Ivory
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Smith's Bible Dictionary
Ivory

The word translated "ivory" literally signifies the "tooth" of any animal, and hence more especially denotes the substance of the projecting tusks of elephants. The skilled work-men of Hiram, king of Tyre, fashioned the great ivory throne of Solomon, and overlaid it with pure gold. (1 Kings 10:18; 2 Chronicles 9:17) The ivory thus employed was supplied by the caravans of Dedan, (Isaiah 21:13; Ezekiel 27:15) or was brought, with apes and peacocks, by the navy of Tarshish. (1 Kings 10:22) The "ivory house" of Ahab, (1 Kings 22:39) was probably a palace, the walls of which were panelled with ivory, like the palace of Menelaus described by Homer. Odys. iv. 73. Beds inlaid or veneered with ivory were in use among the Hebrews. (Amos 6:4)

ATS Bible Dictionary
Ivory

Mentioned in the reign of Solomon, and referred to in Psalm 45:1-17, as used in decorating palaces. Solomon, who traded to India, brought thence elephants and ivory to Judea. "For the king had at sea a navy of Tarshish, with the navy of Hiram: once in three years came the navy of Tarshish, bringing gold and silver and ivory," 1 Kings 10:22 2 Chronicles 9:21. Solomon had a throne decorated with ivory, and inlaid with gold, these beautiful materials relieving the splendor and heightening the luster of each other, 1 Kings 10:18. Ivory, as is well known, is the substance of the tusks of elephants, and hence it is always called in Hebrew, tooth.

As to the "ivory houses," 1 Kings 22:39 Am 3:15, they may have had ornaments of ivory, as they sometimes have of gold, silver, or other precious materials, in such abundance as to be named from the article of their decoration; as the emperor Nero's palace was named aurea, or golden, because overlaid with gold. This method of ornamenting buildings or apartments was very ancient among the Greeks, and is mentioned by Homer. See Ezekiel 27:6,15 Am 6:4 Revelation 18:12.

Easton's Bible Dictionary
(Hebrews pl. shenhabbim, the "tusks of elephants") was early used in decorations by the Egyptians, and a great trade in it was carried on by the Assyrians (Ezek. 27:6; Revelation 18:12). It was used by the Phoenicians to ornament the box-wood rowing-benches of their galleys, and Hiram's skilled workmen made Solomon's throne of ivory (1 Kings 10:18). It was brought by the caravans of Dedan (Isaiah 21:13), and from the East Indies by the navy of Tarshish (1 Kings 10:22). Many specimens of ancient Egyptian and Assyrian ivory-work have been preserved. 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.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
1. (n.) The hard, white, opaque, fine-grained substance constituting the tusks of the elephant. It is a variety of dentine, characterized by the minuteness and close arrangement of the tubes, as also by their double flexure. It is used in manufacturing articles of ornament or utility.

2. (n.) The tusks themselves of the elephant, etc.

3. (n.) Any carving executed in ivory.

4. (n.) Teeth; as, to show one's ivories.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
IVORY

i'-vo-ri (1) shen, "tooth" (translated "ivory," 1 Kings 10:18; 1 Kings 22:39 2 Chronicles 9:17; Psalm 45:8 Songs 5:14; Songs 7:4 Ezekiel 27:6, 15 Amos 3:15; Amos 6:4);

(2) shenhabbim; Septuagint odontes elephdntinoi, "elephants' teeth" (1 Kings 10:22 2 Chronicles 9:21);

(3) elephantinos, "of ivory" (Revelation 18:12)):

Shen occurs often, meaning "tooth" of man or beast. In the passages cited it is translated in English Versions of the Bible "ivory" (of "crag," 1 Samuel 14:4, 5; "cliff," Job 39:28 twice; "flesh-hook of three teeth," 1 Samuel 2:13). Shenhabbim is thought to be a contracted form of shen ha-'ibbim, i.e. ha, the article, and 'ibbim, plural of 'ibbah or 'ibba'; compare Egyptian ab, ebu, "elephant," and compare Latin ebur, "ivory" (see Liddell and Scott, under the word elephas). On the other hand, it may be a question whether -bim is not a singular form connected with the Arabic fil, "elephant." If the word for "elephant" is not contained in shenhabbim, it occurs nowhere in the Hebrew Bible.

