Kittim / Chittim
Symbolic Name of Rome?


“And the Romans Will Come..” – Daniel 11:30 (LXX)

Commentary on Habakkuk 1:17: “This means the Kittim, who cause many to perish by the sword – youths, men, and old men; women and little children – and on the fruit of the womb have no mercy.” (Burrows, p. 367) War Scroll: And the dominion of the Kittim shall come to an end, so that wickedness shall be laid low without any remnant; and there shall be no survivor of the sons of darkness.” (Burrows, p. 390)

4Q169 1:1-4 Where the lion went, a lion’s cub to come there [with none to disturb] (Nahum 2:11) [Its pesher refers to Deme]trius king of Greece who sought to enter Jerusalem on the counsel of the seekers-of-smooth-things. [And he did not enter, for God did not give Jerusalem] into the hand of the kings of Greece, from Antiochus until the appearance of the rulers of the Kittim. And afterwards the city shall be trampled …


‘Kittim’ as ‘the Romans’ interpretation early example of precise preterist interpretations.  The coming destruction at the hands of a ‘heathen power’ was an ancient message, dating before Moses’ declarations in Deuteronomy 28.  However, the identification of this ‘heathen power’ as Rome (Kittim) is found in Septuagint Daniel and the Habakkuk Commentary found among the Dead Sea Scrolls.  The Syriac Commentary on the Septuagint’s Daniel dates between 3rd century B.C. – 1st century B.C.; The “Habakkuk Scroll” dates “prior to 63 B.C.”

Habakkuk 1:6
“For, behold, I raise up the Kasdim, that bitter and hasty nation, that march through the breadth of the eretz, to possess dwelling places that are not theirs.”Comment:
“Its interpretation concerns the Kittim”
Daniel 11:30
“For the Romans shall come against him; therefore he shall be grieved, and shall return, and have indignation against the holy covenant, and shall do [his pleasure]: he shall even return, and have regard to those who forsake the holy covenant.” Daniel 11:30 (h) That is, the Romaine power shal come Geneva Bible Notes
Habakkuk 1:11
“Then he sweeps by like the wind, and goes on.  He is indeed guilty, whose strength is his god.”Comment:
“Interpreted, [this concerns] the commanders of the Kittim who, on the counsel of [the] House of Guilt, pass one in front of the other; one after another [their] commanders come to lay waste the earth.”

Dead Sea Scrolls: Reference Materials “It has also been hypothesized that the Qumran scrolls are the secreted library of a community, perhaps Essene, that lived at Qumran, and thus survived the destruction of the settlement in c.A.D. 68. Startling parallels in expression and thought between the Qumran materials and the New Testament have led to speculation as to their influence on early Christianity.” (Kittim: “Term appearing in the Dead Sea Scrolls, used of the Romans. The Kittim are referred to as warriors from the west, who capture Jerusalem.”

Roman-Judean End Time in Dead Sea Scrolls (First Century BC/AD)
3 “For you have plundered many nations,
and you shall be plundered by all
4 the remnant of the peoples” (Hab 2:8).
Unraveled, this is about the last priests of Jerusalem
5 who shall get wealth and booty from plundering the peoples.
6 But in the last days, their wealth and their plunder their wealth and their plunder shall be given into the hand(s)
7 of the army of the Kittim.* For they shall be “the remnant of the peoples.”
— Dead Sea Scrolls, Habakkuk Midrash (1QpHab) 9.3-7
* Kittim: In this and other writings of the Roman period, like the War Scroll, it is a code name for the Romans.

“One particular detail stands out which can only apply to the Romans and that is they worshipped their military standards. On Hab 1,16 DSH says “Its interpretation is that they offer sacrifices to their standards and their weapons of war are their religion.” This points only to the Romans as the Roman worship of the signa, a practice not known among the Greeks.”

