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Author's Journal Transcripts for Bill Humble
Bible Archeology - Proofs From the Earth

 


Professor Bill Humble has traveled to the Holy Land numerous times over the past 30 years. He has visited many of the ancient sites that provide evidence of the accuracy of the Bible. He shares his insights with us in the KNLS series,  Bible ArcheologyóProofs from the Earth.

 

 


 

 

This 2700 year-old tunnel has been cleaned out, and people can wade through it today. It is a half-kilometer long. King Hezekiah cut it through solid rock to protect Jerusalemís water supply.  (Click photo to view a larger image)

Hezekiah Tunnel

Twenty-seven hundred years ago, King Hezekiah built a tunnel to insure that Jerusalem had a water supply in time of siege. Iíve been through that tunnel and Iíd like to tell you about it.

King Hezekiah reigned in Jerusalem 2700 years ago. But the Assyrian army under Sennacherib was about to lay siege to Jerusalem, and Hezekiah faced a problem. The Gihon Spring had been Jerusalemís water supply from time immemorial, but the spring lay outside the city wall, and if the Assyrians captured the spring, Jerusalem would be doomed. So Hezekiah cut a tunnel through solid rock, 1/3 of a mile long, to bring water from the Gihon Spring to the Pool of Siloam, and then he covered the spring with rocks and dirt so that the Assyrians would not know where it was.

Hezekiah was a good king and when the Bible praises his achievements, it says in 2 Kings 20:20 that he made a pool and a tunnel by which he brought water into the city. The pool that he made was the Pool of Siloam, and thatís where Jesus healed a blind man 700 years later.

Hezekiahís tunnel was discovered in 1880, and it has been cleaned out and the water again flows from the Gihon Spring to the Pool of Siloam. We know that it was Hezekiahís tunnel that was found because of an inscription in the tunnel wall, written in archaic Hebrew, and describing how the men worked from each end and met to complete the tunnel. I have gone through Hezekiahís tunnel several times, wading in icy cold water from the Gihon Spring. The tunnel is about as wide as a manís shoulders and for much of the way itís about five feet high, so that I had to slosh through the water stooped over. You can still see the chisel marks in the rock walls. The tunnel is so narrow that the workmen could only work one-at-a-time, chipping away at the rock, their only light an oil lamp.

I will never forget my trips through the tunnelóthe claustrophobia, the cold water, the darkness. It always seems like a whole lot longer than a third of a mile. But when you go through that tunnel, you are stepping back in history 2700 years to the days of Hezekiah and the Assyrian siege and the strong brave men who cut that tunnel and saved their city. And you know, once more, that our Bible is not a book of myth and legend, but a trustworthy record of real people and real events from the long ago.


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This is the view from the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus prayed the night before His death. Gethsemaneís olive trees are in the foreground. The view is through the Kidron Valley to the wall of Jerusalem and the Golden Gate.  (Click photo to view a larger image)

Gethsemane

The Garden of Gethsemane is where Jesus came to pray on the night before he was crucified. Iíve been to Gethsemane many times, and Iíd like to tell you about it.

Letís go to old Jerusalem to the night before Jesus died. He met his disciples in the upper room and with bread and wine he gave them a memorial to remember his death. Then they left the city, walked across the Kidron Valley and came to a grove of olive trees. It was called Gethsemane, and that name means "olive press." Whenever Jesus went from Bethany to Jerusalem, he came down the steep Mount of Olives and past the garden of olive trees. It was a familiar place to Jesus and his disciples. They often stopped her for rest and prayer. So itís not surprising that on the night before the cross, Jesus came again to the garden. He left Peter, James and John behind and then prayed alone, "Father if itís possible, let this cup pass away. But not my will, but thine, be done." And then the mob came, with swords and spears, to arrest him.

Gethsemane, the garden of olive trees, is still there. Of course we donít know the exact spot where he fell with his face to the ground and prayed. According to tradition, the place of prayer was a large flat rock. The early Christians built a church over the rock in the fourth century, and a modern church was built on the same spot less than 100 years ago. The olive trees still grow in Gethsemane. Theyíre not the ones that were there when Jesus prayed, but theyíre more than a thousand years old, maybe the daughters of the ones Jesus knew. When an old olive tree is about to die, new trunks spring up out of the old roots, so the Arabs say, "An olive tree never dies."

I have been to the Garden of Gethsemane with tour groups many times. We like to go there early in the morning. We pray together and we know that somewhere nearby, Jesus prayed, "Father, not my will, but thine, be done." We pray that Godís will may be done in our lives. As we sit among the olive trees, we take the bread and wine and remember that he was crucified about a mile from Gethsemane. If you ever have a chance to worship in Gethsemane, the Bible will seem very real and Jesus will feel very near.


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The New Life Station is pleased to provide transcripts online for a number of KNLS programs.  Please note that all scripts linked to this page are the property of World Christian Broadcasting, SeedSower Productions, or Dr. Bill Humble.  They are provided here for your personal enjoyment only and may not be disseminated in any fashion without prior written permission.