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Bible Dictionaries

Morrish Bible Dictionary


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The Hebrew word is reem, translated in the LXX by ἁδρός, and μονοκέρως, from the last of which the A.V. adopted the rendering 'unicorn.' There is nothing in the scripture to intimate that the animal had but one horn, indeed Deuteronomy 33:17 speaks of 'the horns of a unicorn' (see margin ), and it must have been some animal with which the Israelites were familiar. Its great strength and untamableness are the main characteristics: it cannot be utilised, as the tame ox, for agricultural purposes. Numbers 23:22; Numbers 24:8; Deuteronomy 33:17; Job 39:9,10; Psalm 29:6; Psalm 92:10; Isaiah 34:7 . The Lord asked to be saved from the lion's mouth, for Jehovah had heard Him from the horns of the unicorns (Psalm 22:21 ), to which His implacable enemies are compared. It is most probable thata species of wild ox, the Bos primigenius, is referred to; these may have been known in Palestine, as was the lion, though they are now extinct. This is confirmed by the wild ox being sculptured in an Assyrian bas-relief, with the name reem or rim over it.

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Morrish, George. Entry for 'Unicorn'. Morrish Bible Dictionary. 1897.

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