What is…

also known as: Chittim, Kypros

Its people: Cypriots (Greek transliteration: Kypriṓtēs)or Cyprians

Map by Evil berry (Netherlands), 2007.
map of the island of Cyprus (click to enlarge)

This is one of the largest islands of the Mediterranean, about 148 miles long and 40 wide (3rd largest). It is located about 60 miles from the Syrian coast. It was the “Chittim” of the Old Testament (Numbers 24:24). The Greek colonists gave it the name of Kypros, from the cyprus, i.e., the henna (see CAMPHIRE), which grew on this island.

It was originally inhabited by Phoenicians. In B.C. 477, it fell under the dominion of the Greeks; and became a Roman province B.C. 58.

In ancient times it was a center of great commercial activity. High quality corn, wine and oil were produced here. It was also rich in timber and in mineral wealth.

Cyprus is first mentioned in the New Testament (Acts 4:36) as the native place of Barnabas. It was the scene of Paul’s first missionary labors (13:4-13), when he and Barnabas and John Mark were sent forth by the church of Antioch. It was afterwards visited by Barnabas and Mark alone (15:39). Mnason, an “old disciple,” probably one of the converts of the day of Pentecost belonging to this island, is mentioned (21:16). It is also mentioned in connection with the voyages of Paul (Acts 21:3; 27:4).

Satellite view of the island of Cyprus

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Article Version: June 21, 2024