Sunday 12 June 2022

The City of David

Today we visited the City of David, which is in the South part of Jerusalem. It is named City of David because it is where the original City of Jerusalem was when David ruled from his palace there. After David's time his son Solomon built the Temple just north of the City, and then the city expanded to encompass the Temple.

So, in the current set up the City of David sits within the Jewish quarter of the city, whereas up until now most of the sites we have seen have been in the muslim quarter.
Whilst we were there we had the opportunity to go along Hezekiah's tunnel, which runs under the city. It was contructed during Hezekiah's reign (2 Kings 20:20) in 702 BC to bring water into the city secretly to a resevoir inside the walls. This was done to protect the water supply against seige when the Assyrian army approached.

The tunnel is 533 metres long, which doesn't sound like much but took over 30 minutes to walk along. The whole thing is narrow - there's no way to get past the person in front or behind you. It is all ankle deep in water, and sometimes dips so that we were knee deep.  Also, there is no lighting - everyone had to bring their own torches. Not for the claustrophobic! But it was exciting to walk and wonder what it must have been like for the teams who cut the tunnel into the mountain rock all those centuries ago.

The tunnel emerges at the pool of Siloam - which was the reservoir inside the city walls. Its much smaller than it was, but was worth seeing and remembering the story of the blind man who Jesus healed by rubbing mud in his eyes and then telling him to wash the mud off in the pool of Siloam.

After this we went to the steps leading up to the temple entrance. Most of the steps have been re-built, but a few of the steps at the bottom were original first century steps - the same ones that Jesus would have used to enter the Temple. Now the steps lead up to a wall. The gate is blocked up.
Praise God that Jesus is the gate, and we can come to God through Jesus.

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