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People's Dictionary of the Bible


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Mesopotamia (mĕs-o-po-tâ'mi-ah), the region, between the rivers. The name given by the Greeks and Romans to that tract of fertile country lying between the rivers Euphrates and Tigris. Acts 2:9; Acts 7:2. It was called by the Hebrews Aram-naharaim, or "Aram (or Syria) of the two rivers;" Genesis 24:10; Deuteronomy 23:4; Judges 3:8; Judges 3:10; 1 Chronicles 19:6; and Padan-aram or "Plain of Syria," Genesis 25:20; Genesis 28:2-7; Genesis 46:15; also Aram or "Syria," Numbers 23:7; Genesis 31:20; Genesis 31:24. The great plains of Mesopotamia possess a nearly uniform, level, good soil, but barren from want of irrigation. Mesopotamia was the country of Nahor, R. V., "city of Nahor." Genesis 24:10. Here lived Bethuel and Laban, and hither Abraham sent his servant to fetch Isaac a wife. A century later Jacob came on the same errand, and hence he returned with his two wives after an absence of 21 years. Mesopotamia again occurs at the close of the wanderings in the wilderness. Deuteronomy 23:4. About a half century later, Mesopotamia appears as the seat of a powerful monarchy. Judges 3:1-31. The children of Ammon, having provoked a war with David, "sent a thousand talents of silver to hire them chariots and horsemen out of Mesopotamia, and out of Syria-maachah, and out of Zobah." 1 Chronicles 19:6. Assyrian inscriptions and the Scripture record show that Mesopotamia was inhabited in the early times of the empire, b.c. 1200-1100, by a vast number of petty tribes, each under its own prince, and all quite independent of each other, Judges 3:8-10; 2 Kings 19:12-13; Isaiah 37:12, until subjugated by the kings of Assyria. Mesopotamia became an Assyrian province. The conquests of Cyrus brought it wholly under the Persian yoke, and thus it continued to the time of Alexander. The whole region is studded with mounds and ruins of Assyrian and Babylonian greatness. See Assyria.

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

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Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020
the Week of Proper 4 / Ordinary 9
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