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The Gold of Ophir Inscription
Does this inscription mention king Solomon's gold?
This inscribed potsherd from Tel Qasileh mentions the "gold of Ophir" [ISRAEL DEPARTMENT OF ANTIQUITIES]
This fragment of an ancient pottery jar was discovered at Tel Qasile near Jaffa in Israel. It contains an inscription which mentions "Ophir gold" and the temple of Horon, a Canaanite deity. The Gold of Ophir Inscription is important in the study of Biblical archaeology. It corresponds with what the Bible says about the gold at Solomon's Temple.
"Gold of Ophir to Beth-Horon...30 shekels"
"Moreover, because I have set my affection to the house of my God, I have of mine own proper good, of gold and silver, which I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house, Even three thousand talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and seven thousand talents of refined silver, to overlay the walls of the houses withal." - I Chronicles 29:3-4
The gold of Ophir was mentioned in the Bible in connection to Solomon's Temple. Ophir was a region probably located on the southwestern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is quite possible that Ophir was on the opposite of the Red Sea, on the eastern coast of Africa. According to the Bible it could be reached by ship from Ezion-geber (I Kings 9:28). King Solomon joined with the Phoenician king Hiram and uniting a fleet of ships to bring out the gold of Ophir.
Ophir was a port or region mentioned in the Bible, famous for its wealth. King Solomon is supposed to have received a cargo of gold, silver, sandalwood, precious stones, ivory, apes and peacocks from Ophir, every three years. [Wikipedia]
Uzziah (strength of Jehovah). King of Judah B.C. 809-8 to 757-6. In some passages his name appears in the lengthened form Azariah: After the murder of Amaziah, his son Uzziah was chosen by the people, at the age of sixteen, to occupy the vacant throne; and for the greater part of his long reign of fifty-two years he lived in the fear of God, and showed himself a wise, active and pious ruler. He never deserted the worship of the true God, and was much influenced by Zechariah, a prophet who is mentioned only in connection with him. 2Ch 26:5 So the southern kingdom was raised to a condition of prosperity which it had not known since the death of Solomon. The end of Uzziah was less prosperous than his beginning. Elated with his splendid career, he determined to burn incense on the altar of God, but was opposed by the high priest Azariah and eighty others. See Ex 30:7,8; Nu 16:40; 18:7 The king was enraged at their resistance, and, as he pressed forward with his censer was suddenly smitten with leprosy. This lawless attempt to burn incense was the only exception to the excellence of his administration. 2Ch 27:2 Uzziah was buried "with his fathers," yet apparently not actually in the royal sepulchres. 2Ch 26:23 During his reign a great earthquake occurred. Am 1:1; Zec 14:5 [Smith's Bible Dictionary]
Kings of the Bible
The Kings of Israel (all wicked)
Jeroboam I (933-911 BC) twenty-two years
Nadab (911-910) two years
Baasha (910-887) twenty-four years
Elah (887-886) two years
Zimri (886) seven days
Omri (886-875) twelve years
Ahab (875-854) twenty-two years
Ahaziah (855-854) two years
Jehoram (Joram) (854-843) twelve years
Jehu (843-816) twenty-eight years
Jehoahaz (820-804) seventeen years
Jehoash (Joash) (806-790) sixteen years
Jeroboam II (790-749) forty-one years
Zechariah' (748) six months
Shallum (748) one month
Menahem (748-738) ten years
Pekahiah (738-736) two years
Pekah (748-730) twenty years
Hoshea (730-721) nine years
The Kings of Judah (8 were good)
Rehoboam (933-916 BC) seventeen years
Abijam (915-913) three years
Asa (Good) (912-872) forty-one years
Jehoshaphat (Good) (874-850) twenty-five years
Jehoram (850-843) eight years
Ahaziah (843) one year
Athaliah (843-837) six years
Joash (Good) (843-803) forty years
Amaziah (Good) (803-775) 29 years
Azariah (Uzziah) (Good) (787-735) fifty-two years
Jotham (Good) (749-734) sixteen years
Ahaz (741-726) sixteen years
Hezekiah (Good) (726-697) 29 years
Manasseh (697-642) fifty-five years
Amon (641-640) two years
Josiah (Good) (639-608) thirty-one years
Jehoahaz (608) three months
Jehoiachim (608-597) eleven years
Jehoiachin (597) three months
Zedekiah (597-586) eleven years
Some Scriptures mentioning the word "Ophir"
Chronicles 29:4 - [Even] three thousand talents of gold, of
the gold of Ophir, and seven thousand talents of
refined silver, to overlay the walls of the houses [withal]:
2 Chronicles 8:18 - And Huram sent him by the hands of his servants ships, and servants that had knowledge of the sea; and they went with the servants of Solomon to Ophir, and took thence four hundred and fifty talents of gold, and brought [them] to king Solomon.
2 Chronicles 9:10 - And the servants also of Huram, and the servants of Solomon, which brought gold from Ophir, brought algum trees and precious stones.
Job 22:24 - Then shalt thou lay up gold as dust, and the [gold] of Ophir as the stones of the brooks.
