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A river of Mesopotamia in Asiatic Turkey

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Habor [Heb. habhor; Sept. Abor: IV Kings (II), xvii, 6; Abior: IV Kings, xviii, 11; Chabor: I Par. (Chronicles), v, 26].—A river of Mesopotamia in Asiatic Turkey, an important eastern affluent of the Euphrates. It still bears the name of Habur. It rises in Mt. Masius (the present Karaja Dagh), some fifty miles north of Resalna (Ras el-‘Ain, “the head of the spring”), flows S.S.W., imparting great fertility to its banks in its winding way through the midst of the desert, and falls into the Euphrates at Karkisiya (the ancient Carchemish) after a course, to a great extent navigable, of about two hundred miles. The most important tributary of the Habor is the Jeruyer, or ancient Mygdonius, which flows into it after passing Nisibis and Thubida. In IV Kings, xvii, 6; xviii, 11, the Habor is called “the river of Gozan” (the modern Kaushan), on account of the district of that name which it waters and which is now covered with mounds, the actual remains of Assyrian towns. The river Habor is distinctly named in the cuneiform inscriptions of Tiglath-pileser I (about 1120-1110 B.C.), and of Asshurnasir-pal (885-860 B.C.), and it seems from the expressions used by the last-named monarch that the river then emptied itself into the Euphrates through several mouths. In I Par., v, 26, it is stated that Phul, also called Thelgathphalnasar (Tiglathpileser III), carried away the exiles of the Transjordanic tribes of Israel into the district of the Habor. It is in the same land that according to IV Kings, xvii, 3-6; xviii, 9-11, Salmanasar IV—and perhaps Sargon, his immediate successor—settled the captives of Northern Israel.

The Habor of IV Kings and I Par, must not be identified with the Chobar (Heb. Kebhar) which is repeatedly mentioned by the prophet Ezechiel (i, 1, 3; iii, 15, 23, etc.), and which was a large navigable canal east of the Tigris, near Nippur. The Greek historian Procopius (6th cent. after Christ) says that the Chaboras (the classical name of the Habor) formed the limit of the Roman Empire. When the Spanish rabbi Benjamin of Tudela visited (A.D. 1163) the mouth of the Habor, he found near by some two hundred Jews who may have in part been the descendants of the ancient captives of the Assyrian kings. At the present day, the plain of the Habor is a favorite camping ground for wandering Bedouins.


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