Lost Land of Ophir

Ophir is the now-lost realm of biblical fame, recorded in the Old Testament for the fine quality of its gold, which was brought to Solomon by his Tyrian sailors. Eziongeber, the point of departure for Solomon’s ships, lay at the head of the Gulf of Aqaba on the Red Sea, which suggests that the expedition’s destination lay somewhere to the south—and the question that has intrigued scholars for generations is: where? The ancient ruins discovered in Zimbabwe have been put forward as a possible site for Ophir, but they don’t seem to be old enough. Zanzibar on the east coast of Africa has also been mentioned, but that too is a very doubtful proposition. Because the voyage of Solomon’s gold convoy apparently occupied some three years, more distant lands have been sought as an answer to the question of where?, such as the delta of the River Indus (near what is now Karachi in Pakistan), Johore in southern Malaysia, Goa on the west coast of India, Malabar on the southwest coast of India, Malacca (earlier, Malaka) on the west coast of Malaysia, and Sumatra (Indonesia)—each of these has been suggested as the possible original Ophir; even Spain, Armenia, Phrygia (now Anatolia, central Turkey), and distant Peru have had their supporters.

“And king Solomon made a navy of ships in Ezion-geber, which is beside Eloth, on the shore of the Red Sea, in the land of Edom. And Hiram sent in the navy his servants, shipmen that had knowledge of the sea, with the servants of Solomon. And they came to Ophir, and fetched from thence gold, four hundred and twenty talents, and brought it to King Solomon.”
(1 KINGS 9:26–28)

This fragment of an ancient pottery jar was discovered at Tel Qasile near Jaffa in Israel. It contains an inscription which mentions "Ophir gold" and the temple of Horon, a Canaanite deity. The Gold of Ophir Inscription is important in the study of Biblical archaeology. It corresponds with what the Bible says about the gold at Solomon's Temple.

It is interesting to note that on the coast of Abyssinia (modern Ethiopia) there is a people who call themselves the Aphar; it does not take much imagination to derive “Ophir” from “Aphar.” One atlas of ancient and classical geography suggests that Ophir might have been located in the region of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). However, it seems most likely that Ophir is to be found closer to home, so to speak—specifically, it probably once existed in Arabia, perhaps on the west coast bordering the Red Sea or on the south coast facing the Arabian Sea. On the other hand, Charles Boland is quite clear as to its ancient whereabouts: “When King Solomon built his fabulous temple . . . he employed the ships of Tarshish to journey to Ophir (India).”

The exact location of Ophir remains a mystery, although there have been many ideas put forward by Bible students. Flavius Josephus (38 - 100 AD), the Jewish historian, linked Ophir with India and it is possible to show that from the second millennium BC there was a busy sea trade taking place between the Persian Gulf and India. Josephus connected Ophir with "Cophen, an Indian river, and in part of Asia adjoining to it," (Antiquities of the Jews I:6). Easton's Bible Dictionary (1897) adds a connection to "Sofir," the Coptic name for India. Many modern scholars still place Ophir on the coast of India, in what is now Poovar.

(Source : Seafaring, Lore and Legend by Peter D. Jeans; http://www.biblelight.org/arch6.htm)
(Pics source : 1st from http://oneyearbibleimages.com/solomon_map.gif, 2nd from http://www.bible-history.com/archaeology/israel/2-gold-of-ophir-bb.html)

Lost Land of Ophir Lost Land of Ophir Reviewed by Tripzibit on January 03, 2009 Rating: 5


Anonymous said...

First, some people strongly considered Sumatra Island (Indonesia)as the original site of the famous legendary "Atlantis",...second, as the lost city of Ophir. What's next?

nick peniai said...

The Biblical Lost land of Ophir is the Island of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea. The Island was once described by Sir Val Duncan the chairman of Rio Tinto Zinc Group as the CROWN while labelling RTZ owned gold and copper mine in Panguna as the JEWEL in the CROWN. It is the Northern most Island of the Solomon Islands group named by explorer Captain Mendana convinced that these Islands could well be where King Solomon got his gold from. He was not wrong. I have with me a 80 year old map of Ophir(West coast of Bougainville Island) with rivers and land marks as described in the bible and the map also contains biblical quotes which are essential in identifying the land marks as described in the bible.

Waudi Rokar said...

That's true because Israel is last frontier of Asia and Papua New Guinea is also the last frontier of Asia.

Ezrayah Hawkins said...

Just repeating a great scholar that said Ophir is in the Island of a carebean sea originally name Kiskeyah (High Land of Yah). Now call Ahaiti or Haiti today. Kind David Citadel is also there at Milo in the North part of the island.

Aaron Pita said...

This is not true. Land of Ophir is Bougainville Island, Papua New Guinea

excited said...

The bible says ophir is in a far away land in the east consist of many islands (gentile nation) facing Chin(China) across the sea. The scholars can say what they want to say it's only their theory. They haven't read the bible thoroughly. Maybe they never did.

excited said...

Ophir is in a far away land in the east facing china across the sea consist of many islands.

nghnino said...

