Where did the names of these Tyrian kings come from?

Where did the names of these Tyrian kings come from?

Wikipedia gives a whole list of the kings of Tyre and basically cites as its source Josephus Against Apion, Book I, §18) in the name of Menander of Ephesus, a historian who wrote about Tyrian history (see here). However, if you look at Josephus' work, he only lists the kings from Abibaal to Pygmalion, but not the kings before or after that.

So my question is what is the source for the names of all the other kings mentioned on that Wikipedia page such as Baal-Termeg/Baalat-Remeg, Pummayy (before Josephus' account) and Yakinbaal (after Josephus). Are they attested to in other archeological inscriptions or is there some other historian who also wrote a king's list of Tyrian kings?


As @Henry pointed out, the Wikipedia list seems to be copied from other lists that have been around on the internet for some time now. A similar one with more instructive explanations (of where the names came from) is found here. As you can see, it is a colourful mix or historically substantiated names and persons from mythology and literature; it also confuses rulers of the city with (alleged, probably mythological) rulers of all of Phoenicia.

Bronze age king names

Specifically on the bronze age section (the names before those given by Josephus):

  • Abi-Milku is substantiated through the El-Amarna letters. Please note that Milku simply means king in Phoenician (and similar in other Semitic languages); perhaps the name should rather have been rendered Abi or Abi-King (see below).
  • Aribas is borrowed from Homer's Odyssey. See here, page 258, line 3. The name is rendered Arybas in this translation, in other translations (see this German one) it is Aribas (p.190, line 3) as in the list. Obviously the Odyssey, a work of fiction written centuries later and in a far away country, is not an authoritative source on Tyrian bronze age kings.
  • Baal-Termeg / Baalat-Remeg is substantiated through the Journal of a Frontier Official (as pointed out by @Henry). This text if written in Hieratic (see Pritchard p.258) which is a short form of ancient Egyptian script and would use lots of abbreviations (this should probably explain the uncertainty of modern scholars on whether the name should be read as Baal-Termeg or Baalat-Remeg; Phoenician script would, I think, render it B'LTRMG anyway).
  • Baal: Unclear, but Baal is both the name of the Phoenician main goddess and a generic term for "lord" or "prince". The list mentioned above refers to Pharaoh Merneptah's victory over the Canaanites. This may be the incident recorded on the Merneptah stele in which case the name would perhaps be based on a misinterpretation of a generic "prince" (though I am absolutely not sure about this).
  • Pummay / Pygmalion is in the list mentioned above an apparent confusion with the much later king Pygmalion that is linked to the legend of the founding of Carthage, perhaps based on speculation that Carthage was founded much earlier.

Later king names

With regard to the kings in the time after the end of Josephus' list, they are probably a bit better substantiated and (as listed in the annotations of the list mentioned above based on a variety of sources.

A note on ancient names

It is generally hard to identify the exact identity behind let alone the pronunciation of proper names in ancient documents. Take Abi-Milku as an example. We know his name from the El-Amarna letters that were compiled in Akkadian Cuneiform even though this was neither the the native language of the Phoenician author nor that of the Egyptian recipient. Wikipedia lists the full text of letter EA153 in which the name is given (in line 3) as IIa-Bi-LUGAL, LUGAL being the Akkadian Sumerian word for king, indicating the cuneiform character for king, hence presumably read as Melek or Milku (actually MLK) in Phoenician. Or perhaps not, who knows - especially considering that these letters (and a few others) are just about the only written sources we have about Phoenicians of that time.

Note: Pritchard here refers to James B. Pritchard (ed.), Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament with Supplement, Princeton Univ. Press, 1969


Gods of Tyria

The Human Gods of Tyria are the most commonly worshiped pantheon of gods in Tyria. They are the beings who, in the religion of humans and other advanced races, are credited with the creation of the world of Tyria, providing knowledge and magic to the races, and bestowing the Favor of the Gods. One of their titles, the Old Gods, is given because they have left the world of Tyria during the Exodus of the Gods at year 0. In the timeline BE stands for Before Exodus and AE stands for After Exodus.


Three Gifts From Three Kings

The gifts of the Three Kings symbolize Christ's identity and mission: gold for a king, incense for God, and myrrh used to anoint the dead. Ironically, the Gospel of John states that Nicodemus brought a mixture of 75 pounds of aloe and myrrh to anoint Jesus’ body after the crucifixion.

