Job 40:16

16 What strength it has in its loins, what power in the muscles of its belly!

Read Job 40:16 Using Other Translations

Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly.
Behold, his strength in his loins, and his power in the muscles of his belly.
See its powerful loins and the muscles of its belly.

What does Job 40:16 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Job 40:16

Lo now, his strength [is] in his loins
The strength of the elephant is well known, being able to carry a castle on its back, with a number of men therein; but what follows does not seem so well to agree with it;

and his force [is] in the navel of his belly;
since the belly of the elephant is very tender; by means of which the rhinoceros, its enemy, in its fight with it, has the advantage of it, by getting under its belly, and ripping it up with its horn F19. In like manner Eleazar the Jew killed one of the elephants of Antiochus, by getting between its legs, and thrusting his sword into its navel F20; which fell and killed him with the weight of it. On the other hand, the "river horse" is covered with a skin all over, the hardest and strongest of all creatures F21, as not to be pierced with spears or arrows F23; and of it dried were made helmets, shields, spears, and polished darts F24. That which Monsieur Thevenot F25 saw had several shot fired at it before it fell, for the bullets hardly pierced through its skin. We made several shot at him, says another traveller F26, but to no purpose; for they would glance from him as from a wall. And indeed the elephant is said to have such a hard scaly skin as to resist the spear {a}: and Pliny F2, though he speaks of the hide of the river horse being so thick that spears are made of it; yet of the hide of the elephant, as having targets made of that, which are impenetrable.


F19 Aelian. de Amimal. l. 17. c. 44. Plin. l. 8. c. 10, 20. Vid. Solin. c. 38. Diodor. Sic. l. 3. p. 167. & Strabo. Geograph. l. 16. p. 533.
F20 Joseph. Ben Gorion. Hist. Heb. l. 3. c. 20. 1 Maccab. vi. 46.
F21 Diodor. Sic. ut supra. (l. 3. p. 167) Plin. l. 8. c. 25.
F23 Ptolem. Geograph. l. 7. c. 2. Fragment. Ctesiae ad Calcem Herodot. p. 701. Ed. Gronov. Boius apud Kircher. China cum Momument. p. 193.
F24 Herodot. ut supra. (p. 701) Aristot. Hist. Animal. l. 2. c. 7. Plin. l. 11. c. 39.
F25 Travels, part 1. c. 72.
F26 Dampier's Voyages, vol. 2. part 2. p. 105.
F1 Heliodor. Ethiop. Hist. l. 9. c. 18.
F2 Nat. Hist. l. 11. c. 39. Vid. Vossium in Melam. de Situ Orbis, l. 1. c. 5. p. 28.
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