Cleanup Effort for the Kishon River (Where Baal prophets met their demise)

A news item from Israel National News:

The Kishon River, considered the most polluted river in Israel, will soon be the object of a major cleaning and purification project…  The Kishon River’s pollution stems in part from daily contamination for over 40 years by runoff of mercury and other metals from nearby chemical plants. It has been claimed that there are more chemicals than water in the Kishon.


The waters of the Kishon were contaminated on at least two occasions in antiquity, though not with factory runoff.

[The prophetess Deborah said to Barak] “I will draw out Sisera, the general of Jabin’s army, to meet you by the river Kishon with his chariots and his troops, and I will give him into your hand.” (Judges 4:7 ESV)

The river played a role in the battle, Sisera’s chariots became useless, possibly due to the Kishon overflowing its banks and turning everything to mud. We have little detail of the battle, but there is this bit.

The torrent Kishon swept them away, the ancient torrent, the torrent Kishon. (Judges 5:21)

We also have the aftermath of Elijah’s contest with the prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18.

Elijah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape.” And they seized them. And Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon and slaughtered them there. (1 Kings 18:40)

By the way, diamonds have been discovered in the Kishon. They plan to re-route parts of the river in order to exploit this recently-discovered mineral wealth.

The Jezreel Valley from Mount Carmel, probably near the location of Elijah's contest with the Baal prophets. The Kishon River is the visible green line slightly left of center in the valley floor.

A closer view of the Kishon River, viewed from Mount Carmel.


About LukeChandler

Luke holds an M.A. in Ancient and Classical History and has been an adjunct professor at Florida College in Temple Terrace, Florida. Luke and his wife Melanie have five children. He serves as a minister with the North Terrace Church of Christ and has participated in multiple archaeological excavations in Israel. Luke leads informative, meaningful tours to Europe and the Bible Lands.
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2 Responses to Cleanup Effort for the Kishon River (Where Baal prophets met their demise)

  1. Susanna says:

    It doesn’t look very… torrential.

  2. lukechandler says:

    Not quite! I would guess it overflowed its banks quite a bit in the battle against Sisera. Maybe the view would be closer to “torrential” if I did not visit during the dry season. 🙂

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