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What is the…
Land of Shinar

Hebrew: שִׁנְעָר —transliteration: Shinar

Septuagint and Vulgate: “Senaar;” in the inscriptions “Shumir”

Shinar is probably identical with Babylonia or Southern Mesopotamia, extending almost to the Persian Gulf.

This name occurs 8 times in Scripture: Genesis 10:10—“and Calneh, in the land of Shinar,” Genesis 11:2—“in the land of Shinar and settled there,” Genesis 14:1; 14:9—“Amraphel king of Shinar,” Joshua 7:21—“a beautiful mantle from Shinar,” Isaiah 11:11—“Elam, Shinar, Hamath,” Daniel 1:2—“he brought them to the land of Shinar,” Zechariah 5:11—“build a temple for her in the land of Shinar.”

Here the tower of Babel was built (Genesis 11:1-6), and the city of Babylon.

The name occurs later in Jewish history (Isaiah 11:11; Zechariah 5:11).

Shinar was apparently first peopled by Turanian tribes, who tilled the land and made bricks and built cities. Then tribes of Semites invaded the land and settled in it, and became its rulers. This was followed, in course of time, by an Elamite invasion; from which the land was finally delivered by King Hammurabi (Khammurabi), the son of Amarpel (“Amraphel, king of Shinar,” Genesis 14:1), who became the founder of the new empire of Chaldea.


Article Version: July 12, 2021