From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [1]

The name of a river of Babylonia, or rather of Assyria, where Ezra assembled those captives whom he afterward brought into Judea,  Ezra 8:15 . The river Ahava is thought to be that which ran along the Adabene, where a river Diava, or Adiava, is mentioned, and on which Ptolemy places the city Abane or Aavane. This is probably the country called Ava, whence the kings of Assyria translated the people called Avites into Palestine, and where they settled some of the captive Israelites,  2 Kings 17:24;  2 Kings 18:34;  2 Kings 19:13;  2 Kings 17:31 . Ezra, intending to collect as many Israelites as he could, who might return to Judea, halted in the country of Ava, or Aahava, whence he sent agents into the Caspian mountains, to invite such Jews as were willing to join him,  Ezra 8:16 . The history of Izates, king of the Adiabenians, and of his mother Helena, who became converts to Judaism some years after the death of Jesus Christ, sufficiently proves that there were many Jews still settled in that country.

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [2]

AHAVA was a settlement in Babylonia lying along a stream of the same name, probably a large canal near the Euphrates. None of the conjectures as to the exact locality can be verified. It was here that Ezra mustered his people before their departure for Jerusalem (  Ezra 8:15;   Ezra 8:21;   Ezra 8:31 ). Some district north or north-west of Babylon, near the northern boundary of Babylonia, is most probable.

J. F. McCurdy.

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [3]

A place ( Ezra 8:15); a river ( Ezra 8:21) where Ezra assembled the second band of returning captives, for prayer to God as he says "to seek of Him a right way for us, for our little ones, and for all our substance." The modern Hit , on the Euphrates, E. of Damascus; Ihi-Dakira , "the spring of bitumen," was its name subsequently to Ezra's times. Perhaps the Joab of  2 Kings 17:24.

Smith's Bible Dictionary [4]

Aha'va. (Water). A place,  Ezra 8:15 or a river,  Ezra 8:21, on the banks of which Ezra collected the second expedition which returned with him from Babylon to Jerusalem. Perhaps, it is the modern Hit , on the Euphrates, due east of Damascus.

People's Dictionary of the Bible [5]

Ahava ( A-Hâ'Vah or A'Ha-Vah ), Water. A town or district and a river probably in Babylonia, near where Ezra collected the returning exiles.  Ezra 8:21;  Ezra 8:31.

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [6]

A town in Chaldea, which gave name to the stream on the banks of which exiled Jews assembled their second caravan under Ezra, when returning to Jerusalem,  Ezra 8:15,21,31 . It may be the modern Hib on the Euphrates, in the latitude of Bagdad.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [7]

Place or river near which Ezra rested 3 days prior to his journey from Babylon to Jerusalem.  Ezra 8:15,21,31 . It has been thought to be the same as AVA and IVAH, and to be identified with Hit on the Euphrates, 33 35' N, 42 50' E.

Holman Bible Dictionary [8]

 Ezra 8:15 8:21 8:31

Easton's Bible Dictionary [9]

 Ezra 8:21 Ezra 8:15

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [10]

