Behold, he drinketh up a river, [and] hasteth not
The elephant is indeed a very thirsty animal, and drinks largely; the philosopher F12 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 F13, "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 F14; and Livy F15 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 F16 represents it as lying all day in the water, and employing itself at the bottom of it, easy, careless, and unconcerned.
F12 Aristot. ut supra. (l. 9. c. 56.)
F13 Vid. Bochart. ut supra, (Apud Hierozic. par. 2. l. 5. c. 14.) col. 766.
F14 Aristot. ut supra. (l. 9. c. 56.) Vid Aelian. l. 7. c. 15.
F15 Hist. l. 21. c. 28.
F16 Bibliothec. l. 1. p. 31. Isidor. Origin. l. 12. c. 6.