The Tigris And Euphrates Rivers


"And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: . . . And the fourth river is Euphrates" (Genesis 2:14).

The Tigris (Hiddekel) and Euphrates rivers play a significant role in the history of mankind. They were part of God's original Creation of the Garden of Eden. After the Flood, their namesake rivers served ancient civilizations, such as: Sumeria, Chaldea, Babylon, Assyria, and Persia. Abraham's birthplace, Ur of the Chaldees, was on the Euphrates, along with the Tower of Babel. Scripturally, the only reference where they are found together is Genesis 2:14. But separately, they are found in other places.

The Tigris is referred to only one other time in Scripture. Daniel received a vision on its banks. "As I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel; Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold" (Daniel 10:4-5).

The Euphrates is mentioned from Genesis to Revelation. God promised Abraham (Genesis 15:18) that the easternmost boundary of the land grant to his people would be the Euphrates: This promise was repeated to Moses (Deuteronomy 1:7; 11:24), and to Joshua (1:4).

Great momentous events are yet to be fulfilled concerning this storied river. "And I heard a voice . . . Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. . . . And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared" (Revelation 9:13-14; 16:12).

There is a millennial promise to Israel that "with His mighty wind shall He shake His hand over the river, |Euphrates|, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men go over dryshod" on their return to the Promised Land. (Isaiah 11:15). NPS