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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(Heb. id., קַיר , a wall or fortress, as often; Sept. always as an appellative, τεῖχος, πόλις, βόθρος, etc., but v. r. Χαῤῥάν, Κυρηνή , etc.), a people and country subject to the Assyrian empire, mentioned in connection with Elam (Isaiah 22:6), to which the conquered Damascenes were transplanted (2 Kings 16:9; Amos i, 5), and whence the Aramaeans in the east of Syria at some time or other migrated (Amos 9:7). This is supposed by major Rennel to be the same country which still bears the name of Kurdistan or Koordistan (Geogr. of Herodot. p. 391). There are, however, objections to this view which do not apply so strongly to the notion of Rosenmuller and others, that it was a tract on the river Cyrus (Pliny, Hist. Nat. 6:10; Ptolemy, 5:12) (Κῦρος and Κύῤῥος, in Zend Koro), which rises in the mountains between the Euxine and Caspian Seas, and runs into the latter after being joined by the Araxes (Busching, Magaz. 10:420; compare Michaelis, Spicil. ii, 121; Suppl. 2191; Gesenius, Thesaurus, p. 1210) ; still called Kur (Bonomi, Niveveh, p. 47, 71). Gurjistan, or Grusia (Grusiana), commonly called Georgia, seems also to have derived its name from this river Kur, which flows through it. Others compare Curena or Curna of Ptolemy (Κουρήνα or Κοῦρνα, 6:2, 10, Chald. קרני ), a city in the south of Media, on the river Mardus (Bochart, Phaleg, 4:32); Vitringa the city Carine, also in Media (Καρίνη, Ptolemy, 6:2, 15), now called Kerend (Ritter, Erdk. 9:391). Some region in Media is perhaps most suitable from the fact that Armenia, whose northern boundaries are washed by the river Cyrus, was probably not a part of Assyria at the time referred to (see Knobcl, Prophet. ii, 108), Keil (Comment. on Kings, ad loc.) thinks the Medes must be meant, erroneously imagining that the inhabitants of Kir are spoken of in Isaiah as good bowmen. The Sept. (Vat. MS. at 2 Kings), the Vulg., and Chald. (at 2 Kings and Amos), and Symmachus (at Amos ix), render Cyrene!

For Kit of Moab (Isaiah 15:1), (See KIR-MOAB)

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Kir'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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