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HABOR (hā'bôr, Heb. hāvōr). A river of Gozan, the region in the northern part of Mesopotamia to which Shalmanezer, king of Assyria, banished the northern tribes of Israel after Hoshea, the last king, rebelled against him (2Kgs.17.6; 2Kgs.18.11). Tiglath-Pileser had carried the tribes east of Jordan to this same region (1Chr.5.26).

HABOR hā’ bôr (חָבֹ֛ור). A tributary of the Euphrates, flowing through the district of Gozan, to the banks of which Shalmaneser IV and Sargon transported the exiled Israelites (2 Kings 17:6; 18:11; 1 Chron 5:26). It was called Chaboras by the Greeks, and is now known by the name Khabur. It was densely populated in ancient times, as the many mounds of buried cities give evidence. Layard, the archeologist, found many Assyrian remains in the area.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

(chabhor; Habor, Habior; Isidor of Charax, Aburas (Abouras), Zosias, Aboras):

1. Its Position and Course:

Is described in 2Ki 17:6; 18:11 (compare 1Ch 5:26) as "the river of Gozan." It is the Arabic Khabur, and flows in a southerly direction from several sources in the mountains of Karaj Dagh (Mons Masius), which, in the 37th parallel, flanks the valley of the Tigris on the West. The river ultimately joins the Euphrates after receiving its chief tributary, the Jaghjagha Su (Mygdonius), at Circesium (Kirkisiyeh).

2. Etymologies of Habor:

The meaning of its name is doubtful, but Delitzsch has suggested a Sumerian etymology, namely, habur, "the fish-waterway," or it may be connected with "mother Hubur’" a descriptive title of Tiamat (see Merodach; Rahab).

3. Historical References:

Layard found several interesting Assyrian remains in the district, including man-headed bulls bearing the name of Muses-Ninip, possibly an Assyrian governor. Tiglath-pileser I (circa 1120 BC) boasts of having killed 10 mighty elephants in Haran and on the banks of the Habor; and Assur-nacir-apli (circa 880 BC), after conquering Harsit (Harrit, Harmis), subjugated the tract around piate sa nar Habur, "the mouths of the Habor." According to 2Ki and 1 Chronicles, Shalmaneser IV and Sargon transported the exiled Israelites thither. Philological considerations exclude the identification of the Chebar of Eze 13, etc., with the Habor.