Cherith

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People's Dictionary of the Bible [1]

Cherith ( Kç'Rith), Gorge, The Brook, a brook or torrent "before Jordan" where the prophet Elijah was hid.  1 Kings 17:5. Robinson and several others identify it with Wady Kelt, a swift, brawling stream, 20 yards wide and three feet deep, running into the Jordan from the west, a little south of Jericho. Some identify it with Wady Fusail, a little farther north, and yet others think it was some stream on the other, or eastern, side of the Jordan.

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [2]

("separation".) The brook or torrent channel (wady) by which Elijah sojourned in the early part of the three years drought ( 1 Kings 17:3;  1 Kings 17:5). Probably running into the Jordan from the E. side, Elijah's native region, where he would be beyond Ahab's reach. Possibly now the Wadi Fasail , further North.

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [3]

A small brook flowing into the Jordan, to which Elijah once withdrew, and where ravens brought him supplies of bread and flesh,  1 Kings 17:3-5 . Robinson suggests that it may be the present Wady Kelt, which drains the hills west of Jericho, and flows near that town on its way to the Jordan. This brook is dry in summer.

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [4]

CHERITH . The ‘brook’ by which Elijah lived (  1 Kings 17:3;   1 Kings 17:5 ) was ‘before,’ i.e. on the E. of Jordan. The popular identification of Cherith with the Wady Kelt between Jerusalem and Jericho is unwarranted.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [5]

Brook or wady 'before Jordan,' where Elijah was fed by the ravens during part of the three years' famine.  1 Kings 17:3,5 . It is not, identified.

Easton's Bible Dictionary [6]

 1 Kings 17:3,5

Holman Bible Dictionary [7]

 1 Kings 17:3

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [8]

(Hebrews Kerith ´ , כְּרַית , A Cutting; Sept. Χοῤῥάθ ) , a "brook" ( נִחִל , Nach'Al, Sept. Χειμάῤῥους ) i.e. torrent-bed (the Arabic Wady) or winter- stream of Palestine, in ( כְּ , not "by") which, i.e. upon whose sloping bank the prophet Elijah (q.v.) hid himself during the early part of the three years' drought ( 1 Kings 17:3;  1 Kings 17:5). The words of the passage give no precise clew to its position: " Get thee hence [i.e. apparently from the spot where the interview with Ahab had taken place], and turn thy face eastward ( קֵרְמָה ), and hide thee in the torrent of Cherith, which is facing ( עִל פְּטֵי ) the Jordan." This last expression, which occurs also in  1 Kings 17:5, seems simply to indicate that the stream in question ran into that river, and not into either the Mediterranean or Dead Sea; for although the words sometimes require the translation "beyond" (as in  Genesis 25:18;  Joshua 15:18), they may also be rendered " towards," or "before the Jordan" (comp. Genesis 16:22), that is, in coming from Samaria. Josephus (Ant. 8:13, 2) does not name the torrent ( Χειμάῤῥους Τις ) , and he says that Elijah went, not "eastward," but towards the. south ( Εἰς Τὰ Πρὸς Νότον Μέρη ) .

Eusebius and Jerome, on the other hand (Onomasticon, s.v. Χοῤῥά , Chorath), place the Cherith beyond Jordan, where also Schwarz (Palest. p. 51) would identify it in a Wady Alias, opposite Bethshean. This is the Wady El-Yaabis (Jabesh); the other name, Benj. Tudela says, is a corruption of Uad Elias ( ואר אליאס , Itin. 2:408, ed. Asher). The argument from probability is but little in favor of the Cherith being on the east of Jordan, of which region Elijah was indeed a native, but where He would scarcely be more out of Ahab's reach than in the recesses of the mountains of the rival kingdom of Judah. The only explicit tradition on the subject is one mentioned by Marinus Sanutus in 1321 (Gesta per Franc. p. 247), that it ran by Phasaelis (q.v.), Herod's city in the Jordan valley (comp. Reland, Palest. p. 953). This would make it the Ain Fusail, which falls from the mountains of Ephraim into the Ghor, south of Kurn Surtabeh, and about fifteen miles above Jericho. This view is supported by Bachiene (Heilige Geogr. I, 1:126-130, and Van de Velde, Narrative, 2:310, 311). The spring of the brook is concealed under high cliffs and under the shade of a dense jungle (Van de Velde, Memoir, p. 339). Dr. Robinson, on the other hand, would find the stream in the Wady el-Kelt, behind Jericho (Researches, 2:288). This last name is, however, not greatly like Cherith, yet the identification is perhaps the best hitherto suggested.

This wady is formed by the union of many streams in the mountains west of Jericho, issuing from a deep gorge, in which it passes by that village, and then across the plain to the Jordan. It is dry in summer. No spot in Palestine is better fitted to afford a secure asylum to the persecuted than Wady el-Kelt. On each side of it extend the bare, desolate hills of the wilderness of Judaea, in whose fastnesses David was able to bid defiance to Saul. The Kelt is one of the wildest ravines in this wild region. In some places it is not less than five hundred feet deep, and just wide enough at the bottom to give a passage to a streamlet ( 1 Kings 17:6), like a silver thread, and to afford space for its narrow fringe of oleanders. The banks are almost sheer precipices of naked limestone, and are here and there pierced with the dark openings of caves and grottoes, in some one of which probably Elijah lay hid. The wady opens into the great valley, and from its depths issues a narrow line of verdure into the white plain; it gradually spreads as it advances until it mingles, at the distance of a mile or more, with the thickets that encompass Riha, the modern representative of Jericho. To any one passing down from Jerusalem or Samaria towards Jericho, the appropriateness of the words in  1 Kings 17:3, would be at once apparent (see Tristram, Land Of Israel, p. 202). The Kelt Be ing near Mount Quarantania, the traditional scene of the Temptation, was a favorite resort for anchorites when the example of St. Saba made that order fashionable in Palestine. (See Elijah).

Wady el-Kelt is held by Porter (Hand-book for Syria, p. 191) to be the "Valley of Achor," in which the Israelites stoned Achan ( Joshua 7:26), and which served to mark the northern border of Judah ( Joshua 15:7). Along the southern bank of the wady, by a long and toilsome pass, ascends the ancient and only road from Jericho to Jerusalem. This he deems "the going up to Adummim, which is on the south side of the river ( Joshua 15:7). But this identification would confound the name Cherith with the very dissimilar one Achor, which latter we know was retained to a late period in Jewish history. (See Achor).

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [9]

Che´rith, a river in Palestine, on the banks of which the prophet Elijah found refuge (). Local traditions have uniformly placed the Cherith on this side the Jordan; and this agrees with the history and with Josephus. Dr. Robinson drops a suggestion that it may be the Wady Kelt, which is formed by the union of many streams in the mountains west of Jericho, issuing from a deep gorge, in which it passes by that village and then across the plain to the Jordan. It is dry in summer.

The Nuttall Encyclopedia [10]

A brook E. of the Jordan, Elijah's hiding-place.

References