From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary [1]

Two great rivers, the Tigris and the Euphrates, flowed through Mesopotamia, a fertile region that in biblical times was part of the lands of Aram, Assyria, Babylon and Persia ( Genesis 2:14-15;  Daniel 10:4). The Tigris is rarely mentioned in the Bible, though it features as the river on which Assyria’s capital, Nineveh, was built ( Nahum 2:6-8; cf.  Nahum 3:8; see Nineveh ).

Smith's Bible Dictionary [2]

Ti'gris. Tigris is used by the Septuagint (LXX) as the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word, Hiddekel , and occurs also in several of the apocryphal books, as in Tobit,  Tobit 6:1, Judith,  Judith 1:6, and Ecclesiasticus, (or Son of Sirach),  Sirach 24:25. The Tigris, like the Euphrates, rises from two principal sources, in the Armenian mountains, and flows into the Euphrates. Its length, exclusive of windings, is reckoned at 1146 miles.

It receives, along its middle and lower course, no fewer than five important tributaries. These are the river of Zakko , or eastern Khabour , the Great Zab, ( Zab Ala ), the Lesser Zab, ( Zab Asfal , the Adhem , and the Diyaleh , or ancient Gyndes. All these rivers flow from the high range of Zagros.

We find but little mention of the Tigris in Scripture. It appears, indeed, under the name of Hiddekel, among the rivers of Eden,  Genesis 2:14, and is there, correctly, described as "running eastward to Assyria;" but after this, we hear no more of it, if we accept one doubtful allusion in Nahum,  Nahum 2:6, until the captivity, when it becomes well known to the prophet, Daniel. With him it is, "the Great River." The Tigris, in its upper course, anciently ran through Armenia and Assyria.

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [3]

TIGRIS . Only in RVm [Note: Revised Version margin.] of   Genesis 2:14 and   Daniel 10:4 , where both AV [Note: Authorized Version.] and RV [Note: Revised Version.] have Hiddekel (wh. see). The Tigris rises a little S. of Lake Göljik and flows southward to Diarbekr. After passing Diarbekr it receives the eastern Tigris (which rises in the Niphates mountains) at Osman Kleui. Then it flows through narrow gorges into the plateau of Mesopotamia, where it receives from the east the Greater and Lesser Zab, the Adhem or Radanu, and the Diyaleh or Tornadotus. On the E. bank, opposite Mosui, were Nineveh and Calah, a little N. of the junction of the Tigris and Greater Zab; and on the W. bank, N. of the Lesser Zab, was Assur (now Kalah Sherghat), the primitive capital of Assyria. The Tigris is about 1150 miles in length, and rises rapidly in March and April owing to the melting of the snows, falling again after the middle of May. Cf. also Eden [Garden of].

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [4]

(See Hiddekel .)  Genesis 2:14, "running eastward to Assyria."  Daniel 10:4, "the great river." Rising in the Armenian mountains, not far from the sources of Euphrates, it flows N.E. of the latter for 1,100 miles, when at last they join and flow as one river into the Persian gulf. Its greatest breadth is more than 200 yards. For the last two hundred, miles before its confluence with the Euphrates the country was intersected with artificial watercourses and adapted river beds, such as the Shat-el-Hie, or river of Hie; and in this district are the ruins of old towns; some scarcely known, as Zirgul, "the city of the brilliant light"; others better known, as Ur (Mugheir). (See UR.) It ran through Armenia and Assyria, and then separated Babylonia from Susiana. Subsequently it was the boundary between the Roman and Parthian empires.

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [5]

( Τίγρις ; Vuig. Tygris, Tigris ) is used in the Sept. as the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew Chiddekel ( חַדֶּקֶל ) among the rivers of Eden ( Genesis 2:14), and is there described (so some render) as "running eastward to Assyria." After this we hear no more of it, if we except one doubtful allusion in Nahum ( Nahum 2:6), until the Captivity, when it becomes well known to the prophet Daniel, who had to cross it in his journeys to and from Susa (Shushan). With Daniel it is "the Great River" הִנָּהָר הִגָּדוֹל an expression commonly applied to the Euphrates; and by its side he sees some of his most important visions (Daniel 10-12). No other mention of the Tigris seems to occur except in the Apocryphal books, and there it is unconnected with any real history, as in Tobit ( Tobit 6:1), Judith ( Judith 1:6), and Ecclesiasticus (24, 25). The meaning and various forms of the word have been considered under HIDDEKEL (See Hiddekel) (q.v.). It only remains, therefore, in the present article, to describe more particularly the course, character, and historical relations of the stream.

