From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [1]

Kishon (  Judges 4:7;   Judges 5:21 ,   1 Kings 18:40 ,   Psalms 83:9 ). The ancient name of the stream now called Nahr el-Mukatta ’, which drains almost the whole area of the great Plain of Esdraelon. The main channel may be considered as rising near the W. foot of Mt. Tahor, and running W. through the centre of the plain until it enters the narrow valley between the S. extension of the Galilæan hills and the E. end of Carmel. After emerging from this it enters the Plain of Akka, running a little N. of the whole length of Carmel, and enters the sea about a mile E. of Haifa. The total length is about 23 miles. In the first part of its course it is in winter a sluggish stream with a bottom of deep mud, and in summer but a chain of small marshes; from just below where the channel is crossed by the Nazareth road near Carmel it usually has a certain amount of water all the year round, and in parts the water, which is brackish,   Isaiah 10 or 12 feet deep. At its mouth, however, it is almost always fordable. Numerous small watercourses from the Galilæan hills on the N. and more important tributaries from ‘Little Hermon,’ the Mountains of Gilboa, and the whole southern range of Samaria and Carmel on the E. and S., contribute their waters to the main stream. The greater number of these channels, in places 10 or 15 feet deep with precipitous sides, are perfectly dry two-thirds of the year, but during the winter’s rains are filled with raging torrents. A number of copious springs arise along the edge of the hills to the S. of the plain. At Jenin there are plentiful fountains, but they are, during the summer, entirely used up in irrigation; at Ta‘anak , at Lejjûn , near Tell el-Kasîs , at the E. end of Carmel, and at the ‘Ayûn el-Sa‘di , perennial fountains pour their water into the main stream. Those who have seen the stream only in late spring or summer can hardly picture how treacherous and dangerous it may become when the winter’s rain fills every channel with a tumultuous flood of chocolate-brown water over a bottom of sticky mud often itself several feet deep. Both animals and baggage have not infrequently been lost at such times. Under such conditions, the Kishon, with its steep, uncertain banks, its extremely crooked course, and its treacherous fords, must have been very dangerous to a flying army of horses and chariots (  Judges 5:21-22 ). Of all parts the section of the river from Megiddo (wh. see) to ‘Harosheth of the Gentiles’ (now el-Harithîyeh ), where the fiercest of the battle against Sisera was fought (cf.   Judges 5:10;   Judges 4:16 ), must have been the most dangerous. The other OT incident connected with this river is the slaughter there of the prophets of Baal after Elijah’s vindication of Jehovah on the heights of Carmel (  1 Kings 18:40 ).

E. W. G. Masterman.

People's Dictionary of the Bible [2]

Kishon ( Hî'Shon ), Bending, Curved, or in one place,  Psalms 83:9, Kison ( Kî'Son ), the present Nahr Mukâtta, a river which drains the plain of Esdraelon, passes through the plain of Acre, and falls into the Mediterranean. Only the lower part of it is perennial, fed by some springs at the foot of Mount Carmel. The upper part, rising on Tabor and Little Hermon, is dry in the summer, but becomes a torrent in the winter, rushing along with great impetuosity and transforming parts of the plains it traverses into swamps. The total defeat of Sisera,  Judges 4:7;  Judges 5:21, and the executions of the idol-priests by Elijah,  1 Kings 18:40, took place on the shores of this river.

Smith's Bible Dictionary [3]

Ki'shon. (Winding). Kishon. The River, A torrent or winter stream of central Palestine, the scene of two of the grandest achievements of Israelitish history - the defeat of Sisera, Judges 5, and the destruction of the prophets of Baal by Elijah.  1 Kings 18:40. The Nahr Mukutta , the modern representative of the Kishon, is the drain by which the waters of the plain of Esdraelon and of the mountains which enclose that plain find their way through the plain of Acre to the Mediterranean. The part of the Kishon at which the prophets of Baal were slaughtered by Elijah was doubtless close below the spot on Carmel where the sacrifice had taken place.

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [4]

"That ancient river, the river Kishon," falls into the bay of Acre, and has its source in the hills to the east of the plain of Esdraelon, which it intersects. Being enlarged by several small streams, it passes between Mount Carmel and the hills to the north, and then falls into the sea at this point. In the condition we saw it, says Maundrell, its waters were low and inconsiderable; but in passing along the side of the plain, we discerned the tracts of many lesser torrents, falling down into it from the mountains, which must needs make it swell exceedingly upon sudden rains, as doubtless it actually did at the destruction of Sisera's host.

Easton's Bible Dictionary [5]

 1 Kings 18:40 Judges 5:21

This was the scene of the defeat of Sisera ( Judges 4:7,13 ), and of the destruction of the prophets of Baal by Elijah ( 1 Kings 18:40 ). "When the Kishon was at its height, it would be, partly on account of its quicksands, as impassable as the ocean itself to a retreating army." (See Deborah .)

