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Bible Dictionaries

Fausset's Bible Dictionary

Jehoshaphat, Valley of

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Joel 3:2; Joel 3:12, parallel to Zechariah 14:2-4, where the mount of Olives answers to the "valley of Jehoshaphat" in Joel. Possibly "the valley of Berachah", where between Tekoa and the main road from Bethlehem to Hebron Jehoshaphat assembled the people to bless Jehovah for the victory over Ammon, Moab, etc. (2 Chronicles 20:20-26). (See BERACHAH.) The valley with the Kedron at its foot is now called "the valley of Jehoshaphat." But it was not anciently so; Jerome and the Onomasticon of Eusebius first call it so in the fourth century A.D. As the Jews bury worn out rolls of Scripture (for which they have such a deep reverence) here, it is likely the Jehoshaphat from whom the valley is named was a rabbi held in veneration. The tomb called Jehoshaphat's tomb (an excavation with an architectural front) is certainly not that of the king Jehoshaphat, for he was buried in the city of David (2 Chronicles 21:1).

However, the phrases "the city of David" and "Zion" are applied in a general sense to the site of Jerusalem and to the hills around, among which the same name, "sunny mountain," still lingers. The word "city" comprises the surrounding suburbs (Numbers 35:25-28; 1 Kings 2:36-37). Also "in" often means at or near (Conder, Palestine Exploration Quarterly Statement, Oct. 1877, pp. 178,195). Thus the burial "in the city of David" may apply to burial in the vicinity. The enemies Tyre, Sidon, the Philistines, Edom, and Egypt (Joel 3:4; Joel 3:19), are types of the last confederacy under antichrist (Revelation 16; Revelation 17; Revelation 19), which shall assail restored Israel and shall be judged by Jehovah. As Jehoshaphat means "the judgment of Jehovah," "the valley of Jehoshaphat" is probably the general name for the scene of His judgment, Jehoshaphat's victory over the godless horde that sought to dispossess Judah typifying the last victory over the anti-Christian host that shall seek to dispossess restored Israel (Ezekiel 38-39).

That this shall be in the Holy Land seems likely from Zechariah's definite mention of Mount Olivet (Zechariah 14:1; Zechariah 14:4-5) as the scene of Christ's return and from its having been the scene of His ascension; the angels moreover announced, "this same Jesus ... shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven" (Acts 1:11). The word in Joel is emeq , which means a "spacious valley", not a narrow ravine (for which the term is nachal ) such as the valley of the Kedron. In Joel 3:14 "the valley of Jehoshaphat" is called "the valley of decision" or "excision," where the foes shall meet their determined doom. "Armageddon" in Revelation 16:16 corresponds: from har "a mountain", and Megiddo "the valley of Jezreel", the great battle field of Canaan, where godly Josiah fell before Pharaoh Necho.(See ARMAGEDDON.)

Some great plain anti-typical to the two valleys will probably be the scene of the last conflict. Its connection with Jerusalem appears in the context; so "come up," the regular phrase for going to the theocratic capital, is used, but "down into the valley of Jehoshaphat" also (Joel 3:2; Joel 3:12). The Muslims bury their dead on one side of the valley; the Jews on the other. Absalom's tomb and Zechariah's, besides Jehoshaphat's, are pointed out, but without good grounds for the tradition. The king's (Melchizedek's) dale or valley of Shaveh (Genesis 14:17; 2 Samuel 18:18) is identified with "the valley of Jehoshaphat." Josephus (Ant. 7:10) says Absalom's monument was two stadia from Jerusalem, probably in the valley of the upper Kedron, where were the judges' tombs, a likely site for his erecting his sepulchral monument. (See ABSALOM.)

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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Jehoshaphat, Valley of'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. 1949.

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