Kidron: the Death Valley of the Bible

SIH ICONKidron was a valley that lay east of Jerusalem dividing Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives.  Through this valley flowed the brook of Kidron, a brook which is mentioned several times in God’s Holy Word.  Why is Kidron known as “the death valley of the Bible”?   What can I learn from this “death valley”?

We will be opening the Scriptures to find the answer to our questions….


2Sam 15:13-23 (KJV)  And there came a messenger to David, saying, The hearts of the men of Israel are after Absalom.  And David said unto all his servants that [were] with him at Jerusalem, , and let us flee; for we shall not [else] escape from Absalom: make speed to depart, lest he overtake us suddenly, and bring evil upon us, and smite the city with the edge of the sword…  And David said to Ittai, Go and pass over. And Ittai the Gittite passed over, and all his men, and all the little ones that [were] with him.  And all the country wept with a loud voice, and all the people passed over: the king also himself passed over the brook Kidron, and all the people passed over, toward the way of the wilderness.


1 Kgs 2:36-46 (KJV) And the king sent and called for Shimei, and said unto him, Build thee an house in Jerusalem, and dwell there, and go not forth thence any whither. For it shall be, [that] on the day thou goest out, and passest over the brook Kidron, thou shalt know for certain that thou shalt surely die: thy blood shall be upon thine own head…. The king said moreover to Shimei, Thou knowest all the wickedness which thine heart is privy to, that thou didst to David my father: therefore the LORD shall return thy wickedness upon thine own head;  And king Solomon [shall be] blessed, and the throne of David shall be established before the LORD for ever.  So the king commanded Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; which went out, and fell upon him, that he died. And the kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon.

1Kgs 15:9-13 (KJV)  And in the twentieth year of Jeroboam king of Israel reigned Asa over Judah… And he took away the sodomites out of the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers had made.  And also Maachah his mother, even her he removed from [being] queen, because she had made an idol in a grove; and Asa destroyed her idol, and burnt [it] by the brook Kidron.

2Kgs 23:4-12 (KJV)  And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the priests of the second order, and the keepers of the door, to bring forth out of the temple of the LORD all the vessels that were made for Baal, and for the grove, and for all the host of heaven: and he burned them without Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron, and carried the ashes of them unto Bethel.  And he put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah, and in the places round about Jerusalem; them also that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the host of heaven.  And he brought out the grove from the house of the LORD, without Jerusalem, unto the brook Kidron, and burned it at the brook Kidron, and stamped [it] small to powder, and cast the powder thereof upon the graves of the children of the people.  And he brake down the houses of the sodomites, that [were] by the house of the LORD, where the women wove hangings for the grove.  And he brought all the priests out of the cities of Judah, and defiled the high places where the priests had burned incense, from Geba to Beersheba, and brake down the high places of the gates that [were] in the entering in of the gate of Joshua the governor of the city, which [were] on a man’s left hand at the gate of the city.  Nevertheless the priests of the high places came not up to the altar of the LORD in Jerusalem, but they did eat of the unleavened bread among their brethren.  And he defiled Topheth, which [is] in the valley of the children of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Molech.  And he took away the horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the entering in of the house of the LORD, by the chamber of Nathanmelech the chamberlain, which [was] in the suburbs, and burned the chariots of the sun with fire.  And the altars that [were] on the top of the upper chamber of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars which Manasseh had made in the two courts of the house of the LORD, did the king beat down, and brake [them] down from thence, and cast the dust of them into the brook Kidron.

2Chr 29:12-16 (KJV)  Then the Levites arose, Mahath the son of Amasai, and Joel the son of Azariah, of the sons of the Kohathites: and of the sons of Merari, Kish the son of Abdi, and Azariah the son of Jehalelel: and of the Gershonites; Joah the son of Zimmah, and Eden the son of Joah:…  And the priests went into the inner part of the house of the LORD, to cleanse [it], and brought out all the uncleanness that they found in the temple of the LORD into the court of the house of the LORD. And the Levites took [it], to carry [it] out abroad into the brook Kidron.

