Truth, Understanding, Insight

India, Britain & the Merchants of Tarshish

17th January 2014, hej


1) In the Beginning they crossed the Sea

According to the Bible, in ancient times there existed a group of sea trading people 'of' Tarshish.

It is likely the place Tarshish had its name from a person. Noah had three sons, one of whom was Japheth.

The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras. And the sons of Gomer; Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah. And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations. (Genesis 10:2-5, I Chron 1:7 )

Both Gomer and Javan have sons listed, indicating that their sons were noteworthy people. These descendants of Japheth go forth to the 'isles' and carve up these more distant lands (the word isles in the Hebrew can mean dry land, coast, or island). To go to the isles, or coasts, of the Gentiles required travel by sea. Already by the time of this record the Japhethites are mentioned as travelling overseas. This is in contrast to Shem and Ham, whose descendants remain close to the Middle East. The technology for ship making to travel overseas was available, as they were only three generations from the building of the ark, a storm-worthy cargo ship of significant size which Noah and his sons built.


Noah says something remarkable regarding Japheth. In Hebrew there is a play on the name of Japheth, which means ‘expansion’,

‘Japheth (expansion) the Mighty Ones shall enlarge and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem’. Genesis 27

But the word ‘enlarge’ yapth also means ‘entice’ or ‘persuade’ and is translated as that in 1 Kings 22:20.

Our article Tnets of Shem shows the Vikings as Japhethites from the furthest of the 'isles of the Gentiles' or coasts of the nations, who through trade to the Middle East, change the world and argues that Noah's prophecy was concerned with the national struggles over the Land of Israel to the present day.

A sea trading warrior expanding their influence over the sea as far as the Middle East through Russia

Tarshish as a Japhethite, travelled over sea to a distant coast and expanded. The Hebrew 'divided' פּרד pârad in the phrase translated 'by these the isles of the Gentiles divided', indicates to spread forth or scatter, that is, scatter widely or expand. We would expect Japhethites to go every where. But where did Tarshish's sons go to?

It seems that ships on the sea were their home.

Tarshish appears as a destination of trade: India

By a thousand BCE all trading ships whose purpose was to travel the trade routes to Tarshish were called Ships of Tarshish. Solomon's ships with sailors from Tyre (the servants of Huram who was the king of Tyre) were called “ships of Tarshish” as their destination was Tarshish.

For the king's ships went to Tarshish with the servants of Huram: every three years once came the ships of Tarshish bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks. (2 Chronicles 9:21)

This verse locates Tarshish at a distance of a three year sea voyage away, as it would take three years for them to come once. This indicates that Tarshish was not in the Mediterranean, and was further afield than Africa or the Persian Gulf. By the time of Jehoshaphat approximately 850BCE they were building the ships to travel to Tarshish at Eziongeber on the shores of the Red Sea (modern Eliat the southern tip of Israel).

And after this did Jehoshaphat king of Judah join himself with Ahaziah king of Israel, who did very wickedly: And he joined himself with him to make ships to go to Tarshish: and they made the ships in Eziongeber.
Then Eliezer the son of Dodavah of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, Because thou hast joined thyself with Ahaziah, the LORD has broken thy works. And the ships were broken, that they were not able to go to Tarshish. (2Ch 20:35-37)

This indicates that this Tarshish was seen as best being accessed from the Red Sea rather than from the Mediterranean. Ships leaving for Tarshish in Solomon's day, 100 years before Jehoshaphat's era, left from Eziongeber.

Then went Solomon to Eziongeber, and to Eloth, at the sea side in the land of Edom. And Huram sent him by the hands of his servants ships, and servants that had knowledge of the sea; and they went with the servants of Solomon to Ophir, and took thence four hundred and fifty talents of gold, and brought them to king Solomon. (2Chron. 8:17-18)

That the ships' starting point to Tarshish and Ophir was Southern Israel would explain why the ships were Solomon's but the sailors were Huram's servants from Tyre. The inhabitants of Tyre would have had many ships of their own. To cart them over land, however, would not make much sense. This also indicates how Solomon came to control the trade route, as he had control of the overland part of the route to the markets of Tyre, as it was through his territory.

