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June 18, 2011

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Q: What does the Bible say about unicorns?

A: Recent publicity about the Ark Encounter project has unleashed a good deal of ridicule claiming that the ark will feature fanciful unicorns. But the unicorns mentioned in the Bible—not only in English King James Version but also in other languages—are not the fairy tale creatures many people think of nowadays, but real creatures familiar to the people living in those ancient times.

The biblical unicorn was a real animal, not an imaginary horse-like creature. The nine Old Testament verses which refer to unicorns do so in the context of familiar animals—peacocks and eagles, lambs and lions, bullocks and goats, donkeys and horses, dogs and calves. Furthermore, the biblical unicorns also behave like ordinary animals—skipping like calves (Psalm 29:6) and bleeding when they die (Isaiah 34:7).

God reminded Job of the characteristics of a variety of impressive animals He had created, showing Job that God was far above man in power, strength, and understanding. Speaking of the unicorn, God told Job that the unicorn had great strength but could not be tamed for agricultural labor (Job 39:9–12). If God had used an imaginary creature to make His point, Job would have learned nothing.


Continue reading to learn more about unicorns in the Bible and what real creature this might be.

News to Note Quick Look

Molecular clock off-line: The first direct measurement of human mutation rates ever done, published in Nature Genetics, contains surprises which call molecular clock assumptions into question and prompt some re-thinking of our genetic understanding. Read more.


Priesthood of science: Ever since Louisiana passed a law allowing teachers to “use supplemental textbooks . . . to help students critique and review scientific theories,” those who fear such academic freedom have clamored for its repeal. The latest attack has come in response to Congresswoman Michele Bachman’s public support for her state’s legislation. Read more.


Also:

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