Lawrence Schiffman (2001)
“For many years, the Dead Sea sect had expected the Roman conquest of Palestine.  The Dead Sea sectarians felt confident that the coming of the Kittim – as they called the Romans – would trigger the great eschatological battle.  But this final, expected war failed to materialize after the Romans easily defeated the divided Hasmonaean state in 63 B.C.E.  By the time Jewish resistance developed into the full-scale revolt of 66-73 C.E., the Dead Sea sect had stabilized and had completed the gathering – with some possible exception – of its manuscript collection at Qumran.”  (Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scroll, p. 395)

Kittim – A place-name in the Aegean Islands, perhaps Kition in Cyprus, that in Dead Sea Scrolls texts serves as a code word for “Romans” (Glossary)

Neil Silberman (1993)
“All these manuscripts, taken together, might be read as the recorded faith of a community of alienated, dispossessed Jewish priests and their followers who remained true to the strictest possible interpretation of the biblical laws.  They also remained true to the hope for national redemption from the yoke of the people they called the Kittim — and we call the Romans — idolatrous invaders from across the sea “who trample the earth with their horses and beasts.” (The Hidden Scrolls, p. 3)

F.F. Bruce (1910-1990)
“They believed that the iniquities of the Wicked Priest and his associates would bring the judgement of God upon them.  As time went on, they came to see clearly who would be the instruments of God’s judgement.  God was raising up the ‘Kittim’ for this purpose, and by the ‘Kittim’, as has been said above, they probably meant the Romans.  It was indeed the Romans who, by their occupation of Judaea in 63 B.C., put an end to Hasmonaean domination; but the Qumran community could see the shape of things to come before that date.  They also saw that the Romans would exceed the terms of their commission and incur the divine judgement themselves because of their impiety and rapacity.”

Matthew Henry (1662-1714)
Habakkuk 1:4-6 “It shall be a punishment in which much of the hand of God shall appear; it shall be a work of his own working, so that all who see it shall say, This is the Lord’s doing; and it will be found a fearful thing to fall into his hands; woe to those whom he takes to task! 5. It shall be such a punishment as will typify the destruction to be brought upon the despisers of Christ and his gospel, for to that these words are applied Acts 13:41Behold, you despisers, and wonder, and perish. The ruin of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans for their idolatry was a figure of their ruin by the Romans for rejecting Christ and his gospel, and it is a very marvellous thing, and almost incredible. Is there not a strange punishment to the workers of iniquity? II. The sentence itself is very dreadful and particular (v. 6): Lo, I raise up the Chaldeans. There were those that raised up a great deal of strife and contention among them, which was their sin; and now God will raise up the Chaldeans against them, who shall strive and contend with them, which shall be their punishment. Note, When God’s professing people quarrel among themselves, snarl at, and devour one another, it is just with God to bring the common enemy upon them, that shall make peace by making a universal devastation. The contending parties in Jerusalem were inveterate one against another, when the Romans came and took away their place and nation.” (Complete Commentary, in loc.)

Daniel 11:30 “the ships of Chittim shall come against him, that is, the navy of the Romans, or only ambassadors from the Roman senate, who came in ships. Ptolemaeus Philometer, king of Egypt, being now in a strict alliance with the Romans, craved their aid against Antiochus, who had besieged him and his mother Cleopatra in the city of Alexandria. The Roman senate thereupon sent an embassy to Antiochus, to command him to raise the siege, and, when he desired some time to consider of it and consult with his friends about it, Popilius, one of the ambassadors, with his staff drew a circle about him, and told him, as one having authority, he should give a positive answer before he came out of that circle; whereupon, fearing the Roman power, he was forced immediately to give orders for the raising of the siege and the retreat of his army out of Egypt. So Livy and others relate the story which this prophecy refers to.” (Complete Commentary, in loc.)

Adam Clarke
Verse 30. For the ships of Chittim shall come against him. Chittim is well known to mean the Roman empire. Antiochus, being now in full march to besiege Alexandria, and within seven miles that city, heard that ships were arrived there from Rome, with legates from the senate. He went to salute them. They delivered to him the letters of the senate, in which he was commanded, on pain of the displeasure of the Roman people, to put an end to the war against his nephews. Antiochus said he would go and consult his friends; on which Popilius, one of the legates, took his staff, and instantly drew a circle round Antiochus on the sand where he stood and, commanded him not to pass that circle till he had given a definitive answer. Antiochus, intimidated, said, he would do whatever the senate enjoined; and in a few days after began his march, and returned to Syria. This confirmed by Polybius, Livy, Velleius, Paterculus, Valerius Maximus, and Justin.” (Adam Clarke’s Commentary, Dan. 11:30)

