23:1 Tarshish. Tarshish is frequently mentioned in Scripture because of its ships plying the Mediterranean (e.g., Jonah 1:3). The city itself was evidently a colony of the Phoenicians, possibly Carthage in North Africa or Tartessus in Spain. Since the word itself means “smelting place,” it could refer to a region whence the Tyrians obtained their metals, possibly Great Britain or even somewhere in America or the Far East. The fact that the ships of Solomon took three years to go and return from Tarshish with an exotic cargo (II Chronicles 9:21) would seem to indicate a very long journey. Considerable evidence exists that the sea-going Phoenicians did sail around the tip of Africa and probably even reached America.