International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
JAW; JAWBONE; JAW TEETH
jo, jo'-bon (lechi, "cheek (bone)," "jaw (bone)"): In Job 41:2, the Revised Version (British and American) gives "pierce his jaw through with a hook" for the King James Version "bore his jaw through with a thorn" (see HOOK; LEVIATHAN). Psalm 22:15, "My tongue cleaveth to my jaws (malqoach)," is descriptive of the effect of a fever or physical torture, a dryness and a horrible clamminess. Malqochayim is an ancient dual form meaning the two jaws, and, metaphorically, malqoach indicates that which is caught between the jaws, booty, prey, including captives (Numbers 31:11, 26, 32 Isaiah 49:24 f).
(1) Of the power of the wicked, with a reference to Divine restraint and discipline: "I brake the jaws (Hebrew "great teeth") of the unrighteous" (Job 29:17 Proverbs 30:14); compare Psalm 58:6, "Break out the great teeth (malta`oth, "jaw teeth") of the young lions, O Yahweh." Let the wicked be deprived of their ability for evil; let them at least be disabled from mischief. Septuagint reads "God shall break," etc. (Compare Edmund Prys's Metrical Paraphrase of the Psalms, in the place cited.) "A bridle. in the jaws of the peoples" (Isaiah 30:28; compare 2 Kings 19:28) is descriptive of the ultimate check of the Assyrian power at Jerusalem, "as when a bridle or lasso is thrown upon the jaws of a wild animal when you wish to catch and tame him" (G.A. Smith Isaiah, I, 235). Compare Ezekiel 29:4 (concerning Pharaoh); 38:4 (concerning Gog), "I will put hooks in (into) thy jaws."
(2) Of human labor and trials, with a reference to the Divine gentleness: "I was to them as they that lift up the yoke on their jaws" (Hosea 11:4), or `take the yoke off their jaws,' as the humane driver eased the yoke with his hands or `lifted it forward from neck to the jaws'; or it may perhaps refer to the removal of the yoke in the evening, when work is over.
Jawbone (Judges 15:15).
M. O. Evans