a cutting; separation; a gorge, a torrent-bed or winter-stream, a "brook," in whose banks the prophet Elijah hid himself during the early part of the three years' drought (1 Kings 17:3, 5). It has by some been identified as the Wady el-Kelt behind Jericho, which is formed by the junction of many streams flowing from the mountains west of Jericho. It is dry in summer. Travellers have described it as one of the wildest ravines of this wild region, and peculiarly fitted to afford a secure asylum to the persecuted. But if the prophet's interview with Ahab was in Samaria, and he thence journeyed toward the east, it is probable that he crossed Jordan and found refuge in some of the ravines of Gilead. The "brook" is said to have been "before Jordan," which probably means that it opened toward that river, into which it flowed. This description would apply to the east as well as to the west of Jordan. Thus Elijah's hiding-place may have been the Jermuk, in the territory of the half-tribe of Manasseh.
But, it may be asked, what more trying circumstances had Elijah to grapple with at Zarephath than at cherith?
For example, where was the visible church while Elijah "dwelt by the brook cherith?"
Across the mountains of Lebanon, where the brooks were as dry as that of cherith, the prophet made his way.
Now let us suppose, that the first half of this time was spent by the prophet at the brook cherith.
While Elijah was at the brook cherith, in concealment, ravens brought him food every morning and evening.
Elijah was fed by ravens at the brook cherith, but there is not a raven in all this forest.
It was different when he hid by the brook cherith, or in Zarephath, or in the glades of Carmel.
He had learnt a lesson which mount Carmel could not teach him—a lesson which neither Zarephath nor cherith had taught him.
During the first portion of this period Elijah found a refuge by the brook cherith, “before the Jordan.”
A couple of hours' railway journey enables any one to listen to the "liquid lapse" of streams clear and bright as cherith.