What is the…

Hebrew: אֲבָנָה —transliteration: Abanah or Abana —meaning: stony

This was the name of the main river of Damascus, Syria.

The Aramean (Syrian) General Naaman angrily exclaimed that Syria’s Abana and Pharpar rivers are greater than all the waters of Israel (2 Kings 5:12).

The modern name is the Barada river—the Chrysorrhoas, or “golden stream,” of the Greeks.

It falls in a canyon of the Anti-Lebanon mountain range, about 23 miles northwest of Damascus, and after flowing southward for a little way parts into three smaller streams, the central one flowing through Damascus, and the other two on each side of the city, diffusing beauty and fertility where otherwise there would be barrenness.

Today, this water resource is highly managed and channeled.

Abana River (now called Barada)—satellite view

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Article Version: April 16, 2024