A typical Bible Agnostic (he doesn't know for sure what God said in many places) and unbeliever in the inerrancy of ANY Bible in ANY language - including "the" Hebrew and much less in "the" Greek - named Jared N. mocks the King James Bible, saying: "One of the best things about not being KJV only is I don't have to believe in unicorns." Then he posted this picture seen here below.
I respond to his post, saying:
So, Jared N., can you tell us what is the best thing about you being a Bible Agnostic and an unbeliever in the inerrancy of ANY Bible?
Oh, and by the way, unicorns DO exist. They just aren't what you think they are.
Is the word "unicorn" wrong in the King James Bible?
Then after I gave him the link to my article about Unicorns, he immediately posts more mocking comments. Of course he did not at all bother to actually READ the article I gave him. Such people are not looking for answers. They are looking for problems and they LIKE being their own authority, and the vast majority of them are just too dishonest to admit the FACT that there is NO Bible on this earth that any of them really believes IS now or ever WAS the complete and inerrant words of God. We do live in interesting times.
Bible Translations that say UNICORN
The King James Bible is not at all alone in translating this specific Hebrew word as unicorn. In fact the word unicorn is found in the Latin Vulgate of 382 A.D. - "et a cornibus unicornium", Wycliffs translation 1395, Tyndale 1525 (he translated part of the Old Testament before he was killed), Coverdale?s Bible 1535, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew's Bible 1549, the Bishops Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, the Douay-Rheims bible of 1610 (Psalm 22:21; 29:6; 92:10 and Isaiah 34:7), The Bill Bible 1671, The Smith Bible 1876, George Lamsa's 1933 translation of the Syriac Peshitta (Deut. 33:17; Job 39:9-10 and Isaiah 34:7), the so called Greek Septuagint version, Las Sagradas Escrituras of 1569 by Cassiodoro de Reina, as well as the Spanish Cipriano de Valera of 1602, all of which preceded the King James Bible.
Foreign Language Bibles
Bibles that have UNICORNS in them.
Other Bibles that read UNICORN are The Modern Greek translation of the Old Testament "monokeros" (not to be confused with the so called LXX),
The Modern Greek Bible - Psalms 22:21 - Σωσον με εκ στοματος λεοντος και εισακουσον μου, ελευθερονων με απο κερατων μονοκερωτων. = horns of unicorns.
The Modern Greek Bible also has UNICORNS in Numbers23:33; Deuteronomy 33:17 - και τα κερατα αυτου ως τα κερατα του μονοκερωτος· = and his horns as the horns of the unicorn., and in Job 39:9-10, Psalms 29:6, 92:10 and in Isaiah 34:7 - Και οι μονοκεροι θελουσι καταβη μετ' αυτων - And the UNICORNS will come down with them
This Online Hebrew Interlinear Bible - "Be willing will THE UNICORN to serve thee?, or abide by thy crib? Canst thou bind THE UNICORN in the furrow?
The Jewish Virtual Library The Tanakh [Full Text] 1994
has UNICORNS in Psalms 22:21 - "Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.", Psalms 29:6, Psalms 92:10; Job 39:9-10 and in Isaiah 34:7
The Bill Bible 1671, The Smith Bible 1876, The Brenton Translation 1851, The Thompson Bible 1808, Daniel Webster?s translation of the Bible 1833, The Longman Version 1841, Darby's translation of 1890, Lamsa's 1933 Bible translation of the Syraic Peshitta, the 1936 edition of the Masoretic Scriptures put out by the Hebrew Publishing Company of New York, the Catholic Douay version of 1950, The Word of JAH translation 1993, the 21st Century King James Version 1994, The Revised Webster Bible 1995, the Third Millennium Bible 1998, God's First Truth 1999, the Apostolic Bible Polyglot English of 2003 - "Shall be willing And to you the UNICORN to serve? (Job 39:9), The Revised Geneva Bible 2005, the Complete Apostles' Bible of 2005 - "And will THE UNICORN be willing to serve you, or to lie down at your manger?", the Apostolic Bible 2006 - "will be willing THE UNICORN to serve you?", English Jubilee Bible 2010, Biblos Interlinear Bible 2013, the Hebraic Transliteration Scriptures 2010 by Yerusha Shen "from the horns of the UNICORNS" (Ps. 22:21), the Work of God's Children's Illustrated Bible 2011 - "from the horns of THE UNICORNS." and The New Brenton Translation 2012, and The New English Septuagint Translation 2014 - "Save me from a lion's mouth, and my lowliness from the horns of UNICORNS!" Psalm 22:21
The New Brenton Translation 2012 -
Isaiah 34:7 - “And shall come down THE UNICORNS with them and the bulls… and their land shall be soaked with blood”
Interlinear Hebrew Old Testament
Psalms 22:21 etc. "thou hast heard me from the horns of THE UNICORNS"
The Modern Greek Bible (totally different from the so called Greek Septuagint) has the word monokeros in these same Old Testament passages, and if you look at a Modern Greek dictionary, the word simply means a UNICORN! Here is an online Greek dictionary with both Greek and English. http://www.kypros.org/cgi-bin/lexicon
Just type in the word monokeros for Greek to English, or on the other side (English to Greek) type in the word unicorn. There you will clearly see that the way to say unicorn is this same Greek word, and the Modern Greek Bible has unicorns in these same Old Testament passages.
