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KID'RON "turbid, dusky, gloomy"; Gk. Kedron; "Cedron," (Jn 18:1).
The brook that flows through the valley of Jehoshaphat. The name was also
applied to its bed, the valley of Kidron.
It is described by Smith this way (Hist. Geog., p. 511): "To the north of Jerusalem begins the torrent-bed of the Kidron. It sweeps past the Temple Mount, past what were afterward Calvary and Gethsemane. It leaves the Mount of Olives and Bethany to the left, Bethlehem far to the right. It plunges down among the bare terraces, precipices, and
crags of the wilderness of Judea-- the wilderness of the scapegoat. So barren and blistered, so furnace-like
does it [the valley] become as it drops below the level of the sea, that it
takes the name of Wady-en-Nar or the Fire Wady. At last its dreary course brings it
to the precipices above the Dead Sea, into which it shoots its scanty winter
waters; but all summer it is dry."
The valley is only 20 miles long but has a descent of 3,912 feet. The place
where it enters the Jordan is a narrow gorge about 1,200 feet deep.
The Kidron was the brook crossed by David when he fled from Absalom (2 Sam
Solomon fixed it as the limit of Shimei's walks (1 Kin. 2:37);
beside it Asa destroyed and burned his mother's idol, or Asherah <15:13>;
here Athaliah was executed (Josephus, Ant. 9.7.3; (2 Ki. 11:16)).
It then became the regular receptacle for the impurities and abominations of
the idol worship when removed from the Temple (23:4,6,12; 2 Chr 29:16; 30:14);
and in the time of Josiah this valley was the common cemetery of Jerusalem (2
Ki 23:6; Jer 26:23; 31:40).