Once upon a time, King Solomon sent an expedition to a place called Ophir, which brought him back 450 talents in gold (2 Chronicles 8:18). In 9 Chronicles 13, we are told the king’s total revenue amounted to 666 talents. Solomon was the richest king of his time, and that one trip to Ophir netted him about two-thirds of a year’s revenue.
But where was Ophir?
We don’t know. The Bible doesn’t tell us–probably because, at the time it was written, people knew where Ophir was and didn’t have to be told. And it was famous for its gold. Psalm 45 speaks of “the queen in gold of Ophir.”
There is no mention of Ophir in the New Testament. Was that because the name had changed? Or maybe Ophir’s civilization had collapsed.
Where was it?
Speculation as to the location of Ophir takes Solomon’s ships as far afield as the coast of America, the Philippines, India, Sri Lanka, and Central Africa. There’s no archaeological evidence to support any of those theories.
But we do know–and have evidence for it–that the ancient Indus Valley civilization sent trading ships up the Persian Gulf to Arabia and Mesopotamia. Probably Mesopotamia sent ships to the Indus. Personally, that’s where I think Ophir was. It’s a long way from the Gulf of Aqaba on the Red Sea, where Solomon’s ports were. But Alexander the Great was able to send ships from the Indus back to the Persian Gulf; they surely could have continued around Arabia and up the Red Sea. There were plenty of ports along the way, for rest and re-supply.
If Solomon flourished around 900 B.C., the Indus Valley civilization was already out of business by then; but other civilized people now lived there.
We do tend to sell the ancients short, and think they couldn’t possibly have done things that no one else did till modern times. Thor Heyerdahl made a pretty good career out of poking holes in this doctrine. Of course, nobody believes anymore in any of the things he said or wrote; but no one can deny that he built accurate re-creations of several kinds of ancient vessels and successfully sailed them on long voyages. If he could cross the Atlantic on a boat made of reeds, then at least it was possible for someone in the ancient world to do it.
Public baths? Municipal swimming pool? We’ll never know.
The end of any year is a time for reflection. Historical reflection is allowed.
Imagine a real civilization with hundreds of cities, millions of people, international trade, fine architecture… about which we today know virtually nothing: a civilization so totally erased from history that not the name of even a single one of its people has come down to us.
Think about it. The Indus Valley civilization. The names of its rulers and artists, its cities, its gods–all lost. We cannot read their writing. Surely the Sumerians, with whom they traded, should have written about them; but if they did, we haven’t found it. Not one voice, not even one, speaks to us for the Indus Valley people. One look at their buildings is enough to convince us of their greatness. But buildings don’t talk. Not when you can’t read the inscriptions.
Wow! Looks like we’ve got another lost civilization to puzzle us.
Indian archaeologists in Maharashtra State have uncovered thousands–repeat, thousands–of ancient rock carvings which they estimate date from around 10,000 B.C. (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-45559300). Click the link for a lot of eye-popping photos.
In addition to stylized geometric designs, the carvings also depict a host of humans and animals, some of which are not found in the area nowadays. We have elephants, rhinos, assorted fish–and some of these are huge, they can only be properly seen from above. The absence of any agricultural-type pictures suggests to scientists that the people who carved them had no agriculture. Well, maybe.
We don’t know anything about the people who created all this artwork, some of which must have been highly labor-intensive, requiring a fair amount of organization. Who were they? How did they live? What was their culture like? And what happened to them?
Maharashtra is on India’s east coast, stretching many miles inland into central India. We can’t help wondering whether the people who carved the petroglyphs had anything to do with the later (circa 2,000 B.C.), highly urbanized Indus Valley civilization. No written inscriptions have been discovered here as yet.
Another tantalizing mystery belonging to a vanished world…
Here is a sample of writing from the Indus Valley Civilization, on what is presumed to be a businessman’s or a government official’s seal, or maybe it’s some kind of coupon. Because the language is unknown, the script has never been deciphered.
But who knows? Maybe you can translate it! Maybe you can find the key that unlocks a whole lost world.
It’s just an “experiment,” mind you. For one year, “several dozen Stockton families would get $500 a month, no strings attached.” The goal is to gather data on the “economic and social impacts of giving people a basic income,” especially the impacts on, well, “self-esteem and identity.” There is also a “hope” that this experiment will be so wonderfully successful, it will “encourage other places to give it a try.”
Coulda fooled me. I thought it might’ve been an experiment to see how many times one city can go bankrupt in a single decade.
Leftids have been hallucinating about a Universal Basic Income for years now. See, they say, nobody’s gonna work anymore anyhow, ’cause robots gonna be doin’ all the work, so why not pay everybody to sit around playing video games or writing cowboy poetry? What could be more sublime than a kind of perpetual infancy–dependent on government handouts all your life? And you better do what Mommy tells you, or you don’t get no goodies!
Can you imagine the first city to make a UBI an actual public program? It will draw illegal aliens like iron filings to a magnet. It will draw every ne’er-do-well for hundreds of miles around.
But what if you can’t live on $500 a month? Wouldn’t that make it just money down the drain? If you hand someone $6,000 a year and he still goes under, what have you gotten for your money?
First there was a problem with toddlers putting these things in their mouths, probably because they look like candy, with sometimes fatal, and always serious, results. But then it took off as a youtube fad among teenagers: “the Tide Challenge.” Uh, you can get sick and die from this…
So just how stupid have we become? Meanwhile, we are lumbered with the biggest and costliest “education” system ever known in history, and those who pass through it seem to be getting dumber and dumber and dumber.
I wonder if it was something like this that happened to the Indus Valley civilization.
I just had a horrible thought: you could probably crank a hit song out of that, I Don’t Know What It Is, But I Like It.
Here are a bunch of collidge stodents being asked about socialism. They’re all in favor of it, big-time. They also don’t know what it is, and are totally stumped when asked to define or describe it. “If it’s helping people, I’m for it.” Brilliant. Your tuition dollars at work.
Salutes to Campus Reform.org for producing this video.
College, college, college… hmmm… Hey! I think I know what happened to that Indus Valley civilization! College happened to it.
See this statue? We don’t know who or what he was. We don’t know when he lived. We don’t know a single word of his language. All we know is that this statue comes from the Indus Valley Civilization, where it was found in a city built around 2500 B.C. and abandoned some six or seven hundred years later.
But according to a whole new way of studying ancient history, we can now know all those things and more.
“All I has to do is just look at it, and then I know all about it,” says Dr. I. B. Loony, a professor of Social Gender and Environmental Global Justice at 57 States University. “For instance, that statue, the one that comes from the India Valley. That guy’s name was Harold Patel or something like that, and he was originally assigned the female gender, but like you see by the statue, he self-identified as male and his transition was totally successful! And the reason there is no more India Valley Civilization is because they stopped doing gender fluidity and that caused climate change and that was the end of them. A civilization that doesn’t got no gender fluidity is doomded to climate change!”
Because the language spoken by the Indus Valley people is unknown, and their writing system undeciphered, Professor Loony was asked how he knows these things.
“You are a racist!” he explained. “Biggit, biggit, biggit! Waaaaaah!” He then rolled about on the floor and made peculiar sounds, while pounding with his fists and feet and head.
“No one is allowed to question him,” said one of his students. “He just knows things, that’s all. We take his word for it. I asked him a question once, and I was in Diversity Training for two weeks after that, learning how to think like everybody else. And now you’d better leave before I call the Diversity Response Team and report you for a micro-aggression and violation of our safe space.”
NEXT: Professor Loony reveals the secrets of Egyptian pyramid construction.