Listen to 2 Samuel 5:6-7, ‘The king and his men marched to Jerusalem to attack the Jebusites, who lived there. The Jebusites said to David, “You will not get in here; even the blind and the lame can ward you off.” They thought, “David cannot get in here.” Nevertheless, David captured the fortress of Zion, the City of David.’ (NIV)
These verses summarize David’s conquest of Jerusalem. In fact, in the next verse, we’re told David told his men to use the water shaft to enter the city. A parallel passage in 1 Chronicles says Joab led the way, earning his rank as commander of David’s army.
What really happened here? The Jebusites lived in a walled city. To access water, they created a tunnel system connecting to the Gihon spring from inside the city walls. The tunnels and passages were dug through the rock. They also connected to a natural vertical shaft. Joab led the assault by entering the city through the spring. The soldiers may have climbed the vertical shaft or ascended through the tunnels. They probably then killed the guards at the gate and let the rest of the army into the city.
In the 1860s, an archaeological effort led by Charles Warren found the water shaft mentioned here. You can visit it today. It is one of the many tourist spots in Jerusalem.* The existence of the water shaft is another confirmation of the bible that archaeology has provided.
*”Warren’s Shaft,” Go Jerusalem, http://www.gojerusalem.com/items/137/Warrens-Shaft/
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.