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Plowing through History from the Aleph to the Tav

Topics Definition of Hebrew Names


By Jeff A. Benner

In Hebrew the name Aramnaharaim is written as two words – ארם נהרים (aram naharayim, Strong's #763). The word ארם (aram, Strong's #758) is the name for the region of Aram, modern day Syria. The inhabitants of Aram were the Arameans, and their language is called Aramean or Aramaic. This word is not used in the Bible as a noun, but it means "elevated," "a high place."

The word נהרים (naharayim) is the double plural (the standard plural suffix is iym, but the double plural suffix is yim) form of the noun נהר (nahar, Strong's #5104) meaning "river." So the double plural form, נהרים (naharayim), means "two rivers."

When these two words are combined they mean "the high place between the two rivers." The place of ארם נהרים (aram naharayim, Strong's #763) is known today as Mesopotamia, which is Greek for "between (meso) the rivers (potamia)."

This name appears six times in the Hebrew Bible. In the King James Version of the Bible this name is transliterated as Aramnaharaim once (Psalm 60:1), but translated as Mesopotamia the other five times (Genesis 24:10, Deuteronomy 23:4, Judges 3:8,10 and 1 Chronicles 19:6).

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