07 August 2009

Hezikaiah's Tunnel Inscription in Proto-Hebrew Letters

This the famous Siloam Inscription found in Hezekiah's Tunnel, down by the City of David. The tunnel goes from the Spring of Gihon to the Pool of Siloam (Shiloah/Shilo'akh) to provide water for Jerusalem during the coming battle with Sennacherib and the Assyrians. It is 533 meter long, and is slightly but consistenly graded to flow down from source to pool. This excavation from around 700 BCE in the reign of Hezekiah.

Note well the alphabet used: Yes, it is the Hebrew alphabet, but no, it doesn't look like the lettering on the kosher butcher's shop. It is the alphabet that King David wrote with, and read. It is very primitive looking. Next time you play around with some digital version of the Hebrew Scriptures in English, or in some other language, don't forget what the first "edition" looked like!


... the tunnel ... and this is the story of the tunnel while ...
the axes were against each other and while three cubits were left to cut? ... the voice of a man ...
called to his counterpart, (for) there was ZADA [straightness] in the rock, on the right ... and on the day of the
tunnel (being finished) the stonecutters struck each man towards his counterpart, ax against ax and flowed
water from the source to the pool for 1200 cubits. and 100?
cubits was the height over the head of the stonecutters ...

No comments: