Q&A: Did Solomon's ships go to Ophir or Tarshish? 1 Kings 9:28 and 2 Chronicles 9:21

Did Solomon's ships go to Ophir or Tarshish? 1 Kings 9:28 and 2 Chronicles 9:21

Question

1 Kings 9:28, says they went to Ophir to acquire gold, but 2 Chronicles 9:21 says Solomon's ships went to Tarshish.

Answer

1 Kings 9:28 They sailed to Ophir and brought back 420 talents of gold, which they delivered to King Solomon.

2 Chronicles 9:21 The king had a fleet of trading ships manned by Hirams men. Once every three years it returned, carrying gold, silver and ivory, and apes and baboons.

The answer is not either/or, rather both/and. Solomon had more than one fleet of ships and they made different voyages to different locations. At times they brought back similar things (gold), but also different things (apes and peacocks - 1 Kings 10:22; 2 Chron. 9:21 vs. almug wood and precious stones - 1 Kings 10:11).

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).