What is…
Kidron Valley

Hebrew: קִדְרוֹן —meaning: turbid

also known as: Kedron, Cedron, and Qidron

Kidron is the name name of the winter torrent which flows through the Valley of Jehoshaphat, on the eastern side of Jerusalem, between the city and the mount of Olives.

Through this mountain ravine (Kidron Valley) no water runs, except after heavy rains in the mountains round about Jerusalem. Its length from its head to En-rogel is 2¾ miles. Its precipitous, rocky banks are filled with ancient tombs, especially the left bank opposite the temple area. The greatest desire of many Jews is to be buried there, from the idea that the Kidron is the “valley of Jehoshaphat” mentioned in Joel 3:2.

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 Samuel 15:23, 30), and it was frequently crossed by our Lord in his journeyings to and fro (John 18:1).

Here King 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 Chronicles 29:16; 30:14); and in the time of Josiah this valley was the common cemetery of the city (2 Kings 23:6; compare Jeremiah 26:23).

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.

Excavations revealed that the old bed of the Kidron is about 40 feet lower than its present bed, and about 70 feet nearer the sanctuary wall.

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Article Version: July 26, 2021