DURA (dū'ra). A plain in the province of Babylon where Nebuchadnezzar set up his great image of gold to be worshiped (
DURA dōōr’ ə, PLAIN OF (Aram. בִקְעַ֣ת דּוּרָ֔א, plain of Dura). A plain somewhere in the province of ancient Babylon, in which King Nebuchadnezzar erected his golden image, referred to only in
The Akkad. name dûru (from which the Aram. comes) means “circuit,” “walled place” and was common in Mesopotamian geographical names. This meaning of the Akkad. evidently prompted the LXX to tr. dûwrā', “Dura,” by περίβολος meaning an enclosed, or walled, area.
Of the three most likely identifications for the place, the first, near Carchemish (Polybius v. 48) was not a part of provincial Babylon, and the second, located beyond the Tigris not far from Apollonia (Polybius v. 52) is too far from the capital Babylon. Rather, the place may more likely be identified with the mounds or tells of Dura, a few m. to the S of the city of Babylon.
J. A. Montgomery, The, ICC (1927), 197; C. F. Keil, Daniel (1955), 119.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)
The name of the plain on which Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, set up the great golden image which all his subjects were ordered to worship (
The fact that the plain was within the city of Babylon precludes an identification with the city Duru, which seems to have lain in the neighborhood of Erech (Hommel, Grundriss, 264, note 5). It is noteworthy that the Septuagint substitutes Deeira, for Dura, suggesting that the Greek translators identified it with the Babylonian Deru, a city which apparently lay toward the Elamite border. It seems to have been called also Dur-ili, "god’s rampart." That it was at some distance is supported by the list WAI, IV, 36 , where Duru, Tutul and Gudua (Cuthah), intervene between Deru or Dur-ili and Tindir (Babylon). "The plain of the dur" or "rampart" within Babylon would therefore seem to be the best rendering.