Wadi Qelt or Prat River is described to be one of the wildest ravines of the region. It travels from west to east, draining most part of the northern Judean wilderness. It was in those banks that the prophet Elijah hid himself during the three-year period of the drought, according to (1 Kings 17).  
It is also believed that some of the biblical occurrences that happened on this route included Zedekiah's flight from the Babylonians, the story of the Good Smaritan and Jesus' travel from Jericho to Jerusalem. 


Wadi Qelt, the border of Judah and Benjamin

Cherith: 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.

“Cherith,” Easton’s Bible Dictionary, paragraph 1372.

Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, Go from here in the direction of the east, and keep yourself in a secret place by the stream Cherith, east of Jordan. The water of the stream will be your drink, and by my orders the ravens will give you food there. So he went and did as the Lord said, living by the stream Cherith, east of Jordan. And the ravens took him bread in the morning and meat in the evening; and the water of the stream was his drink. Now after a time the stream became dry, because there was no rain in the land.

1 Kings 17:2–7 BBE

Judah northern border.

The northern border begins at the “mouth of the Jordan” and extends northwest to Jericho and the Wadi Qelt. It passes just to the south of Jerusalem (Jebus) and then on to Kiriath Jearim (Deir el-Azhar) by way of the Judean hills to Beth Shemesh (Tell el-Rumeileh) on to the border of Philistia on the “northern slope of Ekron” (Tel Miqne). It then passes through the Sorek Valley westward to Jabneel (2 Chron 26:6; later Jamnia) and the Mediterranean Sea.

John H. Walton, Victor H. Matthews, and Mark W. Chavalas, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament, Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2000, 233.

The Brook of Cherith

A stream east of the Jordan River, where Elijah sought refuge from Ahab and Jezebel (1 Kgs. 17:3-7). Some scholars equate Cherith with the Wadi Qelt, above Jericho W of the Jordan, but this location contradicts biblical evidence (1 Kgs. 17:3). The Wadi el-Yubis is currently the accepted location. Situated in northern Gilead, it corresponds to 1 Kgs. 17:1 where Elijah is described as “the Tishbite, of Tishbe of Gilead.”

“CHERITH,” Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible, 233.


During the Hasmonean-Roman period occupation at the oasis moved to Tulûl Abū el-ʿAlayiq, a group of low mounds both north and south of Wadi Qelt. Excavation at these sites was done by Charles Warren (1869), Sellin and Watzinger (1913), James L. Kelso and Dimitri C. Baramki (1950), James B. Pritchard (1951), and Ehud Netzer (1973–1987). These extensive excavations exposed a two-story palace built by Hyrcanus I on the north bank of Wadi Qelt, and a large complex of buildings, complete with swimming pools, constructed by Herod the Great as a winter palace with wings connected by a bridge on both sides of Wadi Qelt. Netzer’s excavations also found remains of a theater, a racing course, and a possible gymnasium built by Herod at Tell es-Samarat (1917.1413) S of Tell es-Sulṭân. Little of the town associated with NT Jericho has been discovered.

“JERICHO,” Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible, 691.