Nor is there much more certainty to be gathered from the names of the places we are in quest of; for though it be allowed that Ophir was the country which at first was peopled by Ophir, one of Joktan's sons, who are said to have inhabited the country from Mesha to Sephar, a mountain in the east; yet, where Mesha and Sephar are to be placed, we know no more than we do where Ophir lies (4: 66). Cites Calmet in his favor (re Ophir = India) (106-7). But is it sufficient, even supposing that the service of this force was appointed beyond the limits of the tribes? But all the commodities from Ava and the inland countries might be conveyed down the rivers Ava and Pegu and the communication would not have been remote from Siam (94). Ports of Arabia procured, did not take care to secure Pilots to conduct his Ships to Whoever doubts of the justness of this conclusion may avoid the trouble of reading the dissertation upon it. Bochart has laboured to support this opinion. SW monsoon pushes ship back to Arabian gulf in a very few weeks in Nov. but NE monsoon forces stay at Mocha until May of third year (439). Since this latter period also has received much more attention from scholars than the decades before 1850 (which has received all but no attention), I also had a better sense of wheels that could safely be left un-reinvented. But might / not a vessel, with the North wind, proceed down the Arabian Gulf wait the change of the monsoon, and receive the Soutlt-West to carry her to the coast of Malabar and Ceylon; wait six months till the next monsoon, which would take her to the coast of Ava; she would wait there till the change of the regular wind, which would be a year and a half; and in the same time make her return (99-100). Peacocks: the Hebrew might mean parrots or pheasants; and there are more peacocks in India than in Ava, in any case (44-45). Red Sea It cannot be positively affirmed, that the Isle of Ceylon has been formerly rich in Gold, as many of the Learned believed, and that this Fleet, which certainly went thither, drew its Gold from thence, as it did its Precious Stones, Caffia and Cinnamon; but it may be supposed with much greater Probability, that it got it from some Part of the Peninsula of Malacca, called anciently the Chersonese of Gold, or from the Island of Sumatra, since this has been always, as it still is, full of this precious Metal. rich Merchandizes of their Commerce, as well as of the Rout which they had to go; Charles Thompson, Travels (1744): Ophir has been sought for almost in every part of the world, and yet remains a terra incognita; though one would hardly believe the discovery to be so difficult, considering the various indices by which the scriptures seem to point out (3: 370-371). Cites Herbert, the early English traveller, who places Ophir in Malacca (95). He also made himself a throne of prodigious bigness, of ivory, constructed as a seat of justice, and having six steps to it; on every one of which stood, on each end of the step, two lions, two other lions standing above also; but at the sitting place of the throne, hands came out, and received the king; / and when he sat backward, he rested on half a bullock, that looked towards his back, but still all was fastened together with gold (1: 388-389). Through hard work and determination, historians struggle through this foliage to reach the light of day, where they can gain a clearer perspective on the past. He conducted his ex/periments on a large scale ; sparing upon them no pains and. Cites Diodorus etc (99), the Desire almost all Nations had to possess it (101), See Europe file for his answer to why no more gold in Spain today. This hypothesis is supported by a writer in the Gentleman's Magazine for 1786 (2: 261), which he calls very fanciful and untenable illustrations. Beawes 1793 continued: opens with year in which Solomon made voyages: a little after receiving from God the Gift of Wisdom, and having begun to build the Temple, i.e in the 4th year of his reign (1: 78). He is Lord of all, who is our Lord, the Lord Jesus Christ. We firther think that the situation of Tarshish is not in any way connected with this inquiry: ships were made in Tarshish, or Solomon sent ships to both places, but not necessarily on the same journey. Apparently either Ceylon or Peru, but rejects Peru on the grounds that its not the true name of the country (1: 170). to make appear more clearly than has ever yet been done, which Way it took for Isaiah 13:12 I will make people more rare than fine gold, even a person than the pure gold of Ophir. Juan Munoz, History of the New World (1797) on Columbuss discovery of gold in Hispaniola: some from banks of the River Hayna, and gold grains in Cibao The earth was so richly mixed with this metal, that it was supposed every workman might collect, with moderate industry, three drachms a day. Denham calls these on many accounts very plausible suppositions. India: Champollion notes that India is Ophir in Coptic; Josephus says that Shems