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KERITH (kē'rĭth). The brook where, at God’s command, Elijah hid himself during the first part of the famine he had predicted (1Kgs.17.1-1Kgs.17.5). It was “before Jordan,” “before” being a Hebrew expression (‘alpenê) that means “toward the face of,” of location, “in front of;” usually “east of” (so rsv, niv), but not always so; hence it is no conclusive help in identifying the brook. Perhaps it was as obscure in Elijah’s day as now and therefore a secure hiding place.

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The place where Elijah hid and was miraculously fed, after announcing the drought to Ahab (1Ki 17:3). It is described as being "before," that is "east," of Jordan. It cannot therefore be identified with Wady el-Kelt, to the West of Jericho. The retreat must be sought in some recess of the Gilead uplands with which doubtless Elijah had been familiar in his earlier days.