Daniel 11:30 Index
"For the ships of Chittim shall come against him: therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant."
Research Material

"...the ships of Chittim..."

  • Barbarian tribes, called the Goths, were invading the Roman Empire and breaking it into pieces. These Germanic tribes became the nations of Western Europe that are mentioned in Daniel 2 and Daniel 7.... Daniel 11:30 speaks of one of the Barbarian tribes from Cyprus sailing against Rome. The Vandals, actually sailed their ships into the Roman fleet and set them on fire. This destroyed nearly every Roman ship, thus hastening the demise of the empire. Rome was certainly grieved as the text indicates, "...he shall be grieved." (Because of the unspeakable deeds perpetrated against Rome by this Barbarian tribe, individuals involved in malicious destruction are to this day called "vandals" and their acts are referred to as "vandalism.") (KC 133)
  • The meaning of the word came to represent any invaders and destroyers from any quarter... This is probably a reference to the barbarian hordes who invaded and broke up the Western Roman Empire. (4BC 873)
  • The prophetic narrative still has reference to the power which has been the subject of the prophecy from Daniel 11:16; namely Rome. What were the ships of Chittim that came against this power, and when was this movement made? What country or power is meant by Chittim?
    • Adam Clarke has this note on Isaiah 23:1, "From the land of Chittim it is revealed to them:" "The news of the destruction of Tyre by Nebuchadnezzar is said to be brought to them from Chittim, the islands and coasts of the Mediterranean; 'for the Tyrians,' says Jerome on Isaiah 23:6, 'when they saw they had no other means of escaping, fled in their ships, and took refuge in Carthage and in the islands of the Ionian and Aegean sea."... So also Jarchi on the same place." (Adam Clarke, Commentary on the Old Testament, Vol. IV, pp. 109, 110, note on Isaiah 23:1).
    • Kitto gives the same locality to Chittim, the coast and islands of the Mediterranean; and the mind is carried by the testimony of Jerome to a definite and celebrated city situated in that region, that is, Carthage. (John Kitto, Cyclopaedia of Biblical Literature, art. "Chittim," p. 196). (US 267)
  • Was a naval warfare with Carthage as a base of operations ever waged against the Roman Empire?
    • We think of the terrible onslaught of the Vandals upon Rome under the fierce Genseric and answer readily in the affirmative. Every spring he sallied forth from the port of Carthage at the head of his large and well-disciplined naval forces, spreading consternation through all the maritime provinces of the empire. That this is the work brought to view is further evident to this very time. In Daniel 11:29, the transfer of [the] empire to Constantinople we understood to be mentioned. Following in due course of time as the next remarkable revolution, came the irruptions of the barbarians of the North, prominent among which was the Vandal war already mentioned. The years A.D. 428-477 mark the career of Genseric. (US 267-268)

"...he shall be grieved, and return..."

  • ...may have reference to the desperate efforts which were made to dispossess Genseric of the sovereignty of the seas, the first by Majorian, the second by Pope Leo I, both of which were utter failures. Rome was obliged to submit to the humiliation of seeing its provinces ravaged, and its "eternal city" pillaged by the enemy (Revelation 8:8). (US 268)

"...and have indignation against the holy covenant..."

  • [This is possibly] a reference to Rome's efforts to destroy the Holy Scriptures and the oppression of those who believed in them. (4BC 873)
  • This doubtless refers to attempts to destroy God's covenant by attacking the Holy Scriptures, the book of the covenant. A revolution of this nature was accomplished in Rome. The Heruli, Goths, and Vandals, who conquered Rome, embraced the Arian faith, and became enemies of the Catholic Church. It was especially for the purpose of exterminating this heresy that Justinian decreed the pope to be the head of the church and the corrector of heretics. The Bible soon came to be regarded as a dangerous book that should not be read by the common people, but all questions in dispute were to be submitted to the pope. Thus was indignity heaped upon God's word. (US 268)
  • Says the historian (J.A. Wylie), in commenting upon the attitude of the Catholic Church toward the Scriptures:
    • "One would have thought that the Church of Rome had removed her people to a safe distance from the Scriptures. She has placed the gulf of tradition between and the word of God. She has removed them still farther from the sphere of danger, by providing an infallible interpreter, whose duty it is to take care that the Bible shall express no sense hostile to Rome. But, as if this were not enough, she has laboured by all means in her power to prevent the Scriptures coming in any shape into the hands of her people. Before the Reformation she kept the Bible locked up in a dead language, and severe laws were enacted against the reading of it. The Reformation unsealed the precious volume. Tyndale and Luther, the one from his retreat in Vildorfe in the Low Countries, and the other from amid the deep shades of the Thuringian forest, sent forth the Bible to the nations in the vernacular tongues of England and Germany. A thirst was thus awakened for the Scriptures, which the Church of Rome deemed it imprudent openly to oppose. The Council of Trent enacted ten rules regarding prohibited books, which, while they appeared to gratify, were insidiously framed to check, the growing desire for the Word of God. In the fourth rule, the Council prohibits any one from reading the Bible without a license from his bishop or inquisitor; that license to be founded on a certificate from his confessor that he is in no danger or receiving injury from so doing. The council adds these emphatic words: - 'That if any one shall dare to read or keep in his possession that book, without such a license, he shall not receive absolution till he has given it up to his ordinary.' These rules are followed by the bull of Pius IV., in which he declares that those who shall violate them shall be held guilty of mortal sin. Thus did the Church of Rome attempt to regulate what she found it impossible wholly to prevent. The fact that no Papist is allowed to read the Bible without a license does not appear in the catechisms and other books in common use among Roman Catholics in this country; but it is incontrovertible that it forms the law of that Church. And, in accordance therewith, we find that the uniform practice of the priests of Rome, from the popes downwards, is to prevent the circulation of the Bible, - to prevent it wholly in those countries, such as Italy and Sprain, where they have the power, and the other countries, such as our own, to all the extent to which their power enables them. Their uniform policy is to discourage the reading of the Scriptures in every possible way; and when they dare not employ force to effect this object, they scruple not to press into their service the ghostly power of their Church, by declaring that those who presume to contravene the will of Rome in this matter are guilty of mortal sin." (J.A. Wylie, The Papacy, pp. 180, 181). (US 268-269)
  • The emperors of Rome, the eastern division of which still continued, had intelligence, or connived, with the church of Rome, which had forsaken the covenant and constituted the great apostasy, for the purpose of putting down "heresy." The man of sin was raised to his presumptuous throne by the defeat of the arian Goths, who then held possession of Rome, in A.D. 538. (US 270)