Islands; Isles

Concise Bible Dictionary:

There are no islands near to Palestine. Cyprus is the nearest, and that is about seventy miles from the nearest point of Syria, far north. So that the term “the isles” may be used at times indefinitely for places or nations far off. We read of “the isles which are beyond the sea,” “the isles afar off,” and “isles of the Gentiles” (Gen. 10:55By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations. (Genesis 10:5) and more; Jer. 25:2222And all the kings of Tyrus, and all the kings of Zidon, and the kings of the isles which are beyond the sea, (Jeremiah 25:22); Jer. 31:1010Hear the word of the Lord, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock. (Jeremiah 31:10) and more). It is thought that in some places in the prophets the sea-coasts or maritime countries are intended. Definite islands are also mentioned, especially in the New Testament when Paul began his missionary journeys.