A region in Mesopotamia, the plain between the Tigris and Euphrates. Here the rebels against God's will built the Babel tower (Ge 11:2-3). Famed for its wheat (Herodotus 1:193). Derived from sheni "two" and 'ar or nahar "rivers."
A term employed in the OT for the greater part, if not the whole, of Babylonia (9/type/wbs'>Ge 10:19; 11:2; 14:1,9; Jos 7:21; Isa 11:11; Zec 5:11; Da 1:2). Its former identification with Sumer, or Southern Babylonia, never regarded as very satisfactory, is now given up. Equally untenable is the view that it is to be identified with Shankhar, a land or district the king of which is mentioned in a letter from Tell el-Amarna along with the king of Khatti. There is little doubt that Shinar is to be identified with the land of Babylonia, but the origin of the name has not been determined.
L. W. King.
Ancient name of the plain lying in the south between the Euphrates and the Tigris. It was where Nimrod established his kingdom, and where the tower of Babel was built. Amraphel, king of Shinar, was one of the four kings who fought against the five kings when Lot was taken prisoner. In later times it was known as Chaldea, or Babylonia (as in the LXX of Isa 11:11), and thither some of the captives from Judah were carried. Ge 10:10; 11:2; 14:1,9; Isa 11:11; Da 1:2; Zec 5:11.
(country of two rivers), the ancient name of the great alluvial tract through which the Tigris and Euphrates pass before reaching the sea --the tract known in later times as Chaldaea or Babylonia. It was a plain country, where brick had to be used for stone and slime for mortar.
Among the cities were Babel (Babylon), Erech or Orech (Orchoe), Calneh or Calno (probably Niffer), and Accad, the site of which is unknown. It may be suspected that Shinar was the name by which the Hebrews originally knew the lower Mesopotamian country where they so long dwelt, and which Abraham brought with him from "Ur of the Chaldees."