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Bible Dictionaries

Fausset's Bible Dictionary

River

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A river in our sense is seen by few in Palestine.

(1) Νahar , "a continuous and full river", as Jordan, and especially "the river" Euphrates. The streams are dried up wholly in summer, or hid by dense shrubs covering a deeply sunk streamlet. When the country was wooded the evaporation was less.

(2) Νahal , "a winter torrent," flowing with force during the rainy season, but leaving only a dry channel or bed in the wady in summer. "Brook" in the KJV has too much the idea of placidity. "Valley" or wady (Numbers 32:9), e.g. "the bed" (or, in winter, "the torrent") of Arnon, Jabbok, Kishon. Some of these are abrupt chasms in the rocky hills, rugged and gloomy, unlike our English "brook." Translated Job 6:15, "deceitfully as a winter torrent and as the stream in ravines which passes away," namely, in the summer drought, and which disappoint the caravan hoping to find water there. The Arab proverb for a treacherous friend is "I trust not in thy torrent." The fullness and noise of those temporary streams answer to the past large and loud professions; their dryness when wanted answers to the failure of friends to make good their professions in time of need (compare Isaiah 58:11; margin Jeremiah 15:18).

(3) 'Αphik , from a root "to contain"; so "the channels" or "deep rock-walled ravines that hold the waters" (2 Samuel 22:16); so for "rivers" (Ezekiel 32:6) translated "channels."

(4) Υeor , "the river Nile" (Genesis 41:1-2; Exodus 1:22; Exodus 2:3; Exodus 2:5). In Jeremiah 46:7-8; Amos 8:8; Amos 9:5, translated "the river of Egypt" for "flood." The word is Egyptian, "great river" or "canal." The Nile's sacred name was Ηapi , i.e. Αpis . The profane name was Αur with the epithet act "great." Zechariah 10:11, "all the deeps of the river shall dry up," namely, the Nile or else the Euphrates. Thus the Red "sea" and the Euphrates "river" in the former part of the verse answer to "Assyria." and "Egypt" in the latter.

(5) Ρeleg (compare Greek pelagos ), from a root "divide," "waters divided", i.e. streams distributed through a land. Psalms 1:3, "a tree planted by the divisions of water," namely, the water from the well or cistern divided into rivulets running along the rows of trees (See REUBEN on Judges 5:15-16, where "divisions" mean "waters divided for irrigation"); but Gesenius from the root to flow out or bubble up.

(6) Υubal , "a full flowing stream" (Jeremiah 17:8).

(7) "A conduit" or "watercourse" (2 Kings 18:17); tealah .

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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'River'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/fbd/r/river.html. 1949.

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