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Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary

Tarshish

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a country of this name, whither Solomon sent his fleets, 1 Kings 10:22 ; 2 Chronicles 9:11 . There is a multitude of different opinions concerning this country. Josephus, and the Chaldee and Arabic paraphrasts, explain it of Tarsus, a city of Cilicia; the Septuagint, St.

Jerom, and Theodoret, understand it of Carthage. The Arabian geographer will have it to be Tunis in Africa. Bochart makes it to be Tartessus, an island in the Straits of Gades. By Tarshish, M. Le Clerc understands Thassus, an island and city in the AEgean sea. Grotius thinks that the whole ocean was called Tarshish, because of the famous city of Tartessus, now mentioned. Sanctius believes the sea in general to be called Tarshish, and that the ships of Tarshish were those that are employed in voyages at sea, in opposition to the small vessels that are used only in most navigable rivers. The LXX translate Tarshish sometimes by "the sea;" and the Scripture gives the names of ships of Tarshish to those that were fitted out at Ezion-Geber, on the Red Sea, and which sailed upon the ocean, as well as to those that were fitted out at Joppa, and in the ports of the Mediterranean. Therefore, when we see ships fitted out upon the Red Sea, or at Ezion-Geber, in order to go to Tarshish, we must conclude one of these two things, either that there were two countries called Tarshish, one upon the ocean, and another upon the Mediterranean, or that ships of Tarshish in general signifies nothing else but ships able to bear a long voyage; large merchant ships, in opposition to the small craft intended for a home trade in navigable rivers.

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Bibliography Information
Watson, Richard. Entry for 'Tarshish'. Richard Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/wtd/t/tarshish.html. 1831-2.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, November 18th, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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