Elephants are apocryphal

We are reading stories from one of the books of the Macabees at morning prayer this week. There are a lot of elephants there.

Nuggats such as this are on offer: “They offered the elephants the juice of grapes and mulberries, to arouse them for battle.”

So far as I’m aware, elephants only appear in Macabees and in no other biblical text, leading to the obvious conclusion that elephants are apocryphal.


  1. Paul Dunlop says

    What about noah and the flood? Especially since images of the ark almost always have elephants and other african animals as the select few on show.

  2. kelvin says

    Ain’t no elephants in Genesis, though there are lovely elephants in Gwyneth Leech’s mural of Noah’s ark. Look high up above the pillar next to the organ console.

  3. Elizabeth says

    I wonder if the apocryphal elephants are in any way related to the apophatic dash?

  4. So that is what you are looking at when you gazepwards during divine service.

  5. I think elephants (apocryphal or otherwise) are the very antithesis of the apophatic dash. They might bear some relation to the elegant ellipsis.

  6. Busy evening last night, then, everyone?

  7. Maybe it was the juice of the mulberries and grapes that spilt over them making them pink and thus apocryphal.

  8. Michael says

    I was trying to explain this conversation to one of my former parishioners. I used the unicorn as an example of an apocryphal animal. To which he replied that we are engaged in unicorny humour here!

  9. kelvin says

    Hmm, last time unicorns came up on this blog was in 2003


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