Tarshish is a three year sea voyage from the Red Sea to the East Coast of Africa, or to the East as far as India. A contemporary psalm of the sons of Korah speaks of the bad weather encountered,

You break the ships of Tarshish with an east wind. (Psalm 48:7)

It so happens that an East wind blows around the equator, indicating that the trade ships possibly went to the equator in their voyage. If they were heading East the monsoon winds would determine the sailing time and direction of sailing to India, and, a three year round voyage may have been required to fit in with the winds.

The items traded on the voyage to Tarshish indicates an area along East Africa and possibly as far as India. They traded,

'gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks'

The peacock is native to India and must originally have come from there.

As an aside, this list indicates Israel and Tyre were wealthy nations. Not one of the things obtained from a journey to Tarshish is an essential item. Gold is decorative only, though indicative of wealth. Silver possibly has some use, but mostly likely was for decorative items. Ivory was used for Solomon's throne, again this is decoration. Apes would have been for entertainment as they were not edible under the law of Moses. Peacocks were for the wealthy to look at. It would seem likely then that the journey was an import drive from the wealthy.

It is possible all of the items could have been obtained from a journey to India from 1000 to 850 BCE. It is even possible that Ophir, the source of fine gold could be in India. There is some dispute with some locating Ophir in India and others locating it on the coast of Africa and some in Southeastern Arabia.

“All the wares mentioned are more or less appropriate to India, even including the fuller list of 1 Kings 10:22. "Almug"-wood is conjectured to be the Indian sandal-wood. Another argument is based on the resemblance between the Septuagint form of the word (Sophera) and the Coptic name for India (Sophir)”. (

Some argue Ophir was located in Africa, as at Sofala they have found worked out gold mines. Others favour Ophir being located in Southern Arabian on the Indian Ocean. Paolo Bernardini and Norman Fiering (2002) concluded that ancient sources such as Josephus and Herodotus and Jerome associate Ophir with India. Not of course making it a fact, as even by classical times Ophir, as is the fate of all mines – had been worked out - and was a place of legend, and its location lost.

However all these locations support a seaworthy ship of Tarshish travelling to or from India. Ophir may not have even been the place gold was mined, rather it may have been a place where the gold was refined or a trading place. Whether Ophir, the source of fine gold, was in India or not is not particularly important as the gold could come from Ophir to be traded through Tarshish.

Tarshish was a place where they also worked silver. Jeremiah speaks specifically of silver in plates being brought from Tarshish.

Silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the workman, and of the hands of the founder: (Jeremiah 10:9)

This indicates that the silver was worked into plates before being traded. The Indian region of Gujarat close to the Indus valley is today still famous for its making of silver plates ( India is also famous for its work with stones, including agate (Jamnagar on net). And they still export their work to Africa and Egypt.

Gems called in the Hebrew 'tarshish' translated as Beryl and gold of Uphaz are seen in combination by Daniel in a vision of a symbolic man (Daniel 10:6). Uphaz is thought by some to be Ophir ( The gem 'tarshish' is consistently translated as beryl. The Easton's Bible Dictionary states

“probably so called as being brought from Tarshish.... In Ezek. 28:13 the LXX. render the word by "chrysolite," which the Jewish historian Josephus regards as its proper translation. .. That was a gold-coloured gem, the topaz of ancient authors.” (

Pliny indicates this stone was from India.

The gem stone 'tarshish' occurs in six other places in the Bible. The first 2 it is a stone in the 4th row of Aarons' breastplate – which was for the tribe of Dan meaning 'judge'. It is also used of the wheels of the Cherubic chariot of Ezekiel's vision, a fearful sight of the power of Yahweh going forth on earth in judgement. But the new testament Tarshish stone represents the priestly tribe of Levi. Tarshish is from rahshash or “to break in pieces, to destroy”.

That this stone of tarshish means 'destroyer', does not mean that Tarshish, (or India) itself is the destroyer rather that the material for judgement comes from there. This is in the same way as a famous gem is not made famous by the person who mines or trades the raw stone, but rather by the person who carves the facets into its final form. Tarshish (as India) is the storehouse, or mine, of the other nations, and the traders are those who 'entice' and 'persuade' and so 'break in pieces' and 'destroy'.

