Where did the gold of Ophir go? How much gold was involved?
Let us do a little math in order to understand the true history of the children of God called through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Israel), not through the false messengers of false gods, such as Baal, Ashtoreth, Artemis and Mammon.
I Kings 10:14 tells us that the gold that came to King Solomon yearly amounted to 666 talents (22.644 metric tons/year). Multiplying that by 20 years when he built the temple, as well as the palace complex he built for himself, that would add up to 13,320 talents. And if we add another conservative 300 talents that King David shipped, say, 10 years prior to turning over his throne and temple project to his son, we have 3,000 talents of gold, to make a total of 16,320 talents all in all. Converting, that would be 554,880 kilograms or 554.88 metric tons. Since David and Solomon ruled for 40 years each, that figure would even reasonably double to 1,000 metric tons.
So, was King Solomon really the richest man in his time? Or did he become rich because he gathered so much gold, silver and other precious minerals from other regions? Of course, he overtaxed his people and forced many others to work as his slaves, thus, not having to pay so much for labor. And that is how the wealthy become even wealthier. Yet, it was his idolatrous wives who led to his kingdom being divided eventually by divine decree. (I Kings 11:1-13)
Where did Hiram and Solomon import the gold? From Ophir. Remember that when the Queen of Sheba visited Solomon, she GAVE him 120 talents (about 4 metric tons) of Ophir gold (I Kings 10:10) while Hiram IMPORTED 420 talents (14.3 metric tons) at the same time. There is, therefore, the question of who is richer: the buyer of gold or the supplier of gold? The one who imports or the one who owns the gold? The one who gets or the one who gives? Even if Solomon was able to procure 5,000 tons of gold in his lifetime, the gold in Ophir would have been much, much more than that, not counting the silver, bronze, precious jewels and other resources.
Of course, we can say the queen may not have owned all the gold; but the gold was available where she lived. If she could easily carry 4 tons of gold just to give away as gift to the wisest king she ever met, certainly she can afford to get more than that for her own use. Considering that the people in Ophir had either picked up gold nuggets the size of eggs on riverbeds, or panned or even mined gold in shallow trenches throughout the history of Ophir, how much gold would have been garnered until the time the Spaniards came? That is, from the time Ophir, Tarshish and Havilah settled in the land as their inheritance from Noah, that would have been more than 3,000 years. It is even said that at one point in the history of Ophir, the natives stopped mining for gold because they already had enough, leading to the mines being neglected.
But just for the sake of our curiosity, if Solomon imported 666 talents or 22.644 metric tons of gold from Ophir every year and assuming the tribe of Ophir (not including the rest of his relatives Havilah and Tarshish) was able to mine gold at only a third of that amount (they were not building a temple and palace but only using it for personal ornament as well as for trading), multiplying it by just 3,000 years will give us 222 talents x 3,000 years, or a total of 666,000 talents or 22,644 metric tons of Ophir gold owned by just one tribe! Even if the queen only owned or inherited a third of that, she would have overshadowed what Solomon ever had. Compared to her, Solomon was a pauper!
Now here comes a historian and other naysayers saying the Spaniards did not find Ophir very profitable as there was not really that much gold that they found and that the Americans were the ones who succeeded in getting much gold. Well, that may only be true for several reasons:
- The Spaniards were not able to conquer the mountainous areas in northern Luzon because the Igorots resisted and fought for their freedom. So was the case in Mindanao which had been populated by fierce natives and Muslims who likewise resisted colonization. Those inaccessible places covered areas were gold was quite abundant.
- With over 3,000 years since the natives of Ophir had gleaned and mined their land of gold, one would expect the gold to diminish and be more difficult to find after that time.
- With Hiram, David and Solomon getting so much gold, more than the Ophir people might have been getting on a yearly basis, the gold would have further depleted.
- When the Americans came with new mining techniques and modern machineries, gold had to be mined deep beneath the mountains, something the Spaniards were not capable of doing previously. Of course, the Americans also brought modern weapons with which to pacify or subdue the natives in order to freely clean up the gold in Luzon and Mindanao up to what they call “post-colonial” period.
