Zedekiah’s Cave/King Solomon’s Quarries

There is a site in Jerusalem which is not visited by many people.  Zedekiah’s Cave was discovered in 1854 when a man (Dr. James Barclay, an American Bible scholar) and his son were looking for their dog.

This cave is not a natural one, but rather a man-made cave as a result of quarrying tons of stone for building projects in Jerusalem.

As you walk through the cave, you are walking underneath the Old City of Jerusalem.  There are crude columns throughout which are used to shore up the ceiling from the weight above.

In I Kings 5:29-31, we read that King Solomon had 80,000 quarriers.  “The king ordered huge blocks of choice stone to be quarried, so that the foundations of the house might be laid with hewn stones.”

These verses caused scholars to suggest that this was the quarry site, due to its proximity to the Temple Mount and the Ophel (the area connecting the Temple Mount and the City of David).

Others believe it was the escape path of King Zedekiah, who was caught near Jericho.  The account of this king, the Last King of Israel, can be found in Jeremiah chapter 52.  It is surmised that the quarry ceased to be used during the period of Suleiman the Magnificent when he built Jerusalem’s city walls (1535-1538).

2 thoughts on “Zedekiah’s Cave/King Solomon’s Quarries”

  1. Kassandra Cervantes

    Hi Rivka,
    I enjoy reading your blog every week!
    Zedekiah’s cave looks and sounds like a great site to visit. Hopefully I can see this place next time I’m in Israel.

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