2Chr 30:13-15 (KJV)  And there assembled at Jerusalem much people to keep the feast of unleavened bread in the second month, a very great congregation.  And they arose and took away the altars that [were] in Jerusalem, and all the altars for incense took they away, and cast [them] into the brook Kidron.  Then they killed the passover on the fourteenth [day] of the second month: and the priests and the Levites were ashamed, and sanctified themselves, and brought in the burnt offerings into the house of the LORD.

2 Kgs 23:6 (KJV) & Jer 26:20-23 (KJV)  And he brought out the grove from the house of the LORD, without Jerusalem, unto the brook Kidron, and burned it at the brook Kidron, and stamped [it] small to powder, and cast the powder thereof upon the graves of the children of the people.

And there was also a man that prophesied in the name of the LORD, Urijah the son of Shemaiah of Kirjathjearim, who prophesied against this city and against this land according to all the words of Jeremiah:  And when Jehoiakim the king, with all his mighty men, and all the princes, heard his words, the king sought to put him to death: but when Urijah heard it, he was afraid, and fled, and went into Egypt;  And Jehoiakim the king sent men into Egypt, [namely], Elnathan the son of Achbor, and [certain] men with him into Egypt.  And they fetched forth Urijah out of Egypt, and brought him unto Jehoiakim the king; who slew him with the sword, and cast his dead body into the graves of the common people.

John 18:1-5 (KJV)  When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples.   And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples  Judas then, having received a band [of men] and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons.  Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye?  They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am [he]. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them.

Jer 31:38-40 (KJV)  Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the city shall be built to the LORD from the tower of Hananeel unto the gate of the corner… And the whole valley of the dead bodies, and of the ashes, and all the fields unto the brook of Kidron, unto the corner of the horse gate toward the east, [shall be] holy unto the LORD; it shall not be plucked up, nor thrown down any more for ever.


The word “Kidron” or “Cedron” comes from a Hebrew word that described an “ashy dark color”, the color of sackcloth.   Sackcloth was a rough cloth made of hair that, in many cases, was worn by those who were sorrowful and in mourning.  (1 Kings 21:27; 2 Kings 6:30; Job 16:15; Joel 1:13)    Why was this valley, and it’s accompanying brook, given a name related to the color of sackcloth?  This valley was, many times, related to sorrow, mourning and death …

1.  The poor people of the land were buried at Kidron. It was like a modern day potter’s field. (2 Kng 23:6, Jer 26:20-23)

2.  Shimei, an opponent of King David, was not allowed to cross the brook of Kidron under the threat of death at the hands of David’s son, Solomon (1 Kings 2:36-46)

3.  After Absalom took his throne by force, David was forced to flee over the brook of Kidron.  Symbolically this was a picture of the temporary end, or “death”, of David’s reign. (2 Sam 15:13-23)

4.  At various times in history, it was at Kidron, where the false idols ofIsraelwere destroyed thus symbolically representing the temporary termination, or “death”, of idolatry inIsrael.  This took place three different times: under the rule of Asa (1 King 15:13), under the rule of Josiah (2 Kings 23:4-12), and under the rule of Hezekiah (2 Chron 29:16 and 2 Chron 30:14).

5.  It was through this valley that Jesus walked to go from Jerusalemto the Garden of Gethsemane immediately prior to His arrest and His death by crucifixion. (John 18:1) It was at Gethsemane that the Lord felt the full force of His upcoming death.  It was also at Gethsemane that we see displayed the Lord’s perfect unselfish submission to the will of His Father.

