Early used in foreign commerce by the Phoenicians (Gen. 49:13).
Moses (Deut. 28:68) and Job (9:26) make reference to them, and
Balaam speaks of the “ships of Chittim” (Num. 24:24). Solomon
constructed a navy at Ezion-geber by the assistance of Hiram’s
sailors (1 Kings 9:26-28; 2 Chr. 8:18). Afterwards, Jehoshaphat
sought to provide himself with a navy at the same port, but his
ships appear to have been wrecked before they set sail (1 Kings 22:48, 49; 2 Chr. 20:35-37).
In our Lord’s time fishermen’s boats on the Sea of Galilee
were called “ships.” Much may be learned regarding the
construction of ancient merchant ships and navigation from the
record in Acts 27, 28.