Truth, Understanding, Insight

India, Britain & the Merchants of Tarshish

17th January 2014, hej


5) Tarshish in prophecy

The reason for pondering who the people of Tarshish are, is due to their role in the near future.

The merchants appear with Sheba & Dedan leading them.

Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee [Gog], Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil? (Eze 38:13)

In the past this might seem impossible. Yet clearly Saudi Arabia is now emerging as regional leader with events in relationship to Iran. Sheba and Dedan are distinct from the merchants of Tarshish One of Sheba's major cities as in ancient times was Eden, as it is now is in Yemen. Dedan is Arabia, specifically the area around Medina (al Madinah) and Mecca. These two cities form the heart of the whole region. Sheba and Dedan is not a single nation but rather a region indicating the whole Arab peninsula (with a focus on the West coast).

The Merchants are a class, identified by the fact they trade, rather than being a nation. They are identified as being “of Tarshish”, but they are not like Sheba and Dedan who are a nation that occupies a traditional area of land. The nation of Tarshish itself is not a leading protagonist in the events, rather it is the merchants who protest. It merely happens they are based there. In addition these merchants have 'young lions'. The young lions are clearly presented in text as offspring of the merchants (the young lions of it) .

The Japhethite names in Genesis chapter 10 read like the list of nations in Ezekiel chapter 38. Ezekiel 38 predicts, just as Noah did, that Northern Gog’s bands (or the Japhethites) would with ‘hooks’ or by persuasion be brought into the Land of Israel/Canaan. The prophet Daniel, who calls Gog the ‘king of the North’ implies the persuasion at ‘the time of the end’ will come after another party styled ‘the king of the South’ had ‘pushed at’ the occupants of the Middle East.

Certainly it was the persuasion of WW1 that brought Britain (a Japhethite from the ‘isles’) to occupy the ‘tents of Shem’ or the Middle East area and subject the Palestinian/ Canaanite to rule until the Israelis (The Shemites) declared independence in 1948. Not only that but Britain and their allies still have military bases in the Middle East, placing them firmly in the ‘tents’ or dwelling place of Shem.

Genesis says that it was by the Japhethites the isles of the Gentiles were divided in their lands. Historians locating the names place Japheth in Europe. Truly from the Japhethites we have empire builders, those that ‘expand’ as Japheth means, and make their dwelling in the tents of others. Japheth in recent history has marked the lines on the map and carved up the world between them. In 1815 the Big Four determining the fate of nations were Russia, Austria, Prussia and Britain. In 1918 at Versailles the great powers ordering the world were, USA, Britain and France. The post WW2 world was shaped at Teheran, Yalta and Potsdam by the USA, Britain, France and USSR and they kept on shaping the world through the new United Nations, specifically, the Middle East. All these are Japheth fulfilling their role assigned at the beginning of the post flood era, around 2500BC. As Daniel writes, “the Most High rules in the kingdoms of men” (Dan 4:17).

A significant aspect is that the Arabians, the merchants and the young lions, have a collective concern regarding the resources ('spoil' or goods) that the Gog confederacy will have access to by conquering Israel and controlling the bridgehead of the three continents. Before the era of Middle East oil dependency this idea of taking 'spoil' (goods or resources) would have been absurd. Before 1973, the resources this area could offer would not have been particularly valued.

In 1991 the world wide interest in the resources in this region resulted in the Gulf war. This war showed that the post Soviet era meant that once again it was possible to have a limited war to obtain territorial (and resource) advantage without plunging the world into mutually assured nuclear destruction. Only recently since the Leviathan gas field has it emerged that Israel is rich in gas, which is the fuel which is highly valued- by Russia and Europe.In addition if the gas is not enough of an incentive, Israel has under its mountains shale oil.

The merchants of Tarshish in a glorious future

When the Anointed king of the Jews, Y'shua “shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.” then,

They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him; and his enemies shall lick the dust. The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts. Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him. (Psalm 72:8-11)

There is not just one king of Tarshish, but a few. Britain has 3 males in line to the throne. The Queen of the Netherlands has handed rule to her son. Other sea-trading nations of the North in Scandinavia still have monarchs.