1 Kings 22:48 - Jehoshaphat made ships of Tharshish to go to Ophir for gold: but they went not; for the ships were broken at Eziongeber.
1 Kings 9:28 - And they came to Ophir, and fetched from thence gold, four hundred and twenty talents, and brought [it] to king Solomon.
Psalms 45:9 - Kings' daughters [were] among thy honourable women: upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir.
Isaiah 13:12 - I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.
Job 28:16 - It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, or the sapphire.
Genesis 10:29 - And Ophir, and Havilah, and Jobab: all these [were] the sons of Joktan.
1 Chronicles 1:23 - And Ophir, and Havilah, and Jobab. All these [were] the sons of Joktan.
1 Kings 10:11 - And the navy also of Hiram, that brought gold from Ophir, brought in from Ophir great plenty of almug trees, and precious stones.
Ophir in Easton's Bible Dictionary
(1.) One of
the sons of Joktan (Gen. 10:29). (2.) Some region famous for its
gold (1 Kings 9:28; 10:11; 22:48; Job 22:24; 28:16; Isa. 13:12). In
the LXX. this word is rendered "Sophir," and "Sofir" is the Coptic
name for India, which is the rendering of the Arabic version, as
also of the Vulgate. Josephus has identified it with the Golden
Chersonese, i.e., the Malay peninsula. It is now generally
identified with Abhira, at the mouth of the Indus. Much may be said,
however, in favour of the opinion that it was somewhere in Arabia.
Ophir in Fausset's Bible Dictionary Genesis 10:29. Placed between Sheba and Havilah, Ophir must be in Arabia. Arrian in the Periplus calls Aphar metropolis of the Sabeans. Ptolemy calls it Sapphara, now Zaphar. Eleventh of Joktan's sons. Gesenius explains Ophir, if Semitic, "fruitful region." The Himyaritic ofir means "red". The Mahra people call their country "the ofir country" and the "Red Sea" Bahr Ofir. Aphar means "dust". In 1 Kings 9:26-28; 1 Kings 10:11, Solomon's navy on the Red Sea fetched from Ophir gold and almug trees; and in 1 Kings 10:22, once in three years (which included the stay in Ophir as well as the long coasting voyage) Tarshish ships (i.e. like our term for far voyaging ships, "Indiamen") brough; "gold, silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks." Mauch, an African traveler, found at latitude 20 degrees, 15 minutes S.l longitude 26 degrees 30 minutes E., ruins resembling Solomon's temple, which he connects with Ophir.
Ophir in Hitchcock's Bible Names fruitful region
Ophir in Naves Topical Bible 1. Son of Joktan Ge 10:29; 1Ch 1:23 -2. A country celebrated for its gold and other valuable merchandise Products of, used by Solomon and Hiram 1Ki 9:28; 10:11; 2Ch 8:18; 9:10 Jehoshaphat sends ships to, which are wrecked at sea 1Ki 22:48 Gold of, proverbial for its fineness 1Ch 29:4; Job 22:24; 28:16; Ps 45:9; Isa 13:12
Ophir in Smiths Bible Dictionary (abundane). A seaport or region from which the Hebrews in the time of Solomon obtained gold. The gold was proverbial for its fineness, so that "gold of Ophir" is several times used as an expression for fine gold, 1Ch 29:4; Job 28:16; Ps 45:9; Isa 13:12 and in one passage Job 22:24 the word "Ophir" by itself is used for gold of Ophir, and for gold generally. In addition to gold, the vessels brought from Ophir almug wood and precious stones. The precise geographical situation of Ophir has long been a subject of doubt and discussion. The two countries which have divided the opinions of the learned have been Arabia and India, while some have placed it in Africa. In five passages Ophir is mentioned by name - 1Ki 9:28; 10:11; 22:18; 2Ch 8:18; 9:10 If the three passages of the book of Kings are carefully examined, it will be seen that all the information given respecting Ophir is that it was a place or region accessible by sea from Ezion-geber on the Red Sea, from which imports of gold, almug trees and precious stones were brought back by the Tyrian and Hebrew sailors. The author of the tenth chapter of Genesis certainly regarded Ophir as the name of some city, region or tribe in Arabia. It is almost certain that the Ophir of Genesis is the Ophir of the book of Kings. There is no mention, either in the Bible or elsewhere, of any other Ophir; and the idea of there having been two Ophirs evidently arose from a perception of the obvious meaning of the tenth chapter of Genesis on the one hand, coupled with the erroneous opinion, on the other that the Ophir of the book of Kings could not have been in Arabia. (Hence we conclude that Ophir was in southern Arabia, upon the border of the Indian Ocean; for even if all the things brought over in Solomon's ships are not now found in Arabia, but are found in India, yet, there is evidence that they once were known in Arabia and, moreover, Ophir may not have been the original place of production of some of them, but the great market for traffic in them.)
