Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Picture: Exiting Hezekiah's Tunnel

David (and the Jebusites before him) located the ancient city of Jerusalem as close as they could get to the water source. Of course that's a smart move everywhere throughout history around the planet. Water has always been and still is a precious resource! I grew up in a small town located on the Turkey River. And I now live in a town located along a branch of the Boone River. In Jerusalem there are plenty of hills that are higher than the original Jerusalem site. Fo example, the Mount of Olives towers way higher than David's city. But ancient Jerusalem had the Gihon Spring, a water source that could easily support up to 2,500 people. That's where we went to visit and tour today.

The Gihon Spring runs through a water tunnel we call "Hezekiah's Tunnel", named after the Jewish King by that name.The most thrilling part of the day was hiking through Hezekiah's Tunnel, which is about 1760 feet long, (about a third of a mile or so). The water flowing through the tunnel varies from ankle high to crotch high and the height inside the tunnel is from 4 feet to 40 feet high and about 2 feet wide. The tunnel was built by King Hezekiah around 700 BC, about 2,700 years ago! The reason why it was built was to divert the water from the spring inside of the city gates, so that in a time when the city was under siege they would have an available water source to endure the siege. Hezekiah's men literally tunneled through the bedrock with ancient pick axes from each side until they met in the middle! An ancient inscription was found in which the workers wrote on the wall of the tunnel describing how they met each other in the middle. Read more about this in 2 Chronicles 32:2-4 and 2 Kings 20:20.

The tunnel ends at the Pool of Siloam where people could come and dip in their water buckets and haul the water to their homes. One of my favorite Bible stories is found in John 9 where a blind man is healed by Jesus, and Jesus tells him to “Go, wash in the Pool of Siloam” (John 9:7). When questioned hard by the Pharisees about the identity of Jesus and how such a thing could happen the blind man finally says in exasperation, “.... One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found, was blind but now I see!

So, we give witness to what we see, whether the facts of archaeological remains or the facts of changed lives. It all works together for the glory of God.

1 comment:

  1. This was one of the places I really enjoyed. Very interesting. Glad all is well.