And they came to Ophir - No man knows certainly, to this day, where this Ophir was situated. There were two places of this name; one somewhere in India, beyond the Ganges, and another in Arabia, near the country of the Sabaeans, mentioned by Job, Job 22:24; : Then shalt thou lay up gold as dust; and the gold of Ophir as the stones of the brooks. And Job 28:16; : It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, or the sapphire. Calmet places this country at the sources of the Euphrates and Tigris.
But there are several reasons to prove that this was not the Ophir of the Bible, which it seems was so situated as to require a voyage of three years long to go out, load, and return. Mr. Bruce has discussed this subject at great length; see his Travels, vol. ii., chap. iv., p. 354, etc. He endeavors to prove That Ezion-geber is situated on the Elanitic branch of the Arabian Gulf or Red Sea.
That Tharshish is Moka, near to Melinda, in the Indian Ocean, in about three degrees south latitude.
That Ophir lies somewhere in the land of Sofala, or in the vicinity of the Zimbeze river, opposite the island of Madagascar, where there have been gold and silver mines in great abundance from the remotest antiquity. And he proves,
That no vessel could perform this voyage in less than Three years, because of the monsoons; that more time need not be employed, and that this is the precise time mentioned in 1 Kings 10:22.
That this is the country of the queen of Sheba, or Sabia, or Azeba, who on her visit to Solomon, brought him one hundred and twenty talents of gold, and of spices and precious stones great store, 1 Kings 10:10. And that gold, ivory, silver, etc., are the natural productions of this country.
To illustrate and prove his positions he has given a map on a large scale, "showing the track of Solomon's fleet in their three years' voyage from the Elanitic Gulf to Ophir and Tharshish;" to which, and his description, I must refer the reader.