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The Kidron Valley (The Valley of Jehoshaphat)

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Follow Jesus on His Final Path

Location – The Valley between the Temple Mount and the Mount of Olives

Map Coordinates - 31.776541, 35.238569

The Kidron Valley is the valley on the eastern side of The Old City of Jerusalem separating the Temple Mount from the Mount of Olives. It extends along a 20-mile course to the Dead Sea. The Bible calls this the “Valley of Jehoshaphat”, having Jerusalem’s richest concentration of rock-hewn tombs.

Jesus most-assuredly walked this valley many times during His visits to Jerusalem, especially as He crossed over from Bethany on the Mount of Olives to the Temple Mount.

Judas Iscariot leads the Jewish rulers and guards down into the Kidron Valley to arrest Jesus.

The Final Path of Jesus.

This was also the valley that Jesus walked on the night that He was arrested, south to north, as He led His disciples from the Upper Room to the Gethsemane Grotto. It is the valley that He walked north to south as He was escorted on the same night from Gethsemane up the Maccabean stairs to the palace of Annas. This is why we call this latter journey of Christ “The Final Path”.

Since the Tombs of Absalom and Zechariah were both constructed in the first century, it is questionable whether Jesus actually saw these tombs in their completed state.

The Tomb of Absalom.

The Tomb of Absalom.

Although it is traditionally ascribed to Absalom, the rebellious son of King David of Israel (around 1000 BC), this monument is dated to the first century AD.

It is named following the Jewish tradition in 2 Samuel 18:18, which reads

“Now Absalom in his lifetime had taken and set up for himself the pillar which is in the King’s Valley, for he said; I have no son to keep my name in remembrance, he called the pillar his by own name; and it is called Absalom’s monument to this day.”

Obviously, the pillar referred to in this passage is not the same as the monument that bears his name today.

For centuries, it was the custom among local residents, Jews, Christians and Muslims, to throw stones at the monument. Residents of Jerusalem would bring their unruly children to the site to teach them what became of David’s rebellious son.

The Tomb of Benei Hezir.

The Tomb of the Benei Hezir priestly family.

The Tomb of Benei Hezir dates to the second century BC. It is a complex of burial caves dug into the cliff, and features a Hebrew inscription indicating that it was the burial site for several generations of a wealthy priestly family by the name of Benei Hezir during the Hasmonean period.

The Tomb of Zechariah.

The Tomb of Zechariah.

The Tomb of Zechariah is a monument to the same prophet who wrote the Old Testament book that bears his name. There is no evidence as to where Zechariah was buried, and the tomb does not contain a body, as it is a solid object carved from the rock. Like the tomb of Absalom, archeologists date the construction of this tomb to the first century AD, and it was the last of the three great tombs to be built.

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