CHEBAR (Heb. [כְּבָר [נְהַר), a canal in Mesopotamia; in Akkadian, nār kab(b)aru/i, the "very thick" (i.e., wide, great) canal, perhaps identical with Purat Nippur, the "Euphrates [-canal] of Nippur" (cf. Gen. R. 16:3). On the banks of this canal near the village of Tel-Abib (where a colony of Ezekiel's fellow exiles lived – Ezek. 1:13, 15), the prophet Ezekiel experienced his initial vision (Ezek. 1:3; 3:23; 10:15, 20, 22; 43:3). The canal is referred to in the *Murashu documents discovered at Nippur. Since this town is virtually bisected by Shatt el-Nil, a canal that leaves the Euphrates north of Babylon and reenters it south of Warka (biblical Erech; Akk. Uruk), the Chebar canal is most likely the modern silted-up Shatt el-Nil.


H.V. Hilprecht, Exploration in Bible Lands (1903), 411ff.; idem and A.T. Clay, Business Documents of MurashSons of Nippur (1898), 26ff., 76; S. Daiches, The Jews in Babylonia (1910), 10–11; G. Gardascia, Les archives des Murashu (1951), 2; E. Vogt, in: Biblica, 39 (1958), 211–6.

[Shalom M. Paul]

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.