Hezekiah's Siloam Tunnel Confirmed Through C-14 Dating
by Rich Deem

According to the Bible, Hezekiah, in response to attack by Assyria, cut off the springs that flowed into the city of Jerusalem1 and built a tunnel to bring water into the city:

As for the other events of Hezekiah's reign, all his achievements and how he made the pool and the tunnel by which he brought water into the city, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? (2 Kings 20:20)

Since King Hezekiah reigned between 727 B.C. and 698 B.C., the tunnel should have been built about that time. However, skeptics have long said that the tunnel was built much later, claiming that an inscription at the end of the tunnel dated it to second century B.C.2

However, science has come to the rescue with a definitive date. Geologist Amos Frumkin and colleagues3 collected plants preserved in the waterproof layers of plaster lining the tunnel and determined the carbon-14 date. In addition, stalactites were collected and their ages determined through uranium-thorium dating. The plant was dated at 700-800 B.C., whereas a stalactite was dated to 400 B.C. (It would have been expected to have formed after the tunnel was built.)

The dating of the Siloam Tunnel is a remarkable testimony of the accuracy of the biblical texts and positively refutes the skepticism of archeologists who are constantly challenging biblical narratives. How many other times will they be proved wrong?

El "Túnel de Siloé" de Ezequías Confirmado a Través del Fechado del C14

References Top of page

  1. When Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib had come and that he intended to make war on Jerusalem, he consulted with his officials and military staff about blocking off the water from the springs outside the city, and they helped him. A large force of men assembled, and they blocked all the springs and the stream that flowed through the land. "Why should the kings of Assyria come and find plenty of water?" they said. (2 Chronicles 32:2-4)
  2. Rogerson, R., P.R. Davies. 1996. Was the Siloam Tunnel Built by Hezekiah?. Biblical Archaeologist 59: 138.
  3. Frumkin, A., A. Shimron, and J. Rosenbaum. 2003. Radiometric dating of the Siloam Tunnel, Jerusalem. Nature 425: 169-171.

Last Modified April 28, 2006


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