1. The Tigris, like the Euphrates, rises from two principal sources. The most distant, and therefore the true, source is the western one, which is in lat. 38 ° 10', long. 39 ° 20'nearly, a little to the south of the high mountain lake called Goljik, or Golenjik, in the peninsula formed by the Euphrates, where it sweeps round between Palou and Telek. The Tigris's source is near the south-western angle of the lake, and cannot be more than two or three miles from the channel of the Euphrates. The course of the Tigris is somewhat north of east, but, after pursuing this direction for about twenty- five miles, it makes a sweep round to the south and descends by Arghani Maden upon Diarbekr. Here it is already a river of considerable size, and is crossed by a bridge of ten arches a little below that city (Niebuhr, Voyage En Arabie, p. 326). It then turns suddenly to the east and flows in this direction past Osman Kieui to Til, where it once more alters its course and takes that south-easterly direction which it pursues, with certain slight variations, to its final junction with the Euphrates. At Osman Kieui it receives the second, or Eastern, Tigris which descends from Niphates (the modern Ala-Tagh) with a course almost due south, and, collecting on its way the waters of a large number of streams, unites with the Tigris half- way between Diarbekr and Til, in long. 41 ° nearly.

The courses of the two streams to the point of junction are respectively 150 and 100 miles. A little below the junction, and before any other tributary of importance is received, the Tigris is 150 yards wide and from three to four feet deep. Near Til, a large stream flows into it from the north-east, bringing almost as much water as the main channel ordinarily holds (Layard, Nineveh and Babylon, p. 49). This branch rises near Billi, in northern Kurdistan, and runs at first to the north-east, but presently sweeps round to the north and proceeds through the districts of Shattak and Boktan with a general westerly course, crossing and re-crossing the line of the 38th parallel, nearly to Sert, whence it flows south-west and south to Til. From Til the Tigris runs southward for 20 miles through a long, narrow, and deep gorge, at the end of which it emerges upon the comparatively low, but still hilly, country of Mesopotamia, near Jezireh. Through this it flows with a course which is south-southeast to Mosul, thence nearly south to Kileh- Sherghat, and again south-southeast to Samara, where the hills end and the river enters on the great alluvium.

The course is now more irregular. Between Samara and Baghdad a considerable bend is made to the east; and, after the Shat el-Hie is thrown off in lat. 32 ° 30', a second bend is made to the north, the regular southeasterly course being only resumed a little above the 32nd parallel, from which point the Tigris runs in a tolerably direct line to its junction with the Euphrates at Kurnah. The length of the whole stream, exclusive of, meanders, is reckoned at 1146 miles. It can be descended on rafts during the flood season from Diarbekr, which is only 150 miles from its source; and it has been navigated by steamers of small draught nearly up to Mosul. From Diarbekr to Samara the navigation is much impeded by rapids, rocks, and shallows, as well as by artificial bunds, or dams, which in ancient times were thrown across the stream, probably for purposes of irrigation. Below Samara there are no obstructions; the river is deep, with a bottom of soft mud, the stream moderate, and the course very meandering. The average width of the Tigris in this part of its course is 200 yards, while its depth is very considerable. Besides the three head-streams of the Tigris which have already been described, the river receives, along its middle and lower course, no fewer than five important tributaries. These are, the river of Zakko, or Eastern Ktabfir, the Great Zab (Zab Ala), the Lesser Zab (Zab Asfal), the Adhem, and the Diyaleh, or ancient Gyndes. All these rivers flow from the high range of Zagros, which shuts in the Mesopotamian valley on the east, and is able to sustain so large a number-of great streams from its inexhaustible springs and abundant snows. From the west the Tigris obtains no tributary of the slightest importance, for the Tharthar, which is said to have once reached it, now ends in a salt lake a little below Tekrit. Its volume, however, is continually increasing as it descends in consequence of the great bulk of water brought into it from the east, particularly by the Great Zab and the Diyaleh; and in its lower course it is said to be a larger stream and to carry a greater body than the Euphrates (Chesney, Euphrates Expedition, 1, 62).

