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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Resen

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(Heb. id. ) רֶסֶן a halter, as in Isaiah 30:20; Sept. Δασέμ v. r. Δασή ), an ancient town of Assyria, described as a great city lying between Nineveh and Calah (Genesis 10:12). Many writers have been inclined to identify it with the Rhesina or Rhescena of the Byzantine authors (Amm. Marc. 23:5; Procop. Bell. Pers. ii, 19; Steph. Byz. s.v. ῾Ρέσινα ), and of Ptolemy (Geograph. v, 18), whkh was near the true source of the western Khabour, and which is most probably the modern Ras el-Ain. There are no grounds, however, for this identification except the similarity of name (which similarity is perhaps fallacious, since the Sept. evidently reads דסן for רסן, but not the Samar.), while it is a fatal objection to the theory that Resaena or Resina was not in Assyria at all, but in Western Mesopotamia, 200 miles to the west of both the cities between which it is said to have lain. Biblical geographers have generally been disposed to follow Bochart (Phaleg, 4:23) in finding a trace of the Hebrew name in La-issa, Which is mentioned by Xenophon (Anab. 3:4, 9) as a desolate city on the Tigris, several miles north of the Lycus. The resemblance of the names is too faint to support the inference of identity; but the situation is not irreconcilable with the scriptural intimation. Ephrem Syrus (Comment. ad loc.) says that Rassa, which he substitutes for Resen (the Peshito has Ressin), was the same as Rish-Ain (fountain-head); by which Assemani understands him to mean, not the place in Mesopotamia so called, but another Rish-Ain in Assyria, near Saphsaphre, in the province of Marga, which he finds noticed in a Syrian monastic history of the Middle Ages (Assemani, Biblioth. Orient. 3:2, p. 709).

It is, however, still uncertain if Rassa be the same with Rish-Ain; and, whether it be so or not, a name so exceedingly uncommon (corresponding to the Arabic Ras el-Ain) affords a precarious basis for the identification of a site so ancient. The Larissa of Xenophon is most certainly the modern Nimruid. Resen, or Dasen whichever may be the true form of the word must assuredly have been in this neighborhood. As, however, the Nimrud ruins seem really to represent Calah, while those opposite Mosul are the remains of Nineveh, we must look for Resen in the tract lying between these two sites. Assyrian remains of some considerable extent are found in this situation, near the modern village of Selamiyeh, and it is perhaps the most probable conjecture that these represent the Resen of Genesis (see Rawlinson, Ancient Monarchies, i, 204). No doubt it may be said that a "great city," such as Resen is declared to have been (Genesis 10:12), could scarcely have intervened between two other large cities which are not twenty miles apart; and the ruins at Selamiyeh, it must be admitted, are not very extensive. But perhaps we ought to understand the phrase "a great city" relatively i.e. great, as cities went in early times, or great, considering its proximity to two other larger towns. If this explanation seem unsatisfactory, we might perhaps conjecture that originally Asshur (Kileh-Sherghat) was called Calah, and Nimrud Resen; but that, when the seat of empire was removed northwards from the former place to the latter, the name Calah was transferred to the nlew capital. Instances of such transfers of name are not unfrequent. The later Jews appear to have identified Resen with the Kileh-Sherghat ruins. At least the Targums of Jonathan and of Jerusalem explain Resen by Tel-Asar (תלסר or תלאסר ), "the mound of Asshur." (See ASSYRIA).

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

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