Ophir in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE o'-fer, o'-fir ('owphiyr (Gen 10:29), 'owphir (1 Ki 10:11), 'ophir): 1. Scriptural References: The 11th in order of the sons of Joktan (Gen 10:29 = 1 Ch 1:23). There is a clear reference also to a tribe Ophir (Gen 10:30). Ophir is the name of a land or city somewhere to the South or Southeast of Israel for which Solomon's ships along with Phoenician vessels set out from Ezion-geber at the head of the Gulf of Aqabah, returning with great stores of gold, precious stones and "almug"-wood (1 Ki 9:28; 10:11; 2 Ch 9:10; 1 Ki 22:48; 2 Ch 8:18). We get a fuller list of the wares and also the time taken by the voyage if we assume that the same vessels are referred to in 1 Ki 10:22, "Once every three years came the navy of Tarshish, bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks." The other products may not have been native to the land of Ophir, but it is certain that the gold at least was produced there. This gold was proverbial for its purity, as is witnessed by many references in the Old Testament (Ps 45:9; Job 28:16; Isa 13:12; 1 Ch 29:4), and, in Job 22:24, Ophir is used for fine gold itself. In addition to these notices of Ophir, it is urged that the name. occurs also in two passages under the form "Uphaz" (Jer 10:9; Dan 10:5). 2. Geographical Position: At all times the geographical position of Ophir has been a subject of dispute, the claims of three different regions being principally advanced, namely (1) India and the Far East, (2) Africa, (3) Arabia. (1) India and the Far East. All the wares mentioned are more or less appropriate to India, even including the fuller list of 1 Ki 10:22. "Almug"-wood is conjectured to be the Indian sandal-wood. Another argument is based on the resemblance between the Septuagint form of the word (Sophera) and the Coptic name for India (Sophir). A closer identification is sought with Abhira, a people dwelling at the mouths of the Indus. Supara, an ancient city on the west coast of India near the modern Goa, is also suggested. Again, according to Wildman, the name denotes a vague extension eastward, perhaps...
Archaeology Discoveries and the Ancient Biblical World
The Black Obelisk. In the 1840's a British man named Austen Henry Layard had a desire to travel to the Middle East and dig around some of the strange looking mounds near the City of Mosul. He had heard many tales about things being found in these mounds. He was looking for any trace of evidence that would lead him to the lost city of Nineveh, the capital of the ancient Assyrian Empire. Little did he know that one of his discoveries would turn Europe upside down with excitement. He discovered a black limestone monument which is known today as The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III. This discovery brought a new authenticity and historicity to some of the stories in the Bible. It also gained him the support of the British Museum, and all the finances he needed to continue his excavations, and become known as "The Father of Assyriology."
The Pilate Inscription. It wasn't long ago when many scholars were questioning the actual existence of a Roman Governor with the name of Pontius Pilate, the procurator who ordered Jesus' crucifixion. In June 1961 Italian archaeologists led by Dr. Frova were excavating an ancient Roman amphitheatre near Caesarea-on-the-Sea (Maritima) and uncovered this interesting limestone block. On the worn face is a monumental inscription which is part of a larger dedication to Tiberius Caesar which clearly says that it was from "Pontius Pilate, Prefect of Judea."
The Megiddo Seal Bearing King Jeroboam's Name. It is very interesting that the Jasper Seal, found at Tel Megiddo bearing the name of King Jeroboam who ruled in the Northern Kingdom of Israel, would contain the symbol for their rival, the Southern Kingdom of Judah. But in examining all of the circumstances involved and seeing what the Bible says it is no wonder that the prosperous and victorious Northern Kingdom of Israel would boast with a symbol of their enemy.
The Tomb of Cyrus the Great. An inscription on the tomb of the great Persian monarch read: "O man, whoever you are and wherever you come from, for I know that you will come--I am Cyrus, son of Cambyses, who founded the Empire of the Persians and was king of the East. Do not grudge me this spot of earth which covers my body." - Cyrus". Is it true that Isaiah the Hebrew prophet mention Cyrus by name almost 200 years before he was born?
Sennacherib's Hexagonal Prism. This amazing discovery excavated in Nineveh in the 1830 records the Assyrian king Sennacherib's 8th campaign, which includes his siege of Jerusalem during the reign of "Hezekiah the Judahite" in 701 BC. There are 500 lines of writing in the Akkadian language on this magnificent clay prism. Is the story true that it was purchased by an American from an antiquities dealer in Baghdad?
Coming Soon The Ishtar Gate of Babylon. During the last days of the southern kingdom of Judah the Jews were taken captive to a distant land called Babylon at the latter part of the 6th century BC. They passed through a beautiful entrance gate made of mud brick masonry and glazed skin which stood 47 feet tall, commonly referred to as the Ishtar Gate since its discovery at the turn of the 20th century near modern Baghdad, Iraq. The tall gate was dedicated to the gods by Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylonia who reigned from 605—562 BC). Is it true that Hitler had it transported to Berlin? Where is the Ishtar Gate now?
[Next] The Remains of Solomon's Temple
The Bible mentions many things about people, places and events that happened in history. The Bible also gives an accurate chronology of those people, places and events. What is amazing is that modern archaeology has confirmed that the Bible has never made one error, or given any clear contradictions in all of its text in matters of historical fact. The paintings and illustrations below of archaeological discoveries and ruins illustrate this emphatically.
Paintings By Bjanikka Ben and Maliyah Weston
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