicorns shall come down with them.” It is still in the modern editions of the KJB. So the KJB editors were not ignorant of the possibility of the unicorn being a rhinoceros. I do not know, nor does any one else but God, what the unicorn was or is.

It was a one horned animal of great strength; it could not be tamed, and it is always used in a good and positive sense in Scripture. The KJB is not in error by translating this word as unicorn, but the modern versions are just taking a wild guess with their “wild oxen” and the other scriptures show their wild guess to be wrong.

Karl Lohman
Daily Proverb

Proverbs 16:22

Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it: but the instruction of fools is folly.