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, 22), being brought by the ships of Tarshish (2 Chronicles 9:17, 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 (3:15; 6:4). It occurs in the figurative language of Psalm 45:8 Songs 5:14; Songs 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 (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 B.C. 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" theria) there were "strong towers of wood"; "There were also upon every one two and thirty strong men, that fought upon them, beside the Indian that ruled him."

In Job 40:15, the King James Version margin has for "behemoth," "the elephant, as some think."

Alfred Ely Day

IVORY, TOWER OF

(mighdal hashen): In Songs 7:4 the neck of the Shulammite is compared in whiteness and stateliness to a (or the) tower of ivory. The definite article may suggest that the comparison is with some actual tower in or near Jerusalem; but more probably the language is simply a figure.

TOWER OF IVORY

(mighdal hashen): Occurs only in Songs 7:4. Cheyne would, not unreasonably, emend the text and read the "tower of Shenir" as a parallel to the "tower of Lebanon" in the same verse. If the reading "tower of ivory" is correct, the reference must be to some piece of furniture in the adornment of which ivory was much used, and when we compare the word mighdal here with its use for a "pulpit" in Nehemiah 8:4, we can think only of a reminiscence of something of the nature of the throne of ivory made by Solomon (1 Kings 10:18).

W. M. Christie

Greek
1661. elephantinos -- of ivory
... of ivory. Part of Speech: Adjective Transliteration: elephantinos Phonetic Spelling:
(el-ef-an'-tee-nos) Short Definition: made of ivory Definition: made of ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/1661.htm - 6k
Strong's Hebrew
8143. shenhabbim -- ivory
... 8142, 8143. shenhabbim. 8144 . ivory. Transliteration: shenhabbim Phonetic
Spelling: (shen-hab-beem') Short Definition: ivory. Word ...
/hebrew/8143.htm - 6k

8127. shen -- tooth, ivory
... 8126, 8127. shen. 8128 . tooth, ivory. Transliteration: shen Phonetic Spelling:
(shane) Short Definition: teeth. ... crag, forefront, ivory, sharp, tooth. ...
/hebrew/8127.htm - 6k

7161. qeren -- a horn
... An elephant's tooth (ie Ivory), a corner (of the altar), a peak (of a mountain),
a ray (of light); figuratively, power -- X hill, horn. see HEBREW qaran. ...
/hebrew/7161.htm - 6k

Library

His Hands are Turned as of Gold, Set with Hyacinths; his Belly is ...
... CHAPTER V. 14. His hands are turned as of gold, set with hyacinths; his
belly is ivory, set with sapphires. By His hands are to ...
/.../guyon/song of songs of solomon/14 his hands are turned.htm

Thy Neck is as a Tower of ivory; Thine Eyes Like the Fish-Pools in ...
... 4. Thy neck is as a tower of ivory; thine eyes like the fish-pools in Heshbon, which
are in the gate of the daughter of the multitude; thy nose is as the tower ...
//christianbookshelf.org/guyon/song of songs of solomon/4 thy neck is as.htm

On Costly Vessels.
... food, and others for other uses which I am ashamed to name, of easily cleft cedar
and thyine wood, and ebony, and tripods fashioned of ivory, and couches with ...
/.../clement/the instructor paedagogus/chapter iii on costly vessels.htm

And Then the Future Captivity under an Oppressive King is ...
... set apart for the day of evil, and come near to the seat of oppression." Then are
subjoined the evils of luxury: "ye that lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch ...
/.../augustine/on christian doctrine in four books/chapter 18 and then the.htm

And all the Methods I have Mentioned are Constantly Used by Nearly ...
... set apart for the day of evil, and come near to the seat of oppression." Then are
subjoined the evils of luxury: "ye that lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch ...
/.../augustine/on christian doctrine in four books/chapter 7 and all the.htm

The Carcass and the Eagles
... 3. Ye that put far away the evil day, and cause the seat of violence to come near;
4. That lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch themselves upon their couches ...
/.../maclaren/expositions of holy scripture a/the carcass and the eagles.htm

