Beyond the River

BEYOND THE RIVER (עֵ֣בֶר הַנָּהָ֑ר, בְּעֵ֣בֶר הַנָּהָ֗ר, מֵעֵ֣בֶר לַנָּהָ֑ר, מֵעֵ֣בֶר הַנָּהָ֔ר). An expression occurring over twenty times meaning in the region of the Euphrates River (see Beyond the Jordan) and referring to either side of the river. Hebrew uses a special word for “river” when referring to the Nile (ye’ôr) reflecting the Egyp. term, and when designating particular rivers it usually uses the word nāhār: Genesis 2:10-14 of the river of Eden, Isaiah 18:1 and Zephaniah 3:10 of beyond the rivers of Ethiopia, 2 Kings 5:12 of Damascus, and often of the Euphrates River.

Frequently the Syrians are located “beyond the River” (2 Sam 10:16, 1 Chron 19:16) meaning E of the Euphrates, as were the Assyrians (Isa 7:20). This was also the meaning of Joshua 24:3, 14, 15 where Haran was located “beyond the river.”

Solomon’s realm includes the region “on this side of the river” and here it obviously refers to the W side of the Euphrates (1 Kings 4:21) by means of the same term.