grandson settled in India, and places Ophir in the Aurea Chersonesus, which belongs to India; i.e. The principal argument on which he seems to rely depends on the time of the going and coming of the fleet (99). Dos Santos accounts for the three-year trip on the grounds that today (1620s), ships on Mozambique coast spend a year selling their freight or collecting what is owing to the merchants before returning to Europe. The three years consumed in making the voyage, and the identity of the radical letters of Ophir and Peru, have given rise to the irrational hypothesis that the New World furnished gold for the Hebrew temple. Gesenius says Arabia (12: 333); but in that case the gold must have come from somewhere else. There is a large mountain so named, and it abounds in gold. Buffon insists positively that peacocks were not wild in Africa till they were introduced by the Portuguese, and that therefore Ophir could not be in Africa As to the first five places mentioned above, there are obvious insuperable objections to them all. The immediate vicinity of the kingdoms, their similarity of language, habits and dress, contributed to render them, as it were, one people. Nothing can be more plausible than Bruce's account of the voyage of Solomon, as performed by monsoons, to Sofala, and taking up the exact time mentioned in Scripture, three years. Malacca than a year.
Anti-Slavery Reporter and Aborigines' Friend 1847 on US trade with Sofala, including gold and gold dust; Sofala being the Ophir mentioned by Solomon, whence the Tyrian merchants derived most of the valuables in use at that remote day. Citing Hunts Merchants Magazine, the author of this paper thinks that the slave-trade which there exists to such a horrible extent would be done away with by the combined efforts of merchants in that quarter via legitimate commerce (2: 159). See below for his claim that Ophir is in Ava (Burma). And then, as to the other channel, across the desert to the Euphrates and Persian Gulf, the key of this also was in the hand of Solomon, by virtue of his military stations on the Euphrates, and his complete command of the desert country west of that river. They follow the Mahometan religion, and use rosaries, or strings of beads, like the papists (58). Guinea, and Negroeland, still resorted to from Europe for gold, &c. was then likewise visited for the same. Cites Robinson at length (73-78). Available on ECCO. If we reject India, we shall not certainly, with some savans, travel as far as Peru in quest of our object, notwithstanding the slight resemblance of name (7). If human happiness were uniformly proportionate to the degree of elevation in the scale of society, and the extent of worldly riches, some plausible pretence might be framed for that eager ambition which characterizes so large a part of mankind; but, if Solomon may be congratulated as remarkably happy, this arose not from his being unusually rich, but pre-eminently wise. This is copied from Prideaux. But when he reviewed the works he had wrought, and considered what painful labours they had cost him, he was forced to own, that he had been labouring in vain: for he saw in all things vanity and vexation / of mind, and that nothing was lasting under the sun (1: 219-220). Ranking makes frequent reference to gold and golden, terms which are universally applied to whatever belongs to the monarch of the Burmese. Owen, Voyages to Explore the Shores of Africa (1833), reporting his visit to Sofala, which had excited the strongest interest amongst us; in olden times, it was the Ophir of Solomon the spot whither the early but venturous Phoenician navigators steered their cumbrous barks, and where, in later years, Albuquerque and the last heroes of the Portuguese race had distinguished themselves. In note: it has escaped the numerous inquirers into the truth of this being the Ophir of Scripture, that the Arab name for Sofala was Zofar or Zofaal. William Jacob, An Historical Inquiry into the Production and Consumption of the Precious Metals (1831): The metallic wealth which was collected at the time of Solomon's greatness had not arisen solely from the spoil of the nations which the Hebrews had subdued, or the profits arising from their agricultural pursuits. Job 22:24 Lay your treasure in the dust, the gold of Ophir among the stones of the brooks. This view [in Kings] of the intercourse between Phoenicia and Judea may enable us to account for a circumstance otherwise so strange, as that Solomon, the monarch of a country which afforded no articles for distant foreign trade, who had neither ships nor sailors in his dominions, and only the port of Ezion-geber, on the eastern branch of the northern part of the Red Sea, which had been conquered by his father, and the inhabitants destroyed, should have undertaken distant commercial expeditions. Dr Doig then proceeds to fix the situation of Tarshish before he ascertains the real Ophir, and the former he alleges was in Spain, near the mouth of the