Catholic Answers

Search Articles


Search Scans
Scans by volume
Random Article
Login - advanced access


1,001 Saints
List of Popes
Art Gallery
Map Room


Church Hierarchy
Church History - to 1517 A.D.
Hagiography - saints
Homiletics - sermons
Mariology - on Mary
Religious Orders
Sacred Scripture

Front Matter — Vol I

Title Page
Copyright & Imprimatur
To the Knights of Columbus
Tables of Abbreviations

Site Status

Updated:  Aug 12, 2013
prev: Shrine of Oostacker Shrine of Oostacker Diocese of Oporto next: Diocese of Oporto


In the Bible, designates a people and a country

High Resolution Scan ———————————

Login or register to access high resolution scans and other advanced features.

Registration is Free!

Errata* for Ophir:

Login or register to access the errata and other advanced features.

Registration is Free!

* Published by Encyclopedia Press, 1913.

Ophir, in the Bible, designates a people and a country. The people, for whom a Semitic descent is claimed, is mentioned in Gen., x, 29, with the other "sons of Jectan", whose dwelling "was from Messa as we go on as far as Sehar, a mountain in the east" (Gen., x, 30). The place Ophir was that from which the Bible represents Solomon's fleet bringing gold, silver, thyine (probably santal) wood, precious stones, ivory, apes, and peacocks (III Kings, ix, 26-28; x, 11, 22; II Par., viii, 17-18; ix, 10). Its location has been sought where the articles mentioned are native productions; still, while Ophir is repeatedly spoken of as a gold-producing region (Job, xxii, 24; xxviii, 16; Ps. xliv, 10; Is., xiii, 12), it does not follow that the other articles came from there; whether they were natural products, or only bought and sold there, or even purchased by the merchantmen at intervening ports, cannot be gathered from the text, as it states merely that they were fetched to Asiongaber. The Bible does not give the geographical position of Ophir; it only says that the voyage out from Asiongaber and back lasted three years (III Kings, x, 22). Scholars have been guided in their several identifications of the site by the importance they attach to this or that particular indication in the sacred text—especially the products brought to Solomon—also by resemblances, real or fanciful, between the Hebrew names of Ophir and of the articles mentioned in connection therewith and names used in various countries and languages. The Greek translators of the Bible, by rendering the Hebrew Ophir into Sophir, the Coptic name for India, would locate the Biblical El Dorado in India, according to some in the land of the Abhira, east of the delta of the Indus, according to others, on the coast of Malabar or at Ceylon, and according to others still in the Malay Peninsula. The opinion that it was situated on the southern or southeastern coast of Arabia has many advocates, who contend from the text of Gen., x, 29, 30, that Ophir must be located between Saba and Hevilath. Another opinion says it was not in Asia, but either on the southeastern coast of Africa (Sofala) or inland in Mashonaland.


discuss this article | send to a friend

Discussion on 'Ophir'

prev: Shrine of Oostacker Shrine of Oostacker Diocese of Oporto next: Diocese of Oporto

Report translation problem

*Description: Copy and paste the phrase with the problem or describe how the trascription can be fixed.
  * denotes required field


Art Gallery
Art Gallery

Catholic Q & A

Popular Subjects
Top 20 Questions

Ask A Faith Question

Quotable Catholics RSS

"Use your pleasure with me. A reprieve or even a pardon upon your conditions I utterly refuse."
-- Thomas Whitaker, Venerable, imprisoned English priest; steadfastly declining all inducements to abandon his Catholic faith and become Anglican, just before his execution.


Latest OCE Discussion

Your usage constitutes agreement with User License :: Permissions :: Copyright © 2015, Catholic Answers.
Site last updated Aug 12, 2013