The Cairo geniza documentary is a testimony of a prosperous Jewish trade with “Sindabur”, by many scholars believed to be the ancient port of Gopakapattanam in Goa. Could this port be the ancient Ophir of the Bible?
On the 17th of July 2015, National Institute of Oceanography (NiO) located in Goa, used the Times of India, and local media, to anounce that NiO would uncover the ancient seaport of Gopakapattanam. Up till the end of January 2017, no new reserach of this area has been conducted.
This golden age of this port city was from around 1000A.D to 1250 A.D. The Jewish merchants left a testimony of peaceful relationships between traders of different faiths.
This age of free trade in the Indian Ocean was nevertheless challenged by the expansion of Islam.
– Where is Ophir of the Bible?
Francisco Baretto became viceroy in Goa in 1555. After his retirement, the King of Portugal gave him the task of locating Ophir of King Solomon. Baretto set sail from Lisbon on April 16th 1569 with three ships and thousand men. The king had granted Baretto the title “Conqueror of the Mines”. The former viceroy sailed to Sofala in Mozambique, believed to be the Biblical Eldorado, from where the ships of King Solomon collected 14 metric tones of gold. This cargo was used as materials in the first temple of Jerusalem. Barreto and his team returned to Portugal empty handed.
Ophir is mentioned in the book of first kings in the Bible.
1 Kings 9:26-28.
King Solomon also built ships at Ezion Geber, which is near Elath in Edom, on the shore of
the Red Sea. And Hiram sent his men—sailors who knew the sea to serve in the fleet with brought back 420 talents of gold, which they delivered to King Solomon. Solomon’s men. They sailed to Ophir and brought back 420 talents of gold, which they delivered to King Solomon.
(end of scriptures).
14. metric tones is a lot of gold. Today’s value of this cargo would be approximately 500 million USD, or 3500 cr. rupee. Such a high value trade took place 3.000 years ago. All this gold was shipped from somewhere in the Indian Ocean to ancient Israel.
Could the ancient port of Gopakapattanam be Ophir of the Bible?