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Abana (or Amanah, classical Chrysorrhoas) and Pharpar, the "rivers of Damascus" (2 Kings 5:12) now generally identified with the Barada (i.e. "cold") and the A`waj (i.e. "crooked") respectively, though if the reference to Damascus be limited to the city, as in the Arabic version of the Old Testament, Pharpar would be the modern Taura. Both streams run from west to east across the plain of Damascus, which owes to them much of its fertility, and lose themselves in marshes, or lakes, as they are called, on the borders of the great Arabian desert. John M'Gregor, who gives an interesting description of them in his Rob Roy on the Jordan, affirmed that as a work of hydraulic engineering, the system and construction of the canals, by which the Abana and Pharpar were used for irrigation, might be considered as one of the most complete and extensive in the world. As the Barada escapes from the mountains through a narrow gorge, its waters spread out fan-like, in canals or "rivers", the name of one of which, Nahr Banias, retains a trace of Abana.
---excerpt from the Illustrated Bible Dictionary.
Abana - stony (Heb. marg. "Amanah," perennial), the chief river of Damascus (2 Kings 5:12). Its modern name is Barada, the Chrysorrhoas, or "golden stream," of the Greeks. It rises in a cleft of the Anti-Lebanon range, about 23 miles north-west of Damascus, and after flowing southward for a little way parts into three smaller streams, the central one flowing through Damascus, and the other two on each side of the city, diffusing beauty and fertility where otherwise there would be barrenness.
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