Hezekiah’s Tunnel

From Issue: Discovery 7/1/2009

The book of 2 Kings tells the story of King Hezekiah, one of the few kings of ancient Judah who did “what was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father David had done” (2 Kings 18:3). Second Kings 20:20 says: “Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah—all his might, and how he made a pool and a tunnel and brought water into the city—are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?” We then read in 2 Chronicles 32:30 that “this same Hezekiah also stopped the water outlet of Upper Gihon, and brought the water by tunnel to the west side of the City of David. Hezekiah prospered in all his works.” These two verses give us a wonderful opportunity to verify the Old Testament’s accuracy. If Hezekiah really dug a tunnel underneath the city of Jerusalem, then we might be able to find some evidence of it. After all, a huge tunnel under Jerusalem should be easy to spot. Are there any archaeological discoveries that verify this story?

Indeed there are. One archaeologist named Randall Price wrote a book titled The Stones Cry Out. In that book, he tells about the archaeologists who found the tunnel Hezekiah dug underneath the old city of Jerusalem. In fact, Randall Price includes a picture of his daughter standing in the actual tunnel. The tunnel is so easy to see that tourists can walk through it!

How Hezekiah carved this 1,750-foot tunnel through solid limestone remains a mystery, even today. However, in 1880, an inscription now known as the “Siloam Inscription” was discovered that helped fill in some of the blanks. Apparently, two crews of Hezekiah’s men, working with picks, tunneled from opposite ends and met in the middle. How these two crews met in the middle without the aid of a modern compass or other such device is still unknown. However, the fact that Hezekiah built this tunnel has been verified by archaeology. Time and time again, the Bible “checks out,” and remains the most accurate book ever written.


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