We are not mythical creatures but animals created by God. A better description of us would be that we are smaller than an elephant, similar to a rhinoceros and sometimes called a wild ox or a wild bull. We have great strength and are agile. There is a reason that we are called wild; it is because we are not easily tamed.
In the King James Version we are called unicorns; in other versions we are referred to as a wild ox.
Where are we found in the Bible?
- Numbers 23:22; 24:8 – We are used as a symbol of God as the strength of Israel.
- Job 39:9-10 – As I said we are not easy to tame.
- Job 39:11 – Our strength is great.
- Psalm 22:21 – The horns symbolize the strength of powerful enemies.
- Psalm 29:6 – We are agile.
- Psalm 92:10 – Generally we have one horn.
- Deuteronomy 33:17 – Sometimes we have two horns. We also symbolize the strength of the descendants of Joseph, the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh
- Isaiah 34:7 – We are used as a symbol for the wicked.
We are described in detail in Job 40:15-24; our size, strength, where we lived and what we eat (or ate if you believe we are extinct).
God invites Job to think and consider us, the behemoth. The first thing that God tells Job about us is that He had made us, just like He created Job. We are therefore not mythical creatures but created by God and named by Adam. We have been identified with the elephant, the water buffalo, but the more accurate description would be the hippopotamus.
Although we have great strength in our loins and great power in our muscles, we are not predators but herbivores; we eat grass like an ox. Perhaps our appearance does not portray it, but we are peaceful creatures.
We may be peaceful but we are not easy to kill, perhaps it is because of our thick skins. It is difficult for man to kill us, but we are easily killed with God’s sword.
Our tails are compared to the cedar, a large evergreen tree with branches extending out and downward. Our bones are described as large round tubes with the hardness and strength of bronze. Our limbs are like rods of iron.
Where do we live? We are large marsh dwelling mammals. We have been found along the coastal plain near Tel Aviv and also in the River Jordan. When the water rises we are not easily frightened, we stay calm, and lying submerged in the water with only our eyes above the water.
We are valued by God in the same way that God values His creation.