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This valley is known in Scripture only by the name “the brook Kidron.” David crossed this brook bare-foot and weeping, when fleeing from Absalom (2 Sam. 15:23, 30), and it was frequently crossed by our Lord in his journeyings to and fro (John 18:1).
Here Asa burned the obscene idols of his mother (1 Kings 15:13), and here Athaliah was executed (2 Kings 11:16). It afterwards became the receptacle for all manner of impurities (2 Chr. 29:16; 30:14); and in the time of Josiah this valley was the common cemetery of the city (2 Kings 23:6; compare Jer. 26:23).
Through this mountain ravine no water runs, except after heavy rains in the mountains round about Jerusalem. Its length from its head to En-rogel is 2 3/4 miles. Its precipitous, rocky banks are filled with ancient tombs, especially the left bank opposite the temple area. The greatest desire of the Jews is to be buried there, from the idea that the Kidron is the “valley of Jehoshaphat” mentioned in Joel 3:2.
Below en-Rogel, the Kidron has no historical or sacred interest. It runs in a winding course through the wilderness of Judea to the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea. Its whole length, in a straight line, is only some 20 miles, but in this space its descent is about 3,912 feet. (See KEDRON.)
Recent excavations have brought to light the fact that the old bed of the Kidron is about 40 feet lower than its present bed, and about 70 feet nearer the sanctuary wall.