- Probably Tartessus, a city and emporium of the Phoenicians in the south of Spain, represented as one of the sons of Javan. (Genesis 10:4; 1 Kings 10:22; 1 Chronicles 1:7; Psalms 48:7; Isaiah 2:16; Jeremiah 10:9; Ezekiel 27:12,25; Jonah 1:3; 4:2) The identity of the two places is rendered highly probable by the following circumstances: 1st. There is a very close similarity of name between them, Tartessus being merely Tarshish in the Aramaic form. 2nd. There seems to have been a special relation between Tarshish and Tyre, as there was at one time between Tartessus and Phoenicians. 3rd. The articles which Tarshish is stated by the prophet Ezekiel, (Ezekiel 27:12) to have supplied to Tyre are precisely such as we know, through classical writers, to have been productions of the Spanish peninsula. In regard to tin, the trade of Tarshish in this metal is peculiarly significant, and, taken in conjunction with similarity of name and other circumstances already mentioned, is reasonably conclusive as to its identity with Tartessus. For even not when countries in Europe or on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea where tin is found are very few; and in reference to ancient times, it would be difficult to name any such countries except Iberia or Spain, Lusitania, which was somewhat less in extent than Portugal, and Cornwall in Great Britain. In the absence of positive proof, we may acquiesce in the statement of Strabo, that the river Baetis (now the Guadalquivir) was formerly called Tartessus, that the city Tartessus was situated between the two arms by which the river flowed into the sea, and that the adjoining country was called Tartessis.
- From the book of Chronicles there would seem to have been a Tarshish accessible from the Red Sea, in addition to the Tarshish of the south of Spain. Thus, with regard to the ships of Tarshish, which Jehoshaphat caused to be constructed at Ezion-geber on the Elanitic Gulf of the Red Sea, (1 Kings 22:48) it is said in the Chronicles, (2 Chronicles 20:36) that they were made to go to Tarshish; and in like manner the navy of ships, which Solomon had previously made in Ezion-geber, (1 Kings 9:26) is said in the Chronicles, (2 Chronicles 9:21) to have gone to Tarshish with the servants of Hiram. It is not to be supposed that the author of these passages in the Chronicles contemplated a voyage to Tarshish in the south of Spain by going round what has since been called the Cape of Good Hope. The expression "ships of Tarshish" originally meant ships destined to go to Tarshish; and then probably came to signify large Phoenician ships, of a particular size the description, destined for long voyages, just as in English "East Indiaman" was a general name given to vessels, some of which were not intended to go to India at all. Hence we may infer that the word Tarshish was also used to signify any distant place, and in this case would be applied to one in the Indian Ocean. This is shown by the nature of the imports with which the fleet returned, which are specified as "gold, silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks ." (1 Kings 10:22) The gold might possibly have been obtained form Africa, or from Ophir in Arabia, and the ivory and the apes might likewise have been imported from Africa; but the peacocks point conclusively, not to Africa, but to India. There are only two species known: both inhabit the mainland and islands of India; so that the mention of the peacock seems to exclude the possibility of the voyage having been to Africa.
1. The second son of Javan, Genesis 10:4.
2. Tartessus, an ancient city between two mouths of the Guadalquiver, in the south of Spain. It was a Phoenician colony, and was the most celebrated emporium in the west to which the Hebrews and Phoenicians traded. That Tarshish was situated in the west is evident from Genesis 10:4, where it is joined with Elisha, Kittim, and Dodanim. See also Psalm 72:10. According to Ezekiel 38:13, it was an important place of trade; according to Jeremiah 10:9, it exported silver, and according to Ezekiel 27:12,25, silver, iron, tin, and lead to the Tyrian markets. They embarked for this place from Joppa, Jonah 1:3-4. In Isaiah 23:1,6,10, it is evidently represented as an important Phoenician colony. It is named among other distant states, in Isaiah 66:19. All these notices agree with Tartessus.
