Geography: Abana and Pharpar – two rivers of Damascus in Syria 2Ki 5:12.
Rivers of Damascus, 2Ki 5:12. The Abana, (or, Amana), was undoubtedly the present Barada, the Chrysorrhoas of the Greeks. It is a clear, cold, and swift mountain stream, rising in Anti-Lebanon, north east of Hermon, flowing south east into the plain, and near Damascus turning eastward, skirting the northern wall of the city, and terminating 20 miles east in one of three large lakes. It is a perennial river, and so copious, that though no less than nine or ten branches or canals are drawn off from it to irrigate the plain and supply the city and the villages around it, the stream is a large one to the end.
The only other independent river of any size in the territory of Damascus is the Awaj, which crosses the plain south of Damascus, and enters the southernmost of the three lakes above referred to. This is supposed to be the Pharpar of the Bible. As these rivers of Damascus were never dry, but made the region they watered like the Garden of Eden for fertility and beauty, Naaman might well contrast them with most of “the waters of Israel,” which dry up under the summer sun.
swift, one of the rivers of Damascus (2 Kings 5:12). It has been identified with the ‘Awaj, “a small lively river.” The whole of the district watered by the ‘Awaj is called the Wady el-‘Ajam, i.e., “the valley of the Persians”, so called for some unknown reason. This river empties itself into the lake or marsh Bahret Hijaneh, on the east of Damascus. One of its branches bears the modern name of Wady Barbar, which is probably a corruption of Pharpar.
(“swift” or else “crooked”). One of the chief rivers of Syria, eight miles from Damascus 2Ki. 5:12); the Awaj, as the Abana is the Baruda. The ridge jebel Aswad separates Pharpar from Damascus. Pharpar rising on the S. E. side of Hermon ends in the bahret Hijaneh, the most southern of the three lakes or swamps of Damascus, due E. 40 miles from its source. Smaller than the Barada, and sometimes dried up in its lower course, which the Barada never is.
PHARPAR.—A river of Damascus mentioned with the Abanah (2Ki 5:12) by Naaman as contrasting favourably with the Jordan. Its identification is by no means so certain as that of Abanah with the Barada. The most probable is that suggested by Thomson, namely, the ‘Awaj, a river rising east of Hermon. A wady near, but not tributary to, one of its sources is called the Wady Barbar, which may possibly be a reminiscence of the ancient name. The principal obstacle to this identification is the distance of the river from the city; but Naaman was perhaps thinking as much of the fertile plain of Damascus as of the city itself. Other identifications have been with either the river flowing from ‘Ain Fijeh, or else one or other of the canals fed by the Barada.
R. A. S. Macalister
far’-par (parpar; Septuagint: Codex Vaticanus Apharpha; Codex Alexandrinus Pharphara): A river of Damascus, mentioned in 2Ki 5:12, along with the Abana or Amana.e and James, Psalms of Solomon. xliv ff; Nicolas. Doctrines religieuses des juifs, 48 ff.
One of the two rivers of Damascus which the proud Naaman declared to be better than the waters of the Jordan. The Barada is associated with Abana, thus leaving only the Awaj for the Pharpar. This has its source in Hermon, then runs for about 40 miles, ending in a lake or swamp. It is in the district of Damascus, but does not approach the city nearer than about eight miles. 2 Kings 5:12.
• A river of Damascus, referred to by Naaman.
(swift), the second of the “two rivers of Damascus” –Abana and Pharpar –alluded to by Naaman. (2 Kings 5:18) The two principal streams in the district of Damascus are the Barada and the Awaj, the former being the Abana and the latter the Pharpur. The Awaj rises on the southeast slopes of Hermon, and flows into the most southerly of the three lakes or swamps of Damascus.