(Heb. pl. shenhabbim, the "tusks of elephants") was early used
in decorations by the Egyptians, and a great trade in it was
carried on by the Assyrians (Ezek. 27:6; Rev. 18:12). It was
used by the Phoenicians to ornament the box-wood rowing-benches
of their galleys, and Hiram's skilled workmen made Solomon's
throne of ivory (1 Kings 10:18). It was brought by the caravans
of Dedan (Isa. 21:13), and from the East Indies by the navy of
Tarshish (1 Kings 10:22). Many specimens of ancient Egyptian and
Assyrian ivory-work have been preserved. The word "habbim" is
derived from the Sanscrit "ibhas", meaning "elephant," preceded
by the Hebrew article (ha); and hence it is argued that Ophir,
from which it and the other articles mentioned in 1 Kings 10:22
were brought, was in India.