10 Days of Archaeology: Day Ten – Hezekiah’s Tunnel

We return to King Hezekiah in this series having already discussed the bulla. Today’s archaeological find, on our last day of 10 Days of Archaeology, is Hezekiah’s Tunnel. One of the great architectural features of Jerusalem, Hezekiah’s Tunnel which connects the Gihon Spring to the Pool of Siloam.

Built over 2,700 years ago, Hezekiah’s Tunnel is the only fresh water source for the city. Apparently, two groups of masons worked digging the tunnel towards each other from both the tunnels water source at Gihon Springs and the tunnels destination at the Pool of Siloam. An inscription was discovered documenting the completion as the two groups of masons meet each other in the tunnel as the dug.

The Siloam Inscription

The Siloam Inscription is a six line Hebrew monument that describes the digging of Hezekiah’s Tunnel.  It was found carved into the wall of the tunnel. It was discovered in 1880 and housed as the “Archaeological Museum” in Istanbul, Turkey.

The passage

the tunnel … and this is the story of the tunnel while …the axes were against each other and while three cubits were left to (cut?) … the voice of a man …called to his counterpart, (for) there was ZADA in the rock, on the right … and on the day of the tunnel (being finished) the stonecutters struck each man towards his counterpart, ax against ax and flowed water from the source to the pool for 1,200 cubits. and (100?)cubits was the height over the head of the stonecutters …

Here is a couple of videos about the tunnel:

Scriptural passages referencing the tunnel include:

“As for the other events of Hezekiah’s reign, all his achievements and how he made the pool and the tunnel by which he brought water into the city, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah?” (2 Kings 20:20)

“When Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib had come and that he intended to wage war against Jerusalem, he consulted with his officials and military staff about blocking off the water from the springs outside the city, and they helped him. They gathered a large group of people who blocked all the springs and the stream that flowed through the land. ‘Why should the kings of Assyria come and find plenty of water?’ they said.” (2 Chronicles 32:2-4)

“It was Hezekiah who blocked the upper outlet of the Gihon spring and channeled the water down to the west side of the City of David. He succeeded in everything he undertook.” (2 Chronicles 32:30)

This post wraps up the 10 Days of Archaeology series. Check below for the other posts that cover such finds the David Inscription, Caiaphas Ossuary, Pilate Stone, Isaiah Bulla, amongst others.

You can check out other archaeological discoveries related to the bible here:



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