Bible Prophecy Provides Evidence That God Exists For All To SEE



identity of tarshish1Identifying the Biblical power known as Tarshish has presented considerable problems to historians, inguists,political economists and church leaders alike. Most of them have come up with a variety of geographical locations varying from Sardinia and Israel through to the European Union and even NATO. Other linguists have asserted that in certain ancient Middle Eastern languages, the word is no more than a descriptive term for “big ships,” or curiously enough, it is a term for a “smelting furnace” and not a geographical location at all.

In all this confusion what is the honest Bible student to do? The answer must be to turn away from all these “experts” and discover what the Bible itself has to say. Not that you will find just one chapter or verse that will tell it to you as simply as that, but rather in the spirit of Proverbs 25:2 where we are told that: “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.”

identity of tarshish Puzzel

The first step is to get a computerised “On- Line Bible” to print out all the Bible’s references to Tarshish (or better still, look them up in a concordance). There are at least 24 such explicit, direct references, not counting those which probably refer to Tarshish in other terms, such as in Jeremiah 31:10, “Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock.”

There is no honest alternative to sitting down and laboriously analysing, and then summarising what each of those quotations tell us about Tarshish. When we have done so, we must try to fit the pieces of the puzzle together, using, say, the principal 18 or so verses so as to  form what could be termed a sort of verbal “identikit”—an outline verbal picture of the power referred to in our THE PIECES OF THE PUZZLE: THE IDENTIKIT at the top of this article.

By now a remarkable Bible-based picture will begin to emerge highlighting the key characteristics of the Power we are trying to identify.

Amongst the most notable features of this Power (which we have still not identified at this stage) will be its relationship and dealings with the Jews. Its nature as a maritime island trading power far away from the Middle East, and its involvement in the future battle of Armageddon.

So who can this power be? Consider whatever possibilities come into your mind and then check them out against the identikit picture.identity of tarshish3

For example; what about NATO or the European Union? Do they fit? Whenever did they favour the return of the Jews to their homeland? Those entities weren’t even formed until after the State of Israel was created! You have to eliminate Germany for the obvious reasons of the Holocaust. Russia? When has that been a maritime island power?—never mind its persecution of the Jews. France?

Maybe at times it has favoured the Jews, but in what sense has it ever been as island? What about Tunisia? Now that is a good guess because it is true to say that, following the collapse of the ancient market place of Tyre where the traders of Tarshish did their business, Carthage in Tunisia took over some of its economic power. But what has Tunisia done to assist the return of the Jews to their land? Nothing! And how can it offer opposition to Russia when it invades the Middle East? It can’t.

And so we could go on, eliminating all possibilities until we are left with the English speaking people of Britain, its former empire and its descendants e.g. America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and others. In a book by former Times writer, Simon Winchester, called Outposts, he describes how even today 80 years after the political term “British Empire” was abandoned, the Commonwealth still includes some 16 dependent territories  from the Caribbean Anguilla through to the Pacific Ocean’s Pitcairn Islands, comprising some 200 separate island communities with over 130,000 inhabitants owing allegiance to the British Crown. See our “Young Lions” and Modern Versions of the Bible sub-article below.

True, there is one other possibility, Spain which we consider in the article below entitled WHAT ABOUT SPAIN?

But at this stage we must return to the Biblical references to Tarshish and note the various contexts in which we find them. As we do so it becomes obvious that whilst there has been a specific location for Tarshish, it is also important that we should see that it has a “role” to be fulfilled in God’s purpose with the Jewish people (Isaiah 60:9).

Since the 17th century some Bible students have seen Britain as being the main Protestant power fostering the return of the Jews. For identity of tarshish2example, in 1797, Thomas Witherby, in commenting upon the book The Restoration of the Jews: A Crisis of all Nations believed that “England, under a new Cyrus, would be chosen to perform God’s purposes of mercy towards Israel.” We may point out also that in Isaiah 49:22,23 certain Gentile powers have a role to fulfil: “Kings shall be thy nursing fathers and queens thy nursing mothers.”

In addition, when we reconsider Jeremiah 31:10 (already referred to) it is obvious that this island power has to be able to take the word of the Lord worldwide.

Isaiah adds the description “On mine arm shall they trust” (Isaiah 51:5). No one is suggesting that Britain has ever been a truly Bible based nation but it has done more than any other nation on earth to promote Bible reading and taking its message to the ends of the earth.

Consider for a moment the Bible translation work of Wycliffe in the 13th century and Tyndale— burnt at the stake at the behest of European powers in the 16th century. It was Britain which, in 1611, brought into existence the King James Authorised version of the Bible. Only a few years after, 1697 saw the creation of the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge (SPCK), followed in 1804 by the formation of the British and Foreign Bible Society, and in 1816 by a similar organisation in America. Then the YMCA in 1844. Recall the pioneering work of such Missionaries as Livingstone, Moffat, Chalmers, and Carey. It is truly remarkable and unique, that among other nations of the country. Reformation times it was only the  imperialist British merchant venturers that were followed so soon afterwards by the English Bible being taken worldwide.

Indeed, as Christadelphian writer Graham Pearce put it in the 1970’s, the English language became a conduit for the word of God to the ends of the earth.

So let us now return to the key identikit THE PIECES OF THE PUZZLE: THE IDENTIKIT at the top of this article  which summarises the descriptions of Tarshish. Ask yourself, in all honesty, what other nation has ever conformed to these requirements of the Bible. The answer is, quite simply none.

There can be no alternative explanation other than Britain, if Scripture alone is to be our guide.

identity of tarshish modern versions

identity of tarshish spain
Article from the Bible Magazine