The Greek Septuagint (LXX). Regardless of when you think this Greek translation of the Old Testament was made or by whom, this version is chock-full of satyrs, devils, dragons, and unicorns. The word unicorns is found in Numbers 23:22; Deuteronomy 33:17; Job 39:9; Psalms 22:21; 29:6; 78:69, and 92:10. Brenton's translation of the Greek Septuagint Job 39:9 - "And will THE UNICORN be willing to serve thee, or to lie down at thy manger?"
Some King James Bible critics hypocritically tell us that the KJB translators followed the so called Greek Septuagint (LXX) when they translated the word as "unicorn". This objection is both hypocritical and false. Hypocritical because all modern versions like the NASB, RSV, ESV, NIV frequently reject the clear Hebrew readings and follow one of the various LXX readings, and false because in Deut. 33:17 where the KJB and others rightly have the plural "unicorns" the KJB margin says: "HEBREW - an unicorn". Notice that it does NOT say "LXX - an unicorn".
One other verse that puts the lie to the modern versions use of “wild ox”, besides the reference in Job, is Psalms 92:10. ‘But my HORN shalt thou exalt like the HORN of AN UNICORN.” The NASB, NIV, NKJV read: “You have exalted my HORN like THAT OF A WILD OX.” Now, I ask you a simple question. How many horns does a wild ox have? Not one, but two.
Psalm 92:10 Wycliffe 1395 - And myn horn schal be reisid as an VNICORN; and myn eelde in plenteuouse merci.
Bishop's Bible 1568 - But my horne shalbe exalted lyke the horne of an VNICORNE: for I am annoynted with excellent oyle.
Coverdale 1535 - But my horne shalbe exalted like the horne of an VNICORNE, & shal be anoynted with fresh oyle.
The Great Bible 1540 - "Psalm 92:10 But my horne shalbe exalted like the horne of an UNICORNE, for I am anoynted with fresh oyle."
Matthew's Bible (John Rogers) 1549 - "Psalm 92:10 But my horne shalbe exalted like þe horne of an VNICORNE, & shalbe anoynted wyth fresh oyle.
Geneva Bible 1599 - But thou shalt exalt mine horne, like the VNICORNES, and I shalbe anoynted with fresh oyle.
Douay-Rheims version of 1610 - Psalm 92 - "But my horn shall be exalted like that of the UNICORN"
Douay Version of 1950 - Psalm 92:10 (91:11) - "But my horn shall be exalted like that of the UNICORN..."
Brenton's English Septuagint Translation - "But my horn shall be exalted as the horn of a UNICORN"
Complete Apostles Bible 2003 - "my horn shall be exalted as the horn of a UNICORN"
Third Millennium Bible 1998 - But my horn shalt Thou exalt like the horn of a UNICORN; I shall be anointed with fresh oil.
The Catholic Sacred Scriptures Public Domain Version 2009 - Psalm 92 - "And my horn will be exalted like that of the single-horned beast"
This latest Catholic bible version has "rhinoceros" in Numbers, Deuteronomy, Job, but "single horned beast" in Psalm 22, 29, 92 and the Isaiah 34:7 passage. And what exactly is a "single horned beast"? It's a unicorn!
