Hi all! With permission from mikhen7 I started another thread about this so as to continue any conversation about Sheba, Dedan and Tarshish here. :-)
Below is an excerpt from my book on Sheba and Dedan, followed by Tarshish. NOTE: this is taken from Appendix A. (Anatolia is Turkey)
The Sons of Raamah
Of special importance to us are the two sons of Raamah of Ham’s lineage, Sheba and Dedan. They were inhabitants of S.W. Arabia. We can find them in prophecy as end time nations that are perplexed over the subsequent invasion of Israel by a Great Northern Confederacy of nations during the future Gog/Magog war. (see. Ez. 38, 39)
Sheba ‑ Gen. 10:7; 1 Chron. 1:9. Sheba is a prominent name in Biblical prophecy. However, there are other Sheba's found in the Old Testament that can be easily confused with one another. Since it is of utmost importance to make the correct observations, they will be dealt with this carefully.
a) Sheba the son of Raamah ‑ Gen. 10:7; 1 Chron. 1:9. He is given special significance with Dedan, both sons of Raamah. They lived in close proximity in S.W. Arabia.
b) Sheba, son of Joktan - Gen. 10:28; Is. 60:6; Ps. 72:15; Jer. 6:20; Ez. 27:22. He is of Semitic stock, a grandson of Keturah, and inhabited along with his brothers the area of southern Arabia now known as Yemen. They started the early kingdom known as the kingdom of Sheba. (This was uncharted land until the 19th century A.D.)
A Frenchman, J. Hal'evy and an Austrian, Dr. Edward Glaser, were the first white men to actually reach this goal about a century ago. Since no foreigner, far less a European, was allowed to cross the frontier of Yemen, and no permit could be obtained, Hal'evy and Glaser embarked on an enterprise which might have cost them their lives. They chartered a sailing boat and landed secretly in the Gulf of Aden disguised as Orientals. After an arduous journey of over 200 miles through parched and desolate mountain country, they eventually reached Marib. Greatly impressed by what they saw they threw caution to the winds and clamored around the ruins.46
They eventually escaped proving by tracings and rubbings of inscriptions that Marib, the capitol city, actually did exist. From this kingdom came the name, "The Spice kingdoms” which were the countries of: Minaea, Kataban, Hadhramaut, and Sheba.
Sheba until this time had been taken to be of fairy tale legend and popular Arabic folklore. Even the Biblical accounts of "The Queen of Sheba" were laughed to scorn. However, now that history has been unearthed it is easy to see that the leading spice exporter today was one and the same as the ancient yesterday.
The names of Seba, Sheba, and the Sabeans all seem to have one thing in common, that being that their settlements were in the areas of Yemen and east of Yemen. As time passed, these early patriarchs become intertwined together to make up the vast kingdom of Sheba. As travelers past from south Arabia to the areas in the north controlled by the kingdom of Solomon to peddle their spices and treasures it is of no wonder that the news of a great king named Solomon eventually reached the ears of the Queen of Sheba. 1 Kings 10:1ff comes to life not as some fairy tale but true to its word, a real, sometimes romantic, vignette of a time when Solomon ruled the land with wisdom and riches.
It is obvious from the Biblical account, archaeological expeditions of this century in southern Arabia, the presence of Arabic lettering on pottery dating in the Solomonic reign, and the trade routes described in 1 Kings 10 that the great commerce was initiated between these two great kingdoms.
c) Sheba the elder son of Jokshan ‑ Gen. 25:3; 1 Chron. 1:32. He is also described as being identified with southern Yemen and to the East. He lived around 2000 B.C.
d) Sheba the son of Bichri ‑ II Sam. 20:1‑22. He was also known as, “a man of Belial.” He was known as an insurrectionist in the Davidic kingdom around 1000 B.C.
e) Sheba a Gadite ruler ‑ 1 Chron. 5:13. He is said to have lived in Bashan in the reign of Jeroboam II, 784 B.C.
f) Sheba, city of Josh. 19:2 said to have existed in between Beersheba and Moladah.
Thus, it is easy to see that Sheba can be misidentified with ease, because of the various mentions of the name.
The Dedanic Line
a) Dedan the son of Raamah ‑ Gen. 10:7; 1 Chron. 1:9. He was the inhabitant with Sheba in southwest Arabia.
b) Dedan the son of Jokshan ‑ Gen. 25:3; 1 Chron. 1:32; Ez. 27:15, 20, 38:13; Is. 21:13; Also, a dweller in Arabia. He was a grandson of Keturah.
In searching for the Dedanites, we find them mentioned along side of the Sabeans (Sheba). Many say that the Dedanites settled along the western shores of the Persian Gulf. They then travelled on trade routes along the northern borders of Arabia and up into Palestine. At some point, they have been infused by marriage to unite the Cushite Dedanim and with the Keturahite Dedamen thus uniting the two into one kingdom. Modern maps place the Dedanites in the northwestern to central parts of Arabia. It really cannot be inferred, without doubt, that the Dedanites were seafaring merchants. Ez. 27:20 says, "Dedan was your merchant in saddlecloth for riding.” This to me implies that he may have specialized in land travel. That does not mean, however, that he could not have owned a ship or two. In Ez. 38:13, he is mentioned as questioning the barbaric actions of the Northern confederacy who invade Palestine. His companions, Sheba and the merchants of Tarshish cannot conclusively convey that he was a seafarer as Tarshish was, but only that they are in a relational or political agreement with each other.
Therefore, overall, the sons of Ham and their descendants seem to have multiplied themselves largely across northern Africa, south Asia, and southern Eurasia. As you study the Scriptures, you will be able to note the significance of the role these national homelands play in the structuring of the ages by the almighty God. Their interplay between the nation of Israel, end time Europe and the western lands of the Americas will become apparent the closer we get to the return of Christ.
And Tarshish a Son of Joktan:
2) Tarshish ‑ (see also 1 Chron. 1:7, 1 Kings 10:22, 22:48; 2 Chron. 9:21, 20:36-37; Ps. 48:7, 72:10; Is. 2:16, 23:1, 6, 10, 14, 60:9, 66:19; Jer. 10:9; Ez. 27:12, 25, 38:13; and Jonah 1:3, 4:2). Tarshish is by far one of the most important nations of end time prophecy. Most scholars generally agree that it was the progenitor of the nation of Spain. He is identified with Tartessus in Spain. The phrase "Ships of Tarshish" tells us he was a great maritime nation. Silver found its origin in Tarshish. Mazor comments:
“The origin of silver is placed by the Bible in Tarshish and Ophir. The former should be identified with southern Anatolia or with Spain from where Phoenician traders could have brought it east.”19
The Moody atlas goes to great length to explain the existence of Tarshish as being related to Phoenician trading. They map it to the area of southern Spain or the Western Mediteranean.20