Job 40:23

Behold, he drinketh up a river, and hasteth not: he trusteth that he can draw up Jordan into his mouth.

Behold, he drinketh up a river, and hasteth not,.... The elephant is indeed a very thirsty animal, and drinks largely; the philosopher {l} says it drinks nine Macedonian bushels at a feeding, and that it will drink fourteen Macedonian measures of water at once, and eight more at noon; but to drink up a river seems to be too great an hyperbole; wherefore the words may be rendered, "Behold, let a river oppress him", or "bear" ever so hard upon him, and come with the greatest force and pressure on him {m}, "he hasteth not" to get out of it; or he is not frightened or troubled, as the Targum; which agrees with the river horse, who walks into the river, and proceeds on in it, with the greatest ease and unconcernedness imaginable; now and then lifting up his head above water to take breath, which he can hold a long time; whereas the elephant cannot wade in the water any longer than his trunk is above it, as the philosopher observes {n}; and Livy {o} speaks of fear and trembling seizing an elephant, when about to be carried over a river in boats;

he trusteth that he can draw up Jordan in his mouth; so bold and confident he is, and not at all disturbed with its rapidity; or "though Jordan", or rather any descending flowing stream, "gushes into his mouth", so Mr. Broughton: for perhaps Jordan might not be known by Job; nor does it seem to have any connection with the Nile, the seat of the river horse; which has such large holes in its nostrils, and out of which, water being swallowed down, he can throw it with great force. Diodorus Siculus {p} represents it as lying all day in the water, and employing itself at the bottom of it, easy, careless, and unconcerned.

{l} Aristot. ut supra. (l. 9. c. 56.)
{m} Vid. Bochart. ut supra, (Apud Hierozic. par. 2. l. 5. c. 14.) col. 766.
{n} Aristot. ut supra. (l. 9. c. 56.) Vid Aelian. l. 7. c. 15.
{o} Hist. l. 21. c. 28.
{p} Bibliothec. l. 1. p. 31. Isidor. Origin. l. 12. c. 6.