John Dominic Crosson
“The Romans were not singled out as much in their secterian documents, although against them, in their so-called War Scroll, they were preparing to fight the ultimate apocalyptic battle.  This was to take place at the end time, when Sons of Light, the members of the group, were to clash with the Sons of Darkness, the Romans, code-named the Kittim.  A battle against Rome did take place eventually, when the Roman general and soon-to-be emperor Vespasian marched through the area on his way to Jerusalem in the early summer of 68 C.E.  But the Qumran Essenes’ final battle did not end as the War Scroll imagined.  What de Vaux labeled and archeologists still call Phase II of the site ended in fiery destruction, with Roman arrowheads scattered around the site.  In their final desperate act, the members took and hid their sacred scrolls in nearby caves, rolled up in storage jars with bowls and lids, and they were not discovered again until a Bedouin shepherd stumbled upon them in 1947.” (Excavating Jesus, p. 158)

John R.W. Stott
“Discussion about the nature of glossolalia must not distract our attention from Luke’s understanding of its significance on the Day of Pentecost.  It symbolized a new unity in the Spirit transcending racial, national and linguistic barriers.  So Luke is at pains to emphasize the cosmopolitan character of the crowd, not least by “from every nation under heaven’ (5).  Although all nations of the world were not present literally, they were representatively… Luke is careful also to add Egypt and Libya which come under the heading of the Hamites, and Cretans (Kittim) and dwellers in Rome who belong to the section under Japeth… Luke does not draw attention to what he is doing; but in his own subtle way he is saying to us on that Day of Pentecost the whole world was there in the representatives of the various nations.” (The Message of Acts, p. 68)

John C. Trever (1965)
“The new leather fragment now provided a first-century B.C.-A.D. testimony to the accuracy of the text as it has been preserved – Kasidim was clearly in the text used by the copyist.  The next line, however, begins, “Its interpretation concerns the Kittim….” The modern theory had already been propounded by interpretation by the ancient community two thousand years earlier!” (The Untold Story of Qumran, p. 97)

Marcus Wood (2000)
Nevertheless, my main point of concern would relate to your suggestion that in 1QpHab the Kittim are clearly the Romans. This is the very point I am attempting to cast some doubt upon. On studying the Habakkuk pesher I am still in some doubt as to what the ‘telling’ points of this identification are. My research into the standards debate as a whole suggests that the pesherist’s argument is contrived from the biblical prophecy itself, combined with a more general reverent attitude to worship of standards that might be applied to any number of ancient groups. In other words it is not entirely necessary to apply this to any specific historical event. Another aspect of the argument often cited concerns the reference to the ‘eagle’. Obviously the eagle is well associated with Rome, but again this aspect is drawn directly from the prophecy itself. Instead I come to the uneasy conclusion that the general feeling portrayed in the pesher better fits the Roman advances during the broad historical period than any other nation, though precise identifications are difficult to tie down. That said, however, I agree that the reference to the Kittim in pNah clearly represents the Romans.”

Ed Youngblood (1986)
“Kittim [KIT im] – A Hebrew name for part or all of Cyprus (Jer. 2:10) and named after a son of Java (Gen. 10:4).  Kittim also became a symbol of Rome (Dan 10:30).  The Israelites must have been familiar with Kittim, or Cyrpus.  From the oracle of Balaam (Num 24:24), it is evident that the Israelites associated Cyprus with ships.  The prophet Jeremiah saw Kittim as the western boundary of the known world (Jer. 2:10), and Ezekiel reported that Cyprus supplied Phoenicia with pines for Phoenician ships (Ezek. 27:6).” (Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, p. 736)


Michael Baigent (1991)
“The ‘War Scroll’ imparts a metaphysical and theological dimension to the struggle against the ‘Kittim’ by depicting it as a clash between the ‘Sons of Light’ and the ‘Sons of Darkness’.  More importantly still, however, the scroll contains a vital clue to its own dating and chronology.  When speaking of the ‘Kittim’, the text refers quite explicitly to their ‘king’.  The ‘Kittim’ concerned cannot, therefore, be the soldiers of republican Rome, who invaded Palestine in 63 B.C. and who had no monarch.  On the contrary, they would have to be the soldiers of imperial Rome, who invaded in the wake of the revolt of AD66.. It is thus clear that the ‘War Scroll’ must be seen in the context not of pre-Christian times, but of the 1st century. (Dead Sea Scrolls Deception, p. 142)

