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Tarshish: Two Places, One, or None?
Tarshish was a son of Javan (Genesis 10:4), a name which came to refer to the Phoenicians, with which Tyre was connected. The name may have come in later days to refer to any seafaring merchant power — either to the east or the west of Israel (cp. Jonah 1:3; Ezekiel 27:12; 1 Kings 9:26; 10:22; 2 Chronicles 9:21). Attempts to identify Tarshish with a single marine power — such as Britain in earlier days, or America in later times — always seem to run afoul of at least some of the Bible evidence. That Tarshish represents a Last Days power or powers is evident from Ezekiel 38:13 and Psalms 72:10. “Tarshish” appears in Ezekiel as an ally of “Sheba and Dedan,” to be broken by God’s power (Isaiah 2:11-17; 23:14). But later it will bring gifts to Christ (Psalms 72:10), including “thy sons” (Isaiah 60:9).