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What is Tarshish?
        TAR'SHISH or THAR'SHISH
        (rocky ground?). 1 Kgs 10:22; 1 Kgs 22:48. In the genealogies given in Genesis we find "Elishah and Tarshish, Kittim and Dodanim. By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands." Gen 10:4-5. We read of "the kings of Tarshish and of the isles." Ps 72:10. Solomon's "ships went to Tarshish with the servants of Huram; every three years once came the ships of Tarshish, bringing gold and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks." 2 Chr 9:21. Tarshish is mentioned with distant places: "The isles afar off." Isa 66:19. It must have been on the seacoast, for we frequently read of the "ships" and the "navy" of Tarshish. See 1 Kgs 10:22; Ps 48:7; Isa 2:16; Isa 23:1, Num 23:14; Isa 60:9; Eze 27:25. It was the seat of a vast and profitable commerce with Tyre. Eze 27:12-25. Jonah embarked from Joppa for Tarshish. Jon 1:3; Num 4:2. Situation. - There has been much discussion as to the site of Tarshish. 1. Some have identified it with Tarsus in Cilicia. There is a similarity in the names, and there has always existed an extensive commerce between Joppa and Tarsus, so that vessels were constantly passing from one port to the other. The Arabs identify Tarshish with Tarsus. But this opinion is very slenderly supported. 2. Most scholars would identify Tarshish with the southern part of Spain and with Tartessus. This was a Phoenician colony, the emporium for the products of Spain as well as the Phoenician depot for the exports from Great Britain. Thus there was an extensive trade in the various products mentioned as carried by the ships of Tarshish. Eze 27:12; comp. Jer 10:9. But from the fact that ships of Tarshish sailed also from Ezion-geber, on the Red Sea, 1 Kgs 9:26; 1 Kgs 22:48; 2 Chr 9:21; 2 Chr 20:36, some have inferred that there was also a Tarshish in the remote East. Others, however, suppose that "ships of Tarshish was the general name for a certain class of vessels fitted for long voyages, like the British East Indiamen, and hence not necessarily trading to an Eastern port of the name of Tarshish.


Bibliography Information
Schaff, Philip, Dr. "Biblical Definition for 'tarshish' in Schaffs Bible Dictionary".
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