2. The Tigris, like the Euphrates, has a flood season. Early in the month of March, in consequence of the melting of the snows on the southern flank of Niphates, the river rises rapidly,. Its breadth gradually increases at Diarbekr from 100 or 120 to 250 yards. The stream is swift and turbid. The rise continues through March and April, reaching its full height generally in the first or second week of May. At this time the country about Baghdad is often extensively flooded, not, however, so much from the Tigris as from the overflow of the Euphrates, which is here poured into the eastern stream through a canal. Farther down the river, in the territory of the Beni-Lam Arabs, between the 32nd and 3ist parallels, there is a great annual inundation on both banks. About the middle of May the Tigris begins to fall, and by midsummer it has reached its natural level. In October and November there is another rise and fall in consequence of the autumnal rains; but, compared with the spring flood, that of autumn is insignificant.

The water of the Tigris, in its lower course, is yellowish, and is regarded as unwholesome. The stream abounds with fish of many kinds, which are often of a large size (see  Tobit 6:11, and comp. Strabo, 11:14, 8). Abundant water-fowl float on the waters. The banks are fringed with palm-trees and pomegranates, or clothed with jungle and reeds, the haunt of the wild boar and the lion.

3. The Tigris, in its upper course, anciently ran through Armenia and Assyria. Lower down, from about the point where it enters on the alluvial plain, it separated Babylonia from Susiana. In the wars between the Romans and the Parthians we find it constituting for a short time (from A.D. 114 to 117) the boundary line between these two empires. Otherwise it has scarcely been of any political importance. The great chain of Zagros is the main natural boundary between Western and Central Asia; and beyond this the next defensible line is the Euphrates. Historically it is found that either the central power pushes itself westward to that river, or the power ruling the west advances eastward to the mountain barrier.

The Tigris is at present better fitted for purposes of traffic than the Euphrates (Layard, Nineveh and Babylon, p. 475), but in ancient times it does not seem to have been much used as a line of trade. The Assyrians probably floated down it the timber, which they were in the habit of cutting in Amanus and Lebanon to be used for building purposes in their capital; but the general line of communication between the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf was by the Euphrates. According to the historians of Alexander (Arrian, Exp. Alex. 7:7; comp. Strabo, 15:3, 4), the Persians purposely obstructed the navigation of the Lower Tigris by a series of dams which they threw across from bank to bank between the embouchure and the city of Opis, and such trade as there was along its course proceeded by land (Strabo, ibid.). It is probable that the dams were in reality made for another purpose, namely, to raise the level of the waters for the sake of irrigation; but they would undoubtedly have also the effect ascribed to them, unless in the spring flood-time, when they might have been shot by boats descending the river. Thus there may always have been a certain amount of traffic down the stream; but up it trade would scarcely have been practicable at any time farther than Samara or Tekrit, on account of the natural obstructions and of the great force of the stream. The lower part of the course was opened by Alexander (Arrian, 7:7); and Opis, near the mouth of the Diyaleh, became thenceforth known as a mart ( Ἐμπόριον ) , From which the neighboring districts drew the merchandise of India and Arabia (Strabo, 16:1, 9). Seleucia, too, which grew up soon after Alexander, derived, no doubt, a portion of its prosperity from the facilities for trade offered by this great stream.

4. The most important notices of the Tigris to be found in the classical writers are the following: Strabo, 11:14, 8, and 16:1, 9-13; Arrian, Exped. Alex. 7 :7; Pliny, Hist. Nat. 6 :27. See also Smith, Dict. Of Gr. And Romans Geog. S.V. Among modern writers may be mentioned Layard, Nineveh And Babylon, p. 49-51,464476; Loftus, Chaldaea And Susiana, p. 3-8; Jones, in, Transactions of the Geog. Soc. of Bombay, vol. 9; Lynch, in Journ. of Geog. Soc. vol. 9; Rawlinson, Herodotus, 1, 552, 553. (See Euphrates).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [6]

