King's Business - 1962-01

KING'S BUSINESS PROPHECY FEATURE Edited, by Dr. Charles L. Feinberg, Dean , Talbot Theological Seminary


The nited States

n Prophecy?

tty tto y L. A ldrich , President, Detroit Bible College Detroit, Michigan

The belief that Great Britain is to be identified with Tarshish (mentioned in Ezek. 38:13) is quite popular with prophetic students. The theory has a peculiar fas­ cination for English speaking people who see in it a pro­ phetic reference to Great Britain and the United States. The ethnological and historical evidence at our dis­ posal is scarcely sufficient to establish a definite relation­ ship between many of the nations or peoples mentioned in Ezek. 38 and modern nations. The evidence that exists for the British-Tarshish theory may arrive at a proba­ bility, but it seems to come far short of a demonstration. The Rev. W. Lamb of Australia has written an ex­ tensive brief for the Tarshish-Britain theory. (Signs, pp. 64ff.) A summary of his argument follows: is Tarshish was one of the sons of Javan and the refer­ ence in Genesis 10 indicates that these sons settled in the “islfes of the Gentiles.” “And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish, Eittim, and Dodanim. By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations” (Gen. 10:4, 5). Mr. Lamb takes this as evidence that Tarshish refers to an island people: “ The reference is thus evidently to an island people. There are those who say, that the word translated ‘isles’ does not of necessity mean ‘is­ lands’ but rather coast-lands. But, the objection hardly seems to carry much force, seeing that where there are islands, there are, of necessity, coast-lands. And we shall afterwards find that the people represented by Tarshish in the Scrip­

tures are' often seen to be associated with isles that are unmistakably surrounded by the ocean.” (Ibid.., p. 68.) 2. Tarshish is always associated with maritime con­ ditions; with ships, navies and merchandise. The follow­ ing references are given as examples: “For the king had at sea a navy of Tarshish with the navy of Hiram: once in three years came the navy of Tarshish, bringing gold, and sil­ ver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks” (I Kings 10 : 22 ). “ Jehoshaphat made ships of Tarshish to go to Ophir for gold: but they went not,r for the ships were broken at Ezion-geber” (I Kings 22:48). 3. Tin is mentioned in connection with Tarshish in Ezek. 27:12: “Tarshish was thy merchant by-reason of the multitude of all kinds of riches; with silver, iron, tin, and lead, they traded in thy fairs.” It is said that Britain was the source of such metals, especially tin. “ Britain” or “ Baratanic” means “ the Tin Islands.” 4. The next argument is that Tarshish seems to be the restorer of Israel in the last days. This is seen in the following Scripture: “ Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the Lord thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee” (Isa. 60:9). (continued on next page)



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