Cherith, Brook of
Cherith, Brook Of.
No better modern locality for this :has yet been found than Wady Kelt, a ravine which empties-into the Jordan plain opposite Jericho. It is thus described by Lieutenant Conder (Tent-Work, ii, 21)
"Wady Kelt has been thought to be the Brook Cherith, and -the scene seems well fitted for the retreat of the prophet who was fed by the Oreb, whom some suppose To have been Arabs. The whole gorge is wonderfully wild and romantic; it is a deep fissure rent in the mountains, scarcely twenty yards across at the bottom, and full of canes and rank rushes between vertical walls of rock. In its cliffs the caves of early anchorites are hollowed, and the little monastery of St. John of Choseboth is perched above the north bank, under a high, brown precipice. A fine aqueduct from the great spring divides at this latter place into three channels, crossing a magnificent bridge seventy feet high, and. running as total distance of three miles and three quarters, to the place where the gorge debouches into the Jericho plain. On each side the white chalk mountains tower up in fantastic peaks, with long, knife-edged ridges, and hundreds of little conical points, with deep torrent- seams between. All is bare and treeless, as at Mar Saba. The wild pigeon makes its nest in the secret places of the stairs of rock the black grackle suns its golden wings above them; the eagle soars higher still, and over the caves by the deep-pools the African kingfisher flutters; the ibex also still haunts the rocks. Even in autumn the murmuring of water is heard beneath, and the stream was one day swelled by a thunderstorm, in a quarter of an hour, until it became a raging torrent, in some places eight or ten feet deep.
"The, mouth of the pass is. also remarkable for on either, side is a conical peak of white chalk-one on the south, called the peak of the ascent (Tuweil el 'Akabeh), while that to the north is named Bint Jebeil, daughter of the little mountain, or Nusb 'Aweishireh, monument of the tribes.
"These peaks are again, to all appearance, connected with a Christian tradition. Jerome speaks of Gebal and. Gerizim. as two mountains close together, shown in his day just west of Jericho. In the name Jebeille may perhaps recognise the Gebal of this tradition and in that case the monument of the tribes would be the tradition an altar of Joshua in Eball. If this be so, the southern peak must be the early Christian Gerizim; but the name is apparently lost." (See engraving on opposite page.)