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Jehoshaphat, Valley of

Jehoshaphat, Valley of [EBD]

mentioned in Scripture only in Joel 3:2, 12. This is the name given in modern times to the valley between Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives, and the Kidron flows through it. Here Jehoshaphat overthrew the confederated enemies of Israel (Ps. 83:6-8); and in this valley also God was to overthrow the Tyrians, Zidonians, etc. (Joel 3:4, 19), with an utter overthrow. This has been fulfilled; but Joel speaks of the final conflict, when God would destroy all Jerusalem's enemies, of whom Tyre and Zidon, etc., were types. The "valley of Jehoshaphat" may therefore be simply regarded as a general term for the theatre of God's final judgments on the enemies of Israel.

This valley has from ancient times been used by the Jews as a burial-ground. It is all over paved with flat stones as tombstones, bearing on them Hebrew inscriptions.

Jehoshaphat, Valley of [NAVE]

JEHOSHAPHAT, VALLEY OF
Joel 3:2, 12 See: Jehoshaphat 6.

JEHOSHAPHAT, VALLEY OF [SMITH]

(valley of the judgment of Jehovah), a valley mentioned by Joel only, as the spot in which, after the return of Judah and Jerusalem from captivity, Jehovah would gather all the heathen, (Joel 3:2) and would there sit to judge them for their misdeeds to Israel. ch. (Joel 3:12) The scene of "Jehovah?s judgment" as been localized, and the name has come down to us attached to that deep ravine which separates Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, through which at one time the Kedron forced its stream. At what period the name "valley of Jehoshaphat" was first applied to this spot is unknown. It is not mentioned in the Bible or Josephus, but is first encountered in the middle of the fourth century. Both Moslems and Jews believe that the last judgment is to take place there. The steep sides of the ravine, wherever a level strip affords the opportunity, are crowded --in places almost paved-- by the sepulchres of the Moslems, or the simpler slabs of the Jewish tombs, alike awaiting the assembly of the last judgment. The name is generally confined by travellers to the upper part of the glen. (Others suppose that the name is only an imaginary one, "the valley of the judgment of Jehovah" referring to some great victories of God?s people in which judgment was executed upon the heathen; or perhaps, as Keil, etc., to the end of the world. --ED.)

JEHOSHAPHAT, VALLEY OF [ISBE]

JEHOSHAPHAT, VALLEY OF - (`emeq yehoshaphaT); the latter word means "Yahweh judgeth," and `emeq, "wide," "open valley"; Septuagint he koilas Iosaphat): The name is used in Joel 3:2,12 of the scene of Judgment: "Let the nations bestir themselves, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat; for there will I sit to judge all the nations round about" (Joel 3:12). "The valley of decision" (or "sharp judgment") is another name the prophet gives to this spot (Joel 3:14). Some have identified it with the valley (`emeq) of BERACAH (which see) of 2 Ch 20:26, where King Jehoshaphat obtained a great victory, but this is improbable.

Since the 4th century AD the KIDRON (which see) valley has been named the Valley of Jehoshaphat. The tradition is now strongest among the Moslems who point out the exact scene of the Judgment; the Bridge As Sirat, dividing heaven and hell, is to stretch across this valley from the Charam area to the Mount of Olives. It is, however, the ambition of every pious Jew to be buried on the slopes of this valley, to be at hand at the resurrection. This, too, was an ordinary place for Jewish graves in preexilic times (2 Ki 23:6, etc.). The valley today, especially that part adjacent to the temple, is crowded with Moslem and Jewish graves. A worthless tradition indicates the tomb of Jehoshaphat himself close to the so-called "Pillar of Absalom." Se KING'S VALE. There is not the slightest reason for believing that this is the spot referred to by Joel--indeed he may have spoken of an ideal spot only. The valley of the Kidron is a nachal ("ravine"), not an `emeq ("broad valley"). It is impos sible not to suspect that there is some connection between the name Jehoshaphat and the name of a village near the head of this valley--Shaphat; perhaps at one time it was Wady Shaphat, which name would readily suggest the traditional one.

See GEHENNA.

E. W. G. Masterman




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