Guadalquivir, namely, Spanish Boetica, celebrated for its mines of silver, where there were a city, a lake, and a river, called Tarlessus by Aristotle, which is simply another name of Tarshish. Of the various products mentioned, the only one which from the Old Testament notices can be regarded as clearly native to Ophir is the gold, and according to Pliny and Strabo the region of Southeastern Arabia bordering on the Persian Gulf was a famous gold-producing country. To this it has been properly objected that Ophir had no affinity to Taprobana, even though Taprobana were not the Island of Ceylon but the peninsula of Malacca; and also, if Ophir had been situated on the Indian Ocean, there was no necessity to reach it by ships, as a commercial intercourse could have been carried on by caravans, which has been the Oriental custom from the most remote ages of antiquity (2: 258). The BP files consist in screenshots of pages from the British Periodicals Database; the news files include screenshots (with the highlighted search terms intact) from 19th Century British Newspapers and UK Periodicals. The grandeur of the Israelites was of short continuance; civil discord weakened the Hebrew nation and led to plunder by Syrian kings (7). The Septuagint sometimes reads Saphir for Ophir though the countries were not maritime, yet these might trade with [Solomons ships] by going up the Tigris and Euphrates. Entry Uphaz, says this is the same as Ophir: cf Daniel 10:5, Jeremiah 10: 9. Instead, Sumatra: there is a mountain on the north end of it, which is to this day called Ophir, where much gold ever has been and is yet found; the distance of which likewise better agrees with the time Solomons fleets took to perform those voyages (6). It is hardly worth the trouble of demolition. Ranking is struck by the astonishing fact that the few articles enumerated as the products of Ophir (and which are common throughout the east) are to be found in the Burmese empire, leaves no room for doubting First, Ava was never called Ava by Burmese; rather, Aungwa or Aeenwa; Burma itself is known to them as Myamma.
Now gold and other precious commodities being found in many parts of Africa, this newly discovered country became celebrated and got a great name (Ophir). William Fleming, A Gazetteer of the Old and New Testaments (1838), entry Ophir: Some place it in Peru, and this opinion has been adopted because Solomon is said to have garnished the Temple with precious stones, and the gold was the gold of Parvaim, 2 Chron. Others think, that this island is the Ophir mentioned in scripture, and that the inhabitants learned the imperfect account they have of the origin of the world, from the servants of Solomon, who came hither for gold and other precious commodities (5: 459). An attempt made during the reign of Jehoshaphat to reach Ophir did not succeed, as the ships prepared for this undertaking in Ezion-Geber broke on the rocks (I Kings 22:49). Editor adds that Bruce sides with this. Barnett, A Catalogue of the Nimrud Ivories (1957), 59ff., 168. Of this gold, he caused to be cast two hundred targets weighing 600 shekels each, which he hung in hall of Grove of Lebanon (3). In Africa, too, they might hunt apes, monkeys, baboons, &c. Namely, Tarshish = Hispania Baetica, or Andalusia. Others decide in favour of the peninsula of Malacca, which abounds in precious ores, apes, and peacocks; others prefer Sumatra. Lipenius follows Josephus in saying Ophir includes every coast and island from Ceylon to the Indian Arxhipelago. The three most probable theories are Arabia, Africa, and India (2: 441). And this will bring us to the great peninsula of Hindostan, for the seat of Ophir and his brethren: to which, accordingly we find, that regular voyages have in the earliest times been made from the mouth of the Red sea across the Indian ocean (3: 453). John Brown, Dictionary of the Holy Bible (originally 1769; quoted from 1800 ed. He says very justly, at looking for Ophir we must abide by the words of Scripture; the voyage to it must take up three years, neither more nor less; it must abound with mines of gold and especially silver. Thomas Maurice, Indian Antiquities (1800; orig 1793-4), on the golden Sofala which was the Ophir of Scriptures, whence David and Solomon obtained those immense treasures, which animated the former to project, and enabled the latter to complete, the stately Temple of Jerusalem with all the various golden ornaments used in its public worship. 