Although the first definite endeavour to locate the Golden Chersonese thus dates from the middle of the 2nd century of our era, the name was apparently well known to the learned of Europe at a somewhat earlier period, and in his Antiquities of the Jews, written during the latter half of the 1st century, Josephus says that Solomon gave to the pilots furnished to him by Hiram of Tyre commands " that they should go along with his stewards to the land that of old was called Ophir, but now the Aurea Chersonesus, which belongs to India, to fetch gold."
Still more diversity of opinion prevails as to the southern gold-exporting port of Ophir, which some scholars place in Arabia, others at one or another point on the east coast of Africa.
Commercial intercourse with Asia Minor, Arabia, Tarshish (probably in Spain) and Ophir filled his coffers, and his realm extended from the Euphrates to the border of Egypt.
25-29), and trading journeys to Ophir were undertaken by his fleet in conjunction no doubt with Ahab as well as with his son Ahaziah (2 Chron.
Trading journeys were conducted with Phoenician help to Ophir and Tarshish.
He edited Stanford's Compendium of Geography and, besides many papers in the journals of learned societies and in encyclopaedias, published Man, Past and Present (1899); Ethnology (1896 and later editions); The Gold of Ophir (1901), etc. He was professor of Hindustani at University College, London, till 1885.
The wood of the tree was very precious, and was brought from Ophir (probably some part of India), along with gold and precious stones, by Hiram, and was used in the formation of pillars for the temple at Jerusalem, and for the king's house; also for the inlaying of stairs, as well as for harps and psalteries.
OPHIR, a region celebrated in antiquity for its gold, which was proverbially fine (Job xxii.
10); Ophir gold was stored up among the materials for the Temple (I Chron.
- Various writers, following Josephus and the Greek version, have placed Ophir in different parts of the Far East.
Abhira, at the mouth of the Indus (where, however, there is no gold); at Supara, in Goa; and at a certain Mount Ophir in Johore.
- On the whole the most satisfactory theory is that Ophir was in some part of Arabia - whether south or east is disputed, and (with the indications at our disposal) probably cannot be settled.
22); Sheba certainly, and Havilah probably, are regions of Arabia, and these are coupled with Ophir in Genesis x.; and the account of the arrival of the navy in I Kings x.
Historians have been at a loss to know what Solomon could give in exchange for the gold of Ophir and the costly gifts of the queen of Sheba.
1905) shows that by his command of the trade routes Solomon was able to balance Phoenicians and Sabaeans against each other, and that, his Ophir gold would be paid for by trade facilities and protection of caravans.
Keane, The Gold of Ophir (1901); C. Peters, The Eldorado of the Ancients (1902); W.
The first discovery of gold in mining quantities was made by Hargraves in 1851, at the junction of Lewis Ponds and Summerhill Creek, in what was called the Ophir Diggings, near Bathurst.