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Is Philippines' ancient name Ophir?

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During the early period of European colonization, the Biblical lands of Tarshish and Ophir, or Tarsis and Ofir, 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 King Solomon 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 to Tarshish with the servants of Hiram: every three years once came the shop sof Tarshish bringing gold and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacock." (II Chronicles 9:21)
In Samuel Purchas's well-known travel compendium 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 the modern Tarshish and Ophir. Curiously, in Careri's journal of his visit to the Philippines, he mentions that he would not go into the argument raging in Europe at that time over whether the Philippines was originally populated by the descendants of Biblical Tarshish.

In modern times, scholars have attempted to relate Tarshish and Ophir with a number of areas, none of which include the Philippines. However, things were different in Europe prior to the discovery of the Philippines. There, they believed that Tarsis and Ofir were some lands far to the east of biblical Israel. Their reasoning was actually quite logical. King Solomon built the port from which ships departed for Tarsis and Ofir at Ezion-Geber on the coast of the Red Sea. The return journey took about three years, so obviously the location must be somewhere far to the East. In modern times, some scholars have tried to suggest that Solomon's navy circumnavigated Africa to reach the Mediterranean, but the seafaring Europeans of those times would not consider such nonsense. Tarsis and Ofir were unknown lands beyond the Golden Chersonese of Ptolemy. Their discovery would undoubtedly bring 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 Ofir was directly related to the "discovery" of these islands by Magellan!
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