Who and what is…

This is the name of a Biblical man and a region of somewhat uncertain location.

  1. Ophir, a son of Joktan

    He is a Joktanite. Joktan is a son of Heber/Eber, progenitor of the Hebrews.

    According to Genesis 10:29, Ophir’s brothers are…

    1. Almodad
    2. Sheleph
    3. Hazarmaveth
    4. Jerah
    5. Hadoram
    6. Uzal
    7. Diklah
    8. Obal/Ebal
    9. Abimael
    10. Sheba
    11. Havilah
    12. Jobab

    Their settlement extended from Mesha going toward Sephar, the hill country of the east.

    Ancestry: NoahShemArpachshad (Arphaxad)CainanShelahHeber/EberJoktanOphir

    There is an Arab tradition that Joktan is the ancestor/progenitor of all the purest Arabian tribes of Central and Southern Arabia.

  2. Ophir, a region

    Ophir is mentioned repeatedly in Scripture as a place famous for its high quality gold.

    This place may be an Arabian region.

    However, there are many different guesses about its location, and none have been proven.

    In the Septuagint this word is rendered “Sophir.”

    In Egypt where the Septuagint translation was done, “Sofir” is the Coptic name for India, which is the rendering of the Arabic version, and also of the Vulgate.

    Josephus identified it with the Golden Chersonese, i.e., the Malay peninsula.

    Some identify it with Abhira, at the mouth of the Indus River. Much may be said, however, in favor of the opinion that it was somewhere in Arabia.

    Scripture that mentions the place Ophir

    • “they went to Ophir and received 420 talents of gold from there, and brought it to King Solomon” (1 Kings 9:28 NASB)
    • “the ships of Hiram as well, which brought gold from Ophir, brought in from Ophir a very great number of almug trees and precious stones” (1 Kings 10:11 NASB)
    • “Jehoshaphat built ships of Tarshish to go to Ophir for gold, but they did not go, because the ships were destroyed at Ezion-geber” (1 Kings 22:48 NASB)
    • “three thousand talents of gold, from the gold of Ophir” (1 Chronicles 29:4 NASB)
    • “Huram sent him ships and servants who knew the sea; and they went with Solomon’s servants to Ophir and took from there 450 talents of gold, and brought it to King Solomon” (2 Chronicles 8:18 NASB)
    • “brought gold from Ophir” (2 Chronicles 9:10 NASB)
    • “the gold of Ophir” (Job 22:24 NASB)
    • “It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir” (Job 28:16 NASB)
    • “At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir” (Psalm 45:9 NASB)
    • “I will make mortal man scarcer than pure gold And mankind than the gold of Ophir.” (Isaiah 13:12 NASB)

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Article Version: August 18, 2021