And he shall live, and to him shall be given of the gold of Sheba: prayer also shall be made for him continually; and daily shall he be praised. (Psa 72:15)

Though we won't deal with it in depth here, Sheba and Seba have monarchs also, which is seen in the Arabian nations.

We might tend to think of Arabia in terms of black gold, but the gold that will be used in the temple, is a soft building material of durability. New research has confirmed the “role of precious metals gold and silver in lending vitality to the economy of Western Arabia in the formative years of the D¨r al-Isl¨m.”

The Saudi Directorate General for Mineral Resources,has identified more than 800 potentially commercially viable hard mineral sites in modern Saudi Arabia. At many of the sites identified, there is clear geological evidence confirming previous mining activities.” GeneW. Heck (1999)

In 2008 CNN money noted that Saudi Arabia was returning to gold mining, with 5 mines opened since the 1990's.(

The reason the merchants of Tarshish with all their wealth in trade turn to serve the king is due to a specific judgement on them, due to their connection to Jacob.

O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the LORD. Therefore thou hast forsaken thy people the house of Jacob, because they be replenished from the east, and are soothsayers like the Philistines, and they please themselves in the children of strangers. Their land also is full of silver and gold, neither is there any end of their treasures; their land is also full of horses, neither is there any end of their chariots: Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands..

Israel had fallen into trade with the East, and its 'idols'- therefore there is a specific judgment.

Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty. The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low: And upon all the cedars of Lebanon, that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan, And upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up, And upon every high tower, and upon every fenced wall,
And upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures. And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. (Isaiah 2:5-17)

At the present point of time the world-wide sea traders of Tarshish are exploiting the East from India to China, and resources from the North Sea at one end of the world to the 'New World'. In the trade the sea-traders are arrogant and are noted for their pictures in advertising and their use of the internet. This judgment has a specific outcome, these people see their error, as they know of the God of Israel as Tyre did, and turn, humble themselves and exalt Yahweh.

Just like Tyre in the ancient world, and the men on the ship in the days of Jonah, the traders of the Tarshish know of the God of Israel and his purpose. For this they are judged, as Tyre was.

The king of Tyrus, say to him, “Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering.. the tarshish, ..and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covers; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God..Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God...”(Ezekiel 28:12-16)

There is another prophecy. When Tyre was destroyed the merchants of Tarshish howled (Isaiah 23). The merchants survive and pass over to new locations, but at a point the merchants of Tarshish are “laid waste” for 70 years. Then we see a final amazing transformation.

Howl, ye ships of Tarshish: for your strength is laid waste. And it shall come to pass in that day, that Tyre shall be forgotten seventy years, according to the days of one king: after the end of seventy years shall Tyre sing as an harlot. Take an harp, go about the city, thou harlot that hast been forgotten; make sweet melody, sing many songs, that thou mayest be remembered. And it shall come to pass after the end of seventy years, that the LORD will visit Tyre, and she shall turn to her hire, and shall commit fornication with all the kingdoms of the world upon the face of the earth. And her merchandise and her hire shall be holiness to the LORD: it shall not be treasured nor laid up; for her merchandise shall be for them that dwell before the LORD, to eat sufficiently, and for durable clothing.(Isaiah 23:1-18)

What these merchants do after the 70 years, when they turn their trade to Yahweh, is in accord with what Isaiah reveals later in the book regarding Jerusalem,

The Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee. The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the LORD. All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee: they shall come up with acceptance on mine altar, and I will glorify the house of my glory. Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows? Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the LORD thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee. (Isa 60:3-9)

The places called Tarshish are the places that the merchants made famous by that name in ancient times. Those merchants were not necessarily natives of Tarshish, but their trade was from those places. In modern times the ancient patterns have been revived. We can now see a role for the merchants of Britain and India and the “isles” of the nations, as they come and serve the God in the House of Prayer for all nations.

For I know their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory.
And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles.
And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the LORD out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the LORD, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the LORD. (Isa 66:18-20)

For more see The raising of the Mantola & trade with India

Or Brtain and the Arabs

Or Queen of the South


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