Numbers 24:24
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Ships will come from the shores of Cyprus; they will subdue Ashur and Eber, but they too will come to ruin."

New Living Translation
Ships will come from the coasts of Cyprus; they will oppress Assyria and afflict Eber, but they, too, will be utterly destroyed."

English Standard Version
But ships shall come from Kittim and shall afflict Asshur and Eber; and he too shall come to utter destruction.”

New American Standard Bible
"But ships shall come from the coast of Kittim, And they shall afflict Asshur and will afflict Eber; So they also will come to destruction."

King James Bible
And ships shall come from the coast of Chittim, and shall afflict Asshur, and shall afflict Eber, and he also shall perish for ever.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Ships will come from the coast of Kittim; they will afflict Asshur and Eber, but they too will come to destruction.

International Standard Version
Ships under control of Kittim will devastate Asshur and Eber, until they are permanently destroyed."

NET Bible
Ships will come from the coast of Kittim, and will afflict Asshur, and will afflict Eber, and he will also perish forever."

New Heart English Bible
But ships shall come from the coast of Kittim. They shall afflict Asshur, and shall afflict Eber. He also shall come to destruction."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Ships will come from the shores of Cyprus. They will conquer Assyria and Eber. But they, too, will be totally destroyed."

JPS Tanakh 1917
But ships shall come from the coast of Kittim, And they shall afflict Asshur, and shall afflict Eber, And he also shall come to destruction.

New American Standard 1977
“But ships shall come from the coast of Kittim,
            And they shall afflict Asshur and shall afflict Eber;
            So they also shall come to destruction.”



Jubilee Bible 2000
And ships shall come from the coast of Chittim and shall afflict Asshur and shall afflict Eber, but he also shall perish for ever.

King James 2000 Bible
And ships shall come from the coast of Kittim, and shall afflict Asshur, and shall afflict Eber, and he also shall perish forever.

American King James Version
And ships shall come from the coast of Chittim, and shall afflict Asshur, and shall afflict Eber, and he also shall perish for ever.

American Standard Version
But ships'shall come from the coast of Kittim, And they shall afflict Asshur, and shall afflict Eber; And he also shall come to destruction.

Douay-Rheims Bible
They shall come in galleys from Italy, they shall overcome the Assyrians, and shall waste the Hebrews, and at the last they themselves also shall perish.

Darby Bible Translation
And ships shall come from the coast of Chittim, and afflict Asshur, and afflict Eber, and he also shall be for destruction.

English Revised Version
But ships shall come from the coast of Kittim, And they shall afflict Asshur, and shall afflict Eber, And he also shall come to destruction.

Webster's Bible Translation
And ships shall come from the coast of Chittim, and shall afflict Ashur, and shall afflict Eber, and he also shall perish for ever.

World English Bible
But ships [shall come] from the coast of Kittim. They shall afflict Asshur, and shall afflict Eber. He also shall come to destruction."

Young's Literal Translation
And -- ships are from the side of Chittim, And they have humbled Asshur, And they have humbled Eber, And it also for ever is perishing.'

Study Bible
Balaam's Final Three Oracles
23Then he took up his discourse and said, "Alas, who can live except God has ordained it? 24"But ships shall come from the coast of Kittim, And they shall afflict Asshur and will afflict Eber; So they also will come to destruction." 25Then Balaam arose and departed and returned to his place, and Balak also went his way.…
Cross References
Genesis 10:4
The sons of Javan were Elishah and Tarshish, Kittim and Dodanim.

Genesis 10:21
Also to Shem, the father of all the children of Eber, and the older brother of Japheth, children were born.

Numbers 24:20
And he looked at Amalek and took up his discourse and said, "Amalek was the first of the nations, But his end shall be destruction."

Numbers 24:23
Then he took up his discourse and said, "Alas, who can live except God has ordained it?

Ezekiel 27:6
"Of oaks from Bashan they have made your oars; With ivory they have inlaid your deck of boxwood from the coastlands of Cyprus.

Daniel 11:30
"For ships of Kittim will come against him; therefore he will be disheartened and will return and become enraged at the holy covenant and take action; so he will come back and show regard for those who forsake the holy covenant.
Treasury of Scripture

And ships shall come from the coast of Chittim, and shall afflict Asshur, and shall afflict Eber, and he also shall perish for ever.

