Tunnel of David
DISCOVERY PROVES BIBLE IS ACCURATE
A 3,000 YEAR-OLD water shaft that is almost certainly the tunnel Israelite king David used to conquer Jerusalem has been found.
The tunnel is one more in a long string of archaeological discoveries that confirm the accuracy of the Bible.
The opening of the tunnel was found last year in the City of David area of Jerusalem. Debris and fallen stones block much of it, but the first 50 metres are still accessible.
The find was made by Dr Eilat Mazar, who has risen to international prominence for her discovery of other biblical evidence. She has found remains of an immense stone structure that was almost certainly King David’s palace, remnants of the wall built by Nehemiah, and two seal impressions belonging to ministers of King Zedekiah.
The tunnel was discovered under the palace. The walls are composed partly of stones, and partly bedrock, showing that it is a natural water shaft that has been extended. Mazar says the natural tunnel was integrated into the palace’s construction, probably to channel water to a pool inside the palace.
In 2 Samuel 5:6-10 the Bible mentions that David used a water shaft or “tsinor” to enter Jerusalem and capture it from the Jebusites, who had bragged that no one could take their fortress. David then took up residence and improved the fortifications, making the city his capital.
The tunnel’s characteristics, date and location, Mazar says, testify with “high probability” that it is David’s tsinor. Archaeologists had for many years speculated that Warren's Shaft, also in the City of David, was David’s tunnel, but recent research has proved that is unlikely.
Mazar’s excavation also shows that, near the end of the First Temple period, the tunnel was converted to an escape passage. This might explain another event in the Bible. In 2 Kings 25:1-7, King Zedekiah and his army escaped from Jerusalem even though it was surrounded by the Babylonians. The account doesn’t mention a tunnel; it says the Jews made their exit through a gate near the king’s garden. But this doesn’t explain how Zedekiah and his army could have got past the Babylonians. The water tunnel might.
During the dig, complete oil lamps were found on the ground of the tunnel, characteristic of the time of Zedekiah.
“The new discoveries in the City of David illuminate the ancient history of Jerusalem and the reality described in the Bible,” Mazar says.
It’s strange that, after many years of TV programmes attacking the Bible, dramatic finds like this never make the TV news. They are usually tucked away in small columns of newspapers or obscure pages of websites.
Mazar’s discoveries contradict the view that the Bible is not accurate history. But the Western media don’t seem interested in highlighting such unfashionable discoveries, and sceptical archaeologists are clearly not willing to admit their mistakes.
By Andrew Halloway – Challenge Magazine – Feb 2010
Full article here