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It is thought that Tarshish was a land in the western Mediterranean region, probably in Spain. It was rich in silver, iron, tin and lead (Jeremiah 10:9; Ezekiel 27:12). Tarshish was a wealthy trading nation of the ancient world (Psalms 72:10; Ezekiel 27:25) and built large ships to carry goods far and wide to many countries (Jonah 1:3; Jonah 4:2).

The ships of Tarshish were so successful that they became the model on which people throughout the region built their large merchant ships. As a result, ‘ship of Tarshish’ became the common name for any large ocean-going cargo ship, especially an ore-carrier. The name described a certain kind of ship. It had nothing to do with the place where a particular ship was made, or the place to which or from which it was sailing (1 Kings 10:22; 1 Kings 22:48; Isaiah 2:16; Isaiah 23:1; Isaiah 23:14).

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Bibliography Information
Fleming, Don. Entry for 'Tarshish'. Bridgeway Bible Dictionary. 2004.

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