Hezekiah’s Tunnel (probable)

In the Biblical passage found in 2 Kings 20:20 there is a reference to a “tunnel” built by King Hezekiah in Jerusalem to bring water into the city c. 700 BC. A tunnel in Jerusalem, likely built by Hezekiah, is still open and visitors can walk through it. It is about one-third of a mile long, and the water is roughly knee deep. Some scholars question if this is the exact tunnel built by Hezekiah; but, in any case an ancient Hebrew inscription was found in the tunnel showing Jewish presence in Jerusalem in antiquity. Click “Read more” below to see a picture of the ancient inscription.

Hezekiah’s Tunnel Inscription

The inscription is now located in the Istanbul Archaeological Museum and is translated as follows:

“[…when] (the tunnel) was driven through. And this was the way in which it was cut through: While […] (were) still […] axe(s), each man toward his fellow, and while there were still three cubits to be cut through, [there was heard] the voice of a man calling to his fellows, for there was an overlap in the rock on the right [and on the left]. And when the tunnel was driven through, the quarrymen hewed (the rock), each man toward his fellow, axe against axe; and the water flowed from the spring toward the reservoir for 1200 cubits, and the height of the rock above the head(s) of the quarrymen was 100 cubits.”