God honored the wise men by warning them in a dream to go home by another route and not to report back to King Herod. Some Bible scholars think Joseph and Mary sold the wise men's gifts to pay for their trip to Egypt to escape Herod’s persecution.


Jezebel

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Jezebel, also spelled Jezabel, (died c. 843 bce ), in the Bible (books of Kings), the wife of King Ahab, who ruled the kingdom of Israel. By interfering with the exclusive worship of the Hebrew God, Yahweh, by disregarding the rights of the common people, and by defying the great prophets Elijah and Elisha, she provoked the internecine strife that enfeebled Israel for decades. She has come to be known as an archetype of the wicked woman.

Who was Jezebel?

Jezebel was the daughter of the priest-king Ethbaal, ruler of the Phoenician cities of Tyre and Sidon. When Jezebel married King Ahab of Israel (ruled c. 874–853 BCE), she persuaded him to introduce the worship of the Tyrian god Baal-Melkart, a nature god. Most of the prophets of Yahweh were killed at her command.

What is Jezebel best known for?

Jezebel has come to be known as an archetype of the wicked woman. According to the Bible (Kings I and II), she provoked conflict that weakened Israel for decades by interfering with the exclusive worship of the Hebrew god Yahweh, disregarding the rights of the common man, and defying the great prophets Elijah and Elisha.

How did Jezebel die?

Looking down from her window, Jezebel taunted Jehu, the general who had overthrown and killed her son. Jehu ordered her eunuchs to throw her out the window. Later, when he commanded that she be properly buried as a king’s daughter, it was discovered that, as Elijah had foretold, dogs had eaten most of her body.

Jezebel was the daughter of the priest-king Ethbaal, ruler of the coastal Phoenician cities (now in Lebanon) of Tyre and Sidon (Arabic: Ṣaydā). When Jezebel married Ahab (ruled c. 874–c. 853 bce ), she persuaded him to introduce the worship of the Tyrian god Baal-Melkart, a nature god. A woman of fierce energy, she tried to destroy those who opposed her most of the prophets of Yahweh were killed at her command. These cruel and despotic actions provoked the righteous wrath of Elijah according to 1 Kings 17, he accurately prophesied the onset of a severe drought as divine retribution. Sometime later Elijah had the Baal priests slain, after they lost a contest with him to see which god would heed prayers to ignite a bull offering, Baal or Yahweh. When Jezebel heard of the slaughter, she angrily swore to have Elijah killed, forcing him to flee for his life (1 Kings 18:19–19:3).

The last vicious act attributed to Jezebel is recorded in 1 Kings 21:5–16. Adjacent to Ahab’s palace was a vineyard, which he coveted it belonged to a commoner, Naboth of Jezreel (an ancient city at the foot of Mount Gilboa, probably the site of the modern Israeli settlement of the same name). When Naboth refused to part with his vineyard (“the inheritance of my fathers”), Jezebel falsely charged him with blaspheming “God and the king,” which led to Naboth’s death by stoning. Elijah confronted Ahab in the vineyard, predicting that he and all his heirs would be destroyed and that dogs in Jezreel would devour Jezebel.

A few years later Ahab perished in battle with the Syrians. Jezebel lived on for approximately another ten years. Elijah’s successor, Elisha the prophet, equally determined to end Baal worship, had a military commander named Jehu anointed to be king of Israel, an act that provoked civil war, for Jezebel’s son Jehoram (Joram) then ruled. Jehu killed Jehoram at the site of Naboth’s property and then went to Jezebel’s palace. Expecting him, she adorned herself for the occasion. Looking down from her window, she taunted him, and Jehu ordered her eunuchs to throw her out the window. Later, when he commanded that she be properly buried as a king’s daughter, it was discovered that dogs had eaten most of her body.


The True Identities of the Kings in Your Deck of Playing Cards

The faces of the kings in the standard pack of playing cards may appear to be simply anonymous, generic representations of the monarchy, but according to the International Playing Card Society, in France, they once depicted some of the most famous leaders in history.

Although they have been subject to many design changes over the years, in 17th century France, the four kings in the deck of playing cards were given names and identities, reflecting the importance and grandeur of the French monarchy itself.

