Easton's Bible Dictionary
Hitchcock's Dictionary of Bible Names
Smith's Bible Dictionary
is used by the LXX. as the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew
Hiddekel, and occurs also in several of the apocryphal books, as in Tobit, ch.
6:1, Judith, ch. 1:6, and Ecclesiasticus, ch. 24:25. The Tigris, like the Euphrates,
rises from two principal sources in the Armenian mountains, and flows into the
Euphrates. Its length, exclusive of windings, is reckoned at 1146 miles. It receives,
along its middle and lower course no fewer than five important tributaries. These
are the river of Zakko or eastern Khabour , the Great Zab (Zab Ala ), the Lesser
Zab (Zab Asfal ), the Adhem , and the Diyaleh or ancient Gyndes. All these rivers
flow from the high range of Zagros. We find but little mention of the Tigris in
Scripture. It appears, indeed, under the name of Hiddekel, among the rivers of
Eden, ( Genesis 2:14 ) and is there correctly described as "running eastward to
Assyria;" but after this we hear no more of it, if we accept one doubtful allusion
in Nahum ( Nahum 2:6 ) until the captivity, when it becomes well known to the
prophet Daniel. With him it is "the Great River." The Tigris, in its upper course,
anciently ran through Armenia and Assyria.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
ti'-gris (Tigris, the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew
One of the rivers of Eden going "eastward to Assyria" (Genesis 2:14 margin), called
the Great River (Daniel 10:4), elsewhere mentioned in the apocryphal books, as
in Tobit 6:1; Judith 1:6; Ecclesiasticus 24:25, called Diglath in Josephus, and
Diglit in Pliny, now called in Mesopotamia Dijleh, generally supposed to be a
Semitic corruption of Tigra, meaning originally an arrow, which from its rapidity
of motion is symbolized.
The Tigris rises in the mountains of Armenia, latitude 38 degrees 10 minutes,
longitude 39 degrees 20 minutes, only a few miles from the main branch of the
Euphrates. After pursuing a tortuous southeasterly course for 150 miles, it is
joined by the east branch at Osman Kieui, some distance below Diarbekr. Here the
stream is 450 ft. wide and 3 or 4 ft. deep. Passing through numerous mountain
gorges for another 150 miles, it emerges into the region of low hills about Nineveh,
and a little below into the great alluvial plain of Mesopotamia. Thence in its
course to Bagdad it is joined by the Great Zab, the Lesser Zab, the Adhem, and
the Diyaleh rivers, bringing a large amount of water from the Zagros Mountains.
At Bagdad the overflows from the Euphrates in high water often increase the inundations.
The flood season begins early in the month of March, reaching its climax about
May 1, declining to its natural level by midsummer. In October and November, the
volume of water increases considerably, but not so much as to overflow its banks.
Below Bagdad, throughout the region of Babylonia proper, the Tigris joins with
the Euphrates in furnishing the water for irrigation so successfully used in ancient
times. English engineers are at present with great promise of success aiming to
restore the irrigating systems of the region and the prosperity of ancient times.
The total length of the river is 1,146 miles. It now joins the Euphrates about
40 miles Northwest of the Persian Gulf, the two streams there forming the Shat
el Arab, but in early historical times they entered the Persian Gulf by separate
mouths, the Gulf then extending a considerable distance above the present junction
of the rivers, the sediment of the streams having silted up the head of the Gulf
to that distance.
See also EDEN.
George Frederick Wright
38.1667, 39.3333; bible commentary, bible reference, bible study, define, hiddekel, history of, river, tigris