6.  Also, most likely, Judas Ischariot traveled the same path to Gethsemane, resulting in the betrayal and arrest of Christ. (John 18:2)

After seeing how Kidron is a place related to mourning, sorrow and death… we find in Jeremiah a very contradictory passage.  Here, the prophecy of the renovation of Kidron relates the valley to a place made holy unto God and set apart for His use forever.  It will no longer be associated with death and sorrow, but now with holiness and God’s glory. This prophecy will be fulfilled at the Lord’s  second coming and the establishment of New Jerusalem on a New Earth.  (Jer 31:40)

How great is our God who is able to make an area associated with mourning, sorrow and death, become a place eternally alive with His glory and honor.   The very area that is closely associated with our Lord’s death will be , in the future, clearly associated with the results of His death…. An eternity set apart from all sadness, mourning and sin….

Jeremiah 31:40 – “And the whole valley of the dead bodies, and of the ashes, and all the fields unto the brook of Kidron, unto the corner of the horse gate toward the east, [shall be] holy unto the LORD; it shall not be plucked up, nor thrown down any more for ever.”


For those who are saved…

The Lord’s end times renovation of Kidron is a beautiful picture of saving us permanently from the darkness of sin to the light of His holiness….

Col 1:12-18 (KJV)

12) Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated [us] into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, [even] the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all [things] he might have the preeminence.

Acts 26:15-18 (KJV)

And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;  Delivering thee from the people, and [from] the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, To open their eyes, [and] to turn [them] from darkness to light, and [from] the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

Eph 5:8-11 (KJV)

8) For ye were sometimes darkness, but now [are ye] light in the Lord: walk as children of light:  (For the fruit of the Spirit [is] in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.  And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove [them].

For those who have never received His gracious salvation into our lives…

The area of Kidron which was associated with sorrow, darkness and death is a picture of fallen humanity’s condition without the Lord Jesus and the salvation that He offers to them.

Have you ever realized the presence of sin in your life and God’s displeasure with those sins you have committed?

Have you ever come to a point in your life where you realized you could do nothing to save yourself, but you must rely on Christ alone to supply the work necessary for saving you from your sins?

Have you ever turned from your sins, and in faith, turned to Christ for forgiveness?

Do you know that, for certain, you have received the Lord’s forgiveness for your sins and will someday be in eternity with Him?

If you cannot answer “yes” to all the above questions… please open God’s Word, and seek out the truth about the spiritual need in your life.   Come to an understanding of your sin and the only source of forgiveness from those sins… the Lord Jesus Christ and His work on the cross.  Look to Jesus and live…


Heb 12:2-3 (KJV)

2) Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

3) For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

John 3:14-15 (KJV)

14) And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:

15) That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

About Rob Barkman

A retired pastor, Bible teacher and author of 20 years, he is currently ministering through Settled In Heaven Ministries. SIH Ministries is an on-line Bible teaching ministry that was founded by Bro Barkman in 2010. Settled In Heaven’s mission is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by fulfilling two different roles... rendering encouragement and Biblical knowledge to the saints in an effort to enhance their service to Christ; and proclaiming the gospel message to those who are in need of salvation, explaining to them their urgent need to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

4 Responses to Kidron: the Death Valley of the Bible

  1. Yes, yes, yes and yes – but not because of any good in me! It is ONLY because, out of His mercy and grace, He chose to give me understanding and faith to believe. I was DEAD – completely dead, and He gave me LIFE. He changed me completely and continues to work in me.

    We serve an incredibly amazing God who loves us with an everlasting love and continues to bless us abundantly as we serve Him.

  2. Rob Barkman says:

    AMEN.. you are so right Evelyn…. how wonderful is our Lord and what He has done for us.

    “And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.” (Revelation 21:5)

    Thanks for the comment. Lord bless you.

  3. ptl2010 says:

    And the Truth will set us free . Praise The Lord. The cross has never lost it’s power. Glory to God.

    • Rob Barkman says:

      It never ceases to amaze me, that by His great power He can liberate us from the strongest of our spiritual enemies. Thank Him for His grace and mercy He has shown to us. Thanks for your comments. Lord continue to bless you Evelyn

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