In some of these passages, however, Tarshish may be used as a general expression, applicable to all the distant shores of Europe; and thus the custom may have arisen of designating as "ships of Tarshish" any large merchant ships bound on long voyages in any direction. The English term Indiaman is very similarly used. Whether the ships fitted out by Solomon at Ezion-geber on the Red sea, sailed around Africa to Tarshish in Spain, or gave the name of Tarshish to some place in India of Ethiopia, as the discovers of America gave it the eastern names India and Indians, cannot now be determined, 1 Kings 10:22 22:48,49 2 Chronicles 9:21 20:26 Isaiah 23:1,14 60:9. TARSHISH
(1) Eponym of a Benjamite family (1 Chronicles 7:10); Rhamessai, A and Lucian, Tharseis
(2) One of the "seven princes" at the court of Ahasuerus (Esther 1:14 Massoretic Text).
(3) The Hebrew name of a precious stone (Ezekiel 10:9 margin, English Versions of the Bible "beryl"; Exodus 28:20; Exodus 39:13 Ezekiel 1:16; Ezekiel 28:13 Songs 5:14 Daniel 10:6).
See STONES, PRECIOUS.
TARSHISH, NAVY (SHIPS) OF
See SHIPS AND BOATS, II, 1, (2).
A Sanscrit or Aryan word, meaning "the sea coast."
(1.) One of the "sons" of Javan (Genesis 10:4; 1 Chronicles 1:7).
(2.) The name of a place which first comes into notice in the days of Solomon. The question as to the locality of Tarshish has given rise to not a little discussion. Some think there was a Tarshish in the East, on the Indian coast, seeing that "ships of Tarshish" sailed from Eziongeber, on the Red Sea (1 Kings 9:26; 22:48; 2 Chronicles 9:21). Some, again, argue that Carthage was the place so named. There can be little doubt, however, that this is the name of a Phoenician port in Spain, between the two mouths of the Guadalquivir (the name given to the river by the Arabs, and meaning "the great wady" or water-course). It was founded by a Carthaginian colony, and was the farthest western harbour of Tyrian sailors. It was to this port Jonah's ship was about to sail from Joppa. It has well been styled "the Peru of Tyrian adventure;" it abounded in gold and silver mines.
It appears that this name also is used without reference to any locality. "Ships of Tarshish" is an expression sometimes denoting simply ships intended for a long voyage (Isaiah 23:1, 14), ships of a large size (sea-going ships), whatever might be the port to which they sailed. Solomon's ships were so styled (1 Kings 10:22; 22:49).
Tarshish (24 Occurrences)
Genesis 10:4 The sons of Javan: Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 Kings 10:22 For the king had at sea a navy of Tarshish with the navy of Hiram: once every three years came the navy of Tarshish, bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks. (WEB JPS ASV BBE DBY YLT NAS RSV)
1 Kings 22:48 Jehoshaphat made ships of Tarshish to go to Ophir for gold: but they didn't go; for the ships were broken at Ezion Geber. (WEB JPS ASV BBE DBY YLT NAS RSV)
1 Chronicles 1:7 The sons of Javan: Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Rodanim. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 Chronicles 7:10 The sons of Jediael: Bilhan. The sons of Bilhan: Jeush, and Benjamin, and Ehud, and Chenaanah, and Zethan, and Tarshish, and Ahishahar. (WEB JPS ASV BBE DBY YLT NAS RSV NIV)
2 Chronicles 9:21 For the king had ships that went to Tarshish with the servants of Huram; once every three years came the ships of Tarshish, bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
2 Chronicles 20:36 and he joined himself with him to make ships to go to Tarshish; and they made the ships in Ezion Geber. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
2 Chronicles 20:37 Then Eliezer the son of Dodavahu of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, Because you have joined yourself with Ahaziah, Yahweh has destroyed your works. The ships were broken, so that they were not able to go to Tarshish. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Esther 1:14 and the next to him were Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, the seven princes of Persia and Media, who saw the king's face, and sat first in the kingdom), (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Psalms 48:7 With the east wind, you break the ships of Tarshish. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Psalms 72:10 The kings of Tarshish and of the islands will bring tribute. The kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 2:16 For all the ships of Tarshish, and for all pleasant imagery. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Isaiah 23:1 The burden of Tyre. Howl, you ships of Tarshish! For it is laid waste, so that there is no house, no entering in. From the land of Kittim it is revealed to them. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 23:6 Pass over to Tarshish! Wail, you inhabitants of the coast! (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 23:10 Pass through your land like the Nile, daughter of Tarshish. There is no restraint any more. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 23:14 Howl, you ships of Tarshish, for your stronghold is laid waste! (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 60:9 Surely the islands shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring your sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, for the name of Yahweh your God, and for the Holy One of Israel, because he has glorified you. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 66:19 "I will set a sign among them, and I will send such as escape of them to the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, who draw the bow, to Tubal and Javan, to the islands afar off, who have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the nations. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Jeremiah 10:9 There is silver beaten into plates, which is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the artificer and of the hands of the goldsmith; blue and purple for their clothing; they are all the work of skillful men. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Ezekiel 10:9 I looked, and behold, four wheels beside the cherubim, one wheel beside one cherub, and another wheel beside another cherub; and the appearance of the wheels was like a beryl stone. (See NAS)
Ezekiel 27:12 Tarshish was your merchant by reason of the multitude of all kinds of riches; with silver, iron, tin, and lead, they traded for your wares. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Ezekiel 27:25 The ships of Tarshish were your caravans for your merchandise: and you were replenished, and made very glorious in the heart of the seas. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Ezekiel 38:13 Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions of it, shall tell you, Have you come to take the spoil? have you assembled your company to take the prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods, to take great spoil? (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Jonah 1:3 But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of Yahweh. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid its fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of Yahweh. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)Tarshish (24 Occurrences)
... The question as to the locality of Tarshish has given rise to not a little
discussion. Some think there was a Tarshish in the East ...
biblethesaurus.com/t/tarshish.htm - 17k
Tarshish-ships (3 Occurrences)
Tarshish-ships. << Tarshish-ship, Tarshish-ships. Tarsus >>.
Multi-Version Concordance Tarshish-ships (3 Occurrences). 1 ...
biblethesaurus.com/t/tarshish-ships.htm - 7k
Tarshish-fleet (1 Occurrence)
Tarshish-fleet. << Tarshishah, Tarshish-fleet. Tarshish-ship >>.
Multi-Version Concordance Tarshish-fleet (1 Occurrence). ...
biblethesaurus.com/t/tarshish-fleet.htm - 6k
Tarshish-ship (1 Occurrence)
Tarshish-ship. << Tarshish-fleet, Tarshish-ship. Tarshish-ships >>.
Multi-Version Concordance Tarshish-ship (1 Occurrence). 1 Kings 22 ...
biblethesaurus.com/t/tarshish-ship.htm - 6k
Trading (24 Occurrences)
... 1 Kings 10:22 For the king had at sea a navy of Tarshish with the navy of Hiram:
once every three years came the navy of Tarshish, bringing gold, and silver ...
biblethesaurus.com/t/trading.htm - 13k
... It was brought to Solomon by his ships from Tarshish (1 Kings 10:22; 2 Chronicles
9:21), which in this case was probably a district on the Malabar coast of ...
biblethesaurus.com/p/peacock.htm - 11k
Ivory (13 Occurrences)
... 18). It was brought by the caravans of Dedan (Isaiah 21:13), and from the
East Indies by the navy of Tarshish (1 Kings 10:22). Many ...
biblethesaurus.com/i/ivory.htm - 17k
Fleet (7 Occurrences)
... 1 Kings 10:22 For the king had on the sea a Tarshish-fleet, with the fleet of Hiram:
once in three years came the Tarshish-fleet, bringing gold and silver ...