In the court of Esther there was a Tarshish

Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus, (this is Ahasuerus which reigned, from India even unto Ethiopia, over an hundred and seven and twenty provinces:) (Est 1:1)
And the next unto him was Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, the seven princes of Persia and Media, which saw the king's face, and which sat the first in the kingdom;) (Est 1:14)

The use of Hodu – Hindustan – for India indicates that this region to the North bordering on Persia was not seen as Tarshish – yet one of the princes was called Tarshish. In this name there is a trace of a historical connection.

The Tarshish reached from Mediterranean: Britain

With the passage of time it emerges that there is a second place that is associated with the traders of Tarshish. The prophet Jonah (approx. 800BC) seeks to flee as far as possible from Yahweh, and goes to Joppa on the Mediterranean coast where he seeks passage on a ship going to Tarshish.

This indicates that a second Tarshish had emerged, as a place of trade, which was accessed from the Mediterranean. Where was Jonah going to?

The people on the ship were called in Hebrew 'mallach' or 'following the salt'. We might think this is a reference to the salt water, such as we might say an 'old salt', but remarkably and accurately it seems to refer to their trade in salt. From the Iron age, the time of Jonah, before Roman times there was a huge salt mining and extraction operation in Britain located at Maldon in Essex where the very dry climate and shallow salty water combine to make salt extraction relatively easy. It seems the salt of the Roman empire came from there, indicating that this may have been a reason, among others, for Roman occupation of Britain. Even today Maldon salt is thought of as being high quality.

The people 'following the salt' seem multi-lingual, with some knowing Hebrew. They were not from one nation, as they each had their own god and easily accepted Jonah's God as another God.

2) Troy: The Mediterranean connection to Britain

There is compelling research that argues that Troy was located near Cambridge, England, based on journey distances, place names, customs, hair colours and evidence of a bronze age conflict near an ancient fort. It is thought that from about 1180-1100BC Trojans escaping Troy turned up in the Medditerranean. The evidence suggests that the place thought of as Troy in Turkey was settled then. The oral legend says the Trojan king escaped Britain to establish Rome, which accords with this movement.

The Achaeans or “Sea People” from Europe about the same time also turned up in the Mediterranean and founded Athens, adopting the local language (the Pelasgians 'sea people' of Herodotus). The Achaeans (sea people) brought the legend of Troy, which was their history, to Greece. ( It is thought the Achaeans were European. In the great battle they had won access to the tin mines of Britain, at that time the only rich source for tin, which was essential for making Bronze the main material for weapons.

The Sea people were sea traders, and previously the Trojans (who were Celts) had controlled the trade in Britain.

“The Trojan Kings of England' traces the Trojans and the royal lineage from King Priam of Troy to the British King Brutus.”

This is backed up by British history, “Until the sixteenth century, the Trojans were widely believed to be the ancestors of the English people: the destruction of Troy led to the birth of Rome and eventually the foundation of a New Troy in Britain (London).”ohiostatepress

Some detail is here

(as an aside The greek conection Sons of Greece).

Tarshish was towards India in the time of King Solomon, later by the time of Jonah, after the opening of the tin trade and salt trade with Britain by the Sea People, Tarshish is towards Britain.

At the very least there is significant history that supports that there were sea traders (sea people) and that Britain was their destination.

3) Tyre: Daughter of the Traders of Tarshish

Tyre was called the Daughter of Tarshish by Isaiah (c.700's BC),

Who has taken this counsel against Tyre, the crowning city, whose merchants are princes, whose traffickers are the honourable of the earth? The LORD of hosts has purposed it, to stain the pride of all glory, and to bring into contempt all the honourable of the earth. Pass through thy land as a river, O daughter of Tarshish: there is no more strength. (Isaiah 23:8-10)

Tyre is called a 'daughter' as the trade with Tarshish was the source of their wealth,

Tarshish was thy merchant by reason of the multitude of all kind of riches; with silver, iron, tin, and lead, they traded in thy fairs. (Ezekiel 27:12) and
The ships of Tarshish did sing of thee in thy market: and thou wast replenished, and made very glorious in the midst of the seas. (27:25)

There is evidence that Tyre traded in tin with Britain. Similar distinctively shaped tin ingots have been found in Britain and in a Phonecian shipwreck. In addition those metals are precisely the ones found and mined from at least 2,500 years ago in South West England. In 1992 a large oak ship suitable for carrying cargo was found at Dover and dated at 3,500 years old. It had shale from Dorset in it, and due to finds of ancient mines archaeologists suspected that it had been used to trade metal ore, and metal ingots (gold, copper, tin).

