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Meaning and etymology of the name Kidron

Kidron Kidron

Kidron is the name of a brook near Jerusalem and there seems to be something about this brook. David crossed it on his flight from Absalom, and after crossing it he went up the Mount of the Olives (2 Sa 15:23). A thousand years later, Jesus crosses the Kidron (the only time that this brook is mentioned in the NT) and immediately after He is betrayed by Judas and enters the cycle that results in His crucifixion (Joh 18:1). The Kidron is mentioned as the border of the allotted range of Shimei, the one who cursed David. When he crosses the Kidron, Solomon has him executed (1 Kings 2:36-46). Jeremiah also uses the Kidron as a border, namely the outermost reach of what will be holy to the Lord (31:40). The Kidron is also the scene of one of the most thorough cleansings of religious Israel, when all the unjust altars and images were rounded up and destroyed (1 Kings 15:13 first, and then 2 Kings 23:4).

The name Kidron comes from the verb qadar (qadar), meaning to be dark or mourn. There are a few verbs that either mean darkness or have to do with it, and there are also quite a few bearing a meaning of glumness. Our verb qadar essentially seems to denote a dishevelment; a person would have his clothes dirty and in disarray, and this typically either caused by a state of grief or designed to demonstrate it (Jeremiah 8:21). Heavenly bodies would lose their shine, go dim or dark all together (Jeremiah 4:28, Joel 2:10). Job mentions a brook to be in this state (turbid) because of ice (Job 6:16). The Arabian cognate means to be dirty, in later Hebrew texts it means to show gloom, and in the Aramaic of the Targum it means to be dark.

HAW insists that "darkness denotes the whole range of what is harmful or evil," but this is symplifying a complex matter into a fallacy. Some of the greatest events in Scripture are accompanied by darkness: the creation (Genesis 1:2), the Abrahamic covenant (Genesis 14:12), even the crucifixion (Matthew 27:45). The Bible isn't a simple bi-polar story of good and bad, but displays a highly dynamic but monopolar system of evolution. All things come from God (Isaiah 45:7), and all things work for good to those who love God (Romans 8:28).

The waw-nun extension serves to personify or localize the root; Kidron means Dark One.

For a meaning of the name Kidron, NOBS Study Bible Name List reads Dark, Turbid. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads Very Black, Full Of Darkness.

A related name is Kedar.

Other names that (may) have to do with darkness: Bezalel, Cush, Ephah, Lilith, Orpah, Sharon, Zillah.



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