Who knew there were actually Bible verses about unicorns? Most of us read more modern translations and so we miss out on the fact that unicorns are actually mentioned in the (KJV) Bible.
When I saw the mention of unicorns and the Bible in the same sentence, I had to know more. So I started searching for more information.
Here's what I found:
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Unicorns in the Bible
Yes, there really are unicorns in the Bible. But you won't be able to find them in just any Bible you have. It's a translation thing. 400 years ago, that's the way certain verses were translated into English.
In the last 100 years, different words were used.
How many times is a unicorn mentioned in the Bible? Unicorns are mentioned 9 times across 8 passages in the King James version of the Bible.
Bible Verses About Unicorns
It may seem weird or crazy, but YES! There are Bible verses about unicorns! Most view them simply as mythical creatures and not something that ever actually existed.
But the biblical “unicorn” is not what you think it is. It comes down to Strongs Concordance #H7214, Unicorn.
The KJV translation seems to be the only one that actually uses the word “unicorn.”
Most modern translations will say “Wild Ox,” or “Bull” instead of Unicorn, sadly. But either way, it appears to be referring to an extinct variety of animal.
Let's compare these Bible verses in the KJV and another, more recent translation to see what we can learn about Biblical unicorns.
- Numbers 23:22 KJV: God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn.
- Numbers 23:22 ESV: God brings them out of Egypt and is for them like the horns of the wild ox.
This is cool, showing God's strength in a tangible comparison to something they would have been familiar with, a very strong and powerful untamed animal.
- Numbers 24:8 KJV: God brought him forth out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn: he shall eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their bones, and pierce [them] through with his arrows.
- Numbers 24:8 CSB: God brought him out of Egypt; he is like the horns of a wild ox for them. He will feed on enemy nations and gnaw their bones; he will strike them with his arrows.
Like the horns of the wild ox, or the strength of the unicorn is God's defense and protection of his people. He rescued them from Egypt and then actively takes care of all other enemies
So we don't need to be afraid, since he's always on duty!
- Deuteronomy 33:17 KJV: 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.
- Deuteronomy 33:17 NLT: Joseph has the majesty of a young bull; he has the horns of a wild ox. He will gore distant nations, driving them to the ends of the earth. This is my blessing for the multitudes of Ephraim and the thousands of Manasseh.”
When Jacob was giving his deathbed blessings, he blessed Joseph's strength and sharpness, comparing him to a Unicorn, saying it was to be a blessing for generations to come.
- Job 39:9-10 KJV: Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib? Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee?
- Job 39:9-10 NLT: “Will the wild ox consent to being tamed? Will it spend the night in your stall? Can you hitch a wild ox to a plow? Will it plow a field for you?”
So we've seen Unicorns in the Bible as examples of God's strength and care. Now we're being asked if we really think that great creature (or God himself) will serve us or be tamed to do what we want…
It's pretty ridiculous when we actually think about it like that, isn't it? Think about horses and cattle, and all that's needed to get them to do our will. How much more for such a majestic and powerful unicorn, wild ox, or Creator of the universe!!
- Psalm 22:21 KJV: Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.
- Psalm 22:21 ESV: Save me from the mouth of the lion! You have rescued me from the horns of the wild oxen!
Isn't that awesome? Crying out for help, based on the track record of prior rescues!
- Psalm 29:6 KJV: He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn.
- Psalm 29:6 NLT: He makes Lebanon’s mountains skip like a calf; he makes Mount Hermon leap like a young wild ox.
This chapter is talking about the power of the Lord's voice and giving him honor.
He can even make mountains dance like young animals. We've been watching a litter of baby goats dancing and leaping all over. It's awesome. Picturing a mountain doing that because God said to, just Wow!
Better than the best Christian Fantasy books!
- Psalm 92:10 KJV: But my horn shalt thou exalt like [the horn of] an unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil.
- Psalm 92:10 NLT: But you have made me as strong as a wild ox. You have anointed me with the finest oil.
There are a number of verses that show God giving us strength and honor. I thing this one's especially cool, since it is talking about unicorns!
- Isaiah 34:7 KJV: 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.
- Isaiah 34:7 ESV: Wild oxen shall fall with them, and young steers with the mighty bulls. Their land shall drink its fill of blood, and their soil shall be gorged with fat.
This is one of those verses talking about God taking vengeance against the enemies of the children of Israel. It isn't a fun passage but important nonetheless.
Even if you have been blessed with the strength of a unicorn or a wild ox, you do not want to mess with the people of Israel. God's got their backs!
So, these Bible verses about unicorns are pretty special. And overall, the unicorn shows up as a gracious symbol of the way God takes care of his people.
What a gift he has given us! Now whenever I see a painting or sticker book of unicorns, I will have different thoughts.
Thoughts of hope and comfort, feelings of safety and being cared for. How about you?