biblethesaurus.com/f/fleet.htm - 9k
Ezion-geber (6 Occurrences)
... the Elanitic branch of the Red Sea, the Gulf of Akabah, near Elath or Eloth (Numbers
33:35; Deuteronomy 2:8). Here Solomon built ships, "Tarshish ships," like ...
biblethesaurus.com/e/ezion-geber.htm - 10k
Monkeys (2 Occurrences)
... 1 Kings 10:22 For the king had Tarshish-ships at sea with the ships of Hiram; once
every three years the Tarshish-ships came with gold and silver and ivory and ...
biblethesaurus.com/m/monkeys.htm - 7k
8659. Tarshish -- a son of Javan, his desc. and their land, also a ...
... << 8658, 8659. Tarshish. 8660 >>. a son of Javan, his desc. ... noble. Transliteration:
Tarshish Phonetic Spelling: (tar-sheesh') Short Definition: Tarshish. ...
//strongsnumbers.com/hebrew2/8659.htm - 6k
8658. tarshish -- (a precious stone) perhaps yellow jasper
... tarshish. 8659 >>. (a precious stone) perhaps yellow jasper. Transliteration: tarshish
Phonetic Spelling: (tar-sheesh') Short Definition: beryl. ... tarshish. 8659 > ...
//strongsnumbers.com/hebrew2/8658.htm - 6k
Tarshish or Nineveh?
... II The Wooing Lover (John i. 1-18.) Tarshish or Nineveh? ... He went towards
Tarshish on the extreme west; just the opposite direction. ...
/.../gordon/quiet talks on johns gospel/tarshish or nineveh.htm
Jonah the Narrow-Minded Patriot
... of Amittai: "Arise, go to that great city, Nineveh, and preach against it; for their
wickedness is known to me." But Jonah started to flee to Tarshish from the ...
/.../sherman/the childrens bible/jonah the narrow-minded patriot.htm
Guilty Silence and Its Reward
... 2. Arise, go to Nineveh, that great, city, and cry against it; for their wickedness
is come up before Me.3. But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the ...
/.../maclaren/expositions of holy scripture a/guilty silence and its reward.htm
A Song of Deliverance
... they were troubled, and hasted away.6. Fear took hold upon them there, and pain,
as of a woman in travail.7. Thou breakest the ships of Tarshish with an east ...
/.../maclaren/expositions of holy scripture j/a song of deliverance.htm
Praying Saints of the Old Testaments (Continued)
... said God. But Jonah, through fear or otherwise, declined to obey God, and
took passage on a ship for Tarshish, fleeing from God. He ...
/.../bounds/prayer and praying men/ii praying saints of the.htm
... Tarshish was thy merchant by reason of the multitude of all kinds of riches;
with silver, iron, tin, and lead, they traded for thy wares. ...
/.../various/select masterpieces of biblical literature/vii ezekiels discourse.htm
... 6. "With a strong wind Thou shalt break the ships of Tarshish" (ver.6). Briefly
understood, this is, Thou shalt overthrow the pride of the nations. ...
/.../augustine/exposition on the book of psalms/psalm xlviii.htm
Book 9 Footnotes
... ch.6. sect.6.  What are here Pontus and Thrace, as the places whither Jehoshaphat's
fleet sailed, are in our other copies Ophir and Tarshish, and the place ...
/.../josephus/the antiquities of the jews/book 9 footnotes.htm
"Nineveh, that Great City"
... The prophet was seized with a great dread, and he "rose up to flee unto Tarshish."
Going to Joppa, and finding there a ship ready to sail, "he paid the fare ...
/.../white/the story of prophets and kings/chapter 22 nineveh that great.htm
... 4. And the sons of Javan: Ellshah and Tarshish, Kittim and Dodanim. ... "Tarshish"
must be the old city of Tartessus in southern Spain. ...
//christianbookshelf.org/leupold/exposition of genesis volume 1/chapter x.htm