1. The second son of Javan, Genesis 10:4.
2. Tartessus, an ancient city between two mouths of the Guadalquiver, in the south of Spain. It was a Phoenician colony, and was the most celebrated emporium in the west to which the Hebrews and Phoenicians traded. That Tarshish was situated in the west is evident from Genesis 10:4, where it is joined with Elisha, Kittim, and Dodanim. See also Psalms 72:10. According to Ezekiel 38:13, it was an important place of trade; according to Jeremiah 10:9, it exported silver, and according to Ezekiel 27:12,25, silver, iron, tin, and lead to the Tyrian markets. They embarked for this place from Joppa, Jonah 1:3-4. In Isaiah 23:1,6,10, it is evidently represented as an important Phoenician colony. It is named among other distant states, in Isaiah 66:19. All these notices agree with Tartessus.
In some of these passages, however, Tarshish may be used as a general expression, applicable to all the distant shores of Europe; and thus the custom may have arisen of designating as "ships of Tarshish" any large merchant ships bound on long voyages in any direction. The English term Indiaman is very similarly used. Whether the ships fitted out by Solomon at Ezion-geber on the Red sea, sailed around Africa to Tarshish in Spain, or gave the name of Tarshish to some place in India of Ethiopia, as the discovers of America gave it the eastern names India and Indians, cannot now be determined, 1 Kings 10:22 22:48,49 2 Chronicles 9:21 20:26 Isaiah 23:1,14 60:9.