Hezekiah's Broad Wall

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Places of Interest

Hezekiah's Broad Wall

 

Location

 

1. Hezekiah’s Broad Wall connected the lower part of the City of David with the west side of the Temple Mount.

 

2. The part that is visible today is located just north of the Hurva Synagogue to the left of Bonei ha-Khoma St.

 

Historical Background

 

1. After the dividing of the nation of Israel into two kingdoms (Israel and Judah) after King Solomon, God sent prophet after prophet to warn them to turn from their sinful ways and follow Him. However, all these warnings fell on deaf ears.

 

2. All the 19 kings who reigned in the northern kingdom of Israel did not follow the Lord and acted wickedly.

 

3. As a result, the northern kingdom of Israel was conquered and taken into captivity by 722 BC by the Assyrians because of Israel’s continual disobedience.

2 Kings 18:11–12: Then the king of Assyria carried Israel away into exile to Assyria, and put them in Halah and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes, 12 because they did not obey the voice of the Lord their God, but transgressed His covenant, even all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded; they would neither listen nor do it.

 

4. The Assyrian army was brutal and known for its torturous tactics. They intentionally instilled fear in the hearts of those they conquered to cause other countries to surrender instead of fighting.

 

5. By 701 BC, the Assyrians, headed by Sennacherib invaded Judah, the Southern Kingdom of Israel, because of their disobedience to God. 

 

6. According to an Assyrian stele found in the ruins of the royal palace of Nineveh, Sennacherib conquered 46 cities in Judea prior to attempting to conquer Jerusalem.

 

7. God allowed most of Judah to be conquered but protected Jerusalem because of Hezekiah’s obedience to Him.

 

8. As Hezekiah began to prepare for what he knew would be a terrible siege by a merciless Assyrian war machine, he had to figure out how to protect his people. This meant building new defenses.

 

9. During the time of Hezekiah, Jerusalem’s urban population had grown far outside the old walls of the city and were unprotected.

 

10. King Hezekiah fortified the existing walls of the city and built a new wall in a rapid manner to protect those living outside the city walls.
2 Chronicles 32:5: He set to work resolutely and built up all the wall that was broken down and raised towers upon it, and outside it he built another wall, and he strengthened the Millo in the city of David. He also made weapons and shields in abundance. 

 

11. Hezekiah’s new wall measured about 22 feet wide (7 m.) by 25 feet high (8 m.).

 

12. It was a massive undertaking and measured around 2.5 miles (4 km.) in length.

 

13. A portion of the wall was discovered in the 1970s by Israeli archaeologist Nahman Avigad and dated to the reign of King Hezekiah (716-687 BC).

 

14. It was called “Hezekiah’s Broad Wall” by archaeologists because of how wide it is.

 

15. King Hezekiah also built a water tunnel in order to keep the water from the Gihon Spring inside the city walls so the Assyrians couldn’t cut off the water supply (2 Chron. 32:3–4). The curving tunnel is 583 yards (533 m.) long and has an altitude difference of 12 inches (30 cm.) between its two ends. It was chiseled from both ends to the middle at the same time. It took the water from the Gihon Spring under the mountain to the Pool of Siloam below the city of David.

 

Places of Interest

 

1. Hezekiah’s Broad Wall. Only a small section can be seen today.

 

2. Gihon Spring

 

3. Pool of Siloam

Hezekiah in the Bible

 

1. King Hezekiah’s father, Ahaz, was a wicked king. He closed the doors to the temple and burned his children in sacrificial worship to false gods.

 

2. King Hezekiah was a godly king who reopened the temple and restored worship to God.
2 Kings 18:3–6: And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, according to all that David his father had done. 4 He removed the high places and broke the pillars and cut down the Asherah. And he broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until those days the people of Israel had made offerings to it (it was called Nehushtan). 5 He trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel, so that there was none like him among all the kings of Judah after him, nor among those who were before him. 6 For he held fast to the Lord. He did not depart from following him, but kept the commandments that the Lord commanded Moses.

 

3. King Hezekiah chose not to serve the King of Assyria.
2 Kings 18:7: And the Lord was with him; wherever he went he prospered. And he rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him.

 

4. Sennacherib, the King of Assyria, conquered the southern part of Judah, including the mighty city of Lachish. King Hezekiah tries to keep him at bay by paying him money.
2 Kings 18:13–16: Now in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and seized them. 14 Then Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria at Lachish, saying, “I have done wrong. Withdraw from me; whatever you impose on me I will bear.” So the king of Assyria required of Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold. 15 Hezekiah gave him all the silver which was found in the house of the Lord, and in the treasuries of the king’s house. 16 At that time Hezekiah cut off the gold from the doors of the temple of the Lord, and from the doorposts which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and gave it to the king of Assyria.

