|KIDRON OR CEDRON |
A winter torrent, and the valley in which it flowed, east of Jerusalem. This valley begins a little northwest of the city, passes some two hundred rods north of the present wall, and turns to the south. Here it is wide and open; but as it runs south between the city and mount Olivet, it becomes narrow and deep. Opposite mount Moriah, it is a mere torrent’s bed, one hundred and fifty feet below the city wall. It sinks still deeper as it passes Siloam, the valley of Hinnom, and the well of Nehemiah, and then winds southeast, in a narrow and precipitous gorge, through the horrid wilderness of St. Saba, to the Dead Sea. The bed of the Kidron is now dry most of the year; even in the rainy season it has no constant stream, though heavy and continued rains may create an impetuous but short-lived torrent. It is crossed by a causeway and a bridge of a single arch, between St. Stephen’s Gate and the Garden of Gethsemane. By this route probably David fled from Absalom, 2 Samuel 15:23; and the Savior often passed this way in going to Bethany, Mount Olivet, and Gethsemane, John 18:1-2. In this valley and in that of Hinnom, at their confluence, kings Asa, Josiah, and Hezekiah destroyed the idols and abominations by which Jerusalem was defiled, 1 Kings 15:13 2 Kings 23:4,6,12 2 Chronicles 29:16. See HINNOM, and JERUSALEM. A part of the waters of the ancient Kidron were derived from the temple itself, flowing down by several channels to the deep bed of the brook. The prophet Ezekiel makes use of this fact in a beautiful and cheering allegory, foretelling the river of divine grace that shall yet renovate the world. The stream he describes issues from the temple, beside the altar of God; it flows with an ever increasing volume; it carries with it into the dreary wilderness verdure, fruitfulness, and melody; and even heals the bitter waters of the Dead Sea itself, Ezekiel 47:1-12.