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The King and the LandA Geography of Royal Power in the Biblical World$
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Stephen C. Russell

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199361885

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199361885.001.0001

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Hezekiah’s Tunnel

Hezekiah’s Tunnel

On Royal Shaping of the Water Supply System

(p.84) 5 Hezekiah’s Tunnel
The King and the Land

Stephen C. Russell

Oxford University Press

This chapter sets the biblical claims that Hezekiah stopped up the springs outside Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 32:2–4) and built a pool and conduit to bring water into the city (2 Kings 20:20) within the context of the literary depiction of royal shaping of water supply systems in the ancient Near East. Royal inscriptions treating this motif most often deploy it in general descriptions of the king’s abundant provision for his land. The note in 2 Kings 20:20 fits this pattern. Less frequently, the motif is deployed in the context of descriptions of specific military successes. The description in 2 Chronicles 32:2–4 fits this pattern. The chapter argues that 2 Chronicles 32:2–4 and 2 Kings 20:20 have no literary–historical relationship to one another and make different claims about Hezekiah’s reign. It evaluates them in light of other textual and archaeological evidence for late Iron Age II Judah.

Keywords:   Hezekiah, book of Kings, book of Chronicles, Jerusalem, Judah, water, royal inscriptions, Gihon Spring, Siloam Tunnel, Canal

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