 

5. King Sennacherib makes plans to conquer Jerusalem. 
2 Kings 18:17: Then the king of Assyria sent Tartan and Rab-saris and Rabshakeh from Lachish to King Hezekiah with a large army to Jerusalem. So they went up and came to Jerusalem. 

 

6. King Sennacherib mocks King Hezekiah and the God of Israel.
2 Kings 18:32–35: And do not listen to Hezekiah when he misleads you by saying, “The Lord will deliver us.” 33 Has any of the gods of the nations ever delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria? 34 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah? Have they delivered Samaria out of my hand? 35 Who among all the gods of the lands have delivered their lands out of my hand, that the Lord should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?’”

 

7. King Hezekiah humbles himself before God and sends for the Prophet Isaiah.
2 Kings 19:1–7: And when King Hezekiah heard it, he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth and entered the house of the Lord. 2 Then he sent Eliakim who was over the household with Shebna the scribe and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz. 3 They said to him, “Thus says Hezekiah, ‘This day is a day of distress, rebuke, and rejection; for children have come to birth and there is no strength to deliver. 4 Perhaps the Lord your God will hear all the words of Rabshakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria has sent to reproach the living God, and will rebuke the words which the Lord your God has heard. Therefore, offer a prayer for the remnant that is left.’” 5 So the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah. 6 Isaiah said to them, “Thus you shall say to your master, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed Me. 7 Behold, I will put a spirit in him so that he will hear a rumor and return to his own land. And I will make him fall by the sword in his own land.”

 

8. King Sennacherib once again threatens King Hezekiah and speaks against the God of Israel.
2 Kings 19:9–12: So he sent messengers again to Hezekiah, saying, 10 “Thus shall you speak to Hezekiah king of Judah: ‘Do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you by promising that Jerusalem will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria. 11 Behold, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, devoting them to destruction. And shall you be delivered? 12 Have the gods of the nations delivered them, the nations that my fathers destroyed.’”

 

9. Hezekiah seeks the Lord’s help.
2 Kings 19:14–19: Then Hezekiah took the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it, and he went up to the house of the Lord and spread it out before the Lord. 15 Hezekiah prayed before the Lord and said, “O Lord, the God of Israel, who are enthroned above the cherubim, You are the God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. 16 Incline Your ear, O Lord, and hear; open Your eyes, O Lord, and see; and listen to the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach the living God. 17 Truly, O Lord, the kings of Assyria have devastated the nations and their lands 18 and have cast their gods into the fire, for they were not gods but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone. So they have destroyed them. 19 Now, O Lord our God, I pray, deliver us from his hand that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You alone, O Lord, are God.”

 

10. God answers Hezekiah’s prayer.
2 Kings 19:20–22: Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah saying, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Because you have prayed to Me about Sennacherib king of Assyria, I have heard you.’ 21 This is the word that the Lord has spoken against him: ‘She has despised you and mocked you, The virgin daughter of Zion; She has shaken her head behind you, The daughter of Jerusalem! 22 ‘Whom have you reproached and blasphemed? And against whom have you raised your voice, And haughtily lifted up your eyes? Against the Holy One of Israel!’”

 

2 Kings 19:32–34: Therefore, thus says the Lord concerning the king of Assyria, “He will not come to this city or shoot an arrow there; and he will not come before it with a shield or throw up a siege ramp against it. 33 By the way that he came, by the same he will return, and he shall not come to this city, declares the Lord. 34 For I will defend this city to save it for My own sake and for My servant David’s sake.”

 

11. God miraculously destroys King Sennacherib and his army.
2 Kings 19:35–37: Then it happened that night that the angel of the Lord went out and struck 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians; and when men rose early in the morning, behold, all of them were dead. 36 So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and returned home, and lived at Nineveh. 37 It came about as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer killed him with the sword; and they escaped into the land of Ararat. And Esarhaddon his son became king in his place.

 

Faith Lesson from the Life of King Hezekiah

 

1. Even though Hezekiah had a wicked father, he chose to serve the Lord.

 

2. No matter what our background might be, and the parents we have, God can still use us greatly if we’ll yield ourselves entirely to Him.

 

3. He was extremely dedicated to God.
2 Kings 18:5–6: He trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel; so that after him there was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor among those who were before him. 6 For he clung to the Lord; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the Lord had commanded Moses. 

 

4. He trusted in God during times of great trials.

 

5. God blessed him and protected him because of his faith and dedication to Him.

 

6. He worked hard to fortify the old walls, built a huge new wall, and protected the water source of the city. All this was good, but not needed as God supernaturally protected Jerusalem because Hezekiah trusted in the Lord.

 

7. King Hezekiah lived the kind of life God blesses. Are we following his example?


 

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