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Bible Encyclopedias

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia


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brook ( נחל , naḥal , אפיק , 'āphı̄ḳ , יאור , ye'ōr , מיכל , mı̄khāl ; χείμαρῥηος , cheı́marrhos ): In Palestine there are few large streams. Of the smaller ones many flow only during the winter, or after a heavy rain. The commonest Hebrew word for brook is naḥal , which is also used for river and for valley , and it is not always clear whether the valley or the stream in the valley is meant (Numbers 13:23 ; Deuteronomy 2:13 ; 2 Samuel 15:23 ). The Arabic wādy , which is sometimes referred to in this connection, is not an exact parallel, for while it may be used of a dry valley or of a valley containing a stream, it means the valley and not the stream. 'Āphı̄ḳ and ye'ōr are translated both "brook" and "river," ר , ye'or being generally used of the Nile (Exodus 1:22 , etc.), though in Daniel 12:5-7 , of the Tigris. Cheimarrhos , "winter-flowing," is applied in John 18:1 to the Kidron. Many of the streams of Palestine which are commonly called rivers would in other countries be called brooks, but in such a dry country any perennial stream assumes a peculiar importance.

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Brook'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. 1915.

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