Jerusalem from the Church of Tears from Clack
The Jebusite city captured by David to be the capital of the United Kingdom came to be called Jerusalem. Since the final compilers of the Old Testament were Judean (ידוהי means Judean or Jewish depending on the period) in most passages Jerusalem is thought of as the holy city, chosen by God for his one true temple.
The lush green of the Kidron valley
today requires modern irrigation (McMath)
Although the most important city for the compilers of the Bible, Jerusalem is poorly situated, at the edge of the "desert", surrounded by marginal land, off the major trade routes, its only natural advantage is a perennial spring (Kidron).
As their capital, David, Solomon and other kings enlarged and strengthened the city. (The photo, right, shows excavated houses, close to the presumed walls of the City of David, on the slopes above the spring, McMath).
Since the spring was outside the walls it was vulnerable in time of war. "Warren's Shaft" (above) was partly a natural formation and partly dug by humans. A small tunnel leads from the spring to the vertical shaft up which water could be drawn and carried up the larger tunnel into the city.
Until Sennakerib's threatened invasion a partly covered channel also took water by a level route around the base of the hill to the Siloam pool inside the city. This channel served for controlled irrigation of fields as well as to fill the reservoir.
Hezekiah, needing to secure his supply and to deny water to the Assyrian invader, had an extension tunnel dug, about half a kilometer through the rock directly to the Siloam pool. He then covered the older channel.
This page is part of the Hypertext Bible Commentary - Amos,
© Tim Bulkeley, 1996-2005, Tim Bulkeley. All rights reserved.