450 talents of gold in one ship alone (7: 451), i.e. Salmon says no, but: both Sacred and Profane writers agree, that the Phoenicians had traffic all over the known globe, including England, where they mined tin: the tracks of the antients are forgotten; astonishing changes are wrought by time; and Ciceros barbarous and ignorant Britain is now the mistress of Sciences and Arts (29). Here the Greeks found the commodities of the east, or received them in their own ports from the hands of the Phnicians: for they were not allowed to enter the harbours of Egypt till the reign of Psammtichus; and the very names of the articles they obtained were derived from the Phnicians; cites Herodotus (270); let us supposed that the advantages of Hiram were equal to those of Solomon: though Solomon enjoyed the profits of the transit, Hiram had the whole emolument of the commerce with the West. Solomon earned 666 talents of gold (3,646,350), an extravagant sum at first sight! In addition to these notices of Ophir, it is urged that the name. This was certainly a circuitous passage, and might well take three years to accomplish, in their coasting way of sailing, before the discovery of the compass. Bowles prefaces this poem with a summary of its narrative: The Book opens with the resting of the Ark on the mountains of the great Indian Caucasus, considered by many authors as Ararat (xv). The other wares were not necessarily produced in Ophir, but were probably brought there from more distant lands, and thence conveyed by Solomon's merchantmen to Ezion-geber.
The gold of Ophir, so often mentioned, must be that which was procured in Arabia, on the coast of the Red Sea.
In most cases full bibliographical information and context for the quote can be found by clicking the titles, which will take you to a page where the quote begins; or by following up the source in Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) where Ive noted that. ), is, in the Septuagint and Arabic versions, the gold of Arabia. shews what I am contending for, that only Commerce could furnish such a Treasure. Cites Malynes on David (26). Joseph Reeve, Practical Discourses upon the Perfections of God (1796): Solomon heaped together prodigious treasures of gold and silver, the wealth of kings and provinces, such as none ever possessed before him in Jerusalem. Whether Ceylon was the Ophir of Jewish history, has been disputed by many ingenious Europeans (47). 48, goes against this idea, for it tells us, that Jehoshaphat made ships of Tarshish to go to Ophir for gold; but they went not, for the ships were broken, at Ezion-geber. Now this Ezion-geber is at the foot of the Elanitic gulf in the Red Sea, and was the place to which the Israelites returned, when God sware that they should not enter immediately into the land of Canaan (2: 411). It does not sufficiently appear that the same vessels which made the voyage to Ophir also went to Tarshish; and it may even be doubted whether Solomon sent ships to that place, or, if he did, whether it was not very near Judea, and merely a depot for the merchandise of more distant countries, brought there by vessels belonging to that place. Humphrey Prideaux, The Old and New Testaments Connected (1725; orig 1715): there are great disputes among learned men, in what parts of the eastern world Ophir and Tarshish lay. She thinks three years is a long time to get to India and back; he says voyages were undertaken with extreme caution back then (190). Oer Arianas spectred wilderness (51). It is certain that Punt was in the area of Somalia, and it is thus likely that Ophir was situated there as well. The bordrers of Erythrean launchd
William Ibbotson, Agricultural Distress: Its Cause and Remedy (1837; defending free trade) compares England with Tyre: i.e. Perhaps the best elucidation of the difficulty is given by Heeren; i.e. To these hypotheses it may be also added that Java, Siam, Bengal, Cabul at the head of the Indus, and other countries, have all had their several advocates as the greatly disputed Ophir of the Scriptures (259); in whatever way the / reader may determine in favour of this disputed point in ancient sacred geography, it certainly appears that the coast of Africa below the Gulf, not to mention Sofala in particular, was the nearest country at which the fleet of the Hebrew king could arrive, to obtain those commodities of native produce, as nearly as we can define the articles mentioned in Scripture, with which the fleet was freighted on its return. This blog post is a Borgesian effort to restore the forest in its lush wonderor at least for the main trunk of my research, covering the period before 1850. I pity a people, so destitute of all taste and skill in the fine arts as yours. Cadiz (96). Joseph Skinner 1805, The Present State of Peru (1805): In the time of Solomon, how many regions did not the earth contain, felicitous in the wisdom of their legislature, in the flourishing condition of their agriculture, or in the pastures which afforded nourishment to their useful and numerous flocks? They were not lodged in his coffers with the avarice of a miser; but were profusely expended on all that they could procure of sensual gratification (62). Since the links on that post no longer work, I've pasted it in below, with the associated research notes immediately following. Helon: "There have not been wanting amongst us in all ages excellent artificers." Referees of my articles often comment that they have a hard time seeing the forest for the trees, or words to that effect.