Pagan Shrines and Temples.
... 34] mention four hundred and twenty-four temples, three hundred and four shrines,
eighty statues of gods, of precious metal, sixty-four of ivory, and three ...
/.../lanciani/pagan and christian rome/chapter ii pagan shrines and.htm

Ezekiel's Discourse
... Of the oaks of Bashan have they made thine oars; they have made thy benches
of ivory inlaid in boxwood, from the isles of Kittim. ...
/.../various/select masterpieces of biblical literature/vii ezekiels discourse.htm

Diversity of Dreams and visions Epicurus Thought Lightly of Them ...
... Homer has assigned two gates to dreams, [1770] "the horny one of truth,
the ivory one of error and delusion. For, they say, it ...
/.../tertullian/a treatise on the soul/chapter xlvi diversity of dreams and.htm

The King of Heaven at the Bar of Pilate.
... just outside this Hall was a place called "The Pavement." It was a broad floor of
many-colored marbles, open toward the city, and having an ivory judgment-seat ...
/.../lathbury/childs story of the bible/chapter xlii the king of.htm

Thesaurus
Ivory (13 Occurrences)
... It was used by the Phoenicians to ornament the box-wood rowing-benches of their
galleys, and Hiram's skilled workmen made Solomon's throne of ivory (1 Kings 10 ...
/i/ivory.htm - 17k

Inlaid (8 Occurrences)
... Multi-Version Concordance Inlaid (8 Occurrences). 1 Kings 10:18 Moreover the king
made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with the finest gold. (See NIV). ...
/i/inlaid.htm - 8k

Elephant
... Not found in Scripture except indirectly in the original Greek word (elephantinos)
translated "of ivory" in Revelation 18:12, and in the Hebrew word (shenhabim ...
/e/elephant.htm - 7k

Ape
... Apes are mentioned with gold, silver, ivory and peacocks. Peacocks are natives of
India and Ceylon. Apes and ivory may have been brought from India or Africa. ...
/a/ape.htm - 8k

Ebony (2 Occurrences)
... only), vocalization uncertain; compare Arabic abnus): Mentioned (Ezekiel 27:15)
along with ivory as merchandise of Tyre brought by the men of Dedan. ...
/e/ebony.htm - 8k

Peacock
... For the king had at sea a navy of Tarshish with the navy of Hiram: once every three
years came the navy of Tarshish, bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes ...
/p/peacock.htm - 11k

Crafts (2 Occurrences)
... "Variegated cloth, linen, an ivory bed, a seat of inlaid ivory, a table" were among
the captured articles. These were probably Phoenician work. ...
/c/crafts.htm - 30k

Overlaid (50 Occurrences)
... 1 Kings 10:18 Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with
the finest gold. ... His body is like ivory work overlaid with sapphires. ...
/o/overlaid.htm - 21k

Overlayeth (19 Occurrences)
... gold, (YLT). 1 Kings 10:18 And the king maketh a great throne of ivory,
and overlayeth it with refined gold; (YLT). 2 Chronicles 3 ...
/o/overlayeth.htm - 11k

Tarshish (24 Occurrences)
... For the king had at sea a navy of Tarshish with the navy of Hiram: once every three
years came the navy of Tarshish, bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes ...
/t/tarshish.htm - 17k

Concordance
Ivory (13 Occurrences)

Revelation 18:12
merchandise of gold, silver, precious stones, pearls, fine linen, purple, silk, scarlet, all expensive wood, every vessel of ivory, every vessel made of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble;
(WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

1 Kings 10:18
Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with the finest gold.
(WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

1 Kings 10:22
For the king had at sea a navy of Tarshish with the navy of Hiram: once every three years came the navy of Tarshish, bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks.
(WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

1 Kings 22:39
Now the rest of the acts of Ahab, and all that he did, and the ivory house which he built, and all the cities that he built, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?
(WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

2 Chronicles 9:17
Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with pure gold.
(WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

