Hezekiah was King in Judah during the 8th century B.C. when the Assyrian army was marching through the land on a warpath to take over the great city of Jerusalem. For several generations the water source for Jerusalem was outside of the city walls (which is how David managed to conquer the city in the first place). With the threat of Sennacherib leading the Assyrian army to conquer Jerusalem, Hezekiah knew he had to do something about the water source.
He had a brilliant idea! He moved the water source inside of the city walls by cutting a 1,733 ft (1/3 mile) tunnel through solid rock! Wow!
It is estimated that the project took around 4 years to finish. Workers cut from both sides and met in the middle. That means that each side was able to cut an average of 6 inches of tunnel per day!!
But it worked! With the water source moved from outside of the city to collecting in a pool within the city walls, Israel was able to withstand the army of Sennacherib long enough for God to perform a miracle on their behalf (see 2 Chronicles 32).
Sennacherib himself testified about this event. Archeologists discovered an ancient Assyrian description of these events that matches the biblical description.
We actually walked the entire length of Hezekiah’s Tunnel all the way down to the Pool of Siloam. We walked through the long, dark, narrow, wet tunnel. At times the tunnel was only around 5 foot tall and 14 inches wide. I had to duck through most of it and turn slightly to the side because I was too tall and too wide for the tunnel. There was also 6 to 30 inches of water flowing through the tunnel the whole time as we walked. It was crazy!! it was also super cool.
We finished today’s adventure at the Pool of Siloam, which is the reservoir for the water coming from Hezekiah’s Tunnel.