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name of a place mentioned in Old Testament as a source for fine gold; location still unknown. Hence Ophir-gold (1610s).
(1.) One of the sons of Joktan (Gen. 10:29). (2.) Some region famous for its gold (1 Kings 9:28; 10:11; 22:48; Job 22:24; 28:16; Isa. 13:12). In the LXX. this word is rendered "Sophir," and "Sofir" is the Coptic name for India, which is the rendering of the Arabic version, as also of the Vulgate. Josephus has identified it with the Golden Chersonese, i.e., the Malay peninsula. It is now generally identified with Abhira, at the mouth of the Indus. Much may be said, however, in favour of the opinion that it was somewhere in Arabia.
unidentified region famous in Old Testament times for its fine gold. The geographic list of Genesis 10 apparently places it in Arabia, but in the time of Solomon (c. 920 BC), Ophir was thought of as being overseas. Gold, almug (or algum) wood (i.e., sandalwood), ivory, monkeys, and peacocks were procured there. Many areas of the Arabian Peninsula have been proposed as the site of Ophir; the principal alternative locations overseas are East Africa and India.