ECCLESIATES 12:13 ‘Fear
and keep His
commandments for this is the whole duty of man’
APO NI ABRAHAM KAY LEVI NASA PILIPINAS
Search for Tarsis and Ofir was directly related to the"discovery" of these islands by Magellan!
During the early period of European colonization, the Biblical lands of Tarshish and Ophir, or Tarsis andOfir, as they were called, held the imagination of European explorers. Not only was it believed that the"lost tribes" of Israel were to be found in these lands, but also untold wealth. To these kingdoms KingSolomon and King Hiram of Tyre sent ships for trade that "brought from Ophir great plenty of almug trees,and precious stones," (I Kings 10:11). Concerning Tarshish it is written: "Fro the king's ships went toTarshish with the servants of Hiram: every three years once came the shop of Tarshish bringing gold andsilver, ivory, and apes, and peacock." (II Chronicles 9:21) In Samuel Purchas's well-known travelcompendium
Purchas His Pilgrim
, he devotes the entire first chapter to a discussion of Tarshish and Ophir.In particular, he argues strenously that it is beloved Britain and not Spain that deserved the title as themodern Tarshish and Ophir. Curiously, in Careri's journal of his visit to the Philippines, he mentions that hewould not go into the argument raging in Europe at that time over whether the Philippines was originallypopulated by the descendants of Biblical Tarshish. In modern times, scholars have attempted to relateTarshish and Ophir with a number of areas, none of which include the Philippines. However, things weredifferent in Europe prior to the discovery of the Philippines. There, they believed that Tarsis and Ofir weresome lands far to the east of biblical Israel. Their reasoning was actually quite logical. King Solomon builtthe port from which ships departed for Tarsis and Ofir at Ezion-Geber on the coast of the Red Sea. Thereturn journey took about three years, so obviously the location must be somewhere far to the East. Inmodern times, some scholars have tried to suggest that Solomon's navy circumnavigated Africa to reach theMediterranean, but the seafaring Europeans of those times would not consider such nonsense. Tarsis andOfir were unknown lands beyond the Golden Chersonese of Ptolemy. Their discovery would undoubtedlybring untold wealth and great fame in the minds of the people of those times.
But what, one may ask, has this to do with the Philippines? The truth is that the search for Tarsis and Ofirwas directly related to the "discovery" of these islands by Magellan!