The Land of Ophir is the Philippines, in the Bible King Solomon uses the entire Naval Fleet of king Hiram, there is also an account that the travel there takes years, and the direction of Travel is east, Isaiah always mention the Islands of the Seas, THe Spanish document of 1519 documents this strong evidence in "Collecion General de Documentos Relativos a las Islas Filipinas" Also Philippines is very special it is the only Christian country in Asia, Philippines is the gateway to Asia, Philippines is very strategic and it is the 2nd largest Gold producer, tons of Gold are in the Philippines (also accdng to George W Bush) Philippines is the only Asian pacific country who take refuge the escaping Jewish in World war 2 and also by 1947 the only country in Asia who voted for Israel. here is the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87ymjrGPdOw

mishal almontei said...

The Land of Ophir is no other than the modern Philippines (it could be the Luzon area) due to these valid claims--

1. Spaniards knew it and described it very graphically the exact location of ancient Ophir in their travel guide-- "composed of islands in front of (Cathay) China.
2. Solomon fleet (probably the Phoenician "Lequois" (Heb. means "gatherer") navigate the sea for around 3.5 years!
3. Archaeological sites proved of once rich gold mines in the Philippines, simply because Philippines is rich in gold! Until now Philippines is a huge gold exporter to the world.
4. Spaniards described the magnificent gold ornaments of pre-hispanic royalties gilded with fine golds even their slaves wear golds!
5. Notice the semblance of Egypt's pharoah's gold necklaces and the ancient Filipino royalties! There were evidences that Egypt had got their golds from Ophir.
6. Filipino languages has Hebrew influence on it-- most specifically mountains and hills which had not been hispanized.
7. According to Pigafetta, a Spanish chronicler accounts that the native inhabitants of the island (Leyte) worshipped no other god but one God, whom they called "Abba" and they pray and worship Him by raising their clasped hands toward the sky.
8. Phoenician chickens are of Philippines in origin according to research.

excited said...

Haiti not islands so it's not Ophir, or Papua New guinea. None of these places are Ophir. It's not in the east, not below India. Only Philippines is Ophir with almug tree, much more gold, silver, copper,gems etc. They have hebrew words in their language. They even traded with other countries in the ancient times.Gold is plentiful, can be found everywhere in the country. It's a blessed country, I believe God gifted them with gold for Solomon to build the temple.

excited said...

Ancient name of the Philippines before the Spanish arrival was Ophir. Then Spain changed its name to las islas felipinas in honor of king felipe, Then the United States won the war with Spain, colonized it, changed it to Philippines islands.

Okoro Hyacinth said...

Philippines is the Ancient country of Ophir which supplies King Solomon with gold trading it in exchange with the good fabric of Judah, and purchasing wisdom they uses for the ancient education system as our black original ancestors were, and they the Ita tribes who came from Aro Chukwu kingdom an ancient kingdom located in African continent.They are the one who name Philippines after the name of their ancestor Ophir. AND Evidence shows even up to now a days, every areas and islands of Philippines, the rivers were still under-laid by golds. Mountains are full of chromite and coals.

nick peniai said...

Bougainville Island is the easternmost province of Papua New Guinea. It is reach in Gold, Silver, Uranium and Platinum and many other mineral resources. The people are the darkest skinned people in the whole world because we are closest to the sun ha ha ha. We did not have to change skin colour for any reason over the last three thousand years as my friend claims happened in the Philippines. One reason why we claim Bougainville Island to be the land of Ophir is our sacred CROWN worn by boys from childhood to teenage. This sacred symbol of high moral and spiritual upbringing of boys is to prepare them to attain future priestly duties in our society. This sacred tradition still exists to this very day.(It is today our major Israeli tourist attraction. These Israelite tourist tell us themselves that our Bougainville Island is the land of Ophir) In this ancient tradition the boys stay hidden from the sight of women and girls under elderly mentoring in areas of discipline, religion and other human values for up to eighteen years. This sacred CROWN is called in our dialect OUPER with R being the silent letter. The word OPHIR is pronounced by English speakers as OPE. When King Solomons men came to Bougainville they saw this sacred rich spiritual culture and hence named it the land of OPHIR (OPE) or OUPE. So my good friends we Bougainvilleans believe our Bougainville Island is the land of Ophir.

nick peniai said...

If such evidence of ancient activities connected to gold production and trade or other activities mentioned in support of Philippines than why have'nt scholars, historians and Bible students made conclusion given the amount of the so called evidence talked about here. God had hidden well this secret with less evidence made available simply because he will need "an arrow up his sleve"at the time he deems right to expose the truth because today man thinks that truth is what he believes to be true because of his human intelligence. Man no longer seeks God's wisdom but his own therefore somethings must stay hidden with the least of evidence made available. And one way is I believe was for him to deal with a primitive race that knew nothing about gold let alone mining and trade deals. In this way there is no record to prove any claim by man of Ophirs whereabout. God's wisdom to Solomon was so great that our so called learned of our times continue to have headaches trying to put the puzzle together. Based on this assumption I am still convinced that Ophir is the Island of Bougainville, in Papua New Guinea. The inhabitants were discovered a mere 200 years ago and stories of foreign men coming on sailing boats to dig with picks at the great cave (note a cave where choppers have flown in and inside the cave stonewalls are pick marks indicating mining activity).
There are even stone wheels in the cave and stone stools around stone tables that miners had used for their convenience. Bougainville therefore to me is the long lost land of OPHIR. Bougainville sacred Kingly CROWN is called OUPER same pronunciation as the biblical name OPHIR. Over to our worldly wisdom.

Anonymous said...

The ancient land of Ophir present day now is Philippines there’s so much substantial evidence as gold silver Almug tree gems apes and peacocks are found in the Philippines as it says isles, so many island

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