2 Chronicles 9:21
For the king had ships that went to Tarshish with the servants of Huram; once every three years came the ships of Tarshish, bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks.
(WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Psalms 45:8
All your garments smell like myrrh, aloes, and cassia. Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made you glad.
(WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Song of Songs 5:14
His hands are like rings of gold set with beryl. His body is like ivory work overlaid with sapphires.
(WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Song of Songs 7:4
Your neck is like an ivory tower. Your eyes are like the pools in Heshbon by the gate of Bathrabbim. Your nose is like the tower of Lebanon which looks toward Damascus.
(WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Ezekiel 27:6
Of the oaks of Bashan have they made your oars; they have made your benches of ivory inlaid in boxwood, from the islands of Kittim.
(WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Ezekiel 27:15
The men of Dedan were your traffickers; many islands were the market of your hand: they brought you in exchange horns of ivory and ebony.
(WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Amos 3:15
I will strike the winter house with the summer house; and the houses of ivory will perish, and the great houses will have an end," says Yahweh.
(WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Amos 6:4
Who lie on beds of ivory, and stretch themselves on their couches, and eat the lambs out of the flock, and the calves out of the midst of the stall;
(WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Subtopics

Ivory

Ivory: Ahab's Palace Made of

Ivory: Chittim

Ivory: Exported from Tarshish

Ivory: General Scriptures Concerning

Ivory: Other Articles Made of Beds

Ivory: Other Articles Made of Benches

Ivory: Other Articles Made of Stringed Instruments

Ivory: Other Articles Made of Thrones

Ivory: Other Articles Made of Vessels

Ivory: Other Houses Made of

Related Terms

Inlaid (8 Occurrences)

Elephant

Ape

Ebony (2 Occurrences)

Peacock

Crafts (2 Occurrences)

Overlaid (50 Occurrences)

Overlayeth (19 Occurrences)

Tarshish (24 Occurrences)

Tarshish-ships (3 Occurrences)

Turn (963 Occurrences)

Trading (24 Occurrences)

Monkeys (2 Occurrences)

Plated (29 Occurrences)

Peacocks (3 Occurrences)

Bench (1 Occurrence)

Baboons (2 Occurrences)

Adorned (20 Occurrences)

Apes (2 Occurrences)

Marble (5 Occurrences)

Sea-lands (24 Occurrences)

Bedstead (1 Occurrence)

Coastlands (29 Occurrences)

Bedchamber (6 Occurrences)

Islands (32 Occurrences)

Isles (32 Occurrences)

Ethiopia (26 Occurrences)

Bed (142 Occurrences)

Jewels (54 Occurrences)

Merchandise (34 Occurrences)

I've (7 Occurrences)

Ahab (85 Occurrences)

Tower (74 Occurrences)

Assyria (124 Occurrences)

Boats (11 Occurrences)

Carrying (88 Occurrences)

Ships (46 Occurrences)

House (20110 Occurrences)

Kittites (2 Occurrences)

Nosejewels

Nose-jewels (1 Occurrence)

Navy (4 Occurrences)

Oak-trees (1 Occurrence)

Overlooking (11 Occurrences)

Oaks (14 Occurrences)

Oars (4 Occurrences)

Ornamented (14 Occurrences)

Ophir (12 Occurrences)

Larch (3 Occurrences)

Lounge (1 Occurrence)

Lading (7 Occurrences)

Woods (37 Occurrences)

Winter-house (2 Occurrences)

India (2 Occurrences)

Ivva (1 Occurrence)

Fattened (19 Occurrences)

Finest (23 Occurrences)

Fishpools (1 Occurrence)

Floors (12 Occurrences)

Fleet (7 Occurrences)

Fish-pools (1 Occurrence)

Tarshish-fleet (1 Occurrence)

Traded (16 Occurrences)

Tusks (1 Occurrence)

Traffickers (9 Occurrences)

Thyne (1 Occurrence)

Tharshish (3 Occurrences)

Rodan (1 Occurrence)

Rare (8 Occurrences)

Rule (291 Occurrences)

Rabbim (1 Occurrence)

Recline (14 Occurrences)

Rounded (7 Occurrences)

Refined (26 Occurrences)

Exploration

Encrusted (2 Occurrences)

Expensive (6 Occurrences)

Dedan (10 Occurrences)

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