11 February 2015

God is as strong as a unicorn!

God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn. Numbers 23:22

God brought him forth out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn: he shall eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their bones, and pierce them through with his arrows. Numbers 23:22

Unicorns are mentioned nine times in the King James Bible. (Numbers 23:22, 24:8; Deuteronomy 33:17; Job 39:9, 39:10; Psalm 22:21, 29:6, 92:10; Isaiah 34:7) Modern versions prefer to translate the Hebrew word re'em as "wild ox" to avoid the embarrassment having mythical creatures in the holy book. And I am often criticized (by believers and skeptics) for highlighting the "unicorns" in the SAB.

But now the issue has been settled by Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell of Answers in Genesis. The unicorns in the Bible were real, and God is just as strong as they were (maybe even stronger).

As evidence for this, Dr. Mitchell points to God's speech to Job, after God and Satan finished tormenting Job to settle their bet. God lectured Job about unicorns, saying that they were too wild and strong for anyone to tame.

Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib? Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee? Wilt thou trust him, because his strength is great? or wilt thou leave thy labour to him? Wilt thou believe him, that he will bring home thy seed, and gather it into thy barn? Job 39:9-12

God, she says, wouldn't use "an imaginary fantasy animal" to make his point (whatever that may have been).

Further, Dr. Mitchell points out "that The Bible describes unicorns ... bleeding when they die (Isaiah 34:7)." Here's the quote, in context, from Isaiah:

For my sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse, to judgment. The sword of the Lord is filled with blood, it is made fat with fatness, and with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams: for the Lord hath a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Idumea. And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness. Isaiah 34:5-7

God's sword is made with fatness and filled with blood; someday God will soak the ground with unicorn blood and turn the dust into unicorn fat.

And then, as if we needed any more proof, there are the quotes from Numbers. God will "eat up the nations ... break their bones, and pierce them through with his arrows." If we don't believe in unicorns, how can we believe that God will eat nations, break bones, and pierce people with his arrows?

So the Bible is clear: God is every bit as strong as a unicorn. Heck, I bet he's even stronger.


Jerome said...

The NET Bible translates Num 23:22 like this:

23:22 God brought them out of Egypt.They have, as it were, the strength of a wild bull.


Steve Wells said...

Yeah, that's strange. I wonder who the "they" is supposed to refer to. God, the Egyptians, or the Israelites?

It looks like the New English Translation is uncomfortable with comparing God's strength with that of any anmial -- imaginary or real. So they say "they" instead of "he".

Which figures, since, as we all know, "the New English Translation (NET) is straight out of the pits of Hell."

Mplsmndude said...

One imaginary thing comparing itself to another. Why not compare itself to Rudolph the red nosed reindeer?


Stephen said...

It's complicated. But the unicorn in the picture at the top certainly doesn't look wild. In fact, it looks like it is really enjoying the gentle touch of the bare-breasted maiden's hand... could the horn be a little more turgid than usual?
Steve Weeks

Steve Wells said...

Yes, Steve, the maiden's breast is bare for a reason. It's the only way to catch a unicorn. Here's how St. Isidore of Seville explained it: "The unicorn is too strong to be caught by hunters, except by a trick: if a virgin girl is placed in front of a unicorn and she bares her breast to it, all of its fierceness will cease and it will lay its head on her bosom, and thus quieted is easily caught."

Stephen said...

Steve, I can't believe I made that up and got so close to being right. Maybe there's a future for me in theology!
Steve Weeks

Steve Wells said...

Yeah, I think you're on your way to becoming a great theologian.

With regard to unicorns, though, just remember that the unicorn represents Jesus and the bare-breasted maiden represents Mary. Jesus loves virgins, that's why you must have one to kill a unicorn. But when you go unicorn hunting, make sure your bare-breasted maiden is really a virgin. Otherwise the unicorn will rip her apart. (You can read all about it here.)