Valley of Josaphat and Kidron Valley

I will be deviating from our experience to some facts in this post. The view from the church includes Valley of Josaphat, Kidron Valley and the Old City of Jerusalem.

Valley of Josaphat (Valley of Jehoshaphat)
The Valley of Josaphat is a familiar place in the Bible.
"I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat" Joel 3:2

The "Valley of Jehoshaphat" is another valley that the world will be drawn down into in the Final Conflict. According to Jewish tradition, the Valley of Jehoshaphat is that part of the Kidron Valley lying between the Temple Mount and the Mount of Olives. The name Jehoshaphat means "Jehovah is Judge." The word Jehoshaphat is found a number of times in Biblical history. The valley of Jehoshaphat is mentioned specifically by that name only twice in the Bible, and specifically in relation to prophecy, in the third chapter of Joel, as the place of The Lord's end-time judgment upon the enemies of Israel.
From Jewish Encyclopedia :
A valley mentioned by the prophet Joel (Joel iv. [A. V. iii.] 2, 12), where, after the return of Judah and Jerusalem from the Captivity, Yhwh would gather all the heathen and would sit in judgment on their misdeeds to Israel. On account of the significance of the name "Jehoshaphat" ("Yhwh judges") some commentators and translators have thought the designation "Valley of Jehoshaphat" to represent only an imaginary locality. Thus Theodotion renders τὴν χώραν τὶς κρίσεως ("the land of judgment"); Targum Jonathan, ("the plain of the settlement of judgment"). The name is first met with in the fourth century of the common era, having been applied by the unknown Pilgrim of Bordeaux in 333. It has since continued to be so used among Jews, Christians, and Mohammedans, who identify it with the valley of Kidron (the present Wadi Sitti Maryam, which separates Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, and through which at one time the stream Kidron flowed), and believe that the Last Judgment will be held there. According to the Midrash Tehillim (viii.; quoted by Neubauer, "G. T." p. 51) no "valley called Jehoshaphat" exists .E. G. H. B. P.
Who is Josaphat ?
Jehoshaphat, from the Hebrew pronounced yeh-haw-shaw-fawt, is a combination of two other Hebrew words, yeh-ho-vaw, from which comes the English Jehovah (see also YHVH, Adonai, Jehovah, LORD) and shaw-fat, meaning to judge. Jehoshaphat means The Lord judges. Jehoshaphat is found a number of times in Bible History as the name of four or five people, ranging from a king of Judah (1 Kings 15:24, see also Kings of Israel and Judah) to a recorder for King David (2 Samuel 8:16). Jehoshaphat is also a valley that is mentioned specifically by that name only twice in the Bible, in Prophecy, in the third chapter of Joel, as the place of The Lord's end-time judgment upon the enemies of Judah, and Israel. (from http://www.keyway.ca/htm2006/20060427.htm)Another story on JosaphatBackground - Jehoshaphat Jehoshaphat was one of the few "good" kings in Judah, the southern kingdom after Israel split in two. He challenged his people to rid the country of all their idols and put there focus back on the one true God. Judah thrived under his leadership and was even miraculously delivered by God when three large armies invaded. One of the key lessons to be learned from Jehoshaphat is the reassurance that "...the battle is not ours, but God's." (2 Chronicles 20:15) Once you learn that God has already fought the battle and won the victory, you can enjoy an even better peace and prosperity as Jehoshaphat, and live your life as more than a conqueror in Christ!
Check out all the wonderful Christian content linked below and learn about Jehoshaphat's reign. Read Jehoshaphat's story in five popular translations - AMP, KJV, HCSB, NIV, The Message: Jehoshaphat 1 Kings 22:1-40 2 Chronicles 18:1-34 - Jehoshaphat's alliance with King Ahab against the Arameans. 2 Chronicles 17:1-19 - God's Blessing at work during Jehoshaphat's reign. 2 Chronicles 19:1-11 - Jehoshaphat encourages the people to return to God. 2 Chronicles 20:1-30 - The war with Ammon, Edom and Moab. 2 Chronicles 20:31-37 - Summary of Jehoshaphat's reign.
(from http://kingskidstuff.home.att.net/jehoshaphat.htm)

Kidron Valley
This is another location that is significantly mentioned in the Bible. Infact the Valley of Josaphat is a part of the Kidron Valley.
The Kidron Valley separates the Mount Olives and the City of Jerusalem.
In the Old Testament, King David crossed the Kidron Valley to escape his wicked son Absalom (2 Samuel 15:23-30). The Kidron Valley is also where King Asa burned the pagan idols and asherah poles (1 Kings 15:13) and where the evil Athaliah was executed (2 Kings 11:16). It became a major cemetery as far back as King Josiah (2 Kings 23:6).