The Greeks were known for their bronze (copper combined with tin), and the most likely source was through Phonecian traders and Cornwall in England. The Great Orme copper mines in Llandudno were the largest in the ancient world, and it is likely most was mined for the trade in the Mediterranean.

Tyre was also called the daughter of Tarshish as in future, though Tyre was to perish, the traders would not perish and the nation would be relocated. Tyre was not their home, that was on the sea. Tyre was but a stronghold,

Howl, ye ships of Tarshish: for your stronghold is laid waste. (Isaiah 23:14)

Isaiah is pointing to Tyre being greater than the isle of Phoenicia, and continuing. It is said,

Pass ye over to Tarshish; howl, ye inhabitants of the isle. Is this your joyous city, whose antiquity is of ancient days? her own feet shall carry her afar off to sojourn Who has taken this counsel against Tyre, the crowning city, whose merchants are princes, whose traffickers are the honourable of the earth? (Isaiah 23:6-8)

Where the merchants went they would not stay, but merely 'sojourn'

And he said, Thou shall no more rejoice, O thou oppressed virgin, daughter of Zidon: arise, pass over to Chittim; there also shall thou have no rest. (Isaiah 23:12)

Chittim is a plural word in Hebrew, and is not one place but many. According to Josephus, "all islands, and the greatest part of the sea-coast, are called Chethim (Kittim) by the Hebrews."

This is likely as Kittim was of the sons of Japheth and brother to Tarshish. If they spread out over the isles from the beginning, by the time of Josephus they would have been very scattered. It is likely they include the Macedonians, Greeks and Latins. It is sure that they are at least found on Cyprus, having founded a city named Kition (Citium).

The stronghold of Alexandria

History shows that the trade of Tyre was inherited by the coast city established by Alexander the Great in 331BC. The trade gained “feet” of its own and sojourned in Alexandria and made Alexandria the greatest city of its era by the first Century.

Alexandria had sophisticated and formidable means to defend its maritime trade. It seems to have been a tolerant multi-national city with Jews also having a large presence. But as the prophecy indicates it was not to last. The Jewish wars with Greece, then civil disturbance in 215 led to all the males being killed. Then in 365 the city was destroyed by an earthquake on Crete which caused a tsunami. Since then the old city has, like Tyre, subsided under the waters. The feet of the traders took trade away to a new city.


The place of the lagoon dwellers (by Hebrew definition, Kittim) became a refuge for disaffected Romans in 421, and its new ports attracted trade. It continued to grow in influence conquering other islands including most in the Aegean and forming the naval fleet of the Venetian Arsenal to defend its merchant fleet to control trade. It took over the salt trade by the 12th century (trade with Britain). The city was republican with its citizens having some power, but the state was not religiously fanatic and made no execution for religious heresy (coming in conflict with the Papacy). They adopted the printing press early and became the leading printer and invented paperbacks. But once again the trade was to move – 'on her own feet'- and Venice declined. They lost to the Ottomans, then they lost monopoly on trade when Portugal found a sea route to India. Here we have a key, as the trade of Tarshish, with India specifically, took itself to Lisbon.


Lisbon was an ancient coastal city, and Phonecian remains have been found. As Venice declined Lisbon entered a golden age of international trade in the 16th Century, but it was short lived. Spain conquered Lisbon. Then in 1755 an earthquake and tsunami destroyed the city. And trade walked to another city; Amsterdam.


The golden age of this city was in the 1700's. It was thought of as the first capitalist city, inventing the stock exchange and insurance. As in other cases the population of the city rapidly increased as the traders moved in. Significantly their trading arm was the Dutch East India company. In the steps of their trade was Britain. And trade went to Britain when in 1795 William V of Orange fled to England.


In the 1600’s the East India Company and the Virginia Company had only just been set up to compete with the more powerful French in India and North America respectively. In 1784 the British Merchants began to rule India. Britain’s role as the Merchants of Tarshish was not evident until the East India Company seized power. From that point until WW2 there is no doubt who was the global merchant nation, with Britain by far beyond others dominating the waves.

