Many were 'borrowed' or drawn from
early pre-Christian traditions. It
was in reality a two-horned animal;
but the exact reference of the word
so rendered (reem) is doubtful. Some have supposed it to be the buffalo; others, the white antelope, called by the Arabs rim. Most probably, however, the word denotes the Bos primigenius ("primitive ox"), which is now extinct all over the world. This was the auerochs of the Germans, and the urus described by Caesar (Gal. Bel., vi.28) as inhabiting the Hercynian forest.
The Definition and Meaning of the Unicorn as a Christian Symbol
Catholic Christian symbolism in art provides a clear graphic illustration which represents people or items of religious significance. What is the definition and the meaning of the Unicorn? The Unicorn is an imaginary creature represented as a white horse with a long horn growing from its forehead. The unicorn mentioned in the Scripture was probably the urus which was the Hebrew name of a horned wild animal, the Urus. In King James's Version it is called unicorn; in the Revised Version, wild ox. The Unicorn Christian Symbol represents of purity and of feminine chastity. The unicorn is therefore often used as a symbol of the Virgin Mary. The mythical unicorn liked living in solitude and is therefore also associated with life in a monastery and with hermits.
Reference to the Unicorn Christian Symbol in the Bible
The Easton Bible Dictionary provides the following definition, meaning and emblem for the Unicorn Christian Symbol in the Bible.
Described as an animal of great ferocity and strength (Num. 23:22, R.V., "wild ox," marg., "ox-antelope;" 24:8; Isa. 34:7, R.V., "wild oxen"), and untamable (Job 39:9).
Found in an Assyrian inscription written over the wild ox or bison, which some also suppose to be the animal intended (comp. Deut. 33:17; Ps. 22:21; 29:6; 92:10).