re'em and unicorn and wild ox

Ben and Jo Crick ben.crick at
Fri Jun 14 20:51:11 EDT 2002

On Fri 14 Jun 2002 (16:10:53), schmuel at wrote:
> However, when we look at the Septuagint ...In all nine verses above,
> the LXX supports the idea of a single-horned creature, using the word 
> "monokeros" (derived "mono-" meaning "singular" or "one", and "keras" 
> meaning "horn"). .. It should be remembered though, that a single-horned 
> creature seems to create the Deut 33:17 problem mentioned above.
> [snip fascinating post]

 Dear Schmuel

 I was always taught that Rhinoceros was the most plausible candidate for
 Re:'eM. The Rhino has one notable horn on its nose; albeit there is a smaller
 one just behind it, it looks like "one horn" when viewed from the front.
 /Rhinoceros/ is directly derived from Greek hRINOKERAS, *nose* horn, as you
 acknowledge. Rhino horn also is persistently reputed to have aphrodisiac
 properties; hence maybe the derivation from the root R'M, to rise or be lifted
 up (Zechariah 14:10)? (trying not to sound crude here)

 The Aurochs or wild ox has been extinct since the 17th century CE. But surely
 it had two horns of equal size, left and right. "The horns of a unicorn"
 QaR:NeY Re:'eM (horns plural; unicorn singular) could mean that Aurochs is
 intended in Deuteronomy 33:17.

 Rhinoceros is my candidate for Re'em. It has one notable horn between its
 eyes (compare Daniel 8:5, Tsaphiyr, he-goat). One notable horn; and one
 insignificant horn behind it (cf Daniel 8:9). Daniel's beasts were symbolical
 dream vision "heraldic" animals, having attributes from other species grafted
 onto them.

 My $0.02

 Revd Ben Crick BA CF, and Mrs Joanna (Goodwin) Crick
 <ben.crick at>
 232 Canterbury Road, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9TD (UK)

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