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
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.
On Ophir, see the marginal reference note. Among the various opinions three predominate; all moderns, except a very few, being in favor of Arabia, India, or Eastern Africa. Arabia‘s claims are supported by the greatest number.
All through the history of the Jewish nation we see that the people of God, whether old or young, had to keep themselves distinct and separate from the idolatrous nations around them. God has a people today; and it is just as necessary now as anciently that His people should keep themselves distinct and separate, pure and unspotted from the world, its spirit, and its influences, because the world sets up a standard opposed to the standard of truth and righteousness.—The Review and Herald, January 4, 1887. RY 183.1
Solomon's repentance was sincere; but the harm that his example of evil-doing had wrought, could not be undone. During his apostasy, there were in the kingdom men who remained true to their trust, maintaining their purity and loyalty. But many were led astray; and the forces of evil set in operation by the introduction of idolatry and worldly practices, could not easily be stayed by the penitent king. His influence for good was greatly weakened. Many hesitated to place full confidence in his leadership. Though the king confessed his sin, and wrote out, for the benefit of after-generations, a record of his folly and repentance, he could never hope entirely to destroy the baleful influence of his wrong deeds. Emboldened by his apostasy, many continued to do evil, and evil only. And in the downward course of many of the rulers who followed him, may be traced the sad influence of the prostitution of his God-given powers.... RY 183.2Read in context »
The revenue of the king and of many of his subjects was greatly increased, but at what a cost! Through the cupidity and shortsightedness of those to whom had been entrusted the oracles of God, the countless multitudes who thronged the highways of travel were allowed to remain in ignorance of Jehovah. PK 72.1
In striking contrast to the course pursued by Solomon was the course followed by Christ when He was on this earth. The Saviour, though possessing “all power,” never used this power for self-aggrandizement. No dream of earthly conquest, of worldly greatness, marred the perfection of His service for mankind. “Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests,” He said, “but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head.” Matthew 8:20. Those who, in response to the call of the hour, have entered the service of the Master Worker, may well study His methods. He took advantage of the opportunities to be found along the great thoroughfares of travel. PK 73.1
In the intervals of His journeys to and fro, Jesus dwelt at Capernaum, which came to be known as “His own city.” Matthew 9:1. Situated on the highway from Damascus to Jerusalem and Egypt and to the Mediterranean Sea, it was well adapted to be the center of the Saviour's work. People from many lands passed through the city or tarried for rest. There Jesus met with those of all nations and all ranks, and thus His lessons were carried to other countries and into many households. By this means interest was aroused in the prophecies pointing forward to the Messiah, attention was directed to the Saviour, and His mission was brought before the world. PK 73.2Read in context »