tı̄´gris ( Τίγρις , Tı́gris , the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew חדּקל , ḥiddeḳel ): One of the rivers of Eden going "eastward to Assyria" (  Genesis 2:14 margin), called the Great River (  Daniel 10:4 ), elsewhere mentioned in the apocryphal books, as in Tob 6:1; Judith 1:6; Ecclesiasticus 24:25, called Diglath in Josephus, and Diglit in Pliny, now called in Mesopotamia Dijleh , generally supposed to be a Semitic corruption of Tigra, meaning originally an arrow, which from its rapidity of motion is symbolized. The Tigris rises in the mountains of Armenia, latitude 38 degrees 10 minutes, longitude 39 degrees 20 minutes, only a few miles from the main branch of the Euphrates. After pursuing a tortuous southeasterly course for 150 miles, it is joined by the east branch at Osman Kieui, some distance below Diarbekr. Here the stream is 450 ft. wide and 3 or 4 ft. deep. Passing through numerous mountain gorges for another 150 miles, it emerges into the region of low hills about Nineveh, and a little below into the great alluvial plain of Mesopotamia. Thence in its course to Bagdad it is joined by the Great Zab, the Lesser Zab, the Adhem, and the Diyaleh rivers, bringing a large amount of water from the Zagros Mountains. At Bagdad the overflows from the Euphrates in high water often increase the inundations. The flood season begins early in the month of March, reaching its climax about May 1, declining to its natural level by midsummer. In October and November, the volume of water increases considerably, but not so much as to overflow its banks. Below Bagdad, throughout the region of Babylonia proper, the Tigris joins with the Euphrates in furnishing the water for irrigation so successfully used in ancient times. English engineers are at present with great promise of success aiming to restore the irrigating systems of the region and the prosperity of ancient times. The total length of the river is 1, 146 miles. It now joins the Euphrates about 40 miles Northwest of the Persian Gulf, the two streams there forming the Shat el Arab , but in early historical times they entered the Persian Gulf by separate mouths, the Gulf then extending a considerable distance above the present junction of the rivers, the sediment of the streams having silted up the head of the Gulf to that distance. See also Eden .

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [7]

Tigris, one of the four rivers of Paradise, twice mentioned in Scripture under the name of Hiddekel , which signifies 'the rapid Tigris.'

The Tigris rises in the mountains of Armenia, about fifteen miles south of the sources of the Euphrates, and pursues nearly a regular course south-east till its junction with that river at Korna, fifty miles above Basrah (Bassorah). The Tigris is navigable for boats of twenty or thirty tons' burden as far as the mouth of the Odorneh, but no further; and the commerce of Mosul is consequently carried on by rafts supported on inflated sheep or goats' skins. The Tigris, between Bagdad and Korna, is, on an average, about two hundred yards wide; at Mosul its breadth does not exceed three hundred feet. The banks are steep, and overgrown for the most part with brushwood, the resort of lions and other wild animals. The middle part of the river's course, from Mosul to Korna, once the seat of high culture and the residence of mighty kings, is now desolate, covered with the relics of ancient greatness in the shape of fortresses, mounds, and dams, which had been erected for the defense and irrigation of the country. At the ruins of Nimrod, eight leagues below Mosul, is a stone dam quite across the river, which, when the stream is low, stands considerably above the surface, and forms a small cataract; but when the stream is swollen, no part of it is visible, the water rushing over it like a rapid, and boiling up with great impetuosity. It is a work of great skill and labor, and now venerable for its antiquity. At some short distance below there is another Zikr (dyke), but not so high, and more ruined than the former. The river rises twice in the year: the first and great rise is in April, and is caused by the melting of the snows in the mountains of Armenia; the other is in November, and is produced by the periodical rains.

The Nuttall Encyclopedia [8]

An important river of Turkey in Asia; rises in the mountains of Kurdistan, flows SE. to Diarbekir, E. to Til (where it receives the Bitlis), and hence SE. through a flat and arid country, till, after a course of 1100 m., it unites with the Euphrates to form the Shat-el-Arab, which debouches into the Persian Gulf 90 m. lower; is navigable for 500 m. to Bagdad; on its banks are the ruins of Nineveh, Seleucia, and Ctesiphon.