Job 40:18

His bones are as strong pieces of brass; his bones are like bars of iron.

His bones are as strong pieces of brass: his bones are as bars of iron. Than which nothing is stronger. The repetition is made for greater illustration and confirmation; but what is said is not applicable to the elephant, whose bones are porous and rimous, light and spongy for the most part, as appears from the osteology {k} of it; excepting its teeth, which are the ivory; though the teeth of the river horse are said to exceed them in hardness {l}; and artificers say {m} they are wrought with greater difficulty than ivory. The ancients, according to Pausanias {n}, used them instead of it; who relates, that the face of the image of the goddess Cybele was made of them: and Kircher {o} says, in India they make beads, crucifixes, and statues of saints of them; and that they are as hard or harder than a flint, and fire may be struck out of them. So the teeth of the morss, a creature of the like kind in the northern countries, are valued by the inhabitants as ivory {p}, for hardness, whiteness, and weight, beyond it, and are dearer and much traded in; See Gill on "Job 40:20"; but no doubt not the teeth only, but the other bones of the creature in the text are meant.

{k} In Philosoph. Transact. vol. 5. p. 155, 156.
{l} Odoardus Barbosa apud Bochart. ut supra. (Apud Hierozoic. par. 2. l. 5. c. 14. col. 758.)
{m} Diepenses apud ib.
{n} Arcadica, sive, l. 8. p. 530.
{o} China cum Monument. p. 193.
{p} Olaus Magnus, ut supra, (De Ritu. Septent. Gent.) l. 2. c. 19. Voyage to Spitzbergen, p. 115.