26 – Hezekiah’s Tunnel

Considered one of the greatest water engineering projects in the pre-Classical period, Hezekiah’s Tunnel winds its way through over 1700 feet through solid rock under the city of Jerusalem.

For centuries, the Gihon Spring was one of the main water supplies for Jerusalem. When King Hezekiah knew that the Assyrians were coming to do battle against him, he set two teams of men to start chiseling a connection from the Gihon Spring (located outside the city walls, near the valley floor) to a location inside the city. The teams worked at opposite ends of the tunnel and met in the middle. Once this tunnel was complete, water would flow from the Gihon Spring into the city and the citizens could draw fresh water without having to go outside the city walls.

The rest of the events of Hezekiah’s reign, along with all his might and how he made the pool and the tunnel and brought water into the city, are written about in the Historical Record of Judah’s Kings. (2Kings 20:20 HCSB)

Hezekiah had abundant riches and glory, and he made himself treasuries for silver, gold, precious stones, spices, shields, and every desirable item. He made warehouses for the harvest of grain, wine, and oil, and stalls for all kinds of cattle, and pens for flocks. He made cities for himself, and he acquired herds of sheep and cattle in abundance, for God gave him abundant possessions. This same Hezekiah blocked the outlet of the water of the Upper Gihon and channeled it smoothly downward and westward to the city of David. Hezekiah succeeded in everything he did. (2Ch 32:27-30 HCSB)

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To get to the tunnel, you have to climb downward.
Several hundred feet, actually.
Ahhhh.. the Gihon Spring. Water moves pretty quickly here. It starts out at about two to three feet deep, but the majority of the tunnel has about 8″ of water.
Within the past couple of years, they’ve put some sort of epoxy on the floor to smooth it out. I hear it was kind of rough before.
Whoever said stalactites take millions of years to form? This tunnel was dug 2,500 years ago.
Tight fit in some parts.
After a 1/3-mile hike underground, the tunnel ends at what used to be called the Pool of Siloam. This is where Jesus healed the blind man – NOT!Despite the Byantine labeling of this pool as the pool of Siloam, recent excavations have discovered the real pool of Siloam just a few hundred feet away. It’s much larger than this place.
Here’s a mural of what the real Pool of Siloam must have looked like.
These steps of the Pool of Siloam were covered with dirt just a few years ago.