Vintage playing cards. Photo by William Creswell CC BY 2.0

French rulers wanted to cast themselves as the heirs to the ancient kings of old, and as result, the kings on the playing cards represented some of history’s most iconic leaders: Charlemagne, David, Caesar and Alexander.

The origins of playing cards, as we know them today, are somewhat obscure. According to historian Joseph Needham, they first appeared in Tang China, in the 9th century AD, but these early cards were not organized into suits, with numbers and symbols, until much later.

Six different representations of the king of clubs

It is thought that the king first appeared on playing cards produced in India or Persia, and that these cards were brought to Europe via the Iberian Peninsula in the Middle Ages.

We can be fairly sure that playing cards appeared in Europe in the late medieval period, probably in the second half of the 14th century. Around this time, sermons written by concerned clergymen in Italy, France and Spain referenced playing cards, usually in conjunction with prohibitions of dice and gambling.

Vintage French playing cards. The queen (dame) of spades is associated with Pallas. The King (roi) of clubs is associated with Alexander the Great. Photo by William Creswell CC BY 2.0

In the medieval period, the design of playing cards varied wildly, although there were some familiar elements that seemed to remain consistent. According to the International Playing Card Society, most variations included a combination of numbered cards with three or sometimes four “royal” cards: king, queen, knight and knave. These were then divided into suits represented by different symbols, including a cup, coin, sword and stick.

These cards, and the games associated with them, soon became incredibly popular across Europe, and manufacturers began to experiment with ways to streamline their production.

King cards of all four suits in the English pattern. Phoot by Enoch Lau CC BY SA 3.0

Regional variations began to develop, as different areas began to standardize the iconography associated with their cards. In Germany, for example, queens were removed entirely, and the original symbols were replaced with bells, hearts, leaves and acorns.

King of Clubs (Russian pattern)

French craftsmen, however, soon learned new techniques to make the production of cards more efficient, and it was their designs that began to dominate within Europe. According to the International Playing Card Society, they reintroduced the queen, but kept some of the German icons to represent the suits, establishing the symbols that are so familiar today: hearts, spades, clubs and diamonds.

King of coins from Aluette, a Spanish-suited deck still in use in France. It is related to the Toledo pattern.

Where the French were truly innovative, however, was in giving the royal cards names from history. In the 16th century, card designers experimented with a variety of characters including Roman heroes such as Augustus or Constantine, or Biblical figures such as Solomon. However, by the early 17th century, they had settled on four key figures that resonated with France’s self image.

The king of hearts was identified as Charlemagne, the iconic French hero who unified the Franks and created the great Carolingian Empire. This was a reminder of France’s great past and the longevity of its monarchy.

Charlemagne (left) and his eldest son, Pepin the Hunchback. 10th century copy of a lost original from about 830.

The biblical figure of David was the king of spades, representing the triumph of the righteous over the strong. The king of diamonds was represented by Julius Caesar, Roman hero and the conqueror of Gaul. Finally, the king of clubs was Alexander, the ancient Greek leader who defeated the Persians and conquered lands as far away as the Hindu Kush.

Evolution of the King of Hearts from the Rouennais pattern to the English pattern

The practice of giving names and identities to the royal cards endured for almost 200 years in France, although it was not widely adopted across the rest of Europe.

By the end of the 18th century, however, French revolutionaries began to disapprove of the overtly monarchical overtones of the design of playing cards. Instead, they favored more neutral symbols and imagery that did not operate to glorify France’s monarchy.

As a result, the practice of identifying the royal cards as individuals from history died out in the early 19th century and today the kings on playing cards, even in France, have no historical connections.

However, for a time, the names of these four ancient rulers graced playing cards in France, providing fascinating insights into the self-fashioning of French monarchical identity in the early modern period.


