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The Jerusalem Water Shaft

Archaeology and the Bible:

And the king and his men went to Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, who said to David, “You will not come in here, but the blind and the lame will ward you off”—thinking, “David cannot come in here.” Nevertheless, David took the stronghold of Zion, that is, the city of David. And David said on that day, “Whoever would strike the Jebusites, let him get up the water shaft to attack ‘the lame and the blind,’ who are hated by David’s soul.” (2 Samuel 5:6-8 ESV)

David’s capture of Jerusalem recounted in 2 Samuel 5:6-8 speaks of Joab using a water shaft built by the Jebusites to surprise them and defeat them. Historians had assumed it was simply a legend until archaeological excavations by R.A.S. Macalister, J.G. Duncan, and Kathleen Kenyon on Ophel found these very water shafts.

One Response

  1. There is a story that this shaft was also used by British soldiers in WW1 – obviously someone who knew his Bible.

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