Aram-Naharaim[a] is the biblical term for a region in Upper Mesopotamia along the elbow of the Euphrates River. It is mentioned five times in the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament. In Genesis, it is used somewhat interchangeably with the names Paddan Aram and Haran to denote the place where Abraham stayed briefly with his father Terah's family after leaving Ur of the Chaldees, while en route to Canaan (Gen. 11:31), and the place from which later patriarchs obtained wives, rather than marry daughters of Canaan.
Location and etymology
Both Josephus and the Septuagint translate the name as Mesopotamia. Ancient writers later used the name "Mesopotamia" for all of the land between the Tigris and Euphrates. However, the usage of the Hebrew name "Aram-Naharaim" does not match this later usage of "Mesopotamia", the Hebrew term referring to a northern region within Mesopotamia.
The translation of the name as "Mesopotamia" was not consistent - the Septuagint also uses a more precise translation "Mesopotamia of Syria" as well as "Rivers of Syria".
- K. Lawson Younger Jr. (7 October 2016). A Political History of the Arameans: From Their Origins to the End of Their Polities. SBL Press. p. 96. ISBN 978-1-62837-084-3.
- Genesis 24:10; Deuteronomy 23:4; Judges 3:8,10; 1 Chronicles 19:6; Psalm 60:1.