- Did the Spaniards not really find much gold from digging? Or did they not need to dig for gold and resorted instead to gold-digging? Remember, Ophir alone had clearly much more than 20,000 metric tons of purified gold all above the ground and either worn by the natives as trinkets, belts and necklaces or used to decorate their houses, their boats and their altars. Why dig gold if you can gold-dig?
Not profitable? Perhaps, we should ask who had the greater motivation and better chance of accessing and getting much of the gold: the single, official conquering leader or few representatives of the Spanish king over the islands, the handful of priests or friars who came along or the many crew members who worked day and night to make the journey around the world possible? Think about it. Let us just say half went to the leader (in the case of Magellan who died, it might have been only 50-50 all the way since there were no friars then yet), a fourth went to the friars and the remaining fourth went to the crew. Would that be realistic? Not really, when you consider that the crew would have obviously found a way to hide loot for themselves or to store them in a cave for a future use (as pirates often do – yes, ALL of them were essentially pirates marauding a peaceful land of innocent, friendly people). Besides, the crew was practically free to trade with the natives as they wished – or even intimidate and hoodwink them if they wanted to. At some points, they even raped the women and pillaged the villages.
In every venture, you suffer losses, especially if gold is the goal. The issue is not profitability but honesty and transparency. Colonizers are not expected to give a proper accounting of their ultimate intentions concerning the lands they conquer. No worries, a very proper and open accounting will surely be made at the right time before the Judge of All. For now, we merely satisfy our own curiosity as to what may have happened and how much contraband was shipped out of these islands that made the colonizers either happy or still discontented with their many self-serving ventures.
Granted, the gold may not have been really that promising; but the land was so rich and so fertile they could have planted almost anything they needed to make their countries the richest and most powerful in the world for many centuries. The colonizers certainly made a lot of money from planting tobacco in Ophir and satisfying the global desire for the finest tobacco, aside from abaca to supply ropes for the shipping industry, sugar to satisfy the world’s increasing passion for “sweet white poison” and, of course, the other coveted poison, opium, to give users a good high.
High school students read simplified history books that mention only spices and other agricultural products but, definitely, not opium or gold as the main targets of the Spaniards. Even the Americans would perpetuate this deception because they either maintained or tolerated those activities — if not officially, then as an underground or illegal venture either by cultivating opium or using the country as its main trading post in Asia.1 Much like brothels that mushroom around US military bases, certain enterprises bring in tons of money for the enterprising individuals, sometimes in connivance with the authorities and the local residents.
Yes, the Spaniards made us believe they were “forced to keep” these “unprofitable islands” in order to trade silk to Mexico. Yes, that too brought them money. But if you think shipping heavy and bulky textile all the way across the Pacific was more profitable than trading opium right there in China, then your history and logic need a big dose of overhauling. Pound-for-pound, opium was more precious than silk; and with more people in China right across a narrow sea, loading silk to replace your opium cargo from Ophir made very wise shipping strategy. More so if you overpriced the silk once it reached Mexico and Europe – and you also had gold, silver and all the rest of the valuable goods to boot. Hence, if you are forced to keep a colony for 3 centuries even if it were not so profitable, you must be a masochist!
How could they have possibly lost? Who can outwit colonizers who were four steps ahead of everyone else? For all we know, the Asian businessmen only learned some of their best and their worst trading practices from the colonizers. Moreover, the Asian pirates certainly posed a great source of competition because they had learned where to find the treasures and valuable goods, how to trade them with friends and enemies alike and, the most prized strategy of all, had realized robbing the bigger, richer pirates gave them bigger returns. They not only made a good living; they became heroes fighting the enemies of the people and defending the poor and oppressed. The legendary Chinese, Limahong, who was considered a scourge of the British navy comes to mind. He had also attacked Luzon and Manila once and ended up under siege in Lingayen, Pangasinan before escaping with his junks under the cover of night, outwitting the Spanish navy by digging a tunnel that led far from where the Spanish held them literally at bay.
