The following articles have been compiled and indexed by inWORD Bible software.
North Doesn’t Mean Due North
The Hebrew for “north” has the sense of northward, as when God told Abraham to look northward, southward, eastward and westward, signifying a directional arc; northward (same word) doesn’t just mean due north. In Ezekiel 26:7 we read, “For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will bring upon Tyrus, Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, a king of kings from the north.” But Babylon is almost due east of Tyre! We find several passages that speak of Babylon as being north of Israel, when strictly speaking it is east! It is well known that those who traveled from even the far northeast on their way westward and southward — such as from Persia or Babylon to Egypt — would have entered the land of Israel from the north, due to the prevailing trade routes and best available roads of the times.
North; North Country
nôrth, (צפון, cāphōn, from root צפן, cāphan, “to hide,” i.e. “the hidden,” “the dark” (Gesenius); βοῤῥᾶς, borrhás, βορέας, boréas (Judith 16:4); septentrio (2 Esdras 15:43)): In addition to the many places where “north” occurs merely as a point of the compass, there are several passages in Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Zephaniah, where it refers to a particular country, usually Assyria or Babylonia: Jeremiah 3:18, “They shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I gave for an inheritance unto your fathers”; Jeremiah 46:6, “In the north by the river Euphrates have they stumbled and fallen”; Ezekiel 26:7, “I will bring upon Tyre Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, king of kings, from the north”; Zephaniah 2:13, “He will stretch out his hand against the north, and destroy Assyria, and will make Nineveh a desolation.”
North is the rendering which the A.V. gives in Job 37:9, for the Hebrew nezarim‘,מזָרַים; properly, as the margin reads, scattering winds, i.e. winds which scatter the clouds, and bring clear, cold weather. (The Sept. has ἀκρωτήρια, the Vulg. arcturus.) But Aben-Ezra and Michaelis understand Mezarim to mean a constellation, and the same as Mazzaroth (q.v.).