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The Bible and Archaeology

What is Hezekiah’s Tunnel?

When the people of Jerusalem faced an impending Assyrian siege, King Hezekiah, who reigned from 715 to 687 B.C.E., knew he had to do something to help his people. In those days, it was common wartime practice to stop up an enemy city’s water supply. The Assyrians would have stopped up Jerusalem’s water supply if they could, but Hezekiah came up with a plan to keep this from happening. Hezekiah had workers build a tunnel underground from the springs outside the city to reservoirs inside the city. The tunnel is roughly a third of a mile long. The building of the tunnel is recorded in II Kings: “The rest of the deeds of Hezekiah, all his power, how he made the pool and the conduit and brought water into the city, are they not written in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Judah?” (NRSV, II Kings 20:20)


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