The Catholic Connection
Previous Catholic Bibles - Unicorns
The Catholic Douai-Rheims 1610 and the 1950 edition of the Douay Version.
Psalm 22:21 - Save me from the lion's mouth; and my lowness from the horns of the UNICORNS.
Psalm 29:6 - And shall reduce them to pieces, as a calf of Libanus, and as the beloved son of UNICORNS.
Psalm 78:69 - And he built his sanctuary as of UNICORNS, in the land which he founded for ever.
Psalm 92:10 - But my horn shall be exalted like that of the UNICORN: and my old age in plentiful mercy.
Isaiah 34:7 - And the UNICORNS shall go down with them, and the bulls with the mighty: their land shall be soaked with blood, and their ground with the fat of fat ones.
The Douay Version 1950
Psalms 21:22 - Save me from the lion' s mouth; and my lowness from the horns of the UNICORNS.
Psalms 28:6 - And shall reduce them to pieces, as a calf of Libanus, and as the beloved son of UNICORNS.
Psalms 77:69 - And he built his sanctuary as of UNICORNS, in the land which he founded for ever.
Isaias (Isaiah) 34:7 - And the UNICORNS shall go down with them, and the bulls with the mighty: their land shall be soaked with blood, and their ground with the fat of fat ones.
BUT NOW, the modern Catholic Versions - The Catholic St. Joseph New American Bible 1970 and the New Jerusalem bible 1985 -
Many other modern versions can't even agree among themselves how to translate this word. Compare these other translations of Psalm 92:10
Rotherham's Emphasized bible 1902, Darby's translation - Thou wilt exalt, as those of THE BUFFALO, my horn, I have been anointed, with fresh oil.
Young's 'literal' - And Thou exaltest as a REEM my horn, I have been anointed with fresh oil.
Green's 'literal' - But You will lift up my horn as THE WILD OX, and I will be anointed with fresh oil.
Bible in Basic English 1960 - But my horn is lifted up like the horn of THE OX
Some would criticize the KJB in Deuteronomy 33:17 where Moses is blessing Israel. He says: "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."
The Oxford and Cambridge KJB editions say in the marginal note: Hebrew - unicorn. This is a masculine singular absolute noun. Yet it is rendered as a plural "unicorns" not only by the KJB but also by Lamsa's 1936 translation of the Syriac Peshitta - " his horns are like the horns of unicorns", Websters Bible 1833, the Third Millennium Bible 1998 and the 21st Century KJV 1994. Those who criticze the KJB for rendering a singular noun as a plural are showing their selective use of the Hebrew language.
Brother in Christ and fellow King James Bible believer Dr. Larry Bednar points out - "The KJV horns of unicorns is literally horns of unicorn, horns of him in the Hebrew, but Hebrew for singular unicorn and him does not apply to a single wild ox noted in the NIV. The Hebrew suffix of horns signifies the regular plurality of a group, not dual plurality of one ox with two horns. Context refers to Joseph, so the Hebrew singular sense refers to the unicorn as a single species, and him has the singular sense of a group that this pronoun frequently displays, so horns of unicorns is correct. Horns of a wild ox in the NIV is not acceptable grammatically since it indicates one animal. Horns of the wild ox (the species), as the NASV has it, is the correct grammatical sense, but the isn't in the text, and resultant error confuses readers about the identity of the animal that fits the context. Modern versions sacrifice literality of language unnecessarily by use of a or the to justify use of wild ox."
So the person who tries to attack the KJB for rendering a singular noun as a plural, just doesn?t know what he is talking about. Because of the "horns" plural, the KJB has made the singular noun as plural in the context. There are many words like this in English which can be either singular or plural like: deer, sheep, moose, elk, fish and trout etc.
The historic rabbinic commentary (Ibn Ezra, Radaq, Rashi, Saadi Gaon et. al.) views on Deuteronomy 33:17, and the re'em question in general support the King James reading in Deuteronomy. As an example Radaq (Kimchi) is considered, historically, as the single most important Hebrew linguist and grammatical expert. Go to the link (it is still active as of Feb. 2010) and scroll down to Discussion #115 where he talks about the Lion and the Unicorn.
Rabbi David Kimchi (Safer HaShorashim, RAEM): His horns are like the horns of UNICORNS (Deuteronomy 33:17). "It is intended to mean that his horns are like the horns of (several) UNICORNS for the Raem has only one horn."