Where did the names of these Tyrian kings come from? - History

2. The Baal here referred to is, of course, the Zidonian god, worshipped as the productive principle in nature, in conjunction with Astarte, the female or receptive principle. The name itself only signifies “Lord” (in which sense, indeed, it is applied, in Hosea 2:16, to Jehovah Himself), and is marked as being a mere title, by the almost invariable prefix of the article. Being, therefore, in no sense distinctive, it may be, and is, applied to the supreme god of various mythologies. Thus we find that in Scripture the plural Baalim is first used, of “the gods many and lords many” of Canaanitish worship (see Judges 2:11 Judges 3:7 Judges 10:6 1Samuel 7:4) and we have traces of the same vague use in the Baal-peor of Numbers 25, the Baal-berith of Judges 8:33 Judges 9:4, the Baal-zebub of 2Kings 1:2-3, and in the various geographical names having the prefix Baal. The worship of the Phœnician Baal—variously represented, sometimes as the Sun, sometimes as the planet Jupiter, sometimes half-humanised as the “Tyrian Hercules”—was now, however, introduced on a great scale, with profuse magnificence of worship, connected with the Asherah (“grove”), which in this case, no doubt, represented the Phœnician Astarte, and enforced by Jezebel with a high hand, not without persecution of the prophets of the Lord. The conflict between it and the spiritual worship of Jehovah became now a conflict of life and death.

Eth-baal - Identified with the Ithobalus of Menander, who reigned in Tyre, probably over all Phoenicia, within 50 years of the death of Hiram. This Ithobalus, whose name means "With him is Baal," was originally priest of the great temple of Astarte, in Tyre. At the age of 36 he conspired against the Tyrian king, Pheles (a usurping fratricide), killed him, and seized the throne. His reign lasted 32 years, and he established a dynasty which continued on the throne at least 62 years longer. The family-tree of the house may be thus exhibited:

Lineage of Eth-Baal Eth-baal Badezor Jezebel Matgen (Belus of Virgil) Pygmalion Dido (founder of Carthage)

Hence, Jezebel was great-aunt to Pygmalion and his sister Dido.

Served Baal - The worship of Baal by the Phoenicians is illustrated by such names as IthoBAL, HanniBAL, etc. Abundant traces of it are found in the Phoenician monuments.

As if it had been a light thing for him as if that sin were not big enough to express his contempt of God as if he thought it below his wit and dignity to content himself with such a vulgar fault. But the Hebrew runs thus, Was it a light thing , &c.? i.e. was this but a small sin, that therefore he needed to add more abominations? where the question, as is usual among the Hebrews, implies a strong denial and intimates that this was no small sin, but a great crime, and might have satisfied his wicked mind without any additions. Jezebel a woman infamous for her idolatry, and cruelty, and sorcery, and filthiness. See 1 Kings 18:4 21:8 2 Kings 9:22 Revelation 2:20 .

Ethbaal, called Ithobalus , or Itobalus , in heathen writers.

King of the Zidonians so she was of a heathenish and idolatrous race, and such whom the kings and people of Israel were expressly forbidden to marry.

Baal, i.e. the idol which the Zidonians worshipped, which is thought to be Hercules, or false gods, for this name is common to all such. And this idolatry was much worse than that of the calves because in the calves they worshipped the true God, but in these, false gods or devils, as is evident from 1 Kings 18:21 .

that he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians who is called Ithobalus and Itobalus king of the Tyrians, by Heathen historians (h) and, by Theophilus of Antioch (i), Juthobalus, priest of Astarte for Tyre and Zidon were under one king. This woman was not only of another nation, and an idolater, but a very filthy woman, and is made the emblem of the whore of Rome, Revelation 2:20.

and went and served Baal, and worshipped him that is, went to Zidon and Tyre, and worshipped his wife's gods, which were either Jupiter Thalassius, the god of the Zidoaians, or Hercules, whom the Tyrians worshipped.

(h) Menander apud Joseph. Antiqu. l. 8. c. 13. sect. 1, 2. & contr. Apion. l. 1. c. 21. Diodor. Sicul. apud Junium in loc. (i) Ad Autolye. l. 3. p. 132.

(m) By whose influence he fell into wicked and strange idolatry and cruel persecution.

