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I'm Not trying to be nitpicky or anything. However, I'm just curious. Which actual river is being referenced whenever the "beyond the River" phrase / term is mentioned in Joshua , Samuel , Chronicles , Ezra & Nehemiah?

Would it be correct to say that Joshua, Samuel, Chronicles refer to the Jordan River while Ezra and Nehemiah refer to the Euphrates river?

Here are some of the verses that use said phrase / term:

Joshua 24:2
Joshua said to all the people, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘From ancient times your fathers lived beyond the River, namely, Terah, the father of Abraham and the father of Nahor, and they served other gods.

Joshua 24:15 If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

2 Samuel 10:16
And Hadadezer sent and brought out the Arameans who were beyond the River, and they came to Helam; and Shobach the commander of the army of Hadadezer led them.

1 Chronicles 19:16
When the Arameans saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they sent messengers and brought out the Arameans who were beyond the River, with Shophach the commander of the army of Hadadezer leading them.

Ezra 4:20 that mighty kings have ruled over Jerusalem, governing all the provinces beyond the River, and that tribute, custom and toll were paid to them.

Nehemiah 2:9 Then I came to the governors of the provinces beyond the River and gave them the king’s letters. Now the king had sent with me officers of the army and horsemen.

Which actual river is being referenced whenever the "beyond the River" phrase / term is mentioned in Joshua , Samuel , Chronicles , Ezra & Nehemiah?

Would it be correct to say that Joshua, Samuel, Chronicles refer to the Jordan River while Ezra and Nehemiah refer to the Euphrates river?

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    If it is indeed the Euphrates (as indicated in @b a 's answer) then I wonder if there are implications regarding the mention of Euphrates in Revelation. – Nigel J Nov 13 '19 at 12:25
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The river is the Euphrates, "the great river" (Deuteronomy 1:7). "Beyond the River" in Ezra-Nehemiah refers specifically to the province called by that name, which was southwest of the Euphrates and thus beyond the river from the point of the Persian rulers in Mesopotamia. In Joshua, "beyond the river" would mean the northeast side of Euphrates, Mesopotamia, from the point of view of someone in Canaan.

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  • ok, I thought it was the Jordan River. Or would it be correct to say that Joshua and Samuel refer to the Jordan River while Ezra and Nehemiah refer to the Euphrates river? – crazyTech Nov 13 '19 at 11:55
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    They all refer to the Euphrates, but from different perspectives, depending on where the point of reference is. When Joshua says in Canaan that "your fathers lived beyond the River," he means they lived in Mesopotamia, since Terah came from there. In Samuel, as far as I can tell, the context doesn't necessarily rule out the Jordan River, but the other side of the Jordan River is always called "beyond the Jordan," not "beyond the river," so it seems to be referring to north of the Euphrates there too – b a Nov 13 '19 at 12:06

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