I would like to tackle this misunderstanding in this blog post. There are many atheists who try to disprove the Bible by saying that It cannot be taken seriously because It mentions “unicorns“. Is this a valid argument? We want to see what the Bible really has to say on the subject rather than someone’s misreading of a few verses. One atheist claims that “unicorns” are mentioned in the Bible 9 times. Some of the passages are as follows;
1) Job 39:9-12
2) Isaiah 34:7
3) Psalm 29:6
4) Numbers 23:22
5) Deuteronomy 33:17
6) Psalm 22:21
I will present parallel versions from 2 different translations and then explain the misunderstanding. All you have to do is put forth a little effort to research the original words and everything becomes clear. The atheists obviously do not want to put forth the effort. Or, they are being ignorant on purpose (as the Bible says about them).
9 Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib? 10 Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee? 11 Wilt thou trust him, because his strength is great? or wilt thou leave thy labour to him? 12 Wilt thou believe him, that he will bring home thy seed, and gather it into thy barn? (Job 39:9-12 KJV)
9 “Will the wild ox consent to serve you, Or will he spend the night at your manger ? 10 “Can you bind the wild ox in a furrow with ropes, Or will he harrow the valleys after you? 11 “Will you trust him because his strength is great And leave your labor to him? 12 “Will you have faith in him that he will return your grain And gather it from your threshing floor ? (Job 39:9-12 NAS)
The problem lies in the origin of the translation. The NAS Bible is a direct translation from the original Hebrew and Greek. The KJV is as well but with a twist. Some of the translation of the Hebrew is from the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures) The translation “unicorn” in the KJV comes from the Greek version (Septuagint) of the Hebrew Bible. The Septuagint translated the original Hebrew word “reh-ame“one horned animal (not a mythical unicorn). The early English translators just used the word for the mythical one horned animal unicorn that existed in the common vocabulary. The atheists’ problem is in the bad translation, not the Bible. Back to the “one horned animal”. There are a couple of options as to what this could be. The NAS translated it as “wild ox”. This animal could have been the auroch (which is now extinct) or it could have been another extinct form of ox that we are not familiar with. The Hebrew word itself was unfamiliar to the translators of the Septuagint. The base word “Ra’am” is “to rise up” so they (the original Hebrew writers) could have been talking about the horns (plural) that rose up from the head of the animal. There is no mention of unicorns in the Bible. The atheists have a problem with a poor English translation instead of the Bible Itself.
The Bible says that “His work is perfect” (speaking of God). There are no mistakes in the Bible. People may make mistakes but God does not. Instead of trying to find fault with God and His Word, maybe you should study your own faults more thoroughly. You will find that we as people have many and that is why we need help from the One who is perfect in all of His ways. We also learn that “The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul”. You will not find a mistake in the Word of God. That is why you should search the Scriptures instead of just believing everything you hear or read. May God help us know Him and His Word so that we can spot something false right away.