Job 40:18

18 Its bones are tubes of bronze, its limbs like rods of iron.

Read Job 40:18 Using Other Translations

His bones are as strong pieces of brass; his bones are like bars of iron.
His bones are tubes of bronze, his limbs like bars of iron.
Its bones are tubes of bronze. Its limbs are bars of iron.

What does Job 40:18 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Job 40:18

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 F11 of it; excepting its teeth, which are the ivory; though the teeth of the river horse are said to exceed them in hardness F12; and artificers say F13 they are wrought with greater difficulty than ivory. The ancients, according to Pausanias F14, used them instead of it; who relates, that the face of the image of the goddess Cybele was made of them: and Kircher F15 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 F16, 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.


F11 In Philosoph. Transact. vol. 5. p. 155, 156.
F12 Odoardus Barbosa apud Bochart. ut supra. (Apud Hierozoic. par. 2. l. 5. c. 14. col. 758.)
F13 Diepenses apud ib.
F14 Arcadica, sive, l. 8. p. 530.
F15 China cum Monument. p. 193.
F16 Olaus Magnus, ut supra, (De Ritu. Septent. Gent.) l. 2. c. 19. Voyage to Spitzbergen, p. 115.
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