Jerusalem tour is never the same without taking an encounter with Hezekiah’s Tunnel, an underwater aqueduct that can fly tourists to nearly 3 millennia back in human history.
Hezekiah’s Tunnel is dated to exist since 700 B.C. as a protection for Jerusalem’s water supply. Historical accounts claimed that the tunnel was built by King Hezekiah of Judea in order to interrupt the course Gihon Springs from flowing towards the Assyrians, a known rival of the king.
Located outside the walls of old city, Hezekiah’s Tunnel can provide both historical appreciation and adventure. Tourists can squeeze into their Jerusalem tour a visit to the area using the Dung Gate, the one closest to the Western wall, as it cuddles the entrance of this long and dark tunnel. Considering an exploratory adventure Tourists are therefore advised to bring flashlights to serve as guide in walking through the waters of the tunnel.
In 1880, a local discovered by accident that the tunnel houses written testimonials of builder’s experiences and sentiments carved onto walls of rock. The inscriptions were written in Hebrew text and later deciphered by A.H. Sayce and other known scholars of the language. The message was written as follows:
“… the tunneling through. And this is the account of the tunneling through. While [the workmen raised] the pick each toward his fellow and while there [remained] to be tunneled [through, there was heard] the voice of a man calling to his fellow, for there was a split in the rock on the right hand and on [the left hand]. And on the day of the tunneling through the workmen stuck, each in the direction of his fellow, pick against pick. And the water started flowing from the source to the pool, twelve hundred cubits. And the height of the rock above the head of the workmen was a hundred cubits.”
At the moment, this Siloam Inscriptions can be found in the Istanbul Museum.
The Bible carries stories claiming the existence of the Hezekiah’s Tunnel. Many believed that these claims were just pure telltales, but not until an American Archeologist named Edward Robinson discovered it in 1838. Further explorations were done by notable historical personalities like Captain Charles Warren.
Jerusalem tour is a sure way to impart inspiration and knowledge about history. Truly, Hezekiah’s Tunnel serves as a living proof of the stories passed on from generation to generation. As tourists make the tunnel be part of their Jerusalem tour, they may come into a realization that the Divine God is present as manifested by the way He intervened for the protection of Jerusalem. And as a travel back in time is done through a Jerusalem tour, tourists should open their eyes for the message inscribed for them and thank God for He continues to manifest His greatness throughout human history.