Remember also that the people of Ophir already had ships as big as those of the Europeans, according to Pigafetta. (Yes, even before the Chinese ever learned to sail the seas. In fact, their “junk” was a very late copy of the djong or jung already used by the ancient people of Ophir and the people in Java. The design and the name are originally from Ophir, just for the record. And we know who erased that fact from the historical record.) And they had them by the hundreds for they were not merely sailors but traders from the very start. For how could Ophir, Havilah, Jobab and Tarshish have reached Shem’s inherited lands if they had not used ships to get there in the first place? And were they not grandchildren of the first and foremost shipbuilder and sea captain of all time: Noah? This should give us an idea as to how much wealth Ophir was producing as well as trading with neighboring countries and all the way to those by the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. Which, by the way, makes us ask now what happened to those ships? We have answered the question about what happened to the gold, so what did the colonizers do with a colony that was equally capable of competing with them and were, in fact, already owning even more than they ever did?
The answer is so simple: You not only get the gold and other resources; you get the land, apportion it to the people through a land-titling system while taking the prime areas for yourself; you put the people to work in your own business concerns as hired laborers or as slaves; teach them your religion but not your language, and take over their shipping business and other ventures (mines, farms, fishing grounds and forested lands) by using their ships and burning those belonging to uncooperative owners. This is how a colonizer would deal with the people of a rich, thriving land such as Ophir.
Beyond that, you destroy the identity of the people by dividing them into manageable areas and tribes (easily done with an archipelago, especially if you take away their ships). You use religion to make them docile all their lives, from birth to death. You teach them that their babies belong to the church and the pope and that every step of the way — from baptism, to confirmation, to confession, to ceremonial worship, to festivities, to marriage, to gainful occupation or business dealings, to extreme unction, to bequeathing your lands before your death and to burial — a person’s whole life and ownership all fall within the domain of the priestly office which represents the pope, who is the supreme guide and shepherd of all. (Did the natives see this happening to them? Do they see it still happening today? One can only wonder and weep.) In that process, many of the natives surrendered their properties and their lives to the Holy Roman Empire and its undying partner, the Holy Roman Catholic Church.
You end up not only losing your father’s name, Ophir; you also lose your own faith in Abba and the teachings of your original fathers, Adam, Enoch and Noah. You now bear the name of a king that did this all to you and your country and also now serve his god who has ruled this world since the time of Nimrod, to the time of Ahab, to the time of Nebuchadnezzar and to the time of the Roman rulers, past and present.
The laws or rules of colonization were not clearly defined for each colonizing nation. What might have been written, much as constitutions go, merely presented an ideal state for all to be proud of and tearful about in the comfortable halls of offices, homes, schools and churches. But what happened or what happens in the dark nooks of the towns or the private rooms of tycoons, politicians and criminals, is a matter of ethical choice, survival and convenience. In the case of Ophir, we see laws – of the church (pope) or the governor (king) — as merely ways to keep the people toeing the line the colonizer had set for them, but not for themselves.
Democracy is essentially founded upon the powered dry bones and flesh of humans who sacrificed themselves to provide a better option of governance for their nation that still struggles to arise out of the thick, strangling colonial overgrowth. Gold still rules. And whoever has the gold now, rules. Ophir’s only resort for now is to awaken to the realities of his genuine history and identity. Only a massive rejection of the falsehood imposed upon him can begin the reversal of his fortunes and aspirations.
In truth, the teachings of the true God neither counted nor mattered at all during colonization. Remember, the Bible was neither preached nor even allowed to be published and read openly until quite recently, even by Catholics. And because they are new readers of the Bible and are taught to ascribe more to Roman Canon Law, they remain in the dark as to the pure, simple and essential Gospel of Christ. More so when it concerns nuances of interpretation and the practice of deep spiritual principles, such as the free gift of grace, personal faith, genuine acceptable worship and total freedom in Christ. As far as observing rules, rituals and obligations dictated by the church, they are classified as “orthodox, pious and faithful”. However, when it comes to adherence to the pure teachings of Christ with unhindered grace, deep spirituality and complete freedom endowed by the Spirit of liberty, their religion and life fall very short of the divine paradigm. Their dependence on a revived priesthood that prescribes mere rules and not deep spiritual renewal and involvement makes them no different from Jews who still abide by the strict requirements of the Law of Moses.
