Tarshish occurs in the Hebrew Bible with these meanings:

*One of the sons of Javan (Genesis 10:4).
*The name of a remote place across the sea which first comes into notice in the days of Solomon (, are really two names of one nation derived from two different sources, and might indicate the Tyrsenians or Etruscans. Thus the name may denote Italy or the European coasts west of Greece.
*In the Torah, it is also the name of a gem-stone associated with the Tribe of Asher that has been identified as chrysolite or aquamarine. [http://www.bible.ort.org/books/torahd5.asp?action=displaypage&book=2&chapter=28&verse=18&portion=20]
*One of King Ahasuerus' seven advisors who were princes of Persia and Media. [http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt3301.htm]

In later history

Tarshish is the name of a village in Lebanon. The village is located in the Baabda Kadaa at an elevation of 1400m and is 50 km away from Beirut.

Around 1665, the followers of Shabbatai Zvi in İzmir interpreted the "ships of Tarshish" as Dutch ships that would transport them to the Holy Land.

Some Old Testament scholars believe the Tarshish power to be Britain and possibly related to an Eastern Tarshish, namely India. Some, looking for the 2nd coming of Jesus and the Kingdom of God based round the land of Israel, believe that the prophecies regarding the Tarshish power have their latter day fulfilment in modern times.Who|date=July 2007

Tarshish was also the name of a short-lived political party founded by would-be assassin of Israeli Prime Minister David Ben Gurion, Moshe Dwek.

The Greek form of the name, Tharsis, was given by Giovanni Schiaparelli to a region on Mars.

Another theory is by Fr. Francisco Collin SJ. He claims that the Filipino people were descendants of Tarshish.

In Herman Melville's novel "Moby-Dick", Father Mapple gives a sermon on the story of Jonah. Father Mapple identifies the Tarshish to which Jonah flees with the port of Cádiz in Spain, "as far by water, from Joppa, as Jonah could possibly have sailed in those ancient days, when the Atlantic was an almost unknown sea" (Chapter 9, "The Sermon").

Further reading

* J. D. Muhly, copper, tin, silver and iron: the search for metallic ores as an incentive for foreign expansion. In: Gitin et al. (eds.), Mediterranean Peoples in Transition: 13th to early 10th centuries BC. In Honor of Professor Trude Dothan. Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society, 314-329.
* Hertz J.H. (1936) The Pentateuch and Haftoras. Deuteronomy. Oxford University Press, London.


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • TARSHISH — (Heb. תַּרְשִׁישׁ), (1) A distant port from which silver, iron, tin, lead, ivory, monkeys, and peacocks were brought to Palestine (cf. I Kings 10:22; Jer. 10:9; Ezek. 27:12). The location of Tarshish is uncertain, since the biblical references to …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Tarshish — [tär′shish΄] n. seaport or maritime region of uncertain location, mentioned in the Bible: cf. I Kings 10:22 …   English World dictionary

  • Tarshish —    A Sanscrit or Aryan word, meaning the sea coast.    1) One of the sons of Javan (Gen. 10:4; 1 Chr. 1:7).    2) The name of a place which first comes into notice in the days of Solomon. The question as to the locality of Tarshish has given rise …   Easton's Bible Dictionary

  • Tarshish — A port on the Mediterranean to which Jonah was fleeing (Jonah 1:3), possibly in Spain or Cyprus (Isa. 23:1) though the cargo of gold, silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks brought by the ships of Tarshish to King Solomon (1 Kgs. 10:22) argues a more… …   Dictionary of the Bible

  • Tarshish — geographical name ancient maritime country referred to in the Bible, located by some in S Spain & identified with Tartessus …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Tarshish — /tahr shish/, n. an ancient country, of uncertain location, mentioned in the Bible. I Kings 10:22. * * * …   Universalium

  • Tarshish —    A political party headed by Moshe Duek that contested the 1988 Knesset election but failed to gain a seat in parliament …   Historical Dictionary of Israel

  • TARSHISH —    a place frequently mentioned in the Old Testament, now generally identified with Tartessus, a Phoenician settlement in the SW. of Spain, near the mouth of the Guadalquivir, which became co extensive with the district subsequently known as… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Tarshish — Tar•shish [[t]ˈtɑr ʃɪʃ[/t]] n. bib geg an ancient country, of uncertain location, mentioned in the Bible. I Kings 10:22 …   From formal English to slang

  • Tarshish — /ˈtaʃɪʃ/ (say tahshish) noun an ancient country, said to have been in southern Spain; sea trade in silver and gold. I Kings 10:22 …  

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