Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than
the waters of Israel?
&c.] Abana is, in the marginal reading, called Amana, and so the Targum; perhaps from the Mount Amana, from whence it sprung, a mountain in Syria F7, mentioned with Lebanon, ( Song of Solomon 4:8 ) . This river is thought to be the Chrysorrhoas of Pliny F8, and other writers; there are no traces of its name, or of the following, to be met with now; the only river by Damascus is called Barrady, which supplies Damascus and its gardens, and makes them so fruitful and pleasant as they be; it pours down from the mountains, as Mr. Maundrell
may I not
wash in them, and be clean?
as well as in Jordan; or rather, since they are better waters, and so not have been at this trouble and expense to come hither; or have I not washed in them every day? I have, and am I clean? I am not; which is the sense the several Jewish writers give F14:
turned, and went away in a rage;
in a great passion, swearing and cursing perhaps, ordering his chariot driver to turn and be gone at once.
F7 Tacit. Annal. l. 2. c. 83.
F8 Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 18.
F9 Journey from Aleppo, p. 122, 123.
F11 Cartwright's Preacher's Travels, p. 7, 8. Hiller. Onomast. Sacr. p. 908.
F12 Itinerar. p. 55.
F13 Servius in Virgil. Aeneid. l. 7. p. 1243.
F14 Ben Gersom in loc. & R. Joseph Kimchi, & R. Jonah in Ben Melech in. loc.