31 . as if it had been a light thing ] i.e. He was unwarned by all the visitations which had befallen the kings before him for their worship of the calves. He went further than this and introduced the worship of a false god into the land.

he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians ] It was perhaps the taste for building, which manifested itself both in Omri and in Ahab, that brought them into closer alliance with Zidon but no doubt an intercourse had been kept up ever since the days of Solomon between the two nations. But this marriage of Ahab was most fatal both to Israel and Judah. The family of Jezebel were devoted to the worship of Baal and Astarte. Josephus (cont. Apion. i. 18) mentions Eithobalus (i.e. Ethbaal) as ‘the priest of Astarte’ as well as king, and Pygmalion and Dido as being contemporaries of Jezebel. There was therefore great vigour in the race, and when Jezebel became queen of Israel she ruled her husband and the nation, and established the worship to which her family was so devoted. After the death of her husband, as queen-mother, she maintained her influence in the court of her son, and through her daughter Athaliah, who was married to the son of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, she wrought much evil in the southern kingdom and all but exterminated the royal race. The doings of Jezebel form a great part of the history till her death, which is related in 2 Kings 9. The various scenes in which she appears and the evil influence which she exercised will be best noticed as the history goes on.

went and served Baal ] This was very different from the sin of Solomon who out of indulgence to his foreign wives permitted temples for their gods to be set up in his land, but himself took no share in the idolatrous worship. Jezebel had a greater and worse influence over Ahab.


A portrayal of the scene shows the hunky mythological hero kneeling to pat the head of a hound that has just been chewing a snail’s anus

When the nymph saw the purple-stained muzzle of Heracles’ companion, she requested a garment of the same rich complexion. A portrayal of the scene, depicted around 1636 by the 17th-Century Flemish master Peter Paul Rubens, Hercules’ Dog Discovers Purple Dye, shows the hunky mythological hero kneeling to pat the head of a hound that has just been chewing a snail’s anus. Though Rubens’ whimsical oil-on-panel painting erroneously depicts a spiral nautilus shell (rather than a prickly murex one), the work nevertheless corroborates the contention that purple, as a rancid dog’s-dinner of a hue, makes for an incongruous choice as a symbol of enduring majesty and power. This is a colour that pretends to transcend the vulgar vagaries of this world, all the while remaining mired in its muck.

Imperial cloth

In ancient Greece, the right to clad oneself in purgative purple was tightly controlled by legislation. The higher your social and political rank, the more extracted rectal mucus you could swaddle yourself in. According to the Roman historian Suetonius, King Ptolemy of Mauretania’s sartorial decision to cloak himself in purple on a visit to the Emperor Caligula, cost Ptolemy his life. Caligula interpreted the fashion statement as an act of imperial aggression and had his guest killed. Purple, it seems, was also to die for.


Who were the kings of Israel and Judah?

In the period that preceded the monarchy, Israel had no king everyone did as he saw fit (Judges 21:25). God raised up Samuel to lead the people (1 Samuel 3:4). All of Israel knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the Lord (1 Samuel 3:20). Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life, and when he was old he made his sons judges over Israel (1 Samuel 8:1). Israel rejected the sons, refused to obey Samuel, and demanded a king (1 Samuel 8:19&ndash20). When Samuel reported their request to God, the Lord answered, “Listen to them and give them a king” (1 Samuel 8:22).

Saul was the first king. He was of the tribe of Benjamin, which, in the days of the judges, had almost been annihilated. Tall, handsome, and humble, Saul began his reign with a brilliant victory over the Ammonites. Any misgivings about the new monarchy disappeared. But success rapidly went to Saul’s head, and humility gave place to pride. He offered a sacrifice, which was the exclusive function of priests, showing his presumed self-importance. He deliberately disobeyed God, causing God to tell Samuel, “I am grieved that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions” (1 Samuel 15:10). Saul reigned unsuccessfully from 1049 BC to 1009 BC, then, wounded in battle, he “took his own sword and fell on it” (1 Samuel 31:4).

David, although anointed as king when just a boy, did not ascend to the throne until after Saul’s death (2 Samuel 2:4). David was short of stature, ruddy, of beautiful countenance, handsome, and of immense physical strength and great personal attractiveness. He was a man of war, prudent in speech, brave, musical, and religious. God promised that David’s family should reign forever. “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse [David’s father] and from his roots a Branch [Jesus] will bear fruit” (Isaiah 11:1). After Saul’s death, David was made king over Judah, and seven years later he was made king over all Israel. He was 30 years old when he became king and reigned from 1009 BC to 969 BC.

Solomon became king in 971 BC, possibly two years before his father David died, and reigned until 931 BC. Solomon was born of Bathsheba, and, though not directly in line for the succession, he was chosen by David and approved by God to be David’s successor (1 Chronicles 23:1). Solomon inherited the throne of the most powerful kingdom then existing. It was an era of peace and prosperity with vast business enterprises and literary attainments. God told Solomon to ask what he would, and it would be given to him. Solomon asked for wisdom to govern his people. That pleased God, who richly rewarded him with wealth, wisdom, power, and the important task of building the temple (1 Chronicles 28:2&ndash6).

