The Kidron Valley
KID'RON (kid'ron; "turbid, dusky, gloomy"; Grk. Kedron; "Cedron," John 18:1, KJV). The brook that flows through the valley of Jehoshaphat. The name was also applied to its bed, the valley of Kidron. It is thus described by Smith (Hist. Geog., p. 511): "To the north of Jerusalem begins the torrent-bed of the Kidron. It sweeps past the Temple Mount, past what were afterward Calvary and Gethsemane. It leaves the Mount of Olives and Bethany to the left, Bethlehem far to the right. It plunges down among the bare terraces, precipices, and crags of the wilderness of Judea-the wilderness of the scapegoat. So barren and blistered, so furnace-like does it [the valley] become as it drops below the level of the sea, that it takes the name of Wady-en-Nar or the Fire Wady. At last its dreary course brings it to the precipices above the Dead Sea, into which it shoots its scanty winter waters; but all summer it is dry." The valley is only 20 miles long but has a descent of 3,912 feet. The place where it enters the Jordan is a narrow gorge about 1,200 feet deep.
The Kidron was the brook crossed by David when he fled from Absalom (2 Sam 15:23). Solomon fixed it as the limit of Shimei's walks (1 Kings 2:37); beside it Asa destroyed and burned his mother's idol, or Asherah (15:13); here Athaliah was executed (Josephus, Ant. 9.7.3; cf. 2 Kings 11:16). It then became the regular receptacle for the impurities and abominations of the idol worship when removed from the Temple and destroyed by the adherents of Jehovah (23:4,6,12; 29:16; 30:14); and in the time of Josiah this valley was the common cemetery of Jerusalem (2 Kings 23:6; Jer 26:23; 31:40).