Where Was Tarshish in Ancient Times?

Tarshish is a place that has been mentioned several times in the Bible. It is believed to be a distant land that was known for its wealth and prosperity. However, the exact location of Tarshish has been a subject of debate among scholars and historians for centuries.

What Does The Bible Say About Tarshish?

The Bible mentions Tarshish several times in both the Old and New Testaments. In the Old Testament, Tarshish is often associated with King Solomon’s reign and his trading expeditions. According to 1 Kings 10:22, “For the king had at sea a navy of Tharshish with the navy of Hiram: once in three years came the navy of Tharshish, bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks.”

In addition to King Solomon’s reign, Tarshish is also mentioned in relation to the prophet Jonah. According to Jonah 1:3, “But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it..”

Where Was Tarshish Located?

The location of Tarshish has long been debated by scholars. Some believe it was located in Spain or Portugal due to its association with King Solomon’s trading expeditions that sailed from Ezion-Geber on the Red Sea. Others argue that it was located in southern Turkey or western Iran because ancient Assyrian inscriptions reference a city named Tarsisiya in that area.

Another theory suggests that there were multiple locations named Tarshish throughout history. This theory is supported by linguistic evidence as well as historical documents such as inscriptions on ancient coins.


In conclusion, the exact location of Tarshish remains a mystery. While there are several theories regarding its location, there is no consensus among scholars and historians. What we do know is that Tarshish was known for its wealth and prosperity, and it played an important role in the trading expeditions of King Solomon’s reign.