I am reading through A New English Translation of the Septuagint, currently in the Book of Daniel, where two different versions, the Old Greek and Theodotion, are given.

The Old Greek NETS version of Daniel 11:30 reads:

And the Romans will come and will expel him and rebuke him. And he will turn back [and will be angered] against the covenant of the holy one.

The NETS version of Theodotion reads:

And the Kitians who go forth will come against him, and he will be humbled, and he will return and will be enraged against the holy covenant, and he will take action and will return and will gain an understanding with those who forsake the holy covenant.

Other English translations seem to either refer to the ships of Chittim/Kittim, or the ships of Cyprus, or just "western coastlands".

See: https://biblehub.com/daniel/11-30.htm

The Hebrew phrase is צִיִּ֤ים צִיִּ֤ים (ṣî·yîm kit·tîm).

As far as the LXX is concerned, all the Greek texts online, that I can find, read Κίτιοι.

My questions are:

1.) Who are these people? Are they indeed Romans, as the NETS version of the Old Greek text reads?

2.) How does the Greek of the Old Greek version of Daniel 11:30 read? Is there a distinct word there that would necessitate a different English translation, such as was done in the NETS Theodotion translation of Daniel 11:30?

3.) If Romans is the correct reading, in what way does that affect the understanding of the passage according to it's fulfillment in historical time?


Let us begin with the Hebrew - in Dan 11:30 the operative word is כִּתִּ֖ים (Kitti or Kittiyyi but always plural) whose meaning is given in the appendix below which occurs just eight times in the OT as listed below.

Ref Hebrew (MT) - NASB LXX
Gen 10:4 The sons of Javan were Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. And the sons of Jovan, Elisa, and Tharseis, Cetians (Κίτιοι), Rhodians
Num 24:24 “But ships shall come from the coast of Kittim, And they shall oppress Asshur and oppress Eber; So they also will come to destruction.” And one shall come forth from the hands of the Citians (Κιτιαίων), and shall afflict Assur, and shall afflict the Hebrews, and they shall perish together.
1 Chron 1:7 The sons of Javan were Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Rodanim. And the sons of Jovan, Helisa, and Tharsis, the Citians (Κίτιοι), and Rhodians.
Isa 23:1 The pronouncement concerning Tyre: Wail, you ships of Tarshish, For Tyre is destroyed, without house or harbor; It is reported to them from the land of Cyprus. The word concerning Tyre. Howl, ye ships of Carthage; for she has perished, and [men] no longer arrive from the land of the Citians (Κιτιαίων): she is led captive.
Isa 23:12 He has said, “You shall not be jubilant anymore, you crushed virgin daughter of Sidon. Arise, pass over to Cyprus; even there you will find no rest.” And [men] shall say, Ye shall no longer at all continue to insult and injure the daughter of Sidon: and if thou depart to the Citians (Κιτιεῖς), neither there shalt thou have rest.
Jer 2:10 “For cross to the coastlands of Kittim and see, And send to Kedar and observe closely, And see if there has been anything like this! For go to the isles of the Chettians (Χεττιεὶμ), and see; and send to Kedar, and observe accurately, and see if such things have been done;
Eze 27:6 “Of oaks from Bashan they have made your rudders; With ivory they have inlaid your deck of boxwood from the coastlands of Cyprus. They made thine oars [of wood] out of the land of Basan; thy sacred utensils they made of ivory, thy shady houses of wood from the isles of **Chetiim (Χετιείμ).
Dan 11:30 For ships of Kittim will come against him; therefore he will withdraw in fear and will return and curse the holy covenant and take action; so he will come back and pay attention to those who abandon the holy covenant. For the Citians (Κίτιοι) issuing forth shall come against him, and he shall be brought low, and shall return, and shall be incensed against the holy covenant: and he shall do [thus], and shall return, and have intelligence with them that have forsaken the holy covenant. [Bretton, Swete, Theodoton] // Ῥωμαῖοι = "Romans" [Rahlfs]

Note that many versions of LXX consistently translate כִּתִּ֖ים (Kittim) as Κίτιοι or similar. However, a few versions of the LXX were biased to translate the word as "Romans".

APPENDIX - כִּתִּ֖ים (Kitti or Kittiyyi)

[כִּתִּי] adjective, of a people always plural כִּתִּים כִּתִּיִּים; usually as name, of a people = Cypriotes (compare Phoenician proper name, of a location כת כתי, Citium; on a connection with Kheta, –-t¹, –attê, חִתִּי, see WMMAsien u. Europa,345; — on Citium see CesnolaGyprus 46 ff); — אֶרֶץ כִּתִּים Isaiah 23:1, כִּתִּיי֯ם Isaiah 23:12; כִּתִּים (as son of Yawan) Genesis 10:4 = 1 Chronicles 1:7; וְצִים ׳מִיַּד כ Numbers 24:24 ships from the side (direction) of Kittim; more Generally, of coast-lands of Mediterranean, אִיֵּי כִּתִּיִּים Jeremiah 2:10, אִיֵּי כִּתִּיִּם Ezekiel 27:6; even of Macedonian Greece, צִיִּים כִּתִּים Daniel 11:30 (only here as adjective, compare Bev) i.e. Grecian ships.


Verses 29-30 say that Antiochus’ fourth invasion would not end in his favor. The last invasion “shall not be like the former or the latter.” 29

What prompted this fourth invasion was the unification of his nephews, Ptolemy VI and Physcon (Ptolemy VIII). Both had come to suspect the plans of Antiochus and agreed to join their forces and rule Egypt jointly. This did not set well with Antiochus who wanted the country divided.

When Antiochus learned of this, he prepared to invade Egypt again in 167 BC. He sent his fleet to Cyprus to secure possession of the island and led his army toward Egypt to subdue the two Ptolemies and annex the whole country to his dominion. (Barnes Notes)

To prepare for an invasion by Antiochus, the two brothers hired mercenary troops from Greece and requested the support of the Roman navy. In response, the Ships of Kittim arrived from Phoenicia bringing the Roman ambassadors, and their companions to insure the peace. Antiochus had no desire to go to war against Rome so, he abandoned his efforts against Egypt and returned home in anger which he proceeded to measure out on the Jews as the following verses show.

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