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Bible Lessons From the Elephant

Bible Lessons From the Elephant

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Published by glennpease


" Once in three years came the navy of Tharshish, bringing gold and silver ivory and apes and peacocks." — 1 Kings x. 22.


" Once in three years came the navy of Tharshish, bringing gold and silver ivory and apes and peacocks." — 1 Kings x. 22.

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Published by: glennpease on Aug 22, 2013
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BIBLE LESSOS FROM THE ELEPHATBY REV. RICHARD EWTOTHE ELEPHAT." Once in three years came the navy of Tharshish, bringing gold andsilver ivory and apes and peacocks." — 1 Kings x. 22.'"THE Elephant is an animal which is not men-tioned directly in the Bible. There are fre-quent references made to ivory, the product of thatanimal, but the word elephant is nowhere found inHoly Writ. Some writers have thought that the" behemoth " described in the Book of Job was theelephant, but it is now generally considered that theanimal described in that book is the hippopotamus, orgreat water-horse of the river ile. It was becausethis animal had tusks that it was supposed to be theelephant ; but now that people have been able to seethe hippopotamus for themselves, and have comparedit with the wonderful description in Job, they havecome to the conclusion that it is not the elephantwhich is meant.The words from the Book of Job 8tre as follows : — " Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee ;he eateth grass as an ox.(165) 16DigitizedbyGoogk 
244 THE ELEPHAT." Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his forceis in the navel of his belly." He moveth his tail like a cedar." His bones are as strong pieces of brass ; his bonesare like bars of iron." He is the chief of the ways of God : he that madehim can make his sword to approach nnto him." Surely the mountains bring him forth food, whereall the beasts of the field play." He lieth under the shady trees, in the covert of the reed, and fens."The shady trees cover him with their shadow;the willows of the brook compass him about." Behold, he drinketh up a river, and hasteth not :he trusteth that he can draw up Jordan into hismouth." He taketh it with his eyes : his nose pierceththrough snares."The earliest mention of ivory in the Scriptures isto be found in 1 Kings x. 1 8 : " Moreover the kingmade a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with thebest gold." We see then that ivory was consideredof great value in the days of King Solomon. Thewords of our text to-day show us this.King Solomon and Hiram, king of Tyre, had eachof them a navy, and the vessels in this navy went
every three years as far as India, or Tarshish, " bring-ing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks."These animals, no doubt, were brought to JerusalemDigitizedbyGoogk THE ELEPHAT. 245for King Solomon's Zoological Gardens there. TheHebrew names given to the apes, the peacocks, andthe ivory, are almost identical with the words usedin the Cingalese language of the present day. Wenowhere read in the Bible that any elephant was everbrought to Jerusalem, but we read a great deal aboutivory, the product of the elephant, being broughtthere.The Hebrew word for ivory is ahen — that is, atooth. The Israelites knew perfectly well that ivorywas the product of a tooth of some great animal, andnot of a mere horn, like a goat's horn, or cow's horn.In the marginal reading of our text to-day, aboutthe ivory brought to Jerusalem, along with the apesand the peacocks for King Solomon's garden, the wordtranslated " ivory " reads " elephants' teeth ; " so that,while we do not read of elephants in the Bible, wedo reaxi of the ivory which was manufactured out of their tusks. There are a number of places in theBible in which ivory is distinctly mentioned as form-ing part of the adornment of houses.

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