JEHOSHAPHAT, VALLEY OF


JEHOSHAPHAT, VALLEY OF (Heb. עֵמֶק יְהוֹשָׁפָט), place mentioned in Joel 4:2, 12 where in the fullness of time God will gather all the nations to judge them. According to II Chronicles 20:26, the army of King Jehoshaphat assembled, after the defeat of his enemies, in the valley of Beracah ("Blessing") somewhere near Tekoa. Popular legend identified the Valley of Jehoshaphat with the middle section of the Kidron Valley, Jerusalem, and called the tomb-cave behind "Absalom's Tomb" the "Tomb of Jehoshaphat"; as such it is already referred to by the Bordeaux pilgrim (333 C.E.). On the Day of Judgment, according to Arab tradition, a sword will be suspended between the Temple Mount and the Mount of Olives; the righteous will pass safely along the blade but the wicked will fall into the fire of Gehenna below. In Jewish tradition the place where "God will judge" (Yeho-Shafat) the nations has no geographical definition (Mid. Ps. to 8:10).

[Michael Avi-Yonah]


Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.