Metaphysical meaning of Tarshish (mbd)
Tarshish, tär'-shish (Heb.)--gravitational energy; precipitant force; hard; hardness; severity; breaking; broken; subdued; subjected; place of the stone; chrysolite; topaz; beryl; amber.
a Son of Javan, who was a son of Japheth and grandson of Noah (Gen. 10:4). b Son of Bilhan, a Benjamite (I Chron. 7:10). c One of the seven princes of Persia (Esth. 1:14). d A commercial city, or a district, that is supposed to have been in Spain (II Chron. 9:21).
Meta. The hard, unyielding, argumentative, battering, demolishing tendency that is characteristic of the purely intellectual and reasoning nature in man when unmixed with divine love and the softening influence of spiritual wisdom. (Tarshish means precipitant force, hard, hardness, severity, breaking. Japheth, grandfather of the first Tarshish mentioned in the Bible, represents the intellectual phase of being in man. Javan was an original name for Greece. The ancient Grecians were descended from Javan, son of Japheth and father of Tarshish, and Greece also refers to the intellect in man.)
Intellectual reasoning, with its seemingly hard, intolerant attitude, can enter into the various faculties of mind in the individual, such as faith (the second Tarshish was a Benjamite and Benjamin represents faith). But the aspect of intellectual thought that Tarshish signifies belongs especially to the outer, personal man (the third-mentioned Tarshish was one of the seven princes of King Ahasuerus of Persia, and the number seven refers to fulfillment in the outer). The intellect is very active in the trading, trafficking state of thought that the commercial city of Tarshish signifies.
Yet, regardless of its seeming hardness while in its purely carnal state, the intellectual capacity in man is really a precious stone, a rare treasure (place of the stone, chrysolite, topaz, beryl, amber). Under the influence of the Holy Spirit of truth and love it becomes softened and mellowed, and it is in time brought into complete subjection (subdued) to the higher spiritual understanding and inspiration. The intellect is a very valuable servant, but it should not rule in consciousness; "the wisdom that is from above" should always be given the precedence. This higher wisdom, we are told, "is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without variance, without hypocrisy" (Jas. 3:17).