Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index


Tarshish - a Sanscrit or Aryan word, meaning "the sea coast." It occurs in the Bible in two meanings:

1. One of the "sons" of Javan.

2. The name of a place which first comes into notice in the days of Solomon. In all probability this was the south Spanish trading city that was known to the Greekss as Tartessos (see there for non-biblical history). However, the name is sometimes also used in more general meanings, the bible uses the term ships of Tarshish to denote large ships intended for large voyages whatever their destination, and Jonah's fleeing to Tarshish must probably be taken as 'a place very far away' rather than a precise geographical term.

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