A ravine on the east of Jerusalem, separating the city from the Mount of Olives (comp. II Sam. xv. 23, 30). Except in II Kings xxiii. 4, "Kidron" is always preceded by "Naḥal," which, like the Arabic "Wadi," has the double meaning of "brook" and "valley." For a part of the winter only, after heavy rains, the Kidron indeed is a torrent, for which reason it is called by the Septuagint Χειμάῤῥους Κεδρών. The latter word, which means "dark," relates to the dark color of the stream or ravine; but the translation of the Septuagint in II Sam. xv. 23 and I Kings xv. 13, Χειμάῤῥους τῶν Κέδρων, suggests a Greek name given to the place on account of the cedars abounding there.

The Kidron is first mentioned in the Old Testament as having been crossed by David in his flight (II Sam. xv. 23); then as having been indicated by Solomon to Shimei as the limit beyond which he might not go, under penalty of death (I Kings ii. 37). Later it became the repository of the implements of idol-worship when removed from the Temple. It was there that Asa burned his mother's idols(I Kings xv. 3; II Chron. xv. 16) and that Josiah destroyed the Asherah (II Kings xxiii. 4, 6, 12; II Chron. xxix. 16, xxx. 14). It would appear that in the time of Josiah, Kidron was the cemetery of the common people (II Kings xxiii. 6; comp. Jer. xxxi. 39 [A. V. 40]), hence the statement of Josephus ("Ant." ix. 7, § 3) that Athalia was executed in the Valley of Kidron. It is also mentioned as having been crossed by Jesus on his way to Gethsemane (John xxiii. 1, A. V. Cedron). The Valley of Kidron is generally identified with the Valley of Jehoshaphat (see Jehoshaphat, Valley of). For the Hebrew inscription found there in 1880, see Siloam Inscription.

E. G. H. M. Sel.
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