Unicorns and Dragons
Unlike Noah’s Ark or the tale of Joseph, the story of Job is not one that is often told as a bedtime story. The book follows Job, a righteous man. Normally, this title means that the person in the story is going to have God protecting them from tragedy. Instead, everything that can go wrong for Job goes wrong. He loses his family, his home and his health. The story is unusual, which makes it a source of fascination and consternation for both biblical scholars and clergy members alike, but when the tale is recounted, there are still details that people tend to skip over.
Most Christians are unaware that the Bible actually contains one of the most classic mythological creatures in the West, the unicorn. Job 39:9-12 shows God asking whether “the unicorn will consent to serve [Job]…[and] stay by [his] manger at night.” There is, admittedly, debate over whether the word “unicorn” is the right translation for the Hebrew re’em, but it does lead to some admittedly interesting visuals.
Job 41 describes the infamous Leviathan. A fearsome dragon straight out of a fairy tale, it has “strength and [a] graceful form” that is covered in a “double coat of armor.” It has a mouth “ringed about with fearsome teeth…its snorting throws out flashes of light…flames shoot from its mouth…[and] smoke pours from its nostrils.” Not a creature anyone is hoping made it onto Noah’s Ark.