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Bible Dictionaries

Fausset's Bible Dictionary

Kishon River

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("bent like a bow".) A "torrent" (nachal ), perennial for eight miles. Fed from sources along the whole plain of Jezreel as far S.E. as Engannim or Jenin, and as far N.E. as Tabor and Mount Gilboa ("Little Hermon".) Springs of Mount Carmel and the Samaria range on the S. and the mountains of Galilee on the N., and wady el Malek, supply its perennial part. The scene of Sisera's defeat and of Elijah's slaying of Baal's prophets (Judges 4:7; Judges 4:13; Judges 5:19; Judges 5:21; Psalms 83:9; 1 Kings 18:40). The only notice of Kishon River elsewhere is as "the torrent facing Jokneam" (now Kaimam) (Joshua 19:11). Now nahr Mukatta, flowing N.W. through the Jezreel (Esdraelon) plain to the bay of Acca and the Mediterranean.

"That ancient river" (Judges 5:21): the torrent of the olden times, i.e. the scene of similar battles of old, for Esdraelon was always a great battle field of Palestine, nachal qidumim . It breaks by a narrow pass beneath the height Harothieh (perhaps related to "Harosheth") into the Acre or Acca plain. The spring of Lejjun answers probably to "the waters of Megiddo," and is a feeder of Kishon River. Here and at Taanach Barak assembled his forces. But the battle was fought at Mount Tabor, 15 miles off. For Psalms 73:10 says, "the Canaanites perished at Endor" on the S. side of Mount Tabor, to which the kings had marched from the S. Conder identifies "the waters of Megiddo" with the springs which flow from the mound of Mujedda ruin, and the countless streams in the valley of Jezreel (Palestine Exploration Quarterly Statement, October, 1877, p. 19l).

The upper Kishon River swells into a torrent with deep mud in the sudden rain storms in winter and spring; here in the swamps, from which the main stream of the Kishon River rises, the Canaanites fleeing perished in numbers. At the extreme E. of Carmel is the spot El Mahraka, "the burning," the scene of Elijah's sacrifice, a rocky height abruptly shooting up on the E. Nowhere does Kishon River run so close to Carmel as beneath Mahraka, from which the descent to it is by a steep ravine. Mahraka is 1,635 ft. above the sea and 1,000 above the Kishon River; this height one could go up and down in the short time allowed in 1 Kings 18:40-44. Moreover, nearer than this water could be got at the vaulted fountain in the form of a tank with steps down to it, 250 ft. beneath the altar plateau.

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

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