River in central Palestine; it rises to the south of Mount Gilboa, flows through the middle of the plain of Esdraelon, traverses a narrow pass north of Mount Carmel, descends into the plain of Acre, and enters the sea a little north of Haifa. Its general course is north-westward. It drains nearly the whole of the fertile plain of Esdraelon and the adjacent hills, receiving its chief tributaries from the south. In Judges v. 19 it (or some of its tributaries) is spoken of as the "waters of Megiddo," and in Josh. xix. 11 (R. V.) it is, probably, the "brook that is before Jokneam" (comp. ib. xii. 22). The Arabs call it El-Muḳaṭṭa', a name which some identify with the ancient Megiddo (see G. A. Smith, "Historical Geography of the Holy Land," pp. 386-387; against this view see Moore, "Commentary on Judges," p. 158). The upper streams of the system are dry early in summer, except near the springs, much of the water being used in irrigation. After entering the plain of Acre, the Kishon flows sluggishly through thick jungles and extensive marshes. In the rainy season it is subject to sudden and dangerous floods, when the fords are often impassable.
The neighborhood of Megiddo (probably the modern Lejjun) is extremely treacherous. It was there that the host of Sisera was defeated by Barak, "in Taanach by the waters of Megiddo" (Judges v. 19). It was at the "brook Kishon," at the foot of Mount Carmel, that Elijah slew the prophets of Baal (I Kings xviii. 40). The place of Elijah's sacrifice has been identified with El-Maḥraḳah ("place of burnt sacrifice"), a rocky plateau near the east end of Carmel, from which a steep path descends to the river.
- Pal. Explor. Fund, Memoirs, ii.;
- Conder, Tent-Work in Palestine;
- Thomson, The Land and the Book;
- Smith, Historical Geography of the Holy Land;
- Robinson, Researches;
- MacGregor, Rob Roy on the Jordan;
- Moore, Commentary on Judges.