Sing: ‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus, UMH 462
This particular morning we have some free time – our tour buses will be leaving our hotel at about 11:00 am. I think EO does this because this is the last day of our Israel tour and everyone who is not going on an extension tour will be flying out of Israel tonight. This free time allows those who are leaving time to get organized and packed and it allows those of us who are staying to sleep late or do a little exploring on our own.
During our tour of the Israel Museum last night I got to meet a couple of young pastors from Tennessee. They were planning to use their free time to go into The Old City and see some things I wanted to see. So we got up and left the hotel at about 7:30 am.
As we entered the Jewish Quarter we came across an excavation site that exposes the Broad Wall. This wall was built during Hezekiah’s expansion of the city. Jews from the northern tribes of Israel, who had been overrun by the Assyrians in 721 BC, fled down to Judah and the city of Jerusalem for protection. They settled outside the city walls on the Western Hill. To protect them and their homes Hezekiah fortified the western part of this newly expanded city around 721 BC with a wall. The uncovered remains of this wall are 23 feet wide and 213 feet long. This portion of the wall ran west from the Temple Mount over the Tyropoeon Valley toward the western corner of the southwestern hill (which is where the Citadel is today). Evidence uncovered during excavation seems to indicate that Hezekiah had to destroy some homes in order to build the wall. This portion that we could see was uncovered in 1970 during the excavations that took place in The Old City after the Six-Day War won by Israel in 1967.
The book of Nehemiah (12:38) places the Broad Wall near the Temple Mount wall when, during the dedication of the new wall (around 440 BC), one group of priests walked in procession on the new wall, past the remains of this Broad Wall.