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Please excuse the sardonic, attention grabbing question. Hey, I've seen worse on this site, lol, and I hope this one doesn't suffer the same fate. But I think I've uncovered the reason why so many questions get closed on Biblical Hermeneutics. When people take the tour, under the title, "Ask questions, get answers, no distractions" here is the example question.

I love the unicorns who hang out behind my kitchen, but they do tend to eat rather a lot of the daisies. What can I do about this?

The highest rated answer is uncharacteristically practical.

Plant more daisies!

I understand that it is cute and whimsical but perhaps we should use the example to help people have a clearer idea of how to really ask and and answer questions on BH.SE.

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  • It would be better to have a real question in the tour, but I doubt many people are reading it in the first place.
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Nov 9, 2021 at 22:05
  • That would explain a lot in itself @curiousdanni! We sure do try to direct a lot of traffic that way. Nov 9, 2021 at 23:17
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    Great observation Martin - thanks to your attention-grabbing title, somebody from the community moderation team spotted your post on Meta and got in touch about options for updating this. Dannii should be in touch later on with some options for what we could change this to - feel free to gather any ideas in the meantime.
    – Steve Taylor Mod
    Nov 10, 2021 at 9:57
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    Thanks, @SteveTaylor! That's the risk of making suggestions, isn't it? Someone might ask you to step up and do something about it! I suppose if the unicorns bother me, I should help make them go away. Nov 10, 2021 at 16:01
  • Definite improvement as "Elohim" has taken the place of the unicorns example! BH got right on this. Congratulations! Nov 12, 2021 at 5:39

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Yes, there are unicorns in the Bible.

Reference KJV Occurrences of "unicorn" or "unicorns"
Num 23:22 God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn.
Num 24:8 God brought him forth out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn: he shall eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their bones, and pierce them through with his arrows.
Deut 33:17 His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth: and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh.
Job 39:9 Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib?
Job 39:10 Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee?
Psa 22:21 Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.
Psa 29:6 He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn.
Psa 92:10 But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil.
Isa 34:7 And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness.

However, the "unicorn" spoken of in the Bible is not the mythical creature of modern folklore: it is most probably the rhinoceros, but some doubt exists as to the exact meaning of the Hebrew word.

As for the example question in the tour, it obviously has nothing to do with the Biblical concept, or even with the Bible or hermeneutics at all. And the answer provided is just as frivolous as the question.

It could be modified slightly, both question and answer, while still retaining the unicorn theme. Or it could be replaced entirely with something else.

If one wishes to maintain the "unicorn" theme, I would propose the following:

Q: Did the unicorns mentioned in Psalm 22:21 really exist?

A: Yes; however, the Biblical use of "unicorn" does not match the imagery of the modern fairy tale. Some think it refers to an extinct type of ox, but it is also quite possibly a reference to the rhinoceros. The Bible characterizes the unicorn as having strength (Numbers 23:22; 24:8), horns (Deuteronomy 33:17; Psalm 22:21), and a will of its own (Job 39:9-10).

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  • Yes, the term is from "monokeros" in the LXX but has nothing to do with the mythological creature of the East. It looks like the BH unicorn did disappear though. It seems fitting that "Elohim" has taken its place. Looking forward to working with you on other projects! Nov 12, 2021 at 2:51

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