Cherith

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Cherith (/ˈkɪərɪθ/; also Chorath[1][2] /ˈkɔrɑːθ/ or /ˈxɔrɑːθ/; Hebrew: נחל כּרית Naḥal Kerīth or Hebrew: נחל חוּרת Naḥal Ḥorath; Arabic: وادي يابسWādī al-Yābis or وادي حورث Wādī al-Ḥorith; Greek: Χειμάῤῥους Cheimárrhous or Χοῤῥάθ Chorrháth) means a cutting, separation, gorge, torrent-bed, or winter-stream, is a valley ("wadi"; Arabic: واديwādī) or stream ("naḥal"; Hebrew: נחל‎) in whose banks the prophet Elijah hid himself during the early part of the three years' drought which he announced to King Ahab.[3][4] The name is also a Mizrahi Jewish surname, specifically among Jews of Yemenite extraction. They descend from the house of Banu Harith which are Qahtanite of origin and was once one of the most important houses of the city of Najran.[5]

It has been identified as the Wadi al-Yabis which is opposite of Beit She'an[6] and located between Israel and Jordan.[7] Cherith feeds in the Yarmouk River, flowing west to east, through the forested uplands across deserts of Jordan.[8] Travelers have described it as one of the wildest ravines of the fertile crescent, and peculiarly fitted to afford a secure asylum to the persecuted. During summer, the stream is very dry.[9] It is home to an array of wildlife including hyraxes, egrets, gazelles and olive trees.[10] Alternatively, it has also been identified as a small stream in the Wadi Kelt at St. George's Monastery.[11]

Marino Sanuto the Elder commented in 1321 that Cherith extended into Phasaelis which was named after Prince Phasael, the brother of King Herod.[12] In 1994, according to the Israel–Jordan Treaty of Peace, Israel could maintain its uses of Jordan River waters between the Yarmouk and Cherith/Wadi al-Yabis.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Peraea and the Dead Sea". The Madaba Mosaic Map. Retrieved 26 August 2011. 
  2. ^ "A dictionary of the Bible; comprising its antiquities, biography, geography, and natural history". CHE'RITH, THE BROOK. Retrieved 26 August 2011. 
  3. ^ 1 Kings 17:3
  4. ^ 1 Kings 17:5
  5. ^ Norman A. Stillman, The Jews of Arab lands: A history and source book, p. 117
  6. ^ Armstrong, George (1895). Names and places in the old and new testament and apocrypha : With their modern identifications. 
  7. ^ Nelson, Thomas (1995). Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Dictionary: Completely Revised and Updated Edition (Completely Revised and Updated Edition ed.). 
  8. ^ "The Peraea and the Dead Sea". Jordan Beauty. Retrieved 19 August 2012. 
  9. ^ Easton, Matthew George (1897). The Bible Dictionary: Your Biblical Reference Book (1st ed.). 
  10. ^ "The Peraea and the Dead Sea". Jordan Beauty. Retrieved 19 August 2012. 
  11. ^ Tourist information for St. George Monastery
  12. ^ Armstrong, George (1895). Names and places in the old and new testament and apocrypha : With their modern identifications. 
  13. ^ Shapland, Greg. Rivers of Discord: International Water Disputes in the Middle East (1st ed.).