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Bible Cities : Cyprus
Ancient Cyprus or Chittim

Map of Ancient Cyprus

Cyprus in Easton's Bible Dictionary one of the largest islands of the Mediterranean, about 148 miles long and 40 broad. It is distant about 60 miles from the Syrian coast. It was the "Chittim" of the Old Testament (Num. 24:24). The Greek colonists gave it the name of Kypros, from the cyprus, i.e., the henna (see CAMPHIRE -T0000701), 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 centre of great commercial activity. Corn and wine and oil were produced here in the greatest perfection. It was rich also in timber and in mineral wealth. It 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 labours (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," probaly 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). After being under the Turks for three hundred years, it was given up to the British Government in 1878.

Cyprus in Fausset's Bible Dictionary The Chittim of Ezekiel 27:6. Citium, one of its towns, is a kindred name. This island in easternmost part of the Mediterranean runs from N.E. to S.W., 148 miles long, about 40 broad for the most part, facing Phoenicia and Lebanon on the E., and Cilicia with the Taurus range on the N.; containing the mountain range of Olympus. Notorious for its licentious worship of Venus, or the Assyrian Astarte. Yet in this unpromising soil Christianity took early root, the Jews having prepared the way. Its copper mines in the mountains were once farmed to Herod the Great; hence, the number of Jews on the island was natural. Barnabas was born there, and "being a good man and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith" was keen to impart to his countrymen that gospel which he so much loved (Acts 4:36). Moreover those scattered abroad in the persecution whereby Stephen suffered "traveled as far as Cyprus, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only." Some of the men of Cyprus too preached the Lord Jesus to the Greeks effectually at Antioch (Acts 11:19-20). Moreover, when Barnabas and Paul were there "separated for the Lord's work" by the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:1-13), Cyprus was their first destination. With John Mark as their minister they preached in the Jews' synagogue at Salamis; and then passing by the Roman road to Paphos, the proconsular residence in the W., at his request they preached before Sergius Paulus the "proconsul," KJV "deputy." A delicate mark of truth. Cyprus had been an imperial province, and governed by the emperor's "lieutenants"; but the emperor transferred it to the senate, and so Luke accurately designates its governor, as under the senate, "proconsul," anthupatos (Dion Cassius, 53:12; 54:4). Coins and inscriptions confirm this (one on the lintel of a doorway with the name of the very officer referred to by Luke, confuting Beza's doubt). Elymas or Barjesus, a sorcerer and false prophet, a Jew, withstood Paul and Barnabas, "seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith"; but on his being struck with blindness at Paul's word the deputy was astonished and believed. Barnabas visited his native island again, with his nephew Mark, when Paul had refused to allow Mark's attendance because of his former departure from them from Pamphylia, instead of going forward with them to the work (Acts 15:36-39). Mnason, "an old disciple" of Cyprus, is mentioned in Acts 21:16 as the appointed entertainer of Paul at Jerusalem. In sailing from Rhodes and Patara Paul's ship "sighted" Cyprus, leaving it on the left in going to Phoenicia (Acts 21:3). In sailing from Sidon on their way to Rome they went N. of it, to be under lee of land, and to take advantage of the current, which flows northward along Phoenicia and westward along Cilicia (Acts 27:4).

Cyprus in Hitchcock's Bible Names fair; fairness

Cyprus in Naves Topical Bible An island Ac 21:3; 27:4 -Barnabas born in Ac 4:36 -Preaching the gospel at Ac 11:19,20 -Visited by Barnabas and Saul Ac 13:4-12 -Barnabas and Mark visit Ac 15:39 -Mnason, a disciple of Ac 21:16

Cyprus in Smiths Bible Dictionary an island of Asia in the Mediterranean. It is about 140 miles long and 50 miles wide at the widest part. Its two chief cities were Salamis, at the east end of the island, and Paphos, at the west end. "Cyprus occupies a distinguished place in both sacred and profane history. It early belonged to the Phoenicians of the neighboring coast; was afterwards colonized by Greeks' passed successively under the power of the Pharaohs, Persians, Ptolemies and Romans, excepting a short period of independence in the fourth century B.C. It was one of the chief seats of the worship of Venus, hence called Cypria. Recently the discoveries in Cyprus by Cesnola have excited new interest. --Appleton's Am. Encyc. It was the native place of Barnabas, Ac 4:36 and was visited by Paul. Ac 13:4-13; 15:39; 21:3 See also Ac 27:4

