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Bible Dictionaries

People's Dictionary of the Bible


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Abana (ăb'a-nah or a-bä'nah), stony. The Hebrew and English marginal reading is "Amanah," meaning "perennial;" this may be the correct form. It is the same as the Greek "Chrysorrhoas," or "golden river," and the modern "Barada," meaning "cold." A river of Damascus, one of those which Naaman, in his pride, preferred to the waters of Israel. 2 Kings 5:12. It rises in the beautiful plain of Zebedany, issuing from a little lake, and receiving in its course the waters of two or three fountains. Quitting this plain, the river dashes over a cliff. 30 feet high, runs through a magnificent ravine, and is afterwards joined by the stream from ʾAin Fîjeh, one of the largest springs in Syria. Having emerged from the mountains into the plains of Damascus, it flows through orchards and meadows till it enters the city, and passing through it, falls finally into a marshy lake, 15 or 20 miles below. At its rise the river is 3343 feet above the sea, and 1149 above Damascus, which is distant from the source about 22 miles. The Abana waters about 800 square miles of territory, and it is calculated that 14 villages and 150,000 souls depend on it for their water supply. Damascus is thus made, though on the edge of a desert, one of the loveliest spots in the world. The streams of Israel, on the other hand, with the exception of the Jordan, are nearly dry the greater part of the year, and, running in deep and rocky channels, give but partial fertility to the land through which they flow. This may well account for the question of Naaman the Syrian: "Are not Abana and Pharphar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel?" 2 Kings 5:12.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Abana'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. 1893.

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