The Siloam Inscription
The Gihon spring flows from the lower reaches of the eastern slope of the hill on which the ancient City of Jerusalem is built. It is probable that from the time of King Solomon the water from this spring flowed along a cut channel on the hillside and into a reservoir. This water was used to irrigate fields in the valley bottom. The disadvantage was that water was outside the city walls and was easily available to an invading army.
When Sennacherib invaded Judea about 700 BC, Hezekiah\'s response was "Why should the Kings of Assyria come and find much water\'\' (II Chronicles 32:4). The Bible record says that he stopped the watercourse of Gihon and brought it to the west side of the city (II Chronicles 32:30).
He constructed a tunnel, which brought water into a defensible location in the southwest corner of the city. The tunnel itself is a remarkable engineering feet for the period when it was built. It is 1750 ft. long and follows an s-shaped path. This conduit was constructed by two teams working from each end. The moment when the two teams met is recorded on the Siloam inscription, which was carved into a commemorative stone on the walls surrounding the pool of Siloam. The original stone is now in a museum in Istanbul and a copy placed near the pool that can still be seen in Jerusalem.
Although the Bible describes a project by Hezekiah to protect the main water supply for Jerusalem, there are no inscriptions to identify Hezekiah. However, some of the original pools, which stored water were plastered. Small fragments of bone in these plastered wails could be carbon dated. The date indicated is about 700 BC, which was the date of Sennacherib\'s invasion and Hezekiah\'s defensive preparations.
Tourists today can visit the Gihon spring, wade through Hezekiah\'s tunnel, come out at the pool of Siloam and see the inscription.