Cyprus in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE si'-prus (Kupros): 1. Name: An island situated near the Northeast corner of the Levant, in an angle formed by the coasts of Cilicia and Syria. In the Old Testament it is called Kittim, after the name of its Phoenician capital Kition. The identification is expressly made by Josephus (Ant., I, vi, 1) and by the Cyprian bishop Epiphanius (Haer., xxx.25). In the tablets from Tell el- Amarna it is referred to as Alashia (E. Meyer, Gesch. des Alterthums, 12, section 499), in Egyptian records as Asi, while in the Assyrian cuneiform inscriptions it is named Yavnan. 2. Geography: The island is the largest in the Mediterranean with the exception of Sardinia and Sicily, its area being about 3,584 square miles. It lies in 34 degrees 30'-35 degrees 41' North latitude and 32 degrees 15'-34 degrees 36' East longitude, only 46 miles distant from the nearest point of the Cilician coast and 60 miles from the Syrian. Thus from the northern shore of the island the mainland of Asia Minor is clearly visible and Mt. Lebanon can be seen from Eastern Cyprus. This close proximity to the Cilician and Syrian coasts, as well as its position on the route between Asia Minor and Egypt, proved of great importance for the history and civilization of the island. Its greatest length, including the Northeast promontory, is about 140 miles, its greatest breadth 60 miles. The Southwest portion of Cyprus is formed by a mountain complex, culminating in the peaks of Troodos (6,406 ft.), Madhari (5,305 ft.), Papofitsa (5,124 ft.) and Machaira (4,674 ft.). To the Northeast of this lies the great plain of the Mesorea, nearly 60 miles in length and 10 to 20 in breadth, in which lies the modern capital Nicosia (Lefkosia). It is watered chiefly by the Pediaeus (modern Pedias), and is bounded on the North by a mountain range, which is continued to the East-Northeast in the long, narrow promontory of the Karpass, terminating in Cape Andrea, the ancient Dinaretum. Its highest peaks are Buffavento (3,135 ft.) and Hagios Elias (3,106 ft.). The shore-plain to the North of these hills is narrow, but remarkably fertile. 3. Products: Cyprus is richly endowed by nature. Its fruits and flowers were famous in antiquity. Strabo, writing under Augustus, speaks of it as producing wine and oil in abundance and corn sufficient for the needs of its inhabitants (XIV, 684). The elder Pliny refers to Cyprian salt, alum, gypsum, mica, unguents, laudanum, storax, resin and precious stones, including agate, jasper, amethyst, lapis lazuli and several species of rock-crystal. His list includes the diamond (xxxvii.58) and the emerald (xxxvii.6, 66), but there is reason to believe that under these names a variety of rock- crystal and the beryl are intended. The chief source of the island's wealth, however, lay in its mines and forests. Silver is mentioned by Strabo (loc. cit.) among its products; copper, which was called by the Greeks after the name of the island, was extensively mined there from the earliest period down to the Middle Ages; iron too was found in considerable quantities from the 9th century until Roman times. Scarcely less important were the forests, which at an early date are said to have covered almost the whole island. The cypress seems to have been the principal tree, but Pliny tells of a giant cedar, 130 Roman feet in height, felled in Cyprus (xvi.203), and the island supplied timber for shipbuilding to many successive powers. 4. Early History: The original inhabitants of Cyprus appear to have been a race akin to the peoples of Asia Minor. Its vast resources in copper and timber gained for it a considerable importance and wide commercial relations at a very remote period. Its wealth attracted...

Cyprus Scripture - Acts 11:19 Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.

Cyprus Scripture - Acts 11:20 And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus.

Cyprus Scripture - Acts 13:4 So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.

Cyprus Scripture - Acts 15:39 And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus;

Cyprus Scripture - Acts 21:16 There went with us also [certain] of the disciples of Caesarea, and brought with them one Mnason of Cyprus, an old disciple, with whom we should lodge.

Cyprus Scripture - Acts 21:3 Now when we had discovered Cyprus, we left it on the left hand, and sailed into Syria, and landed at Tyre: for there the ship was to unlade her burden.

Cyprus Scripture - Acts 27:4 And when we had launched from thence, we sailed under Cyprus, because the winds were contrary.

Cyprus Scripture - Acts 4:36 And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, [and] of the country of Cyprus,