Click here to get started today!
Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature
These words occur in the Scriptures in the three following senses. First, that of dry land in opposition to water; as 'I will make the rivers islands' (). In , the Isle of Ashdod means the country, and is so rendered in the margin. In; , 'the isle' means the country of Tyre, and in , that of Chittim and Elisha (see also ). Secondly, it is used both in Hebrew and English, according to its geographical meaning, for a country surrounded by water, as in , 'the isle (margin) of Caphtor,' which is probably that of Cyprus. 'The isles of the sea' () are evidently put in opposition to 'the land,' or continent. In , 'the multitude of the isles' seem distinguished from the earth or continents, and are evidently added to complete the description of the whole world. Thirdly: the word is used by the Hebrews to designate all those countries divided from them by the sea. In , after an enumeration of countries lying on their own continent, the words 'and the islands of the sea' are added in order to comprehend those situate beyond the ocean. The following are additional instances of this usage of the word, which is of very frequent occurrence (;;;;;; ). It is observed by Sir I. Newton (On Daniel, p. 276), 'By the earth the Jews understood the great continent of all Asia and Africa, to which they had access by land; and by the isles of the sea they understood the places to which they sailed by sea, particularly all Europe.'
Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Isle'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature". https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/kbe/i/isle.html.