2 Kings 20:1 - 21
ESV - 1 In those days Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him and said to him, "Thus says the Lord, 'Set your house in order, for you shall die; you shall not recover.' 2 Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, saying.
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By my understanding, Hezekiah's tunnel was an underground channel constructed during the reign of King Hezekiah of Judah by two separate teams (with one digging north to south and the other digging south to north) for the transfer of water from one part of Jerusalem to another -- specifically, from the Gihon Spring in northern Jerusalem (the only reliable source of fresh water in biblical Jerusalem) to the Siloam Pool (a man-made reservoir in the southern part of the city).
When I was in seminary I had a professor named Dr. Phil Hook. Dr. Hook was the Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology at Dallas Theological Seminary. He had also previously taught at Philadelphia College of Bible and Wheaton College. Phil graduated from Westmont College in California and Dallas Theological Seminary. He challenged all of us male students (there were no female students in the 1970s). He challenged us to read the fascinating book, The Source, by James A. Michener. It was a novel but I believe it was historically accurate. In it, I believe I remember the story of Hezekiah's tunnel. The one thing I recall about how it was dug was that 2 groups of diggers, about 1,777-feet apart, each took a long pole and laid it across the hole they were digging, pointing toward the other hole which again was 1,777 feet (582 yards) away. They met in the middle, and when they were really close to meeting underground, one and then the other group began shouting underground and amazingly, heard each other, so they knew they were close! Imagine the joy when they finally broke through! Hezekiah's Tunnel (Hebrew: תעלת חזקיהו, is a water channel that was carved within the City of David in ancient times, now located in the Arab neighborhood of Silwan in eastern Jerusalem. Its popular name is due to the most common hypothesis that it dates from the reign of Hezekiah of Judah (late 8th and early 7th century BC) and corresponds to the "conduit" mentioned in 2 Kings 20:20 in the Hebrew Bible. According to the Bible, King Hezekiah prepared Jerusalem for an impending siege by the Assyrians, by "blocking the source of the waters of the upper Gihon, and leading them straight down on the west to the City of David" (2 Chronicles 32:30). By diverting the waters of the Gihon, he prevented the enemy forces under Sennacherib from having access to water. --Wikipedia Put yourself in the place of King Hezekiah. Would you want your people inside Jerusalem to die of thirst, once Assyrian soldiers surrounded the city? Well, neither did King Hezekiah. It was a good guess that the Assyrians would come and attack since Hezekiah planned to stop paying taxes to the Assyrian Empire. But too bad there wasn't a water source inside Jerusalem. But there was a hidden spring just outside the walls, in a cave at the foot of Jerusalem's ridge. So he put the miners to work What a surprising feat of ancient engineering! Hezekiah's tunnel, as it is now called today, was rediscovered in 1880, with a stone plaque briefly describing "the story of its cutting." Tourists have been wading through the tunnel ever since. SMM When I was in Jerusalem in the early 1980's I believe I recall being invited to wade through it, too. Yeah, I know it has years and years of history behind it, 2,700 years to be exact, but I hate cold water, even wading in it, and I wanted to nap. So I declined, but others in our tour group did it.
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