(Hebrew Ahava', אהְֲוָא , prob. Water; Sept. Ἀουέ in  Ezra 8:21;  Ezra 8:31, but Ε᾿Υεί v. r. Ε᾿Υί in  Ezra 8:15), the "river" ( נָהָר ) by which the Jewish exiles assembled their second caravan under Ezra, in returning from Babylon to Jerusalem; or, rather, as appears from  Ezra 8:15 ("the river that runneth to Ahava"), the name of some spot (according to Michaelis, a city; comp. De Wette, Einleit. 2, 1:289; but more probably the river Euphrates itself, which is still called "the river" by way of eminence, Gesenius, Heb. Lex. s.v.), in the direction of which the stream where they encamped ran. Some have inferred from the mention of Casiphia (q.v.), apparently in the same neighborhood ( Ezra 8:17), that the place in question was situated near the Caspian Sea, or, at least, in Media; but this would be entirely out of the required direction, and no corresponding name has been found in that vicinity. Others have sought the Ahava in the Lycus or Little Zab, finding that this river was anciently called Adiaba or Diaba (i. c. Of Adiabene, Ammian. Marcel. 23, 6; comp. Mannert, 5, 429). But these names would, in Hebrew, have no resemblance to אהוא and it is exceedingly unlikely that the rendezvous for a Palestine caravan should have been in the north- eastern part of Assyria, with the Tigris and Euphrates between them and the plains they were to traverse (Le Clerc, in loc.). Rosenmuller, on the other hand, supposes (Bibl. Geogr. I, 2, 93) that it lay to the south-west of Babylonia, because that was in the direction of Palestine; but caravan routes seldom run straight between two places. In this case a straight line would have taken the caravan through the whole breadth of a desert seldom traversed but by the Arabs; and to avoid this the usual route for large caravans lay, and still lies, northwest through Mesopotamia, much above Babylonia; and then, the Euphrates being crossed, the direction is south-west to Palestine. The greater probability, therefore, is that the "river" in question (whether the Ahava itself or a branch running into it) was one of the streams or canals of Mesopotamia communicating with the Euphrates, somewhere in the north-west of Babylonia. The name, however, may be the designation of a place, and the latest researches are in favor of its being the modern Hit, on the Euphrates, due east of Damascus, the name of which is known to have been in the post-biblical times ohi, or Jehe de-kera (Talm. יְהֵיא דְּקֵירָא ), "the spring of bitumen" (Rawlinson's Herodotus, 1, 246, note). But this is rather the Ava (q.v.) or Ivah of  2 Kings 17:24;  2 Kings 17:30. In the parallel passage of the Apocrypha ( 1 Esdras 8:41;  1 Esdras 8:60) the name is given Theras ( Θεράς ). Josephus (Ant. 11, 5, 2) merely says "beyond the Euphrates" ( Εἰς Τὸ Πέραν Τοῦ Εὐφράτου ) .

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [11]

a - hā´va ( אהוא , 'ahăwā' ): The river in Babylonia on the banks of which Ezra gathered together the Jews who accompanied him to Jerusalem. At this rendezvous the company encamped for three days to make preparation for the difficult and dangerous journey ( Ezra 8:15 ). On reviewing the people and the priests Ezra found no Levites among them; he therefore sent to Iddo, "the chief at the place Casiphia," a request for ministers for the temple. A number of Levites with 220 Nethinim returned to the rendezvous with the deputation. Ezra had expressed to the king his faith in the protection of God; being, therefore, ashamed to ask for a military escort he proclaimed a fast to seek of God "a straight way." To 12 priests Ezra assigned the care of the offering for the temple in Jerusalem. When all was ready the company "departed from the river Ahava," and journeyed in safety to Jerusalem.

This river, apparently called after a town or district toward which it flowed ( Ezra 8:15 ), remains unidentified, though many conjectures have been made. Rawlinson thinks it is the "Is" of Herodotus (i.79), now called "Hit," which flowed past a town of the same name in the Euphrates basin, 8 days' journey from Babylon. Some identify the district with "Ivvah" ( 2 Kings 18:34 , etc.). Most probably, however, this was one of the numerous canals which intersected Babylonia, flowing from the Euphrates toward a town or district "Ahava." If so, identification is impossible.

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [12]

Aha´va,  Ezra 8:21;  Ezra 8:31, the river by which the Jewish exiles assembled their second caravan under Ezra, when returning to Jerusalem. It would seem from  Ezra 8:15, that it was designated from a town of the same name: 'I assembled them at the river that flows towards Ahava.' In that case, it could not have been of much importance in itself; and probably it was no other than one of the numerous streams or canals of Mesopotamia communicating with the Euphrates, somewhere in the north-west of Babylonia.