Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Field Studies - Hezekiah's Tunnel & The City of David

I have been so excited to blog about our last field trip.
On monday we had the amazing opportunity to go to
The City of David & and under the city in
Hezekiah's Tunnel!

I loved having a field trip so close to home. Normally we take a buss out of Jerusalem and get to experience other cities. As much as I really do LOVE that, it was an even cooler experience to learn more about what is in my own backyard. I mean literally, I can see it from my balcony.

There is so much information about the City of David and Hezekiah's tunnel. I had no idea where to begin... so I looked it up on Wiki to better aid by blogging abilities. Here are some exerts from the website.

The City of David, biblical Jerusalem, is the oldest settled neighborhood of Jerusalem and a major archaeological site. It is a narrow ridge running south from the Temple Mount. It was a walled city in the Bronze Age and, according to tradition, it is the place where King David built his palace and established his capital. The City of David was naturally defended by the Tyropoeon Valley to its west, the Hinnom valley to the south, and the Kidron Valley on the east; although over time the once-steep valley to the west has been largely filled in. During the reign of Hezekiah, the walls of the city were expanded westward, enclosing a previously unwalled suburb in the area now known as the Old City of Jerusalem, west of the Temple Mount.

There is so much more to know about the city, but I thought that this was a good basic explanation. We learned about King David's temple, and walked over its remains. We overlooked where the three beautiful valleys meet. We read scriptures about the amazing city and thought about what it must have been like to be living there at the time of King David and King Solomon. We watched a cool 3-D movie about the first temple period and the history of the city. The most amazing thing is knowing that the City of David is what Jerusalem was when Christ was here.

Looking over the Kidron Valley. It would have been much lower in the time of King David. The Gihon Spring is right there at the base of the hill.
This wall is one of the remains of what most people believe is King David's palace.

This is a shot of where the three valleys meet

Hezekiah's Tunnel

Hezekiah's Tunnel, or the Siloam Tunnel is a tunnel that was dug underneath the City of David in Jerusalem before 701 BC during the reign of Hezekiah. The tunnel is mentioned in 2 Kings 20:20 in the Bible. The Bible also tells us that 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. The tunnel has been securely dated both by the written inscription found on its wall, and by dating organic matter contained in the original plastering.

The tunnel, leading from the Gihon Spring to the Pool of Siloam, was designed as an aqueduct to provide Jerusalem with water during an impending siege by the Assyrians, led by Sennacherib. The curving tunnel is 533 m long, and by using a 30 cm (0.6%) gradient altitude difference between each end, conveyed water along its length from the spring to the pool.

According to the Siloam inscription, the tunnel was excavated by two teams, one starting at each end of the tunnel and then meeting in the middle. The inscription is partly unreadable at present, and may originally have conveyed more information than this. It is clear from the tunnel itself that several directional errors were made during its construction.

The difficult feat of making two teams digging from opposite ends meet far underground is now understood to have been accomplished by directing the two teams from above using sounds generated by hammering on the solid karst through which the tunnelers were digging.

Some Bible Verses that mention the tunnel...

"And when Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib was come, and that he was purposed to fight against Jerusalem, He took counsel with his princes and his mighty men to stop the waters of the fountains which were without the city: and they did help him. So there was gathered much people together, who stopped all the fountains, and the brook that ran through the midst of the land, saying, Why should the kings of Assyria come, and find much water?" 2 Chronicles 32:2-4

"This same Hezekiah also stopped the upper watercourse of Gihon, and brought it straight down to the west side of the city of David. And Hezekiah prospered in all his works." 2 Chronicles 32:30

Our "Chaco" Picture. Proof I wore them at least once.
We had to get creative. We weren't allowed to wear shorts out and we didn't want to trudge through the water in jeans, so this is how we adapted.
Malory and I under the City of David! Notice the water level on my leggings and the small space.
Aiming pictures in the dark is tough.
The magical water from the Gihon Spring.
The bottom half of the picture got cut off, but we are standing in the pool where the tunnel ends in the city.

Brock likes to splash.

Walking through Hezekiah's tunnel was a BLAST.

The walls were very tight, less than the width of a door frame. The ceilings were low at some points, to the point where we had to duck, and very tall at other times. The water reached about mid calf most of the time, but it got up to the top of my thigh at some points. We had so much fun walking through as a class, we spent the whole time singing and splashing each other. We would go some of the way turning off our flashlights so it was pitch dark. The boys even decided to go swimming for part of the way.

Painting of the Pool of the Silaom, what it would have looked like in Christ's era.
Kevin and I at the Pool of Siloam.
We have cool shoes.
Spencer went for a swim

Austin and I by the pool.

After we came out to the Pool of Siloam, the sun felt wonderful as we gathered together as a class for one of the last times. You see we switch from Old Testament to New Testament about half way through the semester, and our first block is almost done. Brother Muhlestein gave another amazing lesson, teaching us the story about when Jesus healed the man who had been blind his whole life, anointing his eyes, and sending him to the Pool of Siloam to wash and be made whole.

John 9:6-11

6When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,

7And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.

8The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged?

9Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he.

10Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened?

11He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight.

We sat and pondered thinking about the miracles that Christ performed, looking over this ancient pool, knowing that he was here at some point. I am sad to be leaving Brother Muhlestein's class, he has been such an amazing teacher and such a good friend. I know that he honestly cares for and loves each one of us, and I am so grateful to have gotten the chance to have him as my teacher this semester. Thank you Brother Muhlestein.

It was an amazing day.

I love Jerusalem more and more as I explore the city and learn about its past.

There is a certain spirit here that can't be felt anywhere else in the world.

You can look over this land and you just know that the Lord loves and watches over this city.

I'm so grateful that I get to be here and love it too.

This piece shows a map of the world, with Jerusalem in the center.

1 comment:

Da Bergs said...

I want to go there and experience all these things... so awesome!