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English Bible Dictionary

Valley of Jehoshaphat

 

(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, and you can find more about that here on st-takla.org on other commentaries and dictionary entries. 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.)

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