Smith's Bible DictionaryIvory
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 DictionaryIvory
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.
International Standard Bible EncyclopediaIVORY
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
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
) 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.
Strong's Hebrew8143. 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