The Hebrew term ʼi (plural, ʼi·yimʹ) is not restricted to a body of land smaller than a continent and completely surrounded by water (Isa. 11:11; 24:15), but also designates dry land (Isa. 42:15) or coastland(s). (Isa. 20:6; 23:2, 6; Jer. 2:10) Figuratively, the word ʼi applies to the inhabitants of such islands or coastlands. (Gen. 10:5, NW, 1953 ed., ftn.; Isa. 49:1; 51:5; 59:18; 60:9, NW, 1958 ed., ftns.) Sometimes “islands” represent the most distant places and their inhabitants. (Isa. 41:5; 66:19; Ezek. 39:6 [see MAGOG]) Thus nothing will be too remote or isolated, as islands in the sea, to escape the effects of the symbolic earthquake on Babylon the Great. (Rev. 16:18-21; compare Revelation 6:12-14.) From Jehovah’s standpoint, all the islands are as “mere fine dust.”—Isa. 40:15.
Among the islands specifically named in the Bible are Cyprus (Acts 13:4-6), Cos, Rhodes (Acts 21:1), Crete (Acts 27:7), Cauda (Acts 27:16), Malta (Acts 28:1) and Patmos.—Rev. 1:9.