King Solomon’s gold from Ophir

Manila Bulletin - - Views • Features - By NELLY FAVIS VIL­LA­FUERTE

there is men­tion of a place called Ophir (which sup­plied gold to King Solomon) in the var­i­ous books of the Old Tes­ta­ment – nowhere in the Bible is there men­tion of its lo­ca­tion. “Doc­u­ment No. 98,” dated 1519-1522, Ophir can be found by trav­el­ling from the Cape of Good Hope in Africa, to In­dia, to Burma, to Su­ma­tra, to Moluc­cas, to Bor­neo, to Sulu, to China, then fi­nally Ophir. Ophir was said to be “[...] in front of China to­wards the sea, of many is­lands where the Moluc­cans, Chi­nese, and Le­quios met to trade...” Jes Tirol as­serts that this group of is­lands could not be Ja­pan be­cause the Moluc­cans did not get there, nor Tai­wan, since it is not com­posed of “many is­lands.” Only the present-day Philip­pines, he says, could fit the de­scrip­tion. Span­ish records also men­tion the pres­ence of Le­quios (big, bearded white men, prob­a­bly de­scen­dants of the Phoeni­cians, whose ships were al­ways laden with gold and sil­ver) in the Is­lands to gather gold and sil­ver.” (Ref­er­ence: http:// news­­cient­land-of-ophir-that-found-in-the-bible)

In an­other re­lated opin­ion found in the same in­ter­nal re­port as afore­men­tioned:

“At the emer­gence of the hy­drog­ra­phy of Span­ish colonies in Asia in the early 17th cen­tury, Do­mini­can Gre­go­rio Gar­cía wrote that Ophir was in­deed lo­cated in the Moluc­cas and the Philip­pines. In 1609, Juan de Pineda wrote a di­verse col­lec­tion of lit­er­a­ture re­lat­ing Bib­li­cal ac­counts of Solomon, Ophir, and the is­lands. For­mer Prime Min­is­ter Pe­dro A. Paterno said in

one of his works on con­jec­tural an­thro­pol­ogy that Ophir is the Philip­pines be­cause the scented wood Solomon re­ceived from Ophir also ex­ists in the Is­lands. This no­tion was, how­ever, later dis­missed by mod­ern his­to­ri­ans as merely al­lud­ing and com­par­ing the Philip­pines’ po­si­tion to the Span­ish econ­omy with that of Ophir to Solomon’s king­dom — the sud­den dis­cov­ery and col­o­niza­tion of the Is­lands bring­ing wealth and pros­per­ity to the realm.

“Other ev­i­dence has also been pointed out that the Philip­pines was the An­cient Ophir.”

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