Turkey agrees to return ancient evidence of Hezekiah’s tunnel to Israel

Monday, March 14, 2022 | Tag Cloud Tags: , , , , , ,

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by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – Israeli officials say Turkey has agreed to return to Israel the Siloam Inscription, a 2,700-year-old Hebrew text which concretely supports the Biblical account of a tunnel constructed to carry water from the Pool of Siloam to the City of David during the reign of King Hezekiah, the Times of Israel (TOI) reports.

Having refused to return the inscription on previous occasions, Turkey made this goodwill gesture amid recently warming ties with Israel, a senior Israeli official told TOI. The inscription’s return to Israel was discussed during the historic visit of President Isaac Herzog to Ankara earlier this month, the official said.

Currently located in the Istanbul Archaeology Museum, the inscription has six lines written in paleo-Hebrew about the construction of a tunnel referred to in the biblical books of Kings and Chronicles, TOI reports.

The inscription reads: “… this is the story of the tunnel, while [the hewers lifted] their axes toward their counterparts, and while three cubits more were to (be hewn?), was heard the voice of a man calling to his counterpart, (for) there was [a crack?] in the rock, on the right, and on the left. And on the day of [the final barrier’s] piercing, the stonecutters struck each man towards his counterpart, ax against ax and water flowed from the source to the pool for 1,200 cubits and 100 cubits was the height of the rock, over the head of the stonecutters …” TOI reports.

According to the senior Israeli official, Israel offered to give Turkey an important historical item in return, probably an ancient candelabra from the Ottoman era. Turkey did not immediately officially confirm the return of the inscription, TOI said.

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