Britain's role as the modern Tarshish became more clear when Queen Victoria was made Empress of India by Disraeli in 1877, wearing a dual crown.

India, as part of the commonwealth served, and helped the British defeat the Ottomans. The means of offering the declaration of a homeland for Jews in the British mandate was the role of the nation's horses. Isaiah says,

Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the isles afar off... 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. (Isaiah 66:20 KJV)

At Beersheba, it was the efforts “upon horses” that allowed those “of the isles afar off” to start to bring the brethren “out of all nations”. The Commonwealth push to Jerusalem featured work upon a huge number of horses, 50,000 and also upon 10,000 mules (Paterson, 1921).

4) The role of India now

Ezekiel's Prophecy speaks of the Merchants of Tarshish as a class of nations at the battle for the land of Israel. For many years after the gaining of India's independence no one could say that any nation or trading company was a merchant of India. But something strange has happened. Now the nations receive phone calls from India made by representatives of multinational English speaking companies. To explain what has happened expert opinion is referred to. Foreign affairs journal July /August 2006 featured India, and was titled “The Rise of India”. A feature article by Gurcharan Das comments

“after three post independence decades of meagre progress, the country economy grew at 6 percent per year from 1980 to 2002 and 7.5 percent a year from 2002- 2006.....India is now the world fourth largest economy....The notable things about India's rise is not that it is new but that its path has been unique. Rather than adopting the classic Asian strategy- exporting labour intensive, low priced manufactured goods to the west- India has relied on its domestic market more than export..and high-tech more than low skilled manufacturing.....But what is most remarkable is that rather than rising with the help of the state, India is in many ways rising despite the state....
And since 1991 especially, the Indian state has been gradually moving out of the way – not graciously. But kicked and dragged into implementing economic reforms .......and opened up to the rest of the world. (editor's italics).

Of note is the date of the beginning of the change: 1991. This era parallels the new world that was begun with the breakup of the Soviet Union, and the re-emergence of Russia. There may be no coincidence to this as Gurcharan Das blames the Fabian Socialaist policies of Nehru and Indira Gandhi for “combining the worst features of capitalism and socialism” and “foreigners have invested in over 1,000 Indian companies and of the 'Fortune 500' countries 125 have now research and development bases in India. Das continues saying that India's economy is being transformed by “providing white collar services that are outsourced by companies in the rest of the world...Software and business process outsourcing exports have grown from nothing to 20 billion and are expected to reach 35 Billion by 2008.” Who are these outsourcing companies? Das continues “The constraining factor is likely not to be the demand but the abilities of India's educational system to produce enough quality English speaking graduates.” It may be concluded that these international merchants require English and speak English. Since 1991 they are now the Merchants of India.

More recently, in November 2013, India and Israel have been further developing ties.

NEW DELHI: India and Israel continue to silently expand their already extensive ties in the fields of defence and homeland security, with Israeli chief of land forces major general Guy Zur now in New Delhi on a four-day visit...While regional and global security situation figured in the talks, the focus was on bilateral defence training programmes, exchanges, R&D projects and armament deals. "The two countries, which share similar challenges of terrorism, have strong military and defence trade ties," said an officer.
Israel is India's second largest defence supplier, second only to Russia, but the ties are largely kept under wraps due to political sensitivities. articles.timesofindia

Despite 'sensitivities' India is trading with Israel, and Israel is trading with the idolaters of the East (a point we will return to below). India was Tarshish, and is again Tarshish when the merchants trade and find sources of goods and services to trade from there.

So why is it important to know who the merchants of Tarshish are and where Tarshish is now?

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


Watchman what of the night? Part 4

With Britain's PM Cameron visiting Turkey, India and the United States we are seeing a revival of Britain's role in the Middle East, specifically in relationship to strengthening of a historic role in the Gulf states. This is linked to their role as a global merchant nation and the revival of London as the centre of world finance.

Kingdom: Story of India (Pakistan).

Queen Victoria became Empress of India in 1876. In the modern world in 1947 India gained independence or freedom from the British Empire. India's long history shows the poverty and disunity of independence and 'freedom' and the possible glory and peace of kingdom.