Ivory in the Bible
Hebrew plural: shenhabbim
Ivory was a prestigious material often used by elite ancient craftsmen and royalty. The “tusks of elephants”) were used in decorations from early ancient times by the Egyptians, and a great trade in it was carried on by the Assyrians (Ezek. 27:6; Rev. 18:12).
“‘…The houses of ivory will also perish
And the great houses will come to an end,’
Declares the Lord.”
…Those who recline on beds of ivory
And sprawl on their couches…” —Amos 3:15; 6:4 NASB
“The sons of Dedan were your traders. Many coastlands were your market; ivory tusks and ebony they brought as your payment.” —Ezekiel 27:15 NASB
The word habbim is derived from the Sanscrit ibhas, meaning “elephant,” preceded by the Hebrew article (ha); and hence it is argued that Ophir, from which it and the other articles mentioned in 1 Kings 10:22 were brought, was in India.