Tharshish

1 Kings 10:22

10:22 Tharshish. Although Tharsish (Tarshish) is frequently mentioned in the Old Testament, its location is uncertain. It may refer simply to ore-carrying vessels, since the word is similar to that for “smeltry.” However, Tarshish was the name of a son of Javan (Genesis 10:4), the ancestor of the Greeks, and most of the references seem clearly to mean a specific city or country (e.g., Jonah 1:3; Isaiah 23:6). There are at least eight references to “the ships of Tarshish” (e.g., II Chronicles 9:21), so Tarshish seems to have been a sea-faring people, like the Phoenicians with whom they are often connected, as here. Possibly it refers to Carthage, a colony of Phoenicia, or possibly to Tartessos in Spain. Some have suggested a reference to the British Isles, because of the ancient smelters there, and a few believe that the ships of Tarshish even sailed to America, as well as India.

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