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Bible Encyclopedias

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

River

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riv´ẽr :

(1) The usual word is נהר , nāhār (Aramaic נהר , nehar ( Ezra 4:10 , etc.)), used of the rivers of Eden (Genesis 2:10-14 ), often of the Euphrates (Genesis 15:18 , etc.), of Abana and Pharpar (2 Kings 5:12 ), the river of Gozan (2 Kings 17:6 ), the river Chebar (Ezekiel 1:1 ), the rivers (canals?) of Babylon (Psalm 137:1 ), the rivers of Ethiopia (Isaiah 18:1; Zephaniah 3:10 ). Compare nahr , the common Arabic word for "river."

(2) יאור , ye'ōr , according to BDB from Egyptian 'iotr , 'io'r , "watercourse," often of the Nile ( Exodus 1:22 , etc.). In Isaiah 19:6 , for מצור יארי , ye'ōrē mācōr , the King James Version "brooks of defense," the Revised Version (British and American) has "streams of Egypt." In Isaiah 19:7 , Isaiah 19:8 , for ye'ōr , the King James Version "brooks," and Zechariah 10:11 , the King James Version "river," the Revised Version (British and American) has "Nile." In Job 28:10 , the King James Version "He cutteth out rivers among the rocks," the Revised Version (British and American) has "channels," the Revised Version margin "passages."

(3) There are nearly 100 references to נהל , naḥal . In about half of these the King James Version has "brook" and in about half "river." the Revised Version (British and American) has more often "brook" or "valley." But the Revised Version (British and American) has river in "whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers" ( Leviticus 11:9 ); "the river Jabbok" (Deuteronomy 2:37; Joshua 12:2 ); the stream issuing from the temple (Ezekiel 47:5-12 ). the Revised Version (British and American) has "brook of Egypt," i.e. el -‛Arı̂sh (Numbers 34:5; Joshua 15:47; 1 Kings 8:65; 2 Kings 24:7; 2 Chronicles 7:8; Amos 6:14 , "of the Arabah"); "brook (the King James Version "river") of Kanah" (Joshua 16:8 ); "valley (the King James Version "river") of the Arnon" (Deuteronomy 2:24 ). English Versions of the Bible has "valley": of Gerar (Genesis 26:17 ), of Zered (Numbers 21:12 ), but "brook Zered" (Deuteronomy 2:13 ), of Eschol (Numbers 32:9 ), of Sorek (Judges 16:4 ), of Shittim (Joel 3:18 ). English Versions of the Bible has "brook": Besor (1 Samuel 30:10 ), Kidron (2 Samuel 15:23 ), Gaash, (2 Samuel 23:30 ), Cherith (1 Kings 17:3 ); also the feminine נחלה , naḥălāh , "brook (the King James Version "river") of Egypt" (Ezekiel 47:19; Ezekiel 48:28 ). The torrent-valley (wâdy ) is often meant.

(4) פּלג , pelegh , with feminine פּלגּה , pelaggāh , the King James Version "river," is in the Revised Version (British and American) translated "stream," except English Versions of the Bible "river of God" ( Psalm 65:9 ); "streams of water" (Psalm 1:3; Proverbs 5:16; Isaiah 32:2; Lamentations 3:48 ); "streams of honey" (Job 20:17 ); "streams of oil" (Job 29:6 ).

(5) אפיק , 'aphı̄ḳ , the King James Version "river," except English Versions of the Bible "water brooks" ( Psalm 42:1 ), is in the Revised Version (British and American) "watercourses" (Ezekiel 6:3; Ezekiel 31:12; Ezekiel 32:6; Ezekiel 34:13; Ezekiel 35:8; Ezekiel 36:4 , Ezekiel 36:6 ), "water-brooks" (Song of Solomon 5:12; Joel 1:20 ).

(6) יוּבל , yūbhal , English Versions of the Bible "river" ( Jeremiah 17:8 ). אבל , 'ubhāl , and אוּבל , 'ūbhāl , English Versions of the Bible "river" (Daniel 8:2 , Daniel 8:3 , Daniel 8:6 ).

(7) ποταμός , potamós : of the Jordan ( Mark 1:5 ); Euphrates (Revelation 9:14 ); "rivers of living water" (John 7:38 ); "river of water of life" (Revelation 22:1 ). So always in Greek for "river" in the Revised Version (British and American) Apocrypha (1 Esdras 4:23, etc.). See BROOK; STREAM; VALLEY .

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'River'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/isb/r/river.html. 1915.

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