Jerusalem: The Midway Point in Hezekiah’s Tunnel Where the Workers Met
The photograph shows the spot where the tunnelers met nearly at midpoint. The ability of these people to cut this small tunnel without modern instruments or tools is astonishing. The fact that they were only 10 feet off horizontally and none at all vertically appears almost miraculous. Is it possible that God’s hand was in the project itself? Given Hezekiah’s faith and his trust in God, it seems to be the best explanation.
In 1880, not far from here, several boys playing in the tunnel discovered writing chiseled in the ceiling. Called the Siloam Inscription, it describes the dramatic moment when the two teams of workers met. Scholars have noted that it is one of the few texts memorializing a great event from the perspective of the common people who accomplished it.
One translation of the inscription reads: “While the laborers were still working with their picks, each toward the other, and while there were still three cubits to be broken through, the voice of each was heard calling to the other, because there was a split in the rock to the south and to the north. And at the moment of the breakthrough the laborers struck each toward the other, pick against pick. Then the water flowed from the spring to the pool for 1200 cubits. And the height of the rock above the heads of the laborers was 100 cubits.” The writer obviously was familiar with the event and with the tunnel. Maybe it was the overseers of the project, or maybe a worker. Whoever the writer was, he recorded an amazing achievement.
Unfortunately, the inscription was taken to Istanbul during the Turkish rule of Palestine in the late nineteenth century and is now in the Istanbul Archaeological Museum. It appears another miracle is needed to return it to its original home:Jerusalem, the city of David and Hezekiah.
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