Bible Meaning: Fruitfulness, break forth, rushing
Strong's Concordance #H6578
The Euphrates, mentioned by name twenty-one times in the KJV Bible, is one of the four rivers that parted from the main waterway that nourished the Garden of Eden.
God considered the Euphrates the northernmost boundary of the land he promised Abraham and which he gave to the children of Israel as an inheritance (Genesis 15:18, Exodus 23:31, Joshua 1:4, etc.).
Depending on the context, the phrase "the river" can refer to the Euphrates (Numbers 22:5, Deuteronomy 11:24). It, however, can sometimes reference the Nile (Genesis 41:1 - 3, 17 - 18, etc.) or another waterway.
Interestingly, the phrase "the great river" is never used for the Nile. It is used five times for the Euphrates (Genesis 15:18, Deuteronomy 1:7, Joshua 1:4, Revelation 9:14, 16:12) and once for the Hiddekel (Daniel 10:4).
In Isaiah 8:7 the "waters of the river" or Euphrates symbolizes the military power of the Assyrians and how they would "flood" and almost completely destroy the Kingdom of Judah.
God told the prophet Jeremiah to hide a linen girdle in a rock near the great river. After an unknown period, he retrieved it and found the girdle had rotted and was no longer useable. Its state symbolized how Judah had marred itself with pride (Jeremiah 13:1 - 11).
Jeremiah, at a later time, wrote a book foretelling all the evil that would come upon Babylon. He then had someone throw it into the Euphrates with a rock tied to it, showing that God would cause Babylon to fall and never rise again (Jeremiah 51:59 - 64).
In the End Time, the river will be dried up to allow the world's army to gather in their vain attempt to fight a returning Jesus Christ (Revelation 9:14, 16:12). Please see our other article on the Euphrates River for more information.
And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates.
In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates.
Every place whereon the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours: from the wilderness and Lebanon, from the river, the river Euphrates, even unto the uttermost sea shall your coast be.
From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.
And the king of Egypt came not again any more out of his land: for the king of Babylon had taken from the river of Egypt unto the river Euphrates all that pertained to the king of Egypt.
Then I went to Euphrates, and digged, and took the girdle from the place where I had hid it: and, behold, the girdle was marred, it was profitable for nothing.
For this is the day of the Lord GOD of hosts, a day of vengeance, that he may avenge him of his adversaries: and the sword shall devour, and it shall be satiate and made drunk with their blood: for the Lord GOD of hosts hath a sacrifice in the north country by the river Euphrates.
And it shall be, when thou hast made an end of reading this book, that thou shalt bind a stone to it, and cast it into the midst of Euphrates.
Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.
And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates: and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.
Isaiah 8:5 - 8
And Jehovah spake unto me yet again, saying, forasmuch as this people have refused the waters of Shiloah that go softly, and rejoice in Rezin and Remaliah's son: now therefore, behold, the Lord bringeth up upon them the waters of the River, strong and many, even the king of Assyria and all his glory: and it shall come up over all its channels, and go over all its banks: and it shall sweep onward into Judah: it shall overflow and pass through . . .