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Broad Wall

A section of the wall was uncovered by archeologists in 1970 in the Jewish Quarter in Jerusalem’s Old City.  It was built by King Hezekiah of Judah in the eighth century BCE.  Archaeologists estimated that it was approximately 23 feet thick and more than 20 feet high.  The Broad Wall was needed for two reasons: (1) to extend the territory because of the growth in population since the reign of King David; (2) to provide protection as a defensive structure against an attack by the Assyrian Army.

Northern Side of the Wall

The Broad Wall is situated at the northern side of the Temple Mount.  The northern side of the Temple wall was the most vulnerable to attack because it did not have a valley to protect it.  The eastern side of the Temple Mount drops off steeply into the Kidron Valley; therefore, the northern side was the hardest to defend back in King David’s time in the 10th century BCE.

Stones were scattered all over

During their excavations, the archaeologists found this part of the wall to be demolished.  Stones were all over the area of the Broad Wall. (*Photo was contributed by Dr. Rasmussen)

Based on Isaiah 22:9-10 in the Tanakh, we learn that these stones were originally used in the construction of the wall.  The prophet Isaiah, who prophesied during the reign of King Hezekiah, mentioned:

Isaiah 22:9-10 9 and you saw that there were many breaches in the city of David, and you collected the waters of the lower pool. 10 You counted the houses of Jerusalem, and you broke down the houses to fortify the wall.”

Stones were scattered all over

Based on 2 Kings 19:29-36, the Assyrians never climbed over this Broad Wall to defeat King Hezekiah because God sent an angel to strike down one hundred eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians.  King Sennacherib of Assyria left after mourning all the dead bodies, went home, and lived at Nineveh.

2 Kings 19:29-36 29  “And this shall be the sign for you: This year you shall eat what grows of itself, and in the second year what springs from that; then in the third year sow, reap, plant vineyards, and eat their fruit.  30  The surviving remnant of the house of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward;  31  for from Jerusalem a remnant shall go out, and from Mount Zion a band of survivors. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.” 32  “Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the king of Assyria: He shall not come into this city, shoot an arrow there, come before it with a shield, or cast up a siege ramp against it.  33  By the way that he came, by the same he shall return; he shall not come into this city, says the Lord.  34  For I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David.” 35  That very night the angel of the Lord set out and struck down one hundred eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians; when morning dawned, they were all dead bodies.  36  Then King Sennacherib of Assyria left, went home, and lived at Nineveh.”

the remnant today and the original height

It turned out that the Babylonians demolished this wall during the battle.  The Tanakh tells us that, under the supervision of Nehemiah, after the return from the exile of Babylon, the Broad Wall was repaired and restored (Nehemiah 3:8).  You can see the remains of that Wall today in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City.  As you can see in the picture, a ruler on the wall indicates the original height of the wall.  Its length was about 148 feet.  However, most of this part of the Broad Wall was buried under the Old City in Jerusalem. (*Photo was contributed by Dr. Rasmussen.)

the remnant today and the original size

Nehemiah 3:8

“Next to them Uzziel son of Harhaiah, one of the goldsmiths, made repairs. Next to him Hananiah, one of the perfumers, made repairs; and they restored Jerusalem as far as the Broad Wall.”

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