In the New Testament, Jesus traveled from Jerusalem to Bethany through the Kidron Valley to visit Lazarus and raise him from the dead (John 11 and John 12). Jesus also rode the foal of a donkey up the Kidron Valley from the Mount of Olives through the gates of Jerusalem during his “Triumphal Entry” ( Luke 19:28-44). A few days later, after the “Last Supper” with his disciples, Jesus crossed the Kidron Valley to go pray in the Garden of Gethsemane, where he was ultimately arrested ( John 18:1-11).
Some facts of the valley.
1. From Go Israel
The Kidron Valley is one of Jerusalem’s most sacred locales, due to its location between the Temple Mount and the Mount of Olives. On the Mount of Olives is the world’s oldest Jewish cemetery, where it is believed the resurrection of the dead will begin when the Messiah comes. Legend has it that a miraculous bridge will span the valley at the end of time, over which the righteous will pass on their way to the Temple Mount.
This part of the Kidron is also called the Valley of Jehosafat, where God will judge the nations of the world (Joel 3:12). Another name for the valley is the Vale of the King; it was once intensely cultivated and the revenues went to the king.
The Kidron also has the earliest tombs in the cemetery: Zechariah’s Tomb, named after a First Temple priest, the Tomb of the Sons of Hezir, a Second Temple-era priestly family, and Absalom’s Tomb.
2.Valley Of Kidron by Wayne Blank

The Valley Of Kidron is located along the eastern side of Jerusalem, between the Temple Mount (see Mount Moriah) and the Mount of Olives. Many important events of Bible History have occurred, and many tremendous events of Bible Prophecy will occur, in or very near the Valley Of Kidron.

Jesus Christ traveled through the Kidron Valley many times to and from Jerusalem, including on His way to visit Lazarus at Bethany, the Triumphal Entry in which He rode a Donkey from the Mount of Olives to the city, or crossing the valley from the "Last Supper" to the Garden of Gethsemane where He was arrested That Fateful Night. The Pool of Gihon is located in the Kidron Valley. The Brook Kidron runs through the valley during the wet season, but remains dry much of the year. To the south of the city the Kidron joins the Valley Of Hinnom. King David crossed the Kidron Valley to escape his rebellious son Absalom (2 Samuel 15:23,30). King Asa (see Kings of Israel and Judah) burned his grandmother's pagan Asherah pole in the Kidron Valley (1 Kings 15:13), and the evil Athaliah was executed there (2 Kings 11:16). It became for some time a dumping place for destroyed pagan items (2 Chronicles 29:16, 30:14). By the time of King Josiah, the Kidron Valley had become the city cemetery (2 Kings 23:6, Jeremiah 26:23). For this reason, the valley has been of much interest to archaeologists.The Jewish Cemetery on the Mount of OlivesAs we walk down the Hosana streets, we could see covered by thousands of graves. These graves are seen in The Valley of Josaphat.
There are two good reasons to want to be buried here. First, the view to the old city is spectacular. Second, when the Messiah arrives, all the dead will be resurrected, and since the messiah will arrive through the golden gate, then people who are buried on Mount of Olives will be 'First in line' to rise from the dead.
From Go Israel
Jews have sought since antiquity to be buried on the Mount of Olives, where according to the Bible (Zech. 14:4) the resurrection will begin when the Messiah comes. Eventually, the cemetery grew to cover the entire western and much of the southern slopes.
The earliest tombs are located at the foot of the mountain in the Kidron Valley. One is attributed to David’s rebellious son Absalom, another to the First Temple priest Zechariah; a third bears an inscription mentioning the sons of Hezir, a priestly family that lived 2,000 years ago.
Jewish burial here continued throughout the centuries, interrupted only between 1948 and 1967 when Jerusalem was divided. Among the many legends surrounding this sacred mountain, it is said that in the End of Days people will tunnel underground from all over the world to rise up here.
The view of enormous tombs here made me wonder wasn't this view that prompted Jesus to comment
"How terrible it will be for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs that look beautiful on the outside but inside are full of dead people's bones and every kind of impurity. (Matthew 23:27)

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