This writer farther maintains that the Cape of Good Hope was well known, frequented, and often doubled, in Solomon's time, and many years afterwards. Repeats claim that Ranking misplaced Pegu (43-44). And what Portuguese called Ava was really pronounced Ayngwa: The misnomer of early travellers, who were exceedingly ill-informed, as to the names of places especially is thus made the foundation of a theory! (43).
All therefore that is recorded in the Bible is abundantly corroborated by the. It is therefore probable that they wintered, during the violence of the SW. monsoon, either at Ceylon, or on the north-east coast, and compleated their voyages during the moderate part of the other monsoon (339). The reason also why he fixes upon Sofala for Ophir is not satisfactory / to us. The import of gold, therefore, we carry up as high of the reign of Solomon, and bring it down to the time of Ptolemy Philadelphus (269). On the Age of the Book of Job, Biblical Review (1846; Congregational): Ophir occurs twice in the book of Job (22:24, 28:16) and never in the Pentateuch, though it often makes mention of gold At any rate there was no trade to Ophir, and no gold from Ophir, in Israel before the time of Solomon; and on that account we find it first mentioned in the later Psalms No one, at least, can very well deny that the two passages, 1 Kings ix. This entry is signed J.R.B (J. R. Beard). In any case, the commercial effort which they made in the reign of Solomon was merely a transient one, and they quickly returned to their former state of unsocial seclusion from the rest of mankind (9).
Excerpted in Missionary Magazine 1809. And ought it not, therefore, to be looked for in the vicinity of the countries they inhabit, since this genealogical geography always observes a certain order of situation, whatever Bochart and Calmet may say to the contrary? His real sin was taking to himself wives from among the idolatrous nations; this subjected him to to the grossest of human appetites, to that which swallows up and extinguishes as in a furious whirlpool all intellectual, all moral, all spiritual good (157). Maffeus believed it was Pegu; and it is said that the Peguans pretend lo be descended from those Jews, whom Solomon sent to work the mines of this country. The Indian Sofala mentioned by Arabic translators is not recorded to have been productive of gold (422). Some extend this to Joppa, based on a quote from Herodotus (442-443).
Beere 1790 (Lincolnshire clergyman), Second Epistle to the Chief Priests and Elders of the Jews: We are led to think, from some expressions in the holy writings, that when the Lord shall begin to turn your captivity, then England shall stand foremost among the nations, to convey you home to your own country For the Holy Spirit, in the writings of the prophet Isaiah, when it is predicting of your final restoration and the rebuilding of Jerusalem, speaks by a figure of speech, as having a fore-view of the fleet of ships, bringing you home to your own land: viz, the Isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them (37). General commentary (major writers)
Possibly the word is the Malayan name for the pretious metal (30). After this, they returned back around the Cape and touched in Eloth or Ezion-geber (225).
The enthusiastic discoverer has a claim to indulgence, partly on account of the novelty of the things, and partly owing to the deficient state of geography on those days, and partly out of a wish to discover / wonderful things, to encrease his importance at the court (1: 415-416). We are informed of the amount of the precious metals which the fleets brought back to Solomon at the termination of a voyage of three years' duration, but whether it far exceeded the value of what they carried with them appears at least doubtful; and if we may judge from the / circumstance of the trade ceasing with the reign of him who began it, and that long before his death, we shall perhaps conclude that it was not found beneficial, or in so small a degree as not to induce the continuance of it. Sofala produces peacocks, ivory, and apes; but Bruce says nothing of a peculiar tree, the algutn-tree, which must have been of very extraordinary value, as it was brought from so great a distance. Lists what I should think absolutely necessary to be required to mark the situation of Ophir: 3-year voyage, must exhibit the marks of great mines and excavations, and must abound with gold, silver, precious stones, peacocks, apes, and the algum-tree (91). Not Solomon, nor all his successors, in all their glory, made an appearance to be / compared with this (41-42).
