Ezekiel 27:6

Of the oaks of Bashan have they made thine oars; the company of the Ashurites have made thy benches of ivory, brought out of the isles of Chittim.

Of the oaks of Bashan have they made thine oars,.... To row the ships with; for their ships probably were no other than galleys, which were rowed with oars, as were the ships of first invention. Bashan was a country in Judea where oaks grew; see Isaiah 2:13. The country of Judea in general was famous for oaks; it abounded with them in the times of Homer {t}, who speaks of Typho being buried in a country abounding with oaks, among the rich or fat people of Judea; and he seems to design Bashan particularly, of which Og was king, whom he calls Typho, and of whose bed he makes mention in the same place; hence several places in Judea had their names from the oaks which grew, there, as Elonmoreh, Allonbachuth, Elonmeonenim, Elontabor, and Elonbethhanan, Genesis 12:6 and which one would have thought were fitter to make their ships of; but of these only their oars were made:

the company of the Ashurites have made thy benches of ivory, brought out of the isles of Chittim; the benches for the towers to sit on, or for others in the cabin and decks; but that these should be wholly of ivory is not very probable; nor was ivory brought from the isles of Chittim, but from other parts; nor is it easy to say who the company of the Ashurites were; some say the Assyrians; but why they should be so called is not plain. Jarchi makes Myrva tb to be but one word, which signifies box trees, as it is used in Isaiah 41:19 and he supposes that these benches, or be they what they will, were made of box trees covered or inlaid with ivory. So the Targum,

"the lintels of thy gates (the hatches) were planks of box tree inlaid with ivory;''

which box, and not the ivory, was brought from the isles of Chittim; either from Cyprus, where was a place called Citium; or from Macedonia, from whence box was fetched; or from the province of Apulia, as the Targum; where there might be plenty of it, as in Corsica, and other places, where particularly the best box grows, as Pliny {u} says. Jerom interprets Cittin of Italy; and Ben Gorion says {w} that Cittim are the Romans.

{t} cwrw enidruoent', ioudhv en pioni dhmw. Homer. Iliad. 2. Vid. Dickinson, Delphi Phoenicix. c. 2. p. 13, 16.
{u} Nat. Hist. l. 10. c. 16.
{w} Heb. Hist. l. 1. c. 1. p. 7.