“In those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will put them on trial for what they did to my inheritance, my people Israel, because they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land. They cast lots for my people and traded boys for prostitutes; they sold girls for wine to drink. Joel 3:1-3
Tradition has it that the Valley of Jehoshaphat is located east of Jerusalem, in a place also known as the Kidron Valley. Jehoshaphat was one of the few righteous kinds of ancient Israel. It is here that Jesus will gather all people and, one by one, judge us for what we’ve done in this life. Since the time of Joel, it has been a wish and tradition for people to be buried in the valley so they will be present at the resurrection and time of the Last Judgment.
Per Wikipedia, however, “alternatively, it may refer to an indeterminate valley of judgment, since “Josaphat” means “YaHaWaH judges”. In Joel 3:14 the same valley is called “valley of destruction” or the “valley of decision”. The chapter in question describes how the nations that afflicted Judah and Jerusalem during their Babylonian captivity and return from exile shall receive Divine Judgment. According to the Midrash Tehillim, no “valley called Jehoshaphat” exists.”
So where is it? And what is it?
The short answer: we don’t know for sure, but it will be near both Jerusalem and the plain of Megiddo, where the final battle of Armageddon will be waged. The Valley of Jehoshaphat is also called “the Valley of Decision” because the word (and name) Jehoshaphat means “God judges.” Most likely, the traditional area is correct; where else could it be?
But what matters more is that it doesn’t matter specifically where on the Third Rock it is located. It’s just a map dot. What matters more is that you and I be prepared for it in our lives. We prepare ourselves by believing in Jesus, following Jesus, living our lives putting our faith in Jesus. At the valley of Jehoshaphat, wherever it is, God Himself will judge each of us, sending His sheep to eternal peace and the goats – unbelievers – to eternal damnation, separated from Him. The rest is just geography and trivia.
You and I: we will be held accountable by the Lord who created us for whether or not we loved Him in this life. It won’t be because He wants vengeance. It’ll be because He loved us enough to die and rise for us. It’ll happen in the valley of decision. Decide now how You want Jesus to see you, then live your life that way.
For more reading: Genesis 11:4, Leviticus 26:33, Deuteronomy 30:3, Jeremiah 16:16, Ezekiel 38:8, Zephaniah 3:8 & 20, Joel 3:4
Lord, I look forward to seeing You in the valley. Help me to prepare others.