“The `Habakkuk Commentary’, for example, alludes to a specific practice – victorious Roman troops making sacrificial offerings to their standards.  Josephus provides written evidence for this practice at the time of the fall of the Temple in AD70.  And it is, in fact, a practice that would make no sense under the republic, when victorious troops would have offered sacrifices to their gods.  Only with the creation of the empire, when the emperor himself was accorded the status of divinity, becoming the supreme god for his subjects, would his image, or token, or monogram, be emblazoned on the standards of his soldiers.  The ‘Habakkuk Commentary’, therefore, like the ‘War Scroll’, the ‘Temple Scroll’ and the Damascus Document’, points specifically to the Herodian epoch.” (p. 150)

Ida Froehlich (1999)
“The rule for the use of t he typological name Kittim –and most probably for other terms as well– is that the name has a collective, general meaning (in the case of the Kittim: “strangers arriving from the sea, from the direction of Cyprus”). The actual meaning of the name in a given instance is always determined by the characteristics of the term, that is, those events which the text mentions as a reference in connection with the name (sometimes, as in the case of Acco in the aforementioned text, one key word is the determining factor).

The kittim mentioned in pHab are to be identified with the Romans. Pesher Habakkuq IX.4-10 interprets the conquest of the kittim as divine punishment, in the course of which “the riches and booty of the last priests (_____ _¿______) of Jerusalem shall l be delivered into the hands of the army of the Kittim”, “at the end of the days (_¿____ _____)”. This reference most likely concerns the fight for the throne between the sons of Alexandros Jannaios, in the course of which both pretenders gave handsome sums and gifts to Aemilius Scaurus, the Roman general, and Pompeius, who was the arbiter in their dispute (cf. Jos. Ant. XIV.2-3; 3.1).” (History as seen from Qumran)

Peter Schafer (2003)
“One thing both movements (Qumran and Bar Kochba) would have had in common was the fight against Rome, for it is almost certain that the term “Kittim” in the Qumran texts stemming from the final phase of the Qumran community is a reference to the Romans.” (The History of the Jews in the Greco-Roman World, p. 152)

Kerry Shirts
“Dupont-Sommer has the correct interpretation of the Kittim being the Romans, Cf. Daniel 11:30 where LXX renders the term correctly, and Vulgate: Romani. One particular detail stands out which can only apply to the Romans and that is they worshipped their military standards. On Hab 1,16 DSH says “Its interpretation is that they offer sacrifices to their standards and their weapons of war are their religion.” This points only to the Romans as the Roman worship of the signa, a practice not known among the Greeks.” “(“Wounded, pierced”) in Isa. 53:3, derives from the same Hebrew root (HLL) as the phrase hlly (the slain i.e. “fatally wounded”) of the Kittim [the final foe].” (Kerry Shirts)

Nosson Scherman (1994)
(On Daniel 11:30) “Kittim is another name for the Romans.  Rome will ignore its prior pact with the Hasmoneans (v. 23), and nullify the treaty.   It will realize that Jewish disunity, brought about by their forsaking the Torah, “the Covenant of Sanctity,” provides Rome the opportunity to conquer.” (Tanach, p. 1808)

New Oxford NRSV (2001)
(On Daniel 11:30) “30: Kittim here represents Rome (cf. Gen 10.4), which forced Antiochus to withdraw from Egypt in 168 B.C.E. during his second campaign.  This same year, Antiochus desecrated the Jerusalem temple.” (New Oxford NRSV)


Babylonian Talmud
“”When Nero came to the Holy Land, he tried his fortune by belemnomancy thus:—He shot an arrow eastward, and it fell upon Jerusalem; he discharged his shafts towards the four points of the compass, and every time they fell upon Jerusalem. After this he met a Jewish boy, and said unto him, “Repeat to me the text thou hast learned to-day.” The boy repeated, “I will lay my vengeance upon Edom (i.e., Rome) by the hand of my people Israel” (Ezek. xxv. 14). Then said Nero, “The Holy One—blessed be He!—has determined to destroy His Temple and then avenge Himself on the agent by whom its ruin is wrought.” Thereupon Nero fled and became a Jewish proselyte, and Rabbi Meir is of his race.” (Gittin, fol. 56, col. 1.) (source)

Earnest Renan
“Never was a people so sadly undeceived as was the Jewish race on the morrow of the day when, contrary to the most formal assurances of the Divine oracles, the Temple which they had supposed to be indestructible collapsed before the assault of the soldiers of Titus. To have been near the realisation of the grandest of visions and to be forced to renounce them, at the very moment when the destroying angel had already partially withdrawn the cloud, to see everything vanish into space; to be committed through having prophesied the Divine apparition, and to receive from the harshness of facts the most cruel contradiction—were not these reasons for doubting the Temple, nay, for doubting God himself? Thus the first years which followed the catastrophe of the year 70 were characterised by an intense feverishness—perhaps the most intense which the Jewish conscience had ever experienced. Edom (the name by which 2the Jews already distinguished the Roman Empire), the impious Edom, the eternal enemy of God, triumphed. Ideas which had appeared to be unimpeachable were now argued against. Jehovah appeared to have broken his covenant with the sons of Abraham. It was even a question if the faith of Israel—assuredly the most ardent that ever existed—would succeed in executing a complete right-about-face against evidence, and by an unheard-of display of strength continue to hope against all hope. ” (Origins of Christianity, Book 5, Chapter One: The Jews after the Destruction of the Temple)


Thomas Newton
“The four different metals must signify four different nations: and as the gold signified the Babylonians, and the silver the Persians, and the brass the Macedonians; so the iron cannot signify the Macedonians again, but must necessarily denote some other nation: and we will venture to say that there is not a nation upon earth, to which this description is applicable, but the Romans.” (Dissertations on the Prophecies, Vol. I, p. 240. )

What do YOU think ?

Submit Your Comments For Posting Here
Comment Box Disabled For Security


06 Nov 2004




…which proves that the fourth kingdom in Daniel cannot be Rome! — Augustin —


24 Nov 2004




The Fourth Kingdom of Daniel was definitely the Greeks as any reasonable commentary will tell you. The other three were the Babylonians, the Medes, and the Persians – all these were genetically and culturally related. The Greeks were totally different to the first Three, but Roman culture has deep Greek roots and hence couldn’t be described as different in essence to it. Afterall that’s why we say “Greco-Roman” – same gods, same myths, even the same language in the early days. Italy in those days was built out of Greek colonies. The ships of Kittim were very clearly the Romans sent to oppose Antiochus, hence Rome is the Kittim. Premillennialist nonsense that projects a revived Roman Empire onto the ten kingdoms is misinformed historically.

Date: 14 Oct 2005
Time: 12:40:26


Dear Sirs,
I read with interest the point that is made concerning Kittim being the Romans in the Dead Sea Scrolls. I was aware of the fact that in their commentary on Habakkuk, this identification was made. But what is the source for the comment concerning the identification of the Kittim being Romans involving the text of Daniel? If you could help me, I would be most grateful.
Sincerely, Charles D. Provan

[Charles, thanks for writing.  Daniel 10:30 is the passage that was rendered “Romans”   You can find this still existing in most Catholic Bibles, which are based on Greek texts: “And the Romans Will Come..” – Daniel 10:30 (LXX) – Todd]

Date: 11 Dec 2005
Time: 19:45:40


the introduction of Rome into the 11th chapter of Daniel is set by Sir Isaac Newton, as well as Ibn Yachya (and the earlier Jews quoted in Saint Jerome’s Daniel Commentary) at verse 31, “and arms [Romans, who came against Antiochus in the preceding verse] shall stand on his [Antiochus Epiphanes’] part, and pollute the sanctuary of strength.”

However, Rashi makes the “vile person” of verse 21 as Rome, and makes the Kittim rebel soldiers who angered the Emperors, and then makes verse 36 a reference to Vespasian.

Date: 22 Jan 2011
Time: 18:40:29

Your Comments:

The Kittim a.k.a the Anti Christ a.k.a Roman Catholic a.k.a Son of Darkness a.k.a Epicenter of Evil a.k.a Master of Deciever Deception Deceit a.k.a the Jesuit will be destroyed by the Son of Light.


Date: 19 Feb 2011
Time: 17:21:08

Your Comments:

First, Sodom Gommorah are peoples of ancients Macedonia in Aegean (Greek), then lesbian term are derived from ancent island of Lesbos in Aegean Sea, it’s the locations of Lud or Lot. The peoples are called Kittim. Kittim are Sons of Darkness in the Dead Sea Scroll, Romans are Kittim descendants. Christianity are religion from Macedonia and then Rome Vatican. So Christianity is nothing to do with the real Jesus (Issya).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *