Jehovah God is properly credited with the development of earth’s topographical features, including its many valleys. (Ps. 104:8) The Promised Land itself abounded with these depressions between bluffs, hills or mountains. In Scripture, some were called merely valleys. (Josh. 8:11; 1 Sam. 13:18) Others were “valley plains,” low-lying level areas between mountains and hills. (Deut. 11:11) There were also “torrent valleys,” sometimes having perennial streams but often flowing with water only in the rainy season. (Deut. 8:7) Certain translations use “vale” or “valley(s)” where the references are to “low plain(s)” (Gen. 14:3; 1 Chron. 12:15), and “vale” or “lowland(s)” for the “Shephelah,” the hilly lowland between the Philistine coastal plain and the highlands of central Palestine.—Deut. 1:7; 1 Ki. 10:27.
Among the notable valleys mentioned in the Scriptures are the valley of Moab “in front of Beth-peor” (Deut. 3:29; 34:6) and the Valley of Salt (2 Sam. 8:13), as well as those of Hinnom (Neh. 11:30), Iphtahel (Josh. 19:14), Zeboim (1 Sam. 13:18) and Zephathah (2 Chron. 14:10). The ‘valley plains’ of Scriptural record include those of Shinar (Gen. 11:2), Jericho (Deut. 34:3), Mizpeh (Josh. 11:8), Lebanon (Josh. 12:7), Ono (Neh. 6:2) and Megiddo.—2 Chron. 35:22; Zech. 12:11.
FIGURATIVE AND PROPHETIC USE
A dark valley or ravine with pitfalls and wild beasts would be perilous to a flock, especially at night, were it not for a good shepherd’s care. Though similarly faced with the threat of various calamities, David was secure in the knowledge that Jehovah was his Shepherd. Therefore, he could declare: “Even though I walk in the valley of deep shadow, I fear nothing bad.”—Ps. 23:1, 4.
“The pronouncement of the valley of the vision” evidently relates to ancient Jerusalem. Though of considerable elevation, the city is like a “valley” in being surrounded by higher mountains.—Isa. 22:1, 5.
Evidently by clearing out all obstacles that stood in the way of the return of his people from Babylonian exile, Jehovah, in effect, ‘raised up every valley,’ ‘leveled hills and mountains’ and made “rugged ground a valley plain” for them. (Isa. 40:4) Though he apparently brought them back by a direct desert route, the Jewish remnant did not suffer thirst. Jehovah’s words through Isaiah were fulfilled: “Upon bare hills I shall open up rivers, and in the midst of the valley plains, springs.”—Isa. 41:18; compare Isaiah 35:6, 7, 10; 43:19-21; 48:20, 21.