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [6]

Now the Mukutta, a brook that rises in the plain of Esdraelon, near the foot of mount Tabor. After passing through the great plain and receiving the waters of various smaller streams, it flows along the foot of mount Carmel, and discharges itself into the Carmel ridge, see  Judges 4:13   5:21 , is paralleled by a similar destruction of Arabs fleeing from the French after the battle of mount Tabor, April 8,1799.

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [7]

The river so beautifully spoken of in Deborah's song,  Judges 5:21. Perhaps the name is derived from Kish. This river was but small: it arose in the valley of Jezreel, and passed on to the south of mount Tabor, emptying itself the Mediterranean Sea.

Holman Bible Dictionary [8]

 Judges 4:7 4:13 Judges 5:21 1 Kings 18:40

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [9]

A town on Issachar's border, allotted to the Gershonite Levites ( Joshua 19:20;  Joshua 31:28).

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [10]

(Heb. Kishon', קַישׁוֹן , Winding; Septuag. Κισῶν ; but in  Psalms 83:9, Κισσών v.r. Κεισών , Auth. Vers. "Kison"), a torrent or winter stream ( נִחִל , A. V. "river") of central Palestine, the scene of two of the grandest achievements of Israelitish history-the defeat of Sisera ( Judges 4:7;  Judges 4:13;  Judges 5:21), and the destruction of the prophets of Baal by Elijah ( 1 Kings 18:40). It formed the boundary between Manasseh and Zebulon ( Joshua 19:11). (See Jokneam). Some portion of it is also thought to be designated as the "waters of Megiddo" ( Judges 5:19). (See Megiddo). The term coupled with the Kishon in  Judges 5:21, as a stream Of The Ancients ( הִקְּדוּמַים , A. V. "that Ancient river"), has been very variously rendered by the old interpreters.

1. It is taken as a proper name, and thus apparently that of a distinct stream-in some MSS. of the Sept. Καδημείμ (see Barhdt's Hexapla); by Jerome, in the Vulgate, Torrens Catdumim; in the Peshito and Arabic versions, Carmmin. This view is also taken by Benjamin of Tudela, who speaks of the river close to Acre (doubtless meaning thereby the Belus) as the נחל קדומים . It is possible that the term may refer to an ancient tribe of Kedumirm-wanderers from the Eastern deserts-who had in remote antiquity settled on the Kishon or one of its tributary wadys. (See Kadmionites).

2. As an epithet of the Kishon itself: Sept. Χειμάῤῥους Ἀρχαίων ; Aquila, Καυσώνων , perhaps intending to imply a scorching wind or simoom as accompanying the rising of the waters; Symmachus, Αἰγίων or Αἰγῶν , perhaps alluding to the swift springing of the torrent ( Αϊ v Γες is used for high waves by Artemidoru..). The Targum, adhering to the signification " ancient," expands the sentence-'" the torrent in which were shown signs and wonders to Israel of old;" and this miraculous torrent a later Jewish tradition (preserved in the Commentarius in Canticlum Debborce, ascribed to Jerome) would identify with the Red Sea, the scene of the greatest marvels in Israel's history. The rendering of the A.V. is supported by Mendelssohn, Gesenius, Ewall, and other modern scholars. The reference is probably to exploits among the aboriginal Canaanites, as the plain adjoining the stream has always been the great battle-ground of Palestine. (See Esdraelon). For the Kishon of  Joshua 21:28, (See Kishion).

By Josephus the Kishon is never named, neither does the name occur in the early Itineraries of Antoninus Augustus, or the Bordeaux Pilgrim. Eusebius and Jerome dismiss it in a few words, and note only its origin in Tabor (Onomasf. Cison), or such part of it as can be seen thence (Ep. ad Eustochium, § 13), passing by entirely its connection with Carmel. Benjamin of Tudela visited Akka and Carmel. He mentions the river by name as -" Nachal Kishon," but only in the most cursory manner. Brocardus (cir. 1500) describes the western portion of the stream with a little more fulness, but enlarges most on its upper or eastern part, which, with the victory of Barak, he places on the east of Tabor and Hermon, as discharging the water of those mountains into the Sea of Galilee (Descr. Terrce S. cap. 6, 7). This has been shown by Dr. Robinson (Eib. Res. ii,

