The peoples of Kittim are the descendants of Kitt or Khet (Kittim is plural). Josephus says that Cyprus was called Kition (Κίτιον) by the Greeks. It's inhabitants were called Kitieis and Kittoæans. In his Antiquities of the Jews, he states:
|“||Cethimus possessed the island Cethima: it is now called Cyprus; and from that it is that all islands, and the greatest part of the sea-coasts, are named Cethim by the Hebrews: and one city there is in Cyprus that has been able to preserve its denomination; it has been called Citius by those who use the language of the Greeks, and has not, by the use of that dialect, escaped the name of Cethim.||”|
The Romans knew the city of Kition as Citium in Latin, which is the present-day city of Larnaca on the west coast of Cyprus. On this basis, the whole island became known as "Kittim" in Hebrew. However the name seems to have been employed with some flexibility in Hebrew literature. It was often applied to all the Aegean islands. The expression "isles of Kittim," found in the Jeremiah 2:10 and Ezekiel 27:6 , indicates that, some centuries prior to Josephus, this designation had already become a general descriptor for the Mediterranean islands. Sometimes this designation was further extended to apply to Romans, Macedonians or Seleucid Greeks due to the fact that they dwelt in the lands once inhabited by Kittim. The Septuagint translates the occurrence of "Kittim" in the Daniel 11:30 as ῥωμαῖοι ("Romans"). 1 Maccabees 1:1 states that "Alexander the son of Philip the Macedonian" had come from the "land of Kittim."
The Egyptians called them Kheto and the Greeks Κετεί, Ketei. The Phoenicians named them Kt or Kty. One branch still lives in Cyprus. Many of them lived in Asia Minor and were associated with the sons of Heth (Hattians) and the Indo-European Hittites (Nesites). At least three or four peoples were known as Hittites in the Middle East in pre-Christian times. Thus the confusion between the Hittites (also called Catti) and the Khittites (also called Chittim).
Professor Sayce reveals that certain people known as "Hittites" had a yellow skin tone. The Egyptian monuments show at least two types of Hittites. One with a yellow skin, high cheek-bones, oblique eyes and pigtail hair. The other looked somewhat like the earliest Greeks who were Indo-European. The famous Arthur Koestler mentions that the early Hittites were dark-skinned (that is, in comparison to their Indo-European invaders) and probably of the Mongoloid branch of mankind. John Beddoe writes similarly in his book The Anthropological History of Europe. One possible reason for Kittim being called Khitti or Hittites is because they descend from Jap-heth.
These particular Hittites wore upturned shoes, high boots, peaked caps and hair worn in pig-tails, like the Mongoloid peoples of eastern Asia. So where would you guess where Kittim is today?
While China was called Shinas anciently (the Romans called it Seres Sinenses) derived from Tsins or Tsina by those approaching from the south, it was called Cathay or Khitay by those approaching from the north after the people living there. The Russians called the land and people Китай (Khitai) and the Romans named it Cathay, applying it to the whole country. The Arabs even called the Chinese arrows Alkhatai.
The peoples of Manchuria and northeastern China, then, are descendants of Kittim. The Chinese of northeast are tall and fairly dolicocephalic; while the average Chinese descended from Magog are shorter, slightly darker, and brachycephalic. Those in the deep south are very dark and related to the Southeast Asians. The Japanese are related to this northeastern stock through Javan, their forefather. Some in the south mixed with Australoids in ancient times. These Khitan (Chinese: 契丹, Qìdān; Persian: ختن, Khitan) in Manchuria, ruled northern China and Mongolia from Manchuria. They established the famous Liao dynasty (907-1125 AD). Of further interest is that a tribe called the Khata dwelt in western China and a nomad tribe of Mongols was known as the Kara-Khitan (Mongolian: Хар Хятад, Kara Kitad).
In the Book of Daniel, in the 11th chapter, we find an account of Antiochus Epiphanes IV, a type of the Beast, being attacked by Roman ships from Chittim or Cyprus in 168 BC (Daniel 11:30 ). But prophecy is dual—what has occurred in the past, will yet again occur in the future. Today Kittim is in China, and this prophecy, being dual, refers to them:
"And the ships of Kittim [China] shall come upon him: and he [the Beast] shall be struck, and shall return, and shall have indignation against the holy covenant ..." — Daniel 11:30
"And tidings out of the east, and out of the north [Russia] shall trouble him: and he [the Beast] shall come with a great multitude to destroy and slay many." — Daniel 11:44
A little known prophecy in the Book of Numbers has a similar message:
"And ships shall come from the coast of Chittim, and shall afflict Asshur, and shall afflict Eber." — Numbers 24:24
- Josephus Antiquities 1:6:1
- Douglas, JD (1972) New Bible Dictionary. Inter-Varsity Press, London. (et al): p. 701
- Josephus, Antiquities 1.6.1.
- NN (1975) The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible (Vol. 2) Zondervan, Michigan. Entry on 'Kittim.'
- Wiseman, DJ (1973) Peoples of Old Testament Times. Oxford University Publishers.(ed): p. 197
- Custance for example confuses the two on page 210 of his work.
- Sayce, AH (1899) A Dictionary of the Bible. (Vol 2). Edited by JM Hastings. TT Clark, Edinburgh: p. 42
- Mackenzie, D (1915) Myths of Babylonia and Assyria. Gresham Pub. Co. London: p. 265
- Birton, G (1933) Archaeology and the Bible. Philadelphia: p. 90-91
- Koestler, A (1976) The Thirteenth Tribe. Picador, London: p. 164
- Beddoe, J (1912) The Anthropological History of Europe. Reprinted by the Cliveden Press, USA: p. 82
- Childe, VG (1926) The Aryans. Kegan Paul, London: pp. 78, 114
- Custance, AC (1975) Noah's Three Sons. Zondervan, Michigan: p. 104
- Childe, VG (1926) The Aryans. Kegan Paul, London: p. 28
- Boulger, DC (1878) The History of China. W. Thacker & Co, London: p. 17
- Ibid: p. 10
- Custance, AC (1975) Noah's Three Sons. Zondervan, Michigan: p. 211
- Huxley, F (1974) Peoples of the World In Colour. Blandford Press, London: p. 159
- Ibid: p. 160
- Jones, Sir W (1807) The Works. (Vol 1). London: p. 100
- Wendt, H (1958) It Began In Babel. Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London (English Translation 1961): p. 178
- Coates, FW & Coates, Z (1951) Soviets in Central Asia. Greenwood Press, New York: p. 28
- In Search of ... the Origin of Nations by C.M. White. History Research Projects 2003.
- Wikipedia - Khitan people