occurs only in Esther 1:1 and 8:9 , where the extent of the dominion of the Persian king is described. The country so designated here is not the peninsula of Hindustan, but the country surrounding the Indus, the Punjab. The people and the products of India were well known to the Jews, who seem to have carried on an active trade with that country ( Ezekiel 27:15 Ezekiel 27:24 ).
The name of India does not occur in the Bible before the book of Esther where it is noticed as the limit of the territories of Ahasuerus in the east, as Ethiopia was in the west. ( Esther 1:1 ; 8:9 ) The India of the book of Esther is not the peninsula of Hindostan, but the country surrounding the Indus, the Punjab and perhaps Scinde . The people and productions of that country must have been tolerably well known to the Jews. An active trade was carried on between India and western Asia. The trade opened by Solomon with Ophir through the Red Sea consisted chiefly of Indian articles.
he Indike): The name occurs in canonical Scripture only in Esther 1:1; 8:9, of the country which marked the eastern boundary of the territory of Ahasuerus. The Hebrew word comes from the name of the Indus, Hondu, and denotes, not the peninsula of Hindustan, but the country drained by that great river. This is the meaning also in 1 Esdras 3:2; Additions to Esther 3:2; 16:1. Many have thought that this country is intended by Havilah in Genesis 2:11 and that the Indus is the Pishon. The drivers of the elephants (1 Macc 6:37) were doubtless natives of this land. The name in 1 Macc 8:9 is certainly an error. India never formed part of the dominions of Antiochus the Great. It may possibly be a clerical error for "Ionia," as Media is possibly a mistake for Mysia. If the Israelites in early times had no direct relations with India, many characteristic Indian products seem to have found their way into Palestinian markets by way of the Arabian and Syrian trade routes, or by means of the Red Sea fleets (1 Kings 10:11,15; Ezekiel 27:15, etc.). Among these may be noted "horns of ivory and ebony," "cassia and calamus," almug (sandalwood), apes and peacocks.
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