Re'em

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For the kibbutz in Israel, see Re'im. For the moshav, see Bnei Re'em.
A life reconstruction of an aurochs bull, the animal the re'em has been identified with by scholarly consensus
Aurochs in a cave painting in Lascaux, France
Christian scholars once wrongly identified the re'em with the legendary unicorn. Detail of a former floor mosaic dating from year 1213, Basilica of San Giovanni Evangelista, Ravenna.

Re'em also called Reëm (Hebrew: רֶאֵם), is mentioned nine times in the Hebrew Bible (Job 39:9-10, Deuteronomy 33:17, Numbers 23:22 and 24:8; Psalms 22:21, 29:6 and 92:10; and Isaiah 34:7). It was first identified in modern times with the aurochs by Johann Ulrich Duerst who discovered it was based on the Akkadian cognate rimu, meaning Bos primigenius, the aurochs, progenitor of cattle.[1] This has been generally accepted,[2] as it is today even among religious scholars.[3] Jews preserved the tradition the re'em was a kind of wild ox and it is often rendered as such in English translations of the Tanakh.[4] It has been translated in Christian Bibles as "oryx" and quite erroneously as "unicorn" in the Authorized King James Version Bible. Some Creationists believe it to be a triceratops,[5] while others believe it is a rhinoceros..

The King James Version of Job followed the Septuagint and Jerome Vulgate in its translation unicorn:

"Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib? Canst thou bind the unicorn with 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?" Book of Job 39:9–12.

Re'em is translated as "wild ox" in the New American Standard Bible. Re'em is also speculated to refer to the Arabian Oryx.

In Jewish folklore, the Re'em was so large that Noah had to strap it on the side of the Ark, and King David, while still a shepherd, mistook its horn for a mountain and climbed it, then the Re'em got up and frightened David. He prayed to God to save him, so a lion passed in front of the Re'em. As the Re'em bowed down to the king of beasts, David climbed off, but was threatened by the lion. He prayed again and an animal passed by so the lion could chase it and David left unharmed.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Die Rinder von Babylonien, Assyrien und Ägypten (Berlin, 1899:7-8)
  2. ^ For instance Jonas Salo, "Cattle Raising in Palestine" Agricultural History 26.3 (July 1952), pp. 93-104.
  3. ^ Was the Assyrian 'Rimu' mistranslated as unicorn?
  4. ^ http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0423.htm
  5. ^ The Sanilac Petroglyphs, Paleo-cryptozoology, and Controversy Revolution against Evolution.