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ZERED , brook or valley of (Heb. נַחַל זֶרֶד, Naḥal Zered), a river valley described as a camping place of the Israelites before the flanking movement which brought them to Jahaz (Num. 21:12). The crossing of the deep rift in the mountains made a deep impression on the Israelites, and this event served as a terminal point for the account of the wanderings in the desert after Kadesh-Barnea (Deut. 2:13, 14). In later Jewish literature, the Zered appears as the border of the area held by the returning exiles from Babylonia (Sif. Deut. 51, et al.). Eusebius mentions it but does not localize it (Onom. 92:10); the Madaba map, however, shows it clearly south of Kerak (Charachmoba). Most scholars identify it with the Wadi al-Ḥasā, which flows in a deep rift for approximately 28 mi. (45 km.) from east to west up to the Dead Sea. The shallow stream has a width of 8.7 yards (8 m.) and a capacity of 300–400 cu. m. per minute.


Abel, Geog, 1 (1933), 279, 310, 489; 2 (1938), 216; em, 3 (1952), 630.

[Michael Avi-Yonah]