River of Egypt

EGYPT, RIVER OF. The dividing line between Canaan and Egypt (Gen.15.18; Num.34.5), the southern boundary of Judah (Josh.15.4, Josh.15.47). In the four other occurrences it is coupled with the Euphrates River (Gen.15.18; 1Kgs.8.65; 2Kgs.24.7; 2Chr.7.8) as marking the north and south limits of the land given to the Israelites. It is not really an Egyptian river, but a wadi (a stream and its valley that is dry except during a rainy period) of the desert near the border of Egypt. It is identified as the Wadi el-Arish.

RIVER OF EGYPT (see Brook of Egypt)(נְהַ֣ר מִצְרַ֔יִם, LXX του̂ ποταμου̂ Αἰγύπτου).

The S boundary of the land promised to Abram’s descendants (Gen 15:18). The Hebrews apply the word nahar, “river,” to the largest rivers known to them in contrast to naḥal applied to a perennial stream or a wadi. Therefore it applies to the Nile and specifially to its most E channel, the Peleusiac (see Shihor). In this passage the two great rivers, the Nile and the Euphrates, are named broadly as the boundaries of the Promised Land. There is no textual support to emend the text to nahal.

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