Hezekiah’s Conduit and King Sennacherib -- By: Bob Boyd

Journal: Bible and Spade (Second Run)
Volume: BSPADE 01:4 (Autumn 1988)
Article: Hezekiah’s Conduit and King Sennacherib
Author: Bob Boyd


Hezekiah’s Conduit and King Sennacherib

Bob Boyd*

*Bob Boyd is an author and speaker. He has written Boyd’s Bible Handbook, and many others. He receives mail at 1712 Academy St,, Scranton, PA 18504

Hebrew inscription found in tunnel describing the workmen’s meeting

“And the rest of the acts of Hezekiah [king of Judah], and all his might, and how he made a pool [of Siloam], and a conduit, and brought water into the city [of Jerusalem]. . .” (2 Kings 20:20). This reference to a pool and a conduit engineered by Hezekiah is all we would have known about it today if it had not been for an interesting archaeological discovery made by a little boy playing hooky from school in 1880. At the man-made Pool of Siloam (John 9:1-7), he made his way through a cave-like entrance. Noticing an inscription on the side of the wall, he told his teacher about it. Written in fine classical Hebrew, it was later deciphered by A. H. Sayce as follows:

“This is the manner of the excavation: While the workmen were still lifting up the axe [pick], each toward his neighbor, and while three cubits [4 1/2 feet] remain [to cut through], each heard the voice of one calling to the other. On the day when the tunnel [conduit] was cut through, each met his neighbor, axe to axe, and the waters flowed from the Spring [of Gihon] to the Pool [of Siloam], for a thousand and two hundred cubits [1800 feet]; and a hundred cubits [150 feet] was the height of the rock above the heads of the workmen,”

The tunnel had an average height of 6 feet and was 2 1/2 feet wide. Numerous tunnels have been found while excavating old biblical cities. The purpose of such was to have an “inside the city” water supply when city gates were

closed during an enemy attack. Most water supplies were outside city walls, serving caravans as well as the citizens of the city.

To construct Jerusalem’s conduit, Hezekiah drew up two sets of blueprints. Giving a set to a group of men at the Pool of Siloam and a set to a group at the Spring of Gihon, Hezekiah said “start carving through rock and you will meet at the spot marked ‘X’.” When the two groups were about 4 1/2 feet from each other, the voice of one was heard calling to the other and soon they cut through the rock and met. The waters then flowed from the Spring to the Pool, thus enabling the city to have a hidden source of water.

Critics of the Bible had once doubted such a verse as You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
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