Solomons navigators were from Tyre, which was on the Mediterranean, not the Red Sea (105-6). This is the regular course of the trade the concurrent testimony of the Portuguese and Arabs, together with our own voyage, proves that the same winds continue without intermission till the end of September.
But Solomon's wealth, in the days of his glory, was his share as head of a wealthy nation, and not concentrated from scanty coffers. Newbold, A Visit to the Gold Mine and Summit of Mount Ophir in the Malay Peninsula, Journal of the Asiatic Society (1833): Whether this mountain, or its namesake on Pulo Percha or Sumatra, or the one in Sofala, or Jamesons Ophir on the S.E. Henry Salt, A Voyage to Abyssinia (1814): From the observations made in the course of this voyage up the coast of Africa, it appears that no natural obstacles exist to have prevented early navigators from making a direct voyage from Sofala to the Red Sea. Grotius agrees that Solomons ships only went as far as Arab coast, to which the Indians brought down their merchandises to be bought by Solomon's / factors (4: 67-68). In the calamities which afterwards befel Israel and Judah, and the revolutions which subverted the whole political system of western Asia, it is not wonderful that every trace of this distant intercourse should have been obliterated; and that the successors of Alexander should have had to enter on a new field of discovery. It is, however, certain that the most important and productive branches of trade were carried on for the benefit of the king (220). The people boast of being descended from Abraham and can distinctly reckon the genealogies in our Bible. The great similarity between these sounds must be considered as a convincing, if not decisive, proof that the Ophir of Solomon and the Zofar of the Arabs are one and the same place, especially as the license in our translation of Oriental orthography offers no obstacle to error or guide to truth (1: 318). Thomas Stackhouse, A New History of the Holy Bible (1796; orig 1737): Amidst the vast variety of opinions concerning the situation of these two famous places, Ophir and Tarshish, the learned Grotius has suggested a good expedient how to find them out; namely, by considering what commodities were brought from thence, and then enquiring of merchants, who have been in the remoter parts of the world, where not only gold and precious stones, but ivory likewise, and almug trees, and whatever else we read of, was brought from thence, is now to be found. There is not the slightest proof that any knowledge of America, especially such a knowledge as would cause a commercial intercourse, existed in the time of Solomon, and Sir Walter Raleigh informs us that Peru is not the true name of the country so called, but was given to it by the Spaniards in consequence of their mistaking the answer of the natives to a question they did not understand (2: 257-258). Tarshish had been the emporium of the most distant trade of the Phoenicians westward, and the ships engaged in this trade, having to make the longest voyage then known, were probably distinguished by peculiarities in their size and construction It is indeed true that while in the Book of Kings it is said that the ships went to Ophir, in the Chronicles it is said that they went to Tarshish, without any reference to Ophir, and we must come to something like the conclusion that these two names denote the principal intermediate and ulterior points of the voyage. Isaac Taylor, The Book of Commerce by Sea and Land (1830): Solomon saw the advantage of commerce, and employed his wealth in endeavouring to obtain a share of it. (Edinburgh: Andrew Bell, 1810), includes a five-page entry on Ophir; where to fix its situation is the great difficulty. Starts with Bruce, who to the satisfaction of most of his readers he has determined Ophir to be Sofala (15: 165; long excerpt, 165-66).
James Caulfield, The Antiquity, Honor and Dignity of Trade (1813; updated version of William Perrys edition from mid-18th century), on the Honor and Dignity of Trade: As Trade is the grand object the British Nation has in view an attempt to shew how honorable commerce has been deemed in all ages and times, in respective flourishing states, is neither a work impertinent nor useless; starting with Jews (1).