("region between the rivers"); 700 miles long, from 20 to 250 broad; bounded N.E. by the Tigris, S.W. by the Euphrates. Its Hebrew name Aram Naharaim means "Aram between the rivers." The tribe sprung from Aram, Shem's fourth son, first colonized it. Man's first dwelling after the flood. Here was the plain of Shinar (Genesis 11:2; Genesis 14:1), where the Babel tower and kingdom were. Padan Aram, "plain Syria," was the N. part of the whole; the whole Syrian "highland" was Aram, in contradistinction from Canaan "the lowland." The upper Tigris valley was separated from the Mesopotamian plain by a mountain range (Masius: Strabo, 11:12, section 4).
The vast plain is intersected by the Sinjar running E. and W. Mounds mark city sites on every side. Innumerable lines of embankment indicate a network of ancient canals which diffused by irrigation fertility where now are morasses or barrenness. The N.W. part between the bend of the Euphrates and the upper Tigris is what Scripture names Mesopotamia. The Chaboras or (See HABOR , flowing from the S. side of the Sinjar range, empties itself into the Euphrates. Orfa, Abram's native city, and Haran, his resting place between Chaldaea and Israel, are in Padan Aram (Genesis 25:20; Genesis 28:2). Nahor settled in Mesopotamia after quitting Ur (Genesis 24:10). Naharina occurs in Egyptian inscriptions of the 18th and 19th dynasties. Bethuel, Rebekah, and Laban lived in Padan Aram. Balaam's abode was Pethor of Mesopotamia among "the mountains of the East" (Numbers 23:7; Numbers 22:5).
Chushan Rishathaim of Mesopotamia oppressed Israel in the time of the Judges (Judges 3:8). (See CHUSHAN RISHATHAIM.) The Mesopotamians aided the Ammonites with chariots against David (1 Chronicles 19:6; 1 Chronicles 19:16). Assyrian inscriptions confirm Scripture in asserting that Mesopotamia was independent of Assyria until after David ("the tribes of the Nairi," stream lands, were under their several independent princes, until in 880 B.C., Jehu's time, Assyria became completely their master); also that Mesopotamians used chariots in battle, and that after David's time Mesopotamia became absorbed in Assyria. Men of Mesopotamia were among those who heard in their own tongue the wonderful works of God (Acts 2:9).