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Fausset's Bible Dictionary


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From kadar , ("black"), from the turbidness of the stream and the gloom of the valley. The latter begins a mile and a ball N.W. of the Damascus gate of Jerusalem; for three fourths of a mile, it runs toward the city, then inclines E. and is crossed by the Nablus road; half a mile further it sweeps close under the N.E. end of the city wall, where Scopus on the other side joins on to Olivet. Then it sinks clown southward as a deep gorge between Olivet and the E. side of the city. David crossed it in his flight from Jerusalem when Absalom rebelled (2 Samuel 15:23; 2 Samuel 15:30). The divine Son of David too crossed it on His way to Gethsemane, the scene of His agony (John 18:1; Mark 14:26; Luke 22:39). The road still leads from Stephen's gate due E. of Jerusalem down to the bridge across it. The bottom is 100 ft. lower than the base of the city wall, and 500 lower than the summit of Mount Olivet on the other side.

A little further S. the Kedron valley becomes a narrow cleft between the hill of offense on the E. and the precipitous Moriah and Ophel on the W. Here the bottom is 150 ft. below the base of the city wall. The fountain of the Virgin is at the foot of Ophel, and is thought to be fed from the cisterns beneath the old temple. This gives point to Ezekiel's vision (Ezekiel 47:8); the waters from under the right side of the temple went E. through the desert into the Dead Sea, making life succeed to barrenness, so the gospel where the waters fail, barrenness begins; so where the gospel is not. Beyond Ophel, Kedron valley meets Tyropeon and Hinnom valleys. The enclosure here between the hill of offense on the E., the hill of evil counsel on the W., and modern Zion on the N., is very fertile, furnishing the vegetable market of Jerusalem, and was anciently the "king's gardens." The stream Kedron flows only in winter, as its Greek designation cheimarros implies. The valley Kedron passes through the wilderness of Judah to the N.W. shore of the Dead Sea.

It was the scene of Asa's demolishing his mother Maachah's idol (2 Chronicles 15:16). Also under Hezekiah all the impurities removed from the temple were cast into the Kedron (2 Chronicles 29:16; 2 Chronicles 30:14). So under Josiah (2 Kings 23:4-12); it was then the common cemetery (2 Kings 23:6). The "valley" of Kedron is in Hebrew called nachal , "wady," including both valley and stream, whereas the valley of Hinnom is called ge' ; so that the "brook" (nachal ) which Hezekiah "stopped running through the midst of the land" (2 Chronicles 32:4) was Kedron. He sealed its source, "the upper spring head of Gihon," where it came forth N. of the city, and led it underground within the city (2 Chronicles 32:30). (See GIHON; JERUSALEM.) This accounts for the disappearance of water in the ancient bed of Kedron. The water possibly still flows below the present surface. Barclay mentions a fountain flowing several hundred yards in a valley before it enters the Kedron from the N. Again he heard water murmuring below the ground two miles below the city; a subterranean stream probably connects the two.

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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Kedron'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. 1949.

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