The never-ceasing-to-surprise-me Answers in Genesis website has posted a new entry, titled “Unicorns in the Bible?” by a certain Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell. It makes for an interesting read…for a 5 year old maybe. The whole point of the entry is to say that “unicorns must have existed, because God wouldn’t make stuff up”. Here’s a short review of the really childish arguments Dr. Mitchell presents.
First she starts of with this:
However, the biblical unicorn was a real animal, not an imaginary creature. The Bible refers to the unicorn in the context of familiar animals, such as peacocks, lambs, lions, bullocks, goats, donkeys, horses, dogs, eagles, and calves (Job 39:9–12 KJV.1)
In fact if you follow the same link to Job 39:9-12 this is what it actually says:
9 Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib?
10 Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee?
11 Wilt thou trust him, because his strength is great? or wilt thou leave thy labour to him?
12 Wilt thou believe him, that he will bring home thy seed, and gather it into thy barn?
I fail to make the link between what is said above and all the animals she lists. The funny thing is that she has a specific set of animals in mind, just the ones she listed not more not less. How do I know? Because she ends her list with “eagles, and calves”. The “and” indicates that calves is the last of the list. Now, it may be just me, but that sounds like completely made up bullshit to me. Nowhere in Job 39:9-12, do they mention lions or eagles or calves (not in the online quote they link to anyway, I did not pull out my Bible to double check). So where the hell is this lady getting her list from? And how does that imply that the unicorn was a real animal? Simply because God talks about it as if it was an animal? How else would he talk about an animal? What kind of an argument is that?
Job had to be familiar with the animals on God’s list for the illustration to be effective. God points out in Job 39:9–12 that the unicorn, “whose strength is great,” is useless for agricultural work, refusing to serve man or “harrow (plow) the valley.” This visual aid gave Job a glimpse of God’s greatness. An imaginary fantasy animal would have defeated the purpose of God’s illustration.
Oh man that settles the argument. Why would an imaginary fantasy God talk about an imaginary fantasy animal? Because it’s all made up mythology, that’s why! Why would God talk about an imaginary flood? Why would God talk about an imaginary guy being swallowed by a whale and coming back out unscathed? I don’t know. Could it be that the half stoned, medieval writers who MADE UP the Bible just thought it’d be fun to talk about such stuff! Surely, they never expected anyone to buy this shit!
The absence of a unicorn in the modern world should not cause us to doubt its past existence. (Think of the dodo bird. It does not exist today, but we do not doubt that it existed in the past.). Eighteenth century reports from southern Africa described rock drawings and eyewitness accounts of fierce, single-horned, equine-like animals. One such report describes “a single horn, directly in front, about as long as one’s arm, and at the base about as thick . . . . [It] had a sharp point; it was not attached to the bone of the forehead, but fixed only in the skin.”3
She continues to betray her ignorance of the scientific method. Of course we do not doubt unicorns simply because they don’t exist today. That’s stupid to even imply. How many extinct species, some ranging back millions of years do we accept as having existed? The difference is that we have evidence of such animals existing, BONES BONES BONES and FOSSILS FOSSILS FOSSILS. Does the good “doctor” have any tanginble evidence beyond hear-say from somewhere in south Africa. And since when are paintings, which in lots of cases are artistic expressions which need not be bound by the laws of reality, accepted as proof of anything? And how the hell is a horn as thick and long as a human arm, stay in place if it is not attached to the forehead bone? It would rip the skin right of the poor animal’s head!
However, the linguistics of the text cannot conclusively prove how many horns the biblical unicorn had. While modern translations typically translate re’em as “wild ox,” the King James Version (1611), Luther’s German Bible (1534), the Septuagint, and the Latin Vulgate translated this Hebrew word with words meaning “one-horned animal.”13
Now what part of the world is this lady from? Anywhere I’ve been, everything I’ve read, any mentioning of unicorns ever, always refers to them as a horse with a single horn, smack in the middle of their forehead. And these Christians need to get their act together. The first step would be to properly translate the Bible so we’re all working with the same copy. What good is this whole conversation if we were talking about wild ox?
And, of course, here’s the climatic ending to this embarrasing rant:
The importance of the biblical unicorn is not so much its specific identity—much as we would like to know—but its reality. The Bible is clearly describing a real animal. The unicorn mentioned in the Bible was a powerful animal possessing one or two strong horns—not the fantasy animal that has been popularized in movies and books. Whatever it was, it is now likely extinct like many other animals. To think of the biblical unicorn as a fantasy animal is to demean God’s Word, which is true in every detail.
Of course it’s specific identity matters, how can we be sure of it’s reality if we can’t even establish it’s identity? Whatever, I’ll let it go. What? A UNIcorn has two horns? Where the fuck did this come from? I thought she was making the case that we don’t know if the unicorn had one horn. But where did the number two come from? Why not three, four, fifteen? I guess God’s word wasn’t precise enough to even shed some light on how many horns the damn thing had. I also guess God’s word is true in every detail, except the one regarding the number of horns on a unicorn. I hope this does not demean his word….much! This lady is a lunatic, deluded soul! We really need to pray that she comes over to the side of sanity before it’s too late. If only prayer worked!