du'-ra (dura'): The name of the plain on which Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, set up the great golden image which all his subjects were ordered to worship (Da 3:1). Oppert placed it to the Southeast of Babylon, near a small river and mounds bearing the name of Douair or Duair, where, also, was what seemed to be the base of a great statue (Exped. scientifique en Mesopotamie, I, 238 f). Others have believed that name to indicate a portion of the actual site of Babylon within the great wall (duru) of the city--perhaps the rampart designated dur Su-anna, "the rampart (of the city) Lofty-defense," a name of Babylon. The fact that the plain was within the city of Babylon precludes an identification with the city Duru, which seems to have lain in the neighborhood of Erech (Hommel, Grundriss, 264, note 5). It is noteworthy that the Septuagint substitutes Deeira, for Dura, suggesting that the Greek translators identified it with the Babylonian Deru, a city which apparently lay toward the Elamite border. It seems to have been called also Dur-ili, "god's rampart." That it was at some distance is supported by the list WAI, IV, 36 , where Duru, Tutul and Gudua (Cuthah), intervene between Deru or Dur-ili and Tindir (Babylon). "The plain of the dur" or "rampart" within Babylon would therefore seem to be the best rendering.
T. G. Pinches