The Biblical “Unicorns” of Israel’s Deserts

Dec. 11 2019

The Bible makes frequent mention of a horned animal called a r’em, often invoked as symbol of might or majesty. Following the Greek Septuagint and the Latin Vulgate, which render the word as monoceros and unicornis, respectively, the King James Bible translates it as “unicorn.” Other translations include wild ox, buffalo, and rhinoceros, but there is reason to think that the r’em is in fact an oryx, found in Israel’s deserts since ancient times. Amit Naor speculates that this beast may be the inspiration for legends of unicorns, and certainly for the reports of unicorn sightings in the Land of Israel:

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Read more at The Librarians

More about: Animals, Hebrew Bible, Land of Israel, Translation

Iran’s Elections Could Complicate U.S. Plans to Renew the Nuclear Deal

June 11 2021

This week, after the International Atomic Energy Agency announced its suspicions that the Islamic Republic is hiding nuclear materials from its inspectors, the White House decided to lift some sanctions on Iranian oil, and still plans to forge ahead with nuclear negotiations. Meanwhile, Iran will hold its presidential elections next week. The exercise is not particularly democratic—the supreme leader approves the candidates in advance, and his minions have from time to time fixed the results—but neither is it entirely meaningless. While there are important differences among the candidates, not one can be dubbed a moderate, even by the standards of this brutal Islamist theocracy. Reuel Marc Gerecht explains why this matters:

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Read more at Dispatch

More about: Ali Khamenei, Barack Obama, Iran nuclear program, Joseph Biden