The Unicorn was a one horned animal of some kind. I don't think we know for sure what it was, but it was not a wild ox as the NKJV, NASB, NIV have it. It could not be tamed (Job 39: 9, 10) and Psalm 92:10 is speaking of a one horned animal, while the "wild ox" of the NKJV, NIV, NASB has two horns; not just one.
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.
Jerome in the 4th century translated the Hebrew word Reem as Rhinocerotis five times and Unicornis four times. Jerome studied Hebrew under the Jews before he began his translation of the OT, thus it is from the Jews directly that Jerome derived his definitions.
The Unicorn 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.
See also the related article called "Satyrs, Dragons, Unicorns and Cockatrices
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The King James Bible is right, as always.
All of grace, believing The Book,
Objection Raised by the Bible Critics.
Some Bible critics I have run into tell us that the KJB's "unicorns" meaning "rhinoceros" is wrong because there are no rhinos in Israel. BUT the fact remains, they have discovered the bones of rhinos in the land of Israel, proving that they did in fact live in that area of the world in the past.
Rare Paleolithic Site Filled With Animal Bones Uncovered at Israeli Quarry.
(Note: though I disagree with their timeline of 170,000 years ago, the fact remains that Rhinos once lived in the land of Israel.)
?The large pit, settled 170,000 years ago, contains BONES OF RHINOS and an extinct species of wild cattle.
The newest finding is an enormous quantities of auroch bones ? an extinct species of large wild cattle that is the ancestor of domestic cattle ? which were found, together with the bones of other large mammals such as horse, RHINOCEROS and fallow deer, and of smaller animals including gazelles and land turtles. They were uncovered in 2010 and 2011 in rescue digs carried out by Yossi Zaidner of the University of Haifa?s Zinman Institute of Archaeology.?
Notes from the Internet -
A couple of years after writing this article, someone at Answers in Genesis posted this
Some writers who hold to the two-horned identity think that the KJV translators substituted the plural unicorns for the singular an unicorn in Deuteronomy 33:17 because they were uncomfortable with the idea of a two-horned unicorn.
However, the KJV translators themselves noted the literal translation an unicorn in their own margin note. They likely chose the plural rendering to fit the context of the verse. Deuteronomy 33:17 (KJV) states, "His [Joseph's] 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."
The verse compares the tribal descendants of Joseph's "horns", meaning descendants of his two sons Ephraim and Manasseh, with the strong horns of unicorns. A possible interpretation is that horns is plural because there are two sons in view, and unicorn is referenced because the unicorn's horn is so incredibly strong.
As Rabbi David Kimchi noted in the 13th century, several horns belonging to several unicorns are in view here because the Hebrew word refers to a one-horned animal. Another possible interpretation is that the two-horned rhinoceros was in view here. This two-horned animal has one larger horn and one smaller horn, just like the number of descendants of Ephraim was larger than the number of Manasseh?s descendants.
Incidentally, the translation of a singular noun as a plural is actually a common practice in all translation work when the context and linguistics so warrant, not only in secular translation but in the King James Version we have in view here. The idea that the King James translators were trying to do something sneaky with the language is wrong; they were simply using the context to make sure the meaning was clear and correct, and they even made note of what they were doing in their own margin notes.
Giant 'Siberian unicorn' existed much more recently than previously thought, experts say.
Unicorn or Wild oxen in Numbers 23:22 et al.
"God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn." (Numbers 23:22, KJV)
From KJV Today -
The KJV has been criticized for mentioning creatures that are supposedly mythical. Unicorns are one of them. However, unicorns are not mythical creatures. They are called Rhinoceros Unicornis (Indian Rhinoceros) and each one has one horn on its head. “Unicorn” simply means “one horn.” The KJV margin for “unicorns” in Isaiah 34:7 reads “Or, Rhinoceros” so the KJV translators were not foolish as to think of the unicorn as the mythical horse with a magical horn.
Image by Albrecht Dürer (1515): from Wikipedia entry on "Indian rhinoceros"
Some critics point to Deuteronomy 33:17 and assert that the KJV erroneously translates a singular noun in the plural by translating (reem) as "unicorns." These critics allege that the KJV translators fudged the numbers of the unicorns from singular to plural in order to accommodate the fact that "horns" in the plural are mentioned (a unicorn should have only one horn).