This is the sad truth. We can even safely conclude at this very juncture, after having resurveyed the real history of Ophir, that the intentional blinding of its people as to their heritage and identity was accompanied by a global blinding, as well as with regards to the real message of the Messiah. For how can you keep a people in the dark and not include the whole globe in order to permanently erase the truth from everyone else? If you tell only your young child that there is a real Santa Claus who gives gifts and not include your wife, your other children and your neighbors in on the secret, then the truth will eventually come out. In the case of Ophir, you do not tell people there are real pirates roaming and ruling the seas out to steal and eat the flesh of their children. (No, Hollywood does not show even half the gruesome truth, the enormous bounty and the horrendous carnage.) But a child grows and will eventually uncover the truth. When that happens, Ophir will rise and claim back what he rightfully owns.
And so, it now appears that in order to keep Ophir from finding out who he is, what he has and had, and where he really is (yes, these people are so lost and blind), the rulers of the big church decided to change the set of biblical canon by declaring some books as “apocrypha” or “uninspired”. That means these books were supposedly not written by people who were led by the Spirit of God. When one reads these books, especially for the first time, the shadow of doubt feels like a heavy Damocles sword ready to fall on your neck. Whereas, the other books do contain hard-to-accept stories bordering on myth or fantasy, these books seem to go into the very center of pure magic and wild miracles. One can only remain amazed and bewildered at the same time.
While many of the stories in the forbidden books repeat or are similar to those in the accepted canon, their overall nature, at worst, only falls within the realm of uncertainty and improbability, not impossibility; for with God nothing is impossible. Was this the reason why those church leaders “hid” them? Or did they actually know some things that they wanted to hide? In particular, did they outlaw or discredit Enoch, Jubilees and Esdras, along with the rest, because there in those pages are contained the historical clues about where Ophir is, who Ophir people really are and how Ophir has been kept by God for a future role in His plan for humankind? These books indeed contain the exact location where Ophir is, how it can be reached (which Columbus and Magellan knew, aside from so many other prominent people in Europe before and during their time), what kind of people live there and how rich it truly is. What better way to hide the truth – and the gold – than to forbid these books?
And so they did what was expected of rulers who wanted to own and use the world for their own benefit. The fact that they succeeded and continue to rule until today only mean they still hold the power to control the world and its populations according to their own ancient laws of colonization. They are, in effect, inhuman and incapable of acting like humans because they do not abide by the laws of God but those of their own god who defies and rejects the righteous God of Heaven. This god has put himself in the place of the true God, deceiving millions as he has done before since the time of Noah. Whereas water killed all humanity then, except for one family; how many do you think will survive the judgment by fire in the coming Judgment?
Like gold purified by fire, only the pure will survive the final reckoning. Those sitting on gold thrones need to be reminded, if they still have ears, that their days are truly numbered. They might be surprised to find out that only their thrones will survive them and their souls in the final purification. The New Jerusalem that is coming will have streets made of gold. (Rev. 21:21) Whether that is real gold or not, is immaterial. Anything better than gold can only be far, far, far more precious and desirable. And even if it were real gold, that would still be perfect. For then, the feet of the lowly and humble will finally feel how it is to walk freely on gold without having to count how much it costs or how many died to acquire it. For those who let their butts go numb sitting on top of gold they stole from Ophir, even their butts or their anuses will not feel the pleasure of wallowing in the River of Life that flows by the streets of gold in that glorious city.
We give this picture to tell one and all that God has reserved glory for those who suffer in their faith for His Kingdom and His Truth. All the lies ever propagated by the rulers of this world and their gods will be like smoke and dust in the brilliance of God’s appearing on the final day. This hope, the believer has as a perfect assurance of reward for remaining faithful and obedient. On the other hand, the wicked and the rebellious will suffer condemnation by His perfect, divine justice,
In the next chapter, we will consider when the great deception was begun, who did it and what caused it to happen that way from the beginning to the present.
1Articles on Orpium Trade in China:
US Complicity in the Opium Trade as Contained in Alfred McCoy’s Curriculum Vitae:
“100 Years of Drug Control” (Showing Statistics of Opium Imports and Revenues in Ophir. and other Asian Countries in the Early 1900s):
(Paintings by Juan Luna above: Courtesy of www.google.com)