🔼The name Kittim: Summary
- Beaters, Pulverizers
- From the verb כתת (katat), to beat or hammer.
🔼The name Kittim in the Bible
The Kittim (a.k.a. The Chittim) are mentioned among the sons of Javan, son of Japheth, son of Noah (Genesis 10:4). Balaam mentions their ships (Numbers 24:24) and Jeremiah mentions their praiseworthy religious fidelity, despite their gods not being divine (Jeremiah 2:10).
🔼Etymology of the name Kittim
The name Kittim is a plural form of כתי, Kitty, although this singular doesn't occur in Scriptures. The alternative plural form כתיים, Kittiyyiym, occurs in Isaiah 23:12 and Jeremiah 2:10. Both Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names and BDB Theological Dictionary note that the ethnonym Kittim applies to the people of Cyprus most specifically, but often generally refers to the coast-lands and islands of the Mediterranean Sea. The name of the Kittim's ancestor, Javan, is the Biblical name for Greece.
The name Kittim comes possibly from the verb כתת (katat) meaning to beat or hammer:
The verb כתת (katat) means to beat or hammer, either to forge swords and ploughs and such, or to fragment and disperse of whatever is beaten. Adjective כתית (katit) literally means beaten, but occurs only to denote a costly olive oil from beaten fruits. Noun מכתה (mekitta) refers to anything crushed or pulverized.
Following this reasoning, the Kittim would be the Beaters or Pulverizers.
NOBSE Study Bible Name List doesn't translate the name Kittim, but Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names, slightly more daring, reads Subduers.