After the death of Solomon, the kingdom was divided. Ten tribes formed the Northern Kingdom, called Israel Judah and Benjamin formed the Southern Kingdom, called Judah. The date of the division of the kingdom is approximately 931 BC. The following is a list of the kings of Israel and Judah. The dates of their reigns are approximate, due to overlapping reigns, associated sovereignty, intervals of anarchy, and the Jewish practice of counting parts of years as full years. Portions of some reigns were concurrent. All the kings of Israel practiced idolatry the worst served Baal. Many of the kings of Judah served idols few served the Lord faithfully. Some bad kings were partly good some good kings partly bad. The kings, the approximate dates of their reigns, and descriptions of their overall obedience to God are listed below:

KINGS OF ISRAEL: Jeroboam I, rebellious, 931&mdash910 BC
Nadab, bad, 910&mdash909 BC
Baasha, wicked, 909&mdash886 BC
Elah, evil, 886&mdash885 BC
Zimri, sinful, 885 BC
Tibni, iniquitous, 885&mdash880 BC
Omri (overlap), extra bad, 885&mdash874 BC
Ahab, the worst to that point, 874&mdash853 BC
Ahaziah, disobedient, 853&mdash852 BC
Joram/Jehoram, mostly rotten, 852&mdash841 BC
Jehu, not good but better than the rest, 841&mdash814 BC
Jehoahaz, noncompliant, 814&mdash798 BC
Joash, wayward, 798&mdash782 BC
Jeroboam II (overlap), badly behaved, 793&mdash753 BC
Zechariah, abysmal, 753 BC
Shallum, full of vice, 752 BC
Menahem, horrible, 752&mdash742 BC
Pekahiah, idolatrous, 742&mdash740 BC
Pekah (overlap), awful, 752&mdash732 BC
Hoshea, appalling, 732&mdash722 BC

KINGS OF JUDAH:
Rehoboam, mostly bad, 931&mdash913 BC
Abijah, mostly perverted, 913&mdash911 BC
Asa, good, 911&mdash870 BC
Jehoshaphat (overlap), righteous, 873&mdash848 BC
Jehoram/Joram (overlap), terrible, 853&mdash841 BC
Ahaziah, bad, 841 BC
Athaliah (queen), devilish, 841&mdash835 BC
Joash/Jehoash, mostly virtuous, 835&mdash796 BC
Amaziah, mostly wholesome, 796&mdash767 BC
Uzziah/Azariah (overlap), mostly respectable, 790&mdash739 BC
Jotham (overlap), worthy, 750&mdash731 BC
Ahaz, heinous, 735&mdash715 BC
Hezekiah, the best, 715&mdash686 BC
Manasseh, depraved until he repented at the end, 695&mdash642 BC
Amon, treacherous, 642&mdash640 BC
Josiah, great, 640&mdash609 BC
Jehoahaz, dreadful, 609 BC
Jehoiakim, degenerate, 609&mdash597 BC
Jehoiachin, frightful, 597 BC
Zedekiah, foolish, 597&mdash586 BC


Tarshish

It appears that this name also is used without reference to any locality. "Ships of Tarshish" is an expression sometimes denoting simply ships intended for a long voyage ( Isaiah 23:1 Isaiah 23:14 ), ships of a large size (sea-going ships), whatever might be the port to which they sailed. Solomon's ships were so styled ( 1 Kings 10:22 22:49 ).

These dictionary topics are from
M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition,
published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain, copy freely. [N] indicates this entry was also found in Nave's Topical Bible
[H] indicates this entry was also found in Hitchcock's Bible Names
[S] indicates this entry was also found in Smith's Bible Dictionary
Bibliography Information

Easton, Matthew George. "Entry for Tarshish". "Easton's Bible Dictionary". .

Hitchcock, Roswell D. "Entry for 'Tarshish'". "An Interpreting Dictionary of Scripture Proper Names". . New York, N.Y., 1869.

  1. Probably Tartessus, a city and emporium of the Phoenicians in the south of Spain, represented as one of the sons of Javan. ( Genesis 10:4 1 Kings 10:22 1 Chronicles 1:7 Psalms 48:7 Isaiah 2:16 Jeremiah 10:9 Ezekiel 27:12Ezekiel 27:25 Jonah 1:3 4:2 ) The identity of the two places is rendered highly probable by the following circumstances: 1st. There is a very close similarity of name between them, Tartessus being merely Tarshish in the Aramaic form. 2nd. There seems to have been a special relation between Tarshish and Tyre, as there was at one time between Tartessus and Phoenicians. 3rd. The articles which Tarshish is stated by the prophet Ezekiel, ( Ezekiel 27:12 ) to have supplied to Tyre are precisely such as we know, through classical writers, to have been productions of the Spanish peninsula. In regard to tin, the trade of Tarshish in this metal is peculiarly significant, and, taken in conjunction with similarity of name and other circumstances already mentioned, is reasonably conclusive as to its identity with Tartessus. For even not when countries in Europe or on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea where tin is found are very few and in reference to ancient times, it would be difficult to name any such countries except Iberia or Spain, Lusitania, which was somewhat less in extent than Portugal, and Cornwall in Great Britain. In the absence of positive proof, we may acquiesce in the statement of Strabo, that the river Baetis (now the Guadalquivir) was formerly called Tartessus, that the city Tartessus was situated between the two arms by which the river flowed into the sea, and that the adjoining country was called Tartessis.
  2. From the book of Chronicles there would seem to have been a Tarshish accessible from the Red Sea, in addition to the Tarshish of the south of Spain. Thus, with regard to the ships of Tarshish, which Jehoshaphat caused to be constructed at Ezion-geber on the Elanitic Gulf of the Red Sea, ( 1 Kings 22:48 ) it is said in the Chronicles, ( 2 Chronicles 20:36 ) that they were made to go to Tarshish and in like manner the navy of ships, which Solomon had previously made in Ezion-geber, ( 1 Kings 9:26 ) is said in the Chronicles, ( 2 Chronicles 9:21 ) to have gone to Tarshish with the servants of Hiram. It is not to be supposed that the author of these passages in the Chronicles contemplated a voyage to Tarshish in the south of Spain by going round what has since been called the Cape of Good Hope. The expression "ships of Tarshish" originally meant ships destined to go to Tarshish and then probably came to signify large Phoenician ships, of a particular size the description, destined for long voyages, just as in English "East Indiaman" was a general name given to vessels, some of which were not intended to go to India at all. Hence we may infer that the word Tarshish was also used to signify any distant place, and in this case would be applied to one in the Indian Ocean. This is shown by the nature of the imports with which the fleet returned, which are specified as "gold, silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks ." ( 1 Kings 10:22 ) The gold might possibly have been obtained form Africa, or from Ophir in Arabia, and the ivory and the apes might likewise have been imported from Africa but the peacocks point conclusively, not to Africa, but to India. There are only two species known: both inhabit the mainland and islands of India so that the mention of the peacock seems to exclude the possibility of the voyage having been to Africa.

Smith, William, Dr. "Entry for 'Tarshish'". "Smith's Bible Dictionary". . 1901.

(1) Eponym of a Benjamite family (1 Chronicles 7:10) Rhamessai, A and Lucian, Tharseis

(2) One of the "seven princes" at the court of Ahasuerus (Esther 1:14 Massoretic Text).

(3) The Hebrew name of a precious stone (Ezekiel 10:9 margin, English Versions of the Bible "beryl" Exodus 28:20 39:13 Ezekiel 1:16 28:13 Song of Solomon 5:14 Daniel 10:6).


Tower of David Restoration

The $40 million restoration project focused on the “Phasael” tower of the Jerusalem Citadel, also known as the Tower of David was initiated when a large crack running from top to bottom was suspected of threatening the structural integrity of the historic structure . Preparation for the renewal included cleaning and treating the ancient stones of the Tower, using a temporary glue to maintain stability while cracks in the stone were explored. Metal anchors will be used to permanently stabilize the stones. A high-tech monitoring system will be installed to detect movements in the structure.

“The Tower of David is one of the most important structures in Israel, both in terms of its history and location. The last conservation project at the Tower of David was carried out in the 1980s. Since then, the citadel has been in desperate need of conservation,” said engineering manager Yotam Carmel.


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