Hezekiah’s Tunnel

The completion of Hezekiah’s Tunnel was an amazing accomplishment. The digging of the tunnel is reported in 2 Chronicles 32:30: “Hezekiah was the one who stopped the water from flowing from the upper outlet of Gihon. He channeled the water directly underground to the west side of the City of David.”

A record of the digging of the tunnel has been preserved in the Siloam Inscription. The inscription, written in biblical Hebrew, has six lines of text. The following is Albright’s translation:

“[.. 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 fellow, 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 1,200 cubits, and the height of the rock above the head(s) of the quarrymen was 100 cubits.” [“The Siloam Inscription”, transl. by W. F. Albright in James b. Pritchard ed., Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament (Princeton, 1950), p. 321.]

Claude Mariottini
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary

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2 Responses to Hezekiah’s Tunnel

  1. Dr. Mariottini,

    Thank you for posting so many interesting stories of biblical archaeology. I became interested in archaeology a couple of years ago when I was teaching 6th graders about Ancient Egypt. I find your postings and commentaries quite compelling.


  2. Steve,

    Thank you for your comment. I enjoy reading and studying archaeology. This is the reason I write and post often on archaeological topics.Thank you for visiting my blog.

    Claude Mariottini


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