Are There Unicorns In The Bible

Definition & Origins

Unicorns are mythical creatures, celebrated throughout many different cultures, appearing in art, literature, and lore. While the figure of a unicorn is often thought of as a crimson horse, with a white horn resembling a spear, the actual definition of a unicorn, which comes from the Greek word “monoceros”, means “one-horned”. Unicorns are described in literature as graceful, mystical, single-horned horses, with magical powers and a divine aura. Throughout its various interpretations, the unicorn has embodied many different virtues, such as purity, good luck, and healing powers. But are unicorns actually mentioned in the Bible?

Unicorns In The Bible

Despite the popular understanding of unicorns as divine magical creatures, in their early references in the Bible, unicorns were humble animals, no different than oxen or wild asses. In the Old Testament, unicorns are mentioned in Numbers 23:22 and Deuteronomy 33:17, where it is simply noted that God brought up the unicorns with the wild oxen. In the Book of Job 39:9, unicorns are described as animals which God gave strength to the army of King Og. While these references appear to describe real animals, much like horses, in a later passage, the Book of Isaiah 34:7, unicorns are described as monstrous creatures which will be brought forth to the world in the final days of judgment.

Stories Of Unicorns In Early Literature

While unicorns in the Bible are used to refer to real, albeit wild and strong, animals, in many other works of literature, the unicorn is used to tell a story power, love, and redemption. One of the most well-known stories of a unicorn is from the 4th century work Physiologus, which tells the story of how a unicorn’s love was able to repair a murderer. In the ancient Greek story, this individual had killed a young boy and was then set to chase a unicorn, thinking that it would be easily defeated. However, when the murderer approached the unicorn, the beast was overcome by his love and laid its head in his lap, forgiving him for his crime. This has been interpreted as symbolic of the power of love’s power to mend a broken soul.

Unicorns In Popular Culture Today

Today, unicorns are still seen as figures of true power. These creatures have become a staple of many illustrations and stories geared towards children, but have also featured in some stories for adults. In the Harry Potter series, unicorn blood is used to bring its drinkers back from the brink of death and in Neal Gaiman’s American Gods, unicorns play a prominent role in the novel.

Modern Interpretations

Modern interpretations of unicorns often focus on the idea of innocence and the power of belief. Though long seen as the domain of children’s fairy tales, unicorns today are being seen as a powerful figure of hope and redemption. The idea of a unicorn tackling difficult and dark topics, like evil and hatred, has been embraced as a calming acceptance of the unknown, a source of light and strength in difficult times.


While unicorns may not be mentioned directly in the Bible, they have stood as powerful symbols in many works of literature throughout the ages. Unicorns have gone through many different iterations, but their core meaning of innocence, strength, and hope still stands in our modern notions and understanding of these creatures. No matter what your interpretation, the unicorn is here to stay.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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