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Bible Encyclopedias
Shinar

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

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(Heb. Skinar', שַׁנְעָר [on the signif. see below]; Sept. usually Σεναάρ, Σενναάρ ;. Vulg. Sennaar) seems to have been the ancient name (Genesis 10:10; Genesis 11:2; Genesis 14:1,'9) of the great alluvial tract through which the Tigris and Euphrates pass before reaching the sea the tract known in later times as Chaldlca, or Babylonia. It was a plain country,. where brick had. to be used for. stone, and slime, bitumen, or mud, for mortar (xi, 3). Among its-cities were Babel (Babylon), Erech or Orech (Orchoe), Calneh or Calno (probably Niffer), and Accad, the site of which is unknown - These notices are quite enough to fix the situation. It may, however, be remarked, farther, that the Sept. renders the word by " Babylonia" (Βαβυλωνία) in one-place"'(Isaiah 11:11), by "the land of Babylon" (γῆ Βαβυλῶνος) in another (Zechariah 5:11), and by ποικιλή in a third (Joshua 7:21) as an equivalent -to Βαβυλονική , (A. V. "Babylonish").

The native inscriptions contain no trace of the term, which seems to be purely Jewish and unknown to any other people. At least it is extremely doubtful whether there is really any connection between Shindar and Singara, or Sinjar. Singara was the name of a town in Central Mesopotamia, well known to the Romans (Dion Cass. lxviii, 22; Atom. Marc. 18:5, etc.), and still existing (Layard, Nin. and Bab. p. 249).", It is from this place that the mountains which run across Mesopotamia from Mosul to Rakkeh receive their title of "the Sinjar range" (Σιγγάρας ὅρος, Ptolemy, v, 18). As this name first appears in Central Mesopotamia, to which the term Shinar is never applied, about the time of the Antonines, it is very unlikely that it can represent the old Shinar, which ceased practically to be a geographic title soon after the time of Moses (the use in the above passages of Isaiah and Zechariah is an archaisni; so also, perhaps, in Daniel 1:2).

It may be suspected that Shinar was the name by which the Hebrews originally knew the lower Mesopotamian country, where they so long dwelt, and which Abraham brought with him from "Ur of the Chaldees" (Mugheir). Possibly it means " the country of the Two Rivers," being derived from. שְׁנֵי, "two," and 'ar, which was used in Babylonia, as well as nahr or ndhdr (נָהָר ), for "a river." (Comp. the "Armalchar" of Pliny [H. I.D vi; 26] and "A Ar Macales" of Abydennus [Fr. 9] with the Naar-malcha of Atnmianus [24:6], called; Ναρμάχα by Isidore [p. 5 ], which is translated as "the Royal River;". comp. again the "Narragam" of Pliny [H. N. 6:30] with the "Aracanus" of Abydenus, 1. s. c.). (See MESOPOTAMIA).

Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Shinar'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/​encyclopedias/​eng/​tce/​s/shinar.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.
 
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