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [11]

kı̄´shon , kish´on ( קישׁון , ḳı̄shōn  ; Κεισών , Keisṓn ): The "watercourse" or "torrent stream" along the banks of which the great battle was fought between Israel, led by Deborah and Barak, and the army of Sisera, in the waters of which so many perished (  Judges 4:7 , etc.). It is probably mentioned earlier as "the brook that is before Jokneam" ( Joshua 19:11; see Jokneam ). It appears again as the scene of Elijah's slaughter of the prophets of Baal ( 1 Kings 18:40 ). "The torrent" paragraph excellence in the district is the modern el - Muḳaṭṭa‛ , a stream which drains all the plain of Esdraelon to the West of the watershed - a line drawn from Iksāl to Nain, and thence to el - Fūleh and Zer‛ı̄n . All the water East of this line, from the Nazareth hills, Tabor and Little Hermon, flows down Wādy esh - Sherrār and Nahr Jālūd into the Jordan. The Kishon collects the streams from the western slopes of Gilboa in the rainy season; and the water from the strong spring at Jenı̄n . Contributions also come from the copious fountains in the neighborhood of Megiddo. At Sa‛adiyeh , again, some 3 miles East of Ḥaifā , its volume is largely increased by springs rising at the base of Carmel, on the edge of the plain of Acre. From Jenı̄n in the Southeast, the deep torrent bed follows a westerly direction, with numerous. windings cutting the plain in two, until it reaches the pass at the northeastern base of Carmel. Through the gorge between the mountain and the hills of Galilee it reaches the plain of Acre. From Sa‛adiyeh it flows in a deep sluggish stream through the marsh-land to the sea near Ḥaifā . In this part the crocodile is said to have been seen at times.

In the summer season the water from the springs is largely absorbed by irrigation, and the upper reaches of the river are soon dry. The bed runs along the bottom of a trench some 20 ft. deep through the plain. It is easily crossed at the fords by those who know how to avoid the localities of the springs. In time of heavy rains the trench is swiftly filled, and the soft soil of the plain goes to mud. Remembering this, it is easy to understand the disaster that overwhelmed the heavily armed cavalry and chariots of Sisera. The chief ford for long was to the West of the gorge where the stream issues into the plain of Acre, on the highway from Ḥaifā to Nazareth. Here it is now spanned by a substantial bridge, while the railway crosses a little higher up. At the mouth of the river it is generally easily forded on the sand bank thrown up by the waves beating against the current of the stream. The main traffic here is now carried by a wooden bridge.

The phrase naḥal ḳedhūmı̄m in   Judges 5:21 is not easy of interpretation. English Versions of the Bible translates, "that ancient river"; G.A. Smith, "torrent of spates"; while others think it may refer to a stream other than the Ḳı̄shōn . Guthe suggests that both names may be derived from those of places adjoining the river. Kishon may possibly mean the "tortuous" stream, referring to the windings of its course.

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [12]

Ki´shon, a river which, after traversing the plain of Acre, enters the bay of the same name at its south-east corner. It is celebrated in Scripture for the overthrow of the host of Sisera in its overflowing stream . It has been usual to trace the source of this river to Mount Tabor; but Dr Shaw affirms that in traveling along the south-eastern brow of Mount Carmel, he had an opportunity of seeing the sources of the river Kishon, three or four of which lie within less than a furlong of each other, and are called Ras el-Kishon, or the head of the Kishon. These alone, without the lesser contributions near the sea, discharge water enough to form a river half as large as the Isis. During the rainy season all the waters which fall upon the eastern side of Carmel, or upon the rising grounds to the southward, empty themselves into it in a number of torrents, at which time it overflows its banks, acquires a wonderful rapidity, and carries all before it. It was doubtless in such a season that the host of Sisera was swept away, in attempting to ford it. But such inundations are only occasional, and of short duration, as is indeed implied in the destruction in its waters of the fugitives, who doubtless expected to pass it safely.

The course of the stream, as estimated from the sources thus indicated, is not more than seven miles. It runs very briskly till within half a league of the sea; but when not augmented by rains, it never falls into the sea in a full stream, but insensibly percolates through a bank of sand, which, the north winds have thrown up at its mouth. It was in this state that Shaw himself found it in the month of April, 1722, when it was crossed by him.

Notwithstanding Shaw's contradiction, the assertion that the Kishon derives its source from Mount Tabor has been repeated by modern travelers as confidently as by their ancient predecessors. We have had opportunities of seeing much of streams similarly constituted; and it does not seem to us difficult to reconcile the seemingly conflicting statements with reference to the Kishon. On further inquiry, and more extensive comparison of observations made at different time of the year, it will probably be found that the remoter source of the river is really in Mount Tabor; but that the supply from this source is cut off in early summer, when it ceases to be maintained by rains or contributory torrents; whereas the copious supply from the nearer springs at Ras el-Kishon, with other springs lower down, keep it up from that point, as a perennial stream, even during the drought of summer. Thus during one part of the year the source of the river may appear to be in Mount Tabor, while during another part the source of the diminished stream is at Ras el-Kishon.

The Scriptural account of the overthrow of Sisera's host manifestly shows that the stream crossed the plain, and must have been of considerable size.

The transaction of the prophet Elijah, who, after his sacrifice on Carmel, commanded the priests of Baal to be slain at the river Kishon , requires no explanation, seeing that it took place at the perennial lower stream. This also explains, what has sometimes been asked, whence, in that time of drought, the water was obtained with which the prophet inundated his altar and sacrifice.