Gershon Galil, professor of biblical studies and ancient history at the University of Haifa, has announced that he has deciphered five new monumental inscriptions of King Hezekiah that chronicle his actions during the first 17 years of his reign. One inscription was originally discovered in 1909 located within a frame near the entrance to tunnel #4. Because no inscriptions were discernible within the frame back then, it was assumed that it had been prepared for an inscription but was never used. Galil says that archaeologist Eli Shukron believed there was an inscription within the frame that had eroded over time. Shukron asked him to examine it, and Galil did so and says that he was able to discern and translate a significant royal inscription. It reads, in part, “Hezekiah, the son of Ahaz, king of Judah, made the pool and the conduit. In the seventeenth year, in the second (day), in the fourth (month), of king Hezekiah, the king brought the water into the city by a tunnel, the king led the water into the pool” (see Jerusalem Post article below for the full inscription). In addition to this discovery, Galil also claims that there is more to the famous Siloam Tunnel inscription than previously known, as there are five more lines below the plaque that was carved out and taken to Istanbul. Prof. Galil is quoted in the Jerusalem Post as saying that the five new inscriptions are “one of the most important archaeological discoveries in Israel of all time.” If these discoveries are legitimate, they would indeed be incredibly important. It would be wise to wait cautiously for more information for the academic community to evaluate; currently the above claims have only been made in a Facebook post and resulting media reports.
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