elephants and the Bible

This animal is not specifically mentioned in Scripture, however its tusks are; ivory was imported from afar into the land of Israel.

Greek: ἐλεφάντινος —transliteration: elephantinos —translated “of ivory” in Rev. 18:12

Hebrew: שֶׁנְהַבֵּים —transliteration: shenhabbim or shenhabim —meaning: ivory or ivory tusk or “tooth of elephant” 1 Kings 10:22 and 2 Chr. 9:21

Archaeologists discovered a mosaic in an ancient synagogue that depicted an elephant and various other animals. This was found in excavations in the ancient Jewish village of Hukkok (mentioned in Joshua 19:34) (aka Huqoq and Hukok) in Lower Galilee.

King Solomon regularly imported ivory into his kingdom.

“For the king had at sea the ships of Tarshish with the ships of Hiram; once every three years the ships of Tarshish came bringing gold and silver, silver and apes and peacocks.” —1 Kings 10:22 NASB

“…[Solomon] made a great throne of ivory and overlaid it with refined gold.” —1 Kings 10:18 NASB

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Article Version: March 12, 2019