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Bible Dictionaries

Fausset's Bible Dictionary

Chittim

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A race sprung from Javan, i.e. of Ionian or Greek origin (Genesis 10:4; 1 Chronicles 1:7). Balaam foretold that a fleet from Chittim should "afflict Asshur" (Numbers 24:24). There Tyre's fleets resorted (Isaiah 23:2; Isaiah 23:12). The name Chittim is applied by the Hebrew to Cyprus, of which the cities, including Citium, its capital, were mostly Phoenician. Thence the Tyrians procured the boxwood which they inlaid with ivory (Ezekiel 27:6). (Hebrew, instead of "the company of the Ashurites," "they have made thy (rowing) benches of ivory inlaid in the daughter of cedars," i.e. the best boxwood, which came from Cypress and Macedonia. "Chittim" was applied subsequently to the other islands of the AEgean, and to the maritime mainlands of Greece and Italy.

The Assyrians in an inscription 710 B.C. designate Cyprus as "the land of Yavnan," as the Scripture traces it to Javan. The Ionian stream of migration proceeding from Asia to Greece would leave some of the race in Cyprus or Chittim on its way, as it did in Magnesia under Sipylus. When Cyprus first comes before us in history it is predominantly a Greek island (G. Rawlinson). The Phoenicians also colonized it. Chittim = Hittim, the Hittites, a Canaanite race. The "ships of Chittim" in Daniel 11:30 are the Macedonian-Greek or even Italian vessels, in which the Roman ambassador Popilius Laenas arrived to check Antiochus Epiphanes. As Kedar expresses generally the East, so Chittim the West (Jeremiah 2:10).

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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Chittim'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/fbd/c/chittim.html. 1949.

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