Bible Meaning: Stony
Strong's Concordance #H71
The Abana river is mentioned by name only once in Scripture. It, along with the Pharpar, are the major waterways Biblically connected with the city of Damascus.
Naaman, a Syrian army captain who had leprosy, came to Elisha the prophet in order to be healed. After initially rejecting the command to wash in the Jordan River, preferring to be cleansed in the Abana or Pharpar, he relented and did what he was told.
Naaman healing in the Abana was so unique that Jesus used it as an example in one of his teachings (Luke 4:23 - 27).
2Kings 5: 9 - 12
So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha. And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.
But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper.
Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage.
Luke 4:24 - 27
And he (Jesus) said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country. But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias (Elijah), when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land;
But unto none of them was Elias (Elijah) sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus (Elisha) the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.