[b-hebrew] elephants or ivory ?

James Spinti JSpinti at Eisenbrauns.com
Wed Aug 20 10:48:02 EDT 2008


If I remember correctly, ivory was also obtained from hippopotamus
teeth. 

James

________________________________
James Spinti
Marketing Director, Book Sales Division
Eisenbrauns, Good books for more than 30 years
Specializing in Ancient Near Eastern and Biblical Studies
jspinti at eisenbrauns dot com
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Fax: 574-269-6788 

-----Original Message-----
From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of K Randolph
Sent: Wednesday, August 20, 2008 10:46 AM
To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] elephants or ivory ?

Yaakov:
While there were no elephants in Israel, archeological finds show that
ivory
was known and used as a decorative item in many places where elephants
were
not found. In other words, the ivory trade goes way back.

Karl W. Randolph.

On Tue, Aug 19, 2008 at 11:58 PM, Yaakov Stein <yaakov_s at rad.com> wrote:

> In Kings I 10:22 (and the parallel passage in Chronicles)
> we read that every three years Hiram sent Solomon
>  ZHB WKSF $NHBYM WQPYM WTCYYM.
>
> The use of the conjunction and the cantillation marks
> separate the good sent into two groups,
> namely 1) gold and silver, 2) shenhavim and monkeys and tukim.
> The former group consists of inanimate objects,
> while two of the three in the latter are animals found in Africa
> (without going into a discussion of the precise meaning of tuki).
>
> Is it possible that shenhavim here means elephants rather than ivory ?
> This would seem to match the sentence structure better.
>
> The present word for elephant PYL does not appear in the tanach.
> Elephants do appear in the first book of Macabees
> (having been adopted by the Greek army after its conquest of India)
> but unfortunately as the original Hebrew has been lost,
> we can't see what word was used.
> There are those who believe that the fourth animal in Daniel
> is an elephant, but once again no specific Hebrew word is used.
>
> Were ivory intended, why is the word in the plural,
> rather than the singular as for gold and silver ?
> Of course the proper translation could be "elephant tusks",
> i.e. that unprocessed tusks were sent for carving in Israel.
> But since there were no elephants in Solomon's Israel,
> why would there be artisans skilled in ivory carving there ?
>
> Yaakov (J) Stein
>
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