In the Samaritan version (that I may still contain myself within our Chorographical Inquiry), as to the names of places, there are three things are matter of our notice, and a fourth of our suspicion.
I. There are some places obscure enough by their own names, which, as they are there rendered, are still more perplexed and unknown. Consult the names used there for the rivers of Eden, and the countries which those rivers ran into, and you will see how difficult it is any where else to meet with the least footstep or track of those names, except Cophin only, which seems indeed to agree something with Cophen mentioned by Pliny.
II. Places of themselves pretty well known are there called by names absolutely unknown. Such are Chatsphu, for Assyria, Genesis 2:14: Lilak, for Babel, Genesis 10:9: Salmaah for Euphrates, Genesis 15:18: Naphik for Egypt, Genesis 26:2.
III. Sometimes there are names of a later date used, and such as were most familiarly known in those days. Such are Banias for Dan, Genesis 14:14, that is, Panias, the spring of Jordan: Gennesar for Chinnereth, Numbers 34:11; Deuteronomy 3:17: not to mention Bathnan and Apamia for Bashan and Shepham, which are so near akin with the Syriac pronunciation: and Gebalah, or Gablah, for Seir, according to the Arabic idiom.
Such names as these make me suspect the Samaritan version not to be of that antiquity which some would claim for it, making it almost as ancient as the days of Ezra.
IV. I suspect too, when we meet with places pretty well known of themselves, obscured by names most unknown, that, sometimes, the whole country is not to be understood, but some particular place of that country only.
The suspicion is grounded on the word Naphik for Egypt, and Salmaah for Euphrates. By Naphik, probably, they understood, not the whole land of Egypt, but Pelusium only, which is the very first entry into Egypt from Canaan. The reason of this conjecture is this: the word Anpak (as we have elsewhere observed) was writ over the gates of that city; and how near that word comes to Naphik, is obvious enough to any one.
It is possible, also, that the mention of the Kinites, immediately following, might bring Salmaah to mind; and so they might not call 'Euphrates' itself 'Salmaah,' but speaking of 'Euphrates' as washing some place called 'Salmah.' Ptolemy, in his chapter concerning the situation of Arabia Deserta, mentions Salma, in degr. 188.8.131.52: and it is numbered amongst six-and-twenty other cities, which he saith are 'near Mesopotamia.' If this be true, the Samaritan version hath something by which it may defend itself: for if those cities mentioned by Ptolemy were indeed 'near Mesopotamia' (the river Euphrates only running between), then may the Samaritan version be warranted while it renders "even to the river Euphrates," "even to the river of Salmaah," that is, "to the river Euphrates in that place where it washeth the sides of Salma."