BAR 39:05, Sep/Oct 2013
Will King Hezekiah Be Dislodged from His Tunnel?
It is one of the most famous sites in Jerusalem—right up there after the Dome of the Rock, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Western Wall. And it is also one of the most exciting to visit—Hezekiah’s Tunnel. But is it really his?
The story is well known and oft told. In preparation for the Assyrian king Sennacherib’s attack on Jerusalem, which in 701 B.C.E. came, as the poet Lord Byron said, “like a wolf on the fold,” King Hezekiah of Judah dug his famous tunnel to ensure the city besieged would have adequate water. The city’s only supply of fresh water, the Gihon Spring, lay outside the city wall, so Hezekiah’s tunnelers excavated a remarkable 1,750-foot, S-shaped tunnel under the city that connected the spring to the Siloam Pool on the other side of the city.