Numbers 24:11 Therefore now flee you to your place: I thought to promote you to …

Numbers 31:8 And they slew the kings of Midian, beside the rest of them that were …

Joshua 13:22 Balaam also the son of Beor, the soothsayer, did the children of …

(24) And ships shall come from the coast of Chittim.--The Chittim (or, Kittim) are said to have migrated from Phnicia to Cyprus, and there founded the city of Citium, the modern Chitti. (See Josephus, "Antiq." i.6, 1.) The name probably applies to the islands and coasts of the Mediterranean generally. The rendering of the Vulgate is Venient in trieribus de Itali; and in Daniel 11:30, which is obviously founded upon this verse, the Vulgate identifies the Kittim with the Romans.

And shall afflict Asshur, and shall afflict Eber.--Some understand by Eber the Hebrews only. The word, however, appears to be used in a wider signification, as comprising "all the children of Eber" (Genesis 10:21). Perhaps the word Asshur may here be used to denote the Eastern Shemites, and Eber the Western Shemites.

And he also shall perish for ever--i.e., the victorious power which was to afflict Asshur and Eber. "The overthrow of this last power of the world," says Keil, in loc., "concerning which the prophet Daniel was the first to receive and proclaim new revelations, belongs 'to the end of the days,' in which the star out of Jacob is to rise upon Israel as 'a bright morning-star'" (Revelation 22:16). There is no evidence as to the manner in which Balaam's prophecies came into the hands of the Israelites. It is possible that he may have communicated them to Moses, in the expectation of receiving from him the reward which he had failed to obtain from Balak, or, if captured, in the hope of thereby saving his life.

Verse 24. - Chittim. Cyprus (see on Genesis 10:4). The "isles of Chittim are mentioned by Jeremiah (Jeremiah 2:10) and by Ezekiel (Ezekiel 27:6) in the sense apparently of the western islands generally while in Daniel 11:30 "the ships of Chittim, may have an even wider reference. Indeed the Targum of Palestine makes mention of Italy here, and the Vulgate actually translates "venient in trieribus de Italia." There is, however, no reason to suppose that Balaam knew or spoke of anything further than Cyprus. It was "from the side of" (מִיַּד) Cyprus that the ships of his vision came down upon the Phoenician coasts, wherever their original starting-point may have been. Shall afflict, or, "shall bring low." The same word is used of the oppression of Israel in Egypt (Genesis 15:13). Eber. The Septuagint has here 'Αβραίους, and is followed by the Peschito and the Vulgate. It is not likely, however, that Balaam would have substituted "Eber" for the "Jacob" and "Israel" which he had previously used. The Targum of Onkelos paraphrases "Eber" by "beyond the Euphrates," and that of Palestine has "all the sons of Eber." From Gem 10:21 it would appear that "the children of Eber" were the same as the Shemites; Asshur, therefore, was himself included in Eber, but is separately mentioned on account of his fame and power. And he also shall perish forever. The subject of this prophecy is left in obscurity. It is difficult on grammatical grounds to refer it to Asshur, and it does not seem appropriate to "Eber." It may mean that the unnamed conquering race which should overthrow the Asian monarchies should itself come to an end for evermore; or it may be that Balaam added these words while he beheld with dismay the coming destruction of his own Shemitic race, and their final subjugation by more warlike powers. It must be remembered that the Greek empire, although overthrown, did not by any means "perish for ever" in the same sense as the previous empires of the East. And ships shall come from the coast of Chittim,.... Kittim was the son of Javan, Genesis 10:4 and so designs some part of Greece: Josephus (r) says that Kittim possessed the island now called Cyprus, in which was a city now called Citium, after his name; Macedonia, a considerable part of Greece, is called the land of Cittim,"And it happened, after that Alexander son of Philip, the Macedonian, who came out of the land of Chettiim, had smitten Darius king of the Persians and Medes, that he reigned in his stead, the first over Greece,'' (1 Maccabees 1:1)"Beside this, how they had discomfited in battle Philip, and Perseus, king of the Citims, with others that lifted up themselves against them, and had overcome them:'' (1 Maccabees 8:5)but the Targum of Jonathan interprets it, of the country of Italy; the Jerusalem Targum, of the Roman legions; and perhaps both Greeks and Romans are intended, and so ships from Cittim, in Daniel 11:30, design Romans in Grecian ships; for in such were the Roman ambassadors carried, who distressed Antiochus, king of Syria; see Gill on Daniel 11:30; and both may be intended here: it is affirmed (s) that Noah with his son Japheth, came into the country now called Italy, and built a city, and gave it the name of Cethim, since called Volterra, and was the metropolis of Etruria, and gave name to all Italy; and that in the year two hundred and twenty from the building of that city, Cethim the son of Javan, and grandson of Noah, took two colonies with him, and sailed to an island which he called after his own name Cethim, now Cyprus:

and shall afflict Ashur; which being a part of the Persian empire, was afflicted, conquered, and subdued by Alexander the Macedonian, who is said to come out of the land of Cittim,"And it happened, after that Alexander son of Philip, the Macedonian, who came out of the land of Chettiim, had smitten Darius king of the Persians and Medes, that he reigned in his stead, the first over Greece,'' (1 Maccabees 1:1)

and shall afflict Eber; or the Hebrews, as the Septuagint version; not that the Grecians or Macedonians should do this, for they under Alexander did not afflict the Jews; unless this is to be understood of the Seleucidae, the kings of Syria, the successors of Alexander, who did distress the Jews; but rather this respects the Romans under Pompey, and especially under Titus Vespasian, who destroyed their city, and carried them captive, and who ever since have been dispersed among the nations:

and he also shall perish for ever: not Eber, but those that afflicted him, even the Romans; and indeed both monarchies, Grecian and Roman, are prophesied of as what should be destroyed, and that by a son of Eber, the Messiah; the stone cut out of the mountain without hands, said to break in pieces all these kingdoms, Daniel 2:44 and not Rome Pagan only, but Rome Papal also, antichrist and all the antichristian powers, 2 Thessalonians 2:8. and so the Targum of Jonathan says, that the end both of the one and the other, that is, that shall afflict Eber, shall be, to fall by the hand of the King Messiah, and they shall perish for ever.

(r) Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 1.((s) Inghiram. Etrusc. Antiqu. apud Dickinson. Delph. Phaenic. Append. p. 153. Vid. p. 77. 24. Chittim—the countries lying on the Mediterranean, particularly Greece and Italy (Da 11:29, 30). The Assyrians were themselves to be overthrown—first, by the Greeks under Alexander the Great and his successors; secondly, by the Romans.

Eber—the posterity of the Hebrews (Ge 10:24).

he also shall perish—that is, the conqueror of Asher and Eber, namely, the Greek and Roman empires.24:15-25 Under the powerful influence of the Spirit of prophecy, Balaam foretold the future prosperity and extensive dominion of Israel. Balaam boasts that his eyes are open. The prophets were in old times called seers. He had heard the words of God, which many do who neither heed them, nor hear God in them. He knew the knowledge of the Most High. A man may be full of the knowledge of God, yet utterly destitute of the grace of God. He calls God the Most High and the Almighty. No man could seem to express a greater respect to God; yet he had no true fear of him, love to him, nor faith in him; so far a man may go toward heaven, and yet come short of it at last. Here is Balaam's prophecy concerning Him who should be the crown and glory of his people Israel; who is David in the type; but our Lord Jesus, the promised Messiah, is chiefly pointed at, and of him it is an illustrious prophecy. Balaam, a wicked man, shall see Christ, but shall not see him nigh; not see him as Job, who saw him as his Redeemer, and saw him for himself. When he comes in the clouds, every eye shall see him; but many will see him, as the rich man in hell saw Abraham, afar off. He shall come out of Jacob, and Israel, as a Star and a Sceptre; the former denoting his glory and lustre; the latter his power and authority. Christ shall be King, not only of Jacob and Israel, but of all the world; so that all shall be either governed by his golden sceptre, or dashed in pieces by his iron rod. Balaam prophesied concerning the Amalekites and Kenites, part of whose country he had now in view. Even a nest in a rock will not be a lasting security. Here is a prophecy that looks as far forward as to the Greeks and Romans. He acknowledges all the revolutions of states and kingdoms to be the Lord's doing. These events will make such desolations, that scarcely any will escape. They that live then, will be as brands plucked out of the fire. May God fit us for the worst of times! Thus Balaam, instead of cursing the church, curses Amalek the first, and Rome the last enemy of the church. Not Rome pagan only, but Rome papal also; antichrist and all the antichristian powers. Let us ask ourselves, Do we in knowledge, experience, or profession, excel Balaam? No readiness of speech, even in preaching or prayer, no gifts of knowledge or prophecy, are in themselves different from, or superior to the boasted gifts of him who loved the wages of unrighteousness, and died the enemy of God. Simple dependence on the Redeemer's atoning blood and sanctifying grace, cheerful submission to the Divine will, constant endeavours to glorify God and benefit his people, these are less splendid, but far more excellent gifts, and always accompany salvation. No boasting hypocrite ever possessed these; yet the feeblest believer has something of them, and is daily praying for more of them.
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