Hezekiah’s Tunnel

Do the new dates hold water?

Hezekiah's TunnelFor more than a hundred years, an extraordinary water tunnel in Jerusalem has been attributed to King Hezekiah, who dug it to protect the city’s water supply during the Assyrian siege of 701 B.C.E. Hence its name, Hezekiah’s Tunnel. However, recent scholarly publications now argue that the tunnel was not built by Hezekiah but by his predecessor or his successors. In the web-exclusive discussion Regarding Recent Suggestions Redating the Siloam Tunnel, leading archaeologists Aren Maeir and Jeffrey Chadwick propose that Hezekiah had ample time to construct the tunnel during the revolt against Assyria.

Read Aren Maeir and Jeffrey Chadwick’s Regarding Recent Suggestions Redating the Siloam Tunnel in Bible History Daily.

Read Hezekiah’s Tunnel Reexamined in Bible History Daily for more on the arguments for and against redating the tunnel.

Read Ayreh Shimron’s responses to readers’ letters about the construction of the water system in the Bible History Daily scholar’s response Hezekiah’s Tunnel Revisited.

Resources on Hezekiah’s Tunnel, the Siloam Inscription and Jerusalem’s water system in the BAS Library:

Will King Hezekiah Be Dislodged from His Tunnel?Biblical Archaeology Review, September/October 2013.

Did Ancient Jerusalem Draw Water Through Warren’s Shaft?Biblical Archaeology Review, March/April 2007.

Hershel Shanks, “Sound Proof,” Biblical Archaeology Review, September/October 2008.

Strata: Siloam Inscription: Return Home!Biblical Archaeology Review, November/December 2007.

Hershel Shanks, “The Siloam Pool,” Biblical Archaeology Review, September/October 2005.

Defusing Pseudo-Scholarship: The Siloam Inscription Ain’t Hasmonean,” Biblical Archaeology Review, March/April 1997.

Jo Ann Hackett, “Defusing Pseudo-Scholarship: Spelling Differences and Letter Shapes Are Telltale Signs,” Biblical Archaeology Review, March/April 1997.

Frank Moore Cross, “Defusing Pseudo-Scholarship: Because They Can’t See a Difference, They Assert No One Can,” Biblical Archaeology Review, March/April 1997.

P. Kyle McCarter, Jr., “Defusing Pseudo-Scholarship: No Trained Epigraphist Would Confuse the Two,” Biblical Archaeology Review, March/April 1997.

Ada Yardeni, “Defusing Pseudo-Scholarship: They Would Change the Dates of Clearly Stratified Inscriptions—Impossible!Biblical Archaeology Review, March/April 1997.

André Lemaire, “Defusing Pseudo-Scholarship: Are We Prepared to Raze the Edifice?Biblical Archaeology Review, March/April 1997.

Esther Eshel, “Defusing Pseudo-Scholarship: Some Paleographic Success Stories,” Biblical Archaeology Review, March/April 1997.

Avi Hurvitz, “Defusing Pseudo-Scholarship: Philology Recapitulates Paleography,” Biblical Archaeology Review, March/April 1997.

Neil Asher Silberman, “In Search of Solomon’s Lost Treasures,” Biblical Archaeology Review, July/August 1980.

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10 Responses

  1. John says:

    Please don’t try to say anything different that what God has allowed to be recorded He’s never wrong ! Never always on time too

  2. Pamela Levene says:

    Without doubting the validity of religious conviction, surely the scientific conclusions carry some weight!

    Way back in 2003 radiometric dating put the tunnel exactly in the time of Hezekiah! Radiometric dating is based on the decay of radioactive elements. The scientists used measurements of carbon-14 for dating core samples of organic material removed from within the plaster of the Siloam Tunnel, They double checked by using uranium-thorium for dating stalactites which had grown in the tunnel since its construction.

    I believe this conclusion has been reaffirmed several times since this first report so I find it hard to understand why this “new” article was given space!

  3. Albert Benhamou says:

    The Assyrians deported the Tribe of Naphtali in 735 BCE and Hezekiah came to power in 725 BCE. He knew very well that the Assyrians would attack his kingdom after conquering the kingdom of Israel, and he had 24 years to prepare for this. The Bible is categorically stating that he Hezekiah did the works on the tunnel/conduit to divert the waters: (II Kings 20:20) Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and all his might, and how he made the pool, and the conduit, and brought water into the city, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?

  4. Thirumanivasagam says:


    After crossing red sea Exodus they stayed at Sinai mountain.MOSES climbed to the top of the mountain for forty days and got the ten command ments from the LORD .The fxodus freed from Egypt.LORD said unto them that they would not see Egyptians hereafter. Is it possible Sinai mountain in the Egyptian territory As per St Paul it is in ARABIA. any archeological research..

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