the Fourth Week of Lent
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
Ivory was probably obtained, as now, mainly from the African elephant. It was rare and expensive. It is mentioned in connection with the magnificence of Solomon (1 Kings 10:18 , 1 Kings 10:22 ), being brought by the ships of Tarshish (2 Chronicles 9:17 , 2 Chronicles 9:21 ). An "ivory house" of Ahab is mentioned in 1 Kings 22:39 . It is mentioned among the luxuries of Israel in the denunciations of Amos (Amos 3:15; Amos 6:4 ). It occurs in the figurative language of Psalm 45:8; Song of Solomon 5:14; Song of Solomon 7:4 . It is used for ornamentation of the ships of the Tyrians (Ezekiel 27:6 ), who obtain it with ebony through the men of Dedan (Ezekiel 27:15 ). It is among the merchandise of Babylon (Revelation 18:12 ).
We do not learn of the use of elephants in war until a few centuries before the Christian era. In 1 Maccabees 8:6 , there is a reference to the defeat of Antiochus the Great, "having an hundred and twenty elephants," by Scipio Africanus in 190 bc. 1 Maccabees 1:17 speaks of the invasion of Egypt by Antiochus Epiphanes with an army in which there were elephants. 1 Maccabees 6:28-47 has a detailed account of a battle between Antiochus Eupator and Judas Maccabeus at Bethsura (Beth-zur). There were 32 elephants. Upon the "beasts" ( θηρία ,
In Job 40:15 , the King James Version margin has for "behemoth," "the elephant , as some think."
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Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Ivory'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/​encyclopedias/​eng/​isb/​i/ivory.html. 1915.