DAY 11 – WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 13: CITY OF DAVID, HEZEKIAH’S TUNNEL, SILOAM POOL, DRAINAGE CHANNEL, SOUTHERN WALL EXCAVATIONS, A FEW FREE HOURS, GARDEN TOMB
Today was our last day in Jerusalem. It was a day of adventure, walking through water (for some), and worship & communion. The sun was again high in the sky, with temps in the 70s.
City of David
After breakfast we boarded the bus and headed to the City of David excavations. We read from 2 Chronicles 32 on the way. Upon arrival we watched a 3-D movie about Jerusalem. We also stood on the observation deck and overlooked the area, connecting with biblical history (both OT and NT) related to this city.
Walking down through the ruins, we first visited the “Area G” excavations. Dr. John excavated here in 1982 and gave us a description of what was discovered. David’s palace was discovered above this area. The two main biblical storiesshared were 2 Samuel 5 (David conquering the Jebusite city) and 2 Kings 19-20 & Chronicles 32 (Hezekiah’s amazing water tunnel project).
Further below this area, we walked down through Warren’s Shaft. The original theory was that this was the “water shaft” through which David’s men conquered the city. It was most likely in the newly excavated area of the Gihon Spring where this infiltration of the city took place.
Hezekiah’s Tunnel – Canaanite Tunnel – Siloam Pool
The next adventure included walking through Hezekiah’s Tunnel. This was a 1,720 foot water tunnel completed in 701 BC (2 Kings 19-20, 2 Chr. 32, Is. 8:6) Many in the group walked through water to the end while others took the dry and older Canaanite tunnel. Both groups converged at the Pool of Siloam where we read from John 9 in dramatic fashion!
“My favorite part of today was Hezekiah’s Tunnel. We got to walk through this ancient water tunnel. The water was cool but not cold. We saw the chisel marks on the side. How difficult and long it must have been to cut this out of the rock! And just to think this is mentioned in the Bible!” -Tour Member-
South Wall Excavations
From here some in the group walked north through the Herodian drainage channel (that runs under the stone pavement above us) while others bussed up to the South Wall excavations. Here we saw the SW corner of the Temple Mount, massive stones toppled by the Romans in 70 AD, and the Herodian pavement itself. On the southern side of the Temple Mount we sat on the actual steps of the Temple that Jesus and His disciples would have used. We considered everyone who would have used these steps. Today we are the temple of God as God’s Spirit lives within us!
After 2 hours of free time, we walked out of the Old City through the Damascus Gate to get to the Garden Tomb. This is an alternative site for the crucifixion and burial site of Jesus. We enjoyed a tour of the premises before our worship and communion service. It was a great way to end the Israel portion of the trip!
We returned to our hotels for our farewell dinner. Some in the group leave tonight while others are staying on their own an extra day or two. 58 of us cross into Jordan tomorrow morning.