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What is Mesopotamia?
        MESOPOTA'MIA
        (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; John 7:2. It was called by the Hebrews Aramnaharaim, or "Aram or Syria of the two rivers:" Gen 24:10; Deut 23:4; Jud 3:8, 1 Kgs 16:10; 1 Chr 19:6; and Padan-aram or "Plain of Syria," Gen 25:20; Matt 28:2-7; Gen 46:15; also Aram or "Syria." Num 23:7; Gen 31:20, Jud 6:24. On the Egyptian monuments, the upper part is called Naharina, and on the Assyrian, Nahiri. This region is now called by the Arabs el-Jezirah, or "the Peninsula" or "Island." Strabo and Pliny describe Mesopotamia as bounded on the east by the Tigris; on the south by the Euphrates and the Persian Gulf; on the west by the Euphrates; and on the north by Mount Taurus, the length being 800 miles, and the breadth, which is very irregular, 360 miles. The great plains of Mesopotamia possess a nearly uniform, level, good soil, but barren from want of irrigation. The exceptions are where the plains are intersected by hills or ranges of hills. The climate of these plains is characterized by great dryness, combined with very great variations in the temperature of the air. According to Mr. Layard, in March the pastures abound in rich and luxuriant herbage and the meadows are enamelled with flowers of every hue. See map, "Lands of Jewish Captivities." We first hear of Mesopotamia in Scripture as the country of Nahor. Gen 24:10. Here lived Bethuel and Laban, and hither Abraham sent his servant to fetch Isaac a wife. v. Acts 7:38. A century later Jacob came on the same errand, and hence he returned with his two wives after an absence of twenty-one years. No mention of Mesopotamia again occurs till the close of the wanderings in the wilderness. Deut 23:4. Though Drs. Beke and Merrill object to the view that Balaam came from the Mesopotamia beyond the Euphrates, and Dr. Beke proposed to place "Syria between the two rivers," near Damascus, his view has not been accepted. About half a century later, Mesopotamia appears as the seat of a powerful monarchy. Judg 3. The children of Amnion, 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 Chr 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, Jud 3:8-10; 2 Kgs 19:12-13; Isa 37:12, until subjugated by the kings of Assyria. Even after Mesopotamia became an Assyrian province it formed part of the great monarchies which successively arose in Upper Asia, the Babylonian, Persian, and Macedonian. 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.


Bibliography Information
Schaff, Philip, Dr. "Biblical Definition for 'mesopotamia' in Schaffs Bible Dictionary".
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