Between the rivers, the Greek name of the country between the Euphrates and the Tigris, called in Arabic, Al Jezira, the island. See ARAM 2, and PADAN-ARAM. In its fullest sense, Mesopotamia extended from the Persian Gulf to mount Taurus; but the name usually denotes only the tract above Babylonia, now called Dearbekr and celebrated for its exuberant fertility; while the part below, now Irak-Arabi, is sterile and without water. Mesopotamia was including the territories of the Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, Macedonian, and Roman empires successively, and belongs now to that of the Turks.
This region is associated with the earliest history of the human race both before and after the flood. Eden was not far off; Ararat was near to it on the north, and the land of Shinar on the south. The traveler here reaches what is truly "the Old World," and is surrounded by objects compared with which the antiquities of Greece and Rome are modern novelties. This was the home of the patriarchs who proceeded Abraham-Terah, Heber, Peleg, etc. Here Abraham and Sarah were born, and the wives of Isaac, and Jacob, and most of the sons of Jacob, the heads of the twelve tribes. Mesopotamia is also mentioned in Scripture as the abode of the first oppressor of Israel in the time of the judges, Judges 3:8-10; in the history of the wars of David, 2 Samuel 10:16; and as furnishing a delegation of Jews, and perhaps proselytes, to attend the Passover at Jerusalem, Acts 2:9.