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Bible Dictionaries

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary


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One-horned, corresponding to the word Monoceros, by which the original Hebrew REEM is translated by the Seventy. The Hebrew word means erect, and has no reference to the number of horns. Most interpreters now understand it of the wild buffalo of the Eastern continents, the Bos Bubalus of Linaeus, resembling the American buffalo, but having larger horns and no dewlap. This animal has the appearance of uncommon strength. The bulk of his body, and his prodigious muscular limbs, denote his force at the first view, Numbers 23:22 . His aspect is ferocious and malignant, and at the same time stupid. His head is of ponderous size; his eyes diminutive; and what serves to render his visage still more savage, are the tufts of frizzled hair which hang down from his cheeks and the lower part of his mouth, Job 39:9-12 Psalm 22:21 .

Wild buffalo occur in many parts of Africa and India, where they live in great troops in the forests, and are regarded as excessively fierce and dangerous animals. The hunters never venture in any numbers to oppose these ferocious animals face to face; but conceal themselves in the thickets or in the branches of the trees, whence they attack the buffaloes as they pass along.

In Egypt, as also in Southern Europe, the buffalo has been partially domesticated in comparatively modern times. Travelers also find it in parts of Syria, Persia, and India. It is less docile than the ox, retaining a remnant of ferocity and intractability, together with a wild and lowering aspect. It is commonly driven and guided by means of a ring in the nose. To the ancient Hebrews, however, it seems to have been known only in its wild state, savage, ferocious, and often immensely large.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of the topics are from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary published in 1859.

Bibliography Information
Rand